The history book will always record Hope as the
1999 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) co-

 The history book will always record Hope as the 1999 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) co-champions.

Coach Dean Kreps' Flying Dutchmen are sharing the title with Albion and Alma after all three teams went 5-1 in conference play.

On paper, however, the Flying Dutchmen gained the statistical edge by leading the conference in every major team category -- scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense and total defense. This hasn't been accomplished by a Hope team since the 1987 conference championship season.

Playing what many viewed as the toughest non-league schedule among MIAA teams and ending winless against those three opponents, the Flying Dutchmen came back to win five of six conference games. Included was a school-record 62-7 triumph over playoff bound Alma. It was the Scots' only loss of the season.

The MIAA championship is the second in three seasons under Kreps. After five seasons he has coached the Dutchmen to a 22-23 overall mark and 17-10 MIAA record.

Junior quarterback J.D. Graves of Troy (Athens HS) set a Hope single season total offense record even though he missed one game with an injury. He became the first Hope player to surpass 2,000 yards in total offense in a season, rushing for 425 yards and passing for another 1,878 yards.

Graves' rushing total (425 yards) appears to be a Hope single season record for a quarterback. The previous best recorded total for a quarterback was 302 yards by Gary Frens in 1967. In the mid-1970s quarterback Bob Carlson rushed for 253 yards as a junior (1973) and 244 yards as a senior (1974).

Senior wide receiver Matt Handzo of Clinton Township (DeLaSalle HS) had the distinction of starting in every game as a collegian (36 games). No Hope player since at least the start of the coaching career of Russ DeVette (1955) has accomplished that fete. Handzo ended as Hope's third all-time leading career receiver (92 catches) and second in pass reception yardage (1,262 yards).

Junior tight end Brian Adloff of East Grand Rapids (East Grand Rapids HS) became the first Hope player to catch 40-or-more passes in consecutive seasons. This season he caught 40 passes after grabbing a school-record 49 in 1998. With a season of eligibility remaining, he is second on the all-time pass reception list with 92. The record is 107 receptions by Bill Vanderbilt, Jr. from 1984-87.

Hope has long prided itself on the success of its tailback in the offense. This season three tailbacks combined to gain 1,275 yards. Senior Eric Nichols of Grandville (Calvin Christian HS) rushed for 808 yards, junior Adam Magers of Battle Creek (St. Phillip Catholic HS) added 308 yards and senior Peter Kellepourey of Maple Valley (Maple Valley HS) accounted for 159 yards. Combined, it would be Hope's fourth best single season total from the tailback position.

Senior Todd Tester of Traverse City (Traverse City HS) intercepted six passes, one shy of the single season mark of seven by Kelly Clark (1991) and Randy Ames (1996).

Sophomore Ian Fish of Parchment (Parchment HS) had the second best single season scoring total by placekicker with seven field goals and 31 extra points for 52 points. The record is 58 points by Duy Dang in 1987.

Freshman Nick Conrad of Wyoming (Wyoming Park HS) set a single season mark for the best punt return average (15.3 yards on nine returns). The previous mark was 13.9 yards per return by Mark Van Wieren in 1988.