football

Remembering Coach Quentin Moses

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Reinhardt Athletic Director Bill Popp lights the football players’ candles during the Celebration of Life service for Coach Quentin Moses. Photo by Jeff Reed.

A variety of characteristics define a good man. Common phrases about a man’s success or wealth are normally mentioned, but a model character that impacts every person one comes in contact with is a diamond in the rough. For Reinhardt University, that diamond has been assistant football coach Quentin Moses.

Tragedy struck the entire Reinhardt community last Sunday morning when RU’s beloved football coach Quentin Moses passed away after being in a house fire. The following Wednesday, Feb. 15, the entire Reinhardt community and many others gathered together to celebrate and honor the life of their coach, friend and family member at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium at the James and Sis Brown Athletic Center.

Coach Moses’ significance to others reflected in the turnout Wednesday afternoon. The gymnasium, converted into an event space, was standing-room only as people came to celebrate his life. Throughout the ceremony, emotions ran high. Tears and cries scattered throughout the gym as the sorrow clouded over those in attendance.

Reinhardt University’s athletic director, coach Bill Popp, and head football coach James Miller both struggled to speak as the weight of the loss came down heavy on their spirits. A candle lighting portion of the ceremony captivated the peace of Coach Moses’ departure as the Reinhardt University Chamber Singers sang very gracefully. The Rev. Lee Powell of Lake Arrowhead Church closed the ceremony with uplifting words, saying, “Quentin Moses’ game on earth has come to an end, but his season in Heaven has just begun.”

The constant thought of his missing presence has dismayed everyone he has impacted, and family members, players and coaches everywhere struggle to accept their loss. Reinhardt’s head football coach James Miller is trying his best to stay strong not just for his players  but for the entire community.

“I’ve never gone through something like this, so it’s also a learning experience,” said Miller. “It’s going to be hard for a while. I’m trying to be strong for them (the players), but it’s tough sometimes, especially when you see the kids upset. You never want them to go through something like this, especially knowing how close he was to them. He meant a lot to the kids, and he meant a lot to the staff.”

Moses, 33, was commonly described as “inspirational and well-liked” by colleagues and family. His passion for the game of football, his faith in Christ and his character as a role model all contribute to the love and appreciation of the many people he has impacted. As hard as the toll of his death has been, positive thoughts and memories continue to resonate throughout the hearts of players and coaches in the community.

“Coach Moses was a strong-willed man,” said junior linebacker Devin Francois. “He stood up for what he believed in and was never afraid to show it. You could see that he genuinely cared about people and always wanted the best for everyone.”

Junior safety and team captain Jalen Holloman credits coach Moses mainly for his success off the field, as he inspired Holloman as a communication major.

“Ever since he recruited me, he always told me to just be patient and my time will come,” said Holloman. “His ability to share his stories and life lessons is why I decided to pursue sports journalism. He emphasized the need to let my actions speak louder than my words, and even though he is gone, that’s exactly what I will continue to do.”

During his playing days, Moses embodied the image of a phenom. According to ESPN.com, Moses was ranked among the top 50 recruits in Georgia his senior season at Cedar Shoals High School as a defensive end. After his impressive four years at the University of Georgia, Moses was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the first pick in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. After being cut, he spent time with the Arizona Cardinals before finding a home with the Miami Dolphins, where he finished his career after the 2009 offseason.

“He was a ball of energy on the field,” said Miller, referring to coaching against Moses as a graduate assistant in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. “I remember preparing our team against him thinking about how talented he was as a ball player. His ability to get after a quarterback could change an entire game.”

As prestigious as he was as on the field as a player, everyone who was close to Moses speaks highly about his noble character as a man. His ability to influence happiness wherever he went is a trait coach Miller has always been captivated by.

“He always had that infectious smile,” said Miller. “He had this positive demeanor that no matter what someone was going through that day, he could always cheer them up when they saw him. It poured into the spirit of his players and with our staff. He was never down, never had a bad day.”

Coach Miller looked up to many characteristics of Moses, but there was one that he will never forget.

“If there’s one thing I’ll always remember about Quentin, it was his ability to see the positive in everyone,” said Miller. “Every kid that he ever came in touch with, he never saw the negative; he always saw what they were good for. It inspired me as a mentor, as a coach and as a father.”

“He related with the kids so well. He’d do anything for them, and a lot of kids saw him as a father figure and respected him that way. He was a people person and a people pleaser. If our kids are anything like Q, they’re going to be successful. Quentin’s one of the best people I’ve ever met. It’s going to be difficult going out on that field and not seeing him out there with us.”

Although this loss has put a cloud over the Reinhardt football team and community, Coach Miller has faith that Coach Moses’ legacy will live on at Reinhardt as those he impacted will continue his positive influence and strength both on and off the field.

“The best part about Reinhardt is that this is a family atmosphere,” explained Miller. “We’re going to grow as a community, move forward as a team, and use this to make us better. That’s what makes this place special, and Quentin was proud to be a part of that; he loved that.”

Coach Moses was laid to rest Saturday following a memorial service in his hometown of Athens, Ga.

Written by: Daniel Hinton

Reinhardt names new head football coach

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James Miller has been hired as the new head football coach at Reinhardt University, athletics director Bill Popp announced through a release on Jan. 13.

Miller takes over for former head football coach Drew Cronic, who stepped down in December to go to Furman University as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Miller has been at Reinhardt University since 2014, compiling a 28-7 record over the last three seasons, with playoff appearances in the last two seasons. This past season, Miller’s offensive line helped the Eagles’ offense obtain an average of 550 total yards a game and 360 rushing yards a game. The Eagles were also successful enough to make it to the NAIA Semifinals this past season, before falling to a familiar opponent, The University of Saint Francis, as they did the year before.

Miller said his first expectation of his team is their classroom performance.

“First expectation is to be successful in the classroom. We need to take care of the little things off the field so that we have no outside conflicts on the field. Second I expect us to have a strong work ethic. As a team we need to make sure we go 1-0 with everything we do; ‘Win the Day.’ Lastly, I expect us to win Conference, make the playoffs, and with hard focus, mental drive, and dedication, win a National Championship.”

Coach Miller is no stranger to hard work and great results, as he was a heavily recruited 6-foot-6, 300-pound, two-star lineman coming out of high school  in 2005. During his four years at Virginia Tech, Miller played guard on the offensive line and was a two-year starter.

According to Scout.com, Miller was a “hard-working lineman with limited athletic ability. Quick off the snap, immediately gets his hands up and blocks with a wide base. Jolts opponents at the point, strong upper body and gets movement from run blocks.”

Since the announcement, players have been extremely excited for what’s to come next season.

“There aren’t too many obvious differences between the two (Miller and coach Drew Cronic), which can be a great thing,” said sophomore linebacker, Devin Francois. “Both coaches make their extreme passion and love for the sport indisputable. They make it clear they want to win the right way. We plan on keeping a lot of things the same, but if there are any differences or changes, it’ll be shown throughout the season.”

Returning junior wide receiver Mike Elder expressed his excitement stating, “I think that our new head coach will be a perfect fit for our football program. I feel this way because he is not only a great person but also a very passionate guy. His attitude during practice is very competitive and I like that a lot. I think with Coach Miller being our new head coach we will go further into the season than Reinhardt ever has before.”

Junior safety Jalen Holloman said the fact that Miller already knows the system will be beneficial to the whole team and coaching staff.

“We have a high powered offense so it’s important that we keep that going,” Holloman said. “He came from a big program so he already has that winning football mentality and he understands what it’s like to be a student-athlete. You can tell he cares about his players and that means a lot to the team. He’s fun but he’s strict and has high expectations for everybody. He talks and coaches the game with great love and passion. What more could you ask for?”

It’s clear the university and its students are beyond excited with the hire of their new head coach, and everyone will be eager to see what the Eagles will accomplish next season.

Written by: Daniel Hinton & Yamit Vodavoz. Photo credit: Jeff Reed.

Photo Slideshow: Homecoming 2016

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Homecoming 2016 Photo Slideshow
Click any picture to open the slideshow.

 

 

Photos By: Aaron Simmons and Malik Golar

No. 5 Reinhardt defeats Bluefield to remain undefeated

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Nationally ranked Reinhardt walloped Bluefield College 64-3 to kick off a day filled with sporting events over Family Weekend.

Reinhardt, ranked No. 5 in the NAIA, started the game in exciting fashion as defender Jalen Holloman leveled Bluefield’s kickoff returner in a powerful show of force.

In the first quarter, the Eagles defense stopped Bluefield’s opening drive with a forced fumble by Marcus Miller and recovery by Juice Arnold. The Eagles offense seemed to be firing on all cylinders as the offense scored on their first three possessions, finishing the quarter with a 21-0 lead. Bluefield answered back with a field goal to make the game 21-3. The Eagles scored three more touchdowns to take a 41-3 lead into halftime. Reinhardt appeared to be nothing less than focused entering the second half as they tacked on two touchdowns to a lead that was already out of reach.

“We came into the game focused this week, and we felt like nothing would hold us back from pulling away with the W,” said tight end, Quantavious Williams.

Reinhardt’s focus didn’t let up entering the third quarter, and the team added two more touchdowns to extend their lead to 55-3. In the fourth quarter, the Reinhardt defense kept Bluefield scoreless and added 9 more points from a safety and touchdown by Deonte Dennis.

“Our defense is one of the best in the nation for a reason. Week in and week out, our scout teams try to give our starters the best looks as possible during practice so they can dominate at game time,” said lineman Scooter Williams.

The Eagles backfield combined for a total of  7 rushing touchdowns and piled on 392 rushing yards. Rushers Deonte Dennis, Dominique Swope, Ryan Thompson and Jay Ashley were responsible for the touchdowns. Reinhardt was also successful with their passing game as senior quarterback Ryan Thompson  connected with Tyler Bradley, and quarterback Jay Ashley connected with Williams.

Reinhardt’s defense has not allowed a single touchdown on their home field this season. The Eagles advanced to 5-0 with the win.

The Eagles will be back on the road this week as they travel to Montgomery, Alabama to take on Faulkner University at 1:30 p.m.

 

Written By: Aaron Simmons. Photos By: Aaron Simmons

Student Activities Council hosts football watch party

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Students gathered in the Bannister Glasshouse to cheer on the RU football team as they faced the Kentucky Christian Knights in the team’s first conference game of the season.

The event, hosted by the Student Activities Council, featured a Livestream broadcast of the game projected on an inflatable screen. Light snacks also were served.

Event organizer Talyn Owens said these watch parties are only hosted for certain games.

“It depends on the severity,” she said.

Reinhardt’s last match-up with Kentucky Christian culminated in a one-sided victory for the Eagles, prompting the watch party this year.

Viewing began shortly before kick-off.  Due to a larger than anticipated turnout, additional chairs were made available to accommodate eager fans.

Junior Cameron Smith was one of the many students in attendance.

“[It] was a good way to get into the football season,” he said.

By the third quarter, the crowd thinned, but many students stayed to watch the Eagles triumph over the Knights by a score of 43-7.

The 3-0 Eagles will take on the Pikeville Bears in Pikeville, Ky. on Saturday, Sept. 24.

A watch party for that game has not yet been confirmed. “It depends on how our events line up,” Owens said.

 

Written By: Jacob Howard. Photo Credit: Jacob Howard