For a team that had a five-year background of 3-32 in the Centennial Conference, Western Maryland can be excused for relishing a season in which it has gone 2-1 in the conference, 3-1 overall and won successive games for the first time since 1983.
Realistically, this is probably where the team should be, given its 15 returning starters among 33 letter winners. Still, there were numbers like that in the mid-1980s, when the Green Terrors were losing 29 games in a row.
Everyone shares in a winning effort, just as they share when the losses pile up, but Western Maryland's current offensive figures are particularly impressive since the backs operate behind a line that starts two experienced seniors and three inexperienced sophomores.
The seniors are Ben Kling, a four-year starter at center, and Chris Campbell, the biggest of the five at 6 feet 3, 275 pounds, at tackle. The sophomores, all starting after serving in reserve roles last season, are guards Todd Wargo and Jeff Lawn (Mount St. Joseph) and tackle Paul Picchierri.
* FROSTBURG STATE: A school spokesman announced that, due to a minor technicality (an athletic department form mailed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association was lost in transit), Frostburg was not being considered for this week's rankings. This is expected to be a temporary situation, and the team will be restored to consideration as soon as the paperwork is completed.
* JOHNS HOPKINS: The roles of Frank Gangemi, a senior starter at offensive tackle who had seen occasional duty at defensive tackle, have been switched, according to head coach Jim Margraff. The 6-1, 250-pound athlete is primarily a defensive player who will see some time on offense. He, senior lineman Dave Erfle and sophomore linebacker Stu Markley, plus backs Tom Baugher and Brian Hepting (Loyola), the Centennial Conference's Defensive Player of the Week, were effective in Saturday's 28-14 win over Gettysburg.
* SALISBURY STATE: Pat Poole has emerged as the winner in the three-freshman quarterback sweepstakes. He went all the way in Saturday's 23-13 loss at Shepherd and had a hand in both Sea Gulls touchdowns. He connected on a 30-yard pass to Charlie Whalen for one and ran 58 yards for the other.
* TOWSON STATE: Deceiving statistics from Saturday's 42-0 loss at Indiana, Pa., included the Tigers' running 80 plays to 54 for IUP, leading in time of possession, 36 minutes to 24, and forcing five turnovers.