Zabel gives La Salle football lift on offense

Mount Hebron graduate sets receiving records



November 19, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

The sudden emergence of sophomore wide receiver John Zabel as an offensive force was a pleasant surprise in La Salle's 3-8 season.

Zabel, 6 feet 2, 182 pounds, gave the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Explorers instant offense the moment he stepped on the field as a starter in the third game of the season against the College of New Jersey.

The former Mount Hebron standout caught two touchdown passes and rolled up 222 receiving yards on five catches in a come-from-behind, 28-27 victory.

The 222 yards (one was a 78-yard scoring play) are a single-game school record. Zabel went on to establish two more school records this season, receiving yards (846) and touchdown receptions (eight).

Zabel was most likely headed to Division III before he decided to recruit himself to La Salle.

"Both are good academic schools," said Zabel. "I never expected to be playing football at a Division I-AA school, but they're kind of low-key about football here, and that suits me just fine."

Between Mount Hebron and La Salle, Zabel hasn't seen a lot of victories.

"The best record we had was 6-4 my senior year," he said. "They say they're going to step up their recruiting here, and that should help us."

Despite the breakthrough this season, Zabel insists he has no visions of pro football grandeur.

"I'm here to get an education," he said. "I'm not even thinking about the pros."

Feldmann a hit

Mary Washington freshman Kate Feldmann (Centennial) was rewarded for an outstanding volleyball season in the Capital Athletic Conference by being named to the all-conference second team.

Feldmann was second in the league with 4.23 digs a game and second on the team in kills with 2.32 a game.

Feldmann completed her season with 13 kills and 10 digs in a tough 3-2 loss to St. Mary's in the quarterfinals of the CAC tournament. Mary Washington wound up with a 16-11 overall and 5-2 league record.

Bugda is first team

Wilmington (Del.) College freshman soccer forward Colby Bugda (Bel Air) has been selected to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's first team. Bugda scored nine goals and had eight assists (26 points) for the Division II school, the sixth best scoring performance in the 11-team league.

Et cetera

Freshman center midfielder Brittany Rothenbach (Bel Air) was selected to the Peach Belt Conference women's all-tournament team after her outstanding defensive play helped Francis Marion University reach the semifinals. Rothenbach was one of four players to start all 19 games for Francis Marion. ... Senior midfielder/forward Brian Albrecht (Patapsco) finished the season as the leading scorer for Division III Elizabethtown College (16-3-1). Albrecht had eight goals and 10 assists and three game-winning goals. ... Ithaca senior Michael Styczynski (River Hill) has earned a berth in the NCAA cross country championships. ... Sophomore John Mandley (Chesapeake-AA) rolled up a school-record 55 points as a kicker for Lackawanna College (8-3). Mandley also tied a school single-season record with eight field goals. ... Shippensburg's Joel Gamble (Carver) caught 20 passes for 229 yards this season and made three tackles.

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