The Ursinus College Football team is gearing up to capitalize on their improvements over the last several seasons.
The Bears went just 2-8 back in 2016, but managed to turn that around rapidly. They got off to an historic 5-0 start in 2017, including a defeat of Johns Hopkins, then won the Centennial/MAC Bowl in 2018.
Mitch Bradford has been a major reason that the team is poised to do something special this coming fall.
Bradford, a rising senior corner back on the football team, established himself as an all-around leader for the Bears. From his very first semester at Ursinus, Bradford was committed to excelling in both the classroom and on the field.
“I came in with the mindset that I was going to have to stick to a schedule if I wanted to be successful in the classroom, because of all the time we spend in the weight room, practice field, and the meeting room. So I sat down and picked out times that I HAD to get my school work done after a lift and before practice. Making it mandatory in my head gave me no excuse to procrastinate,” Bradford said.
This strict routine is no surprise, being that Bradford was named to the “Inquirer Academic All-Area Team” this past year. This means that he was among 24 student-athletes that had a grade point average of at least 3.2.
While keeping up with his school work, Bradford also was getting it done on the field. He had five interceptions –– the most in the Centennial Conference –– as well as six pass breakups. It seemed that every week defensive coordinator Steve Devlin matched Bradford up against the opposing teams no. 1 guy and every week that no. 1 guy had his worst game of the season.
“It was a great accomplishment for me to be named to the academic all-area team,” Bradford said, “In a game like football where it’s such a team sport, I take pride in showing what I can do off the field on my own.”
Bradford will be looking to do even better in the classroom his senior year, and at the same time, he will use last years results on the football field as fuel for the fire.
“I think I had a pretty good year,” Bradford said about his the 2018 campaign,“but we fell short of a lot of our team goals which included a conference championship. Me and the seniors have one more chance to accomplish that, so this must be the off-season where we work the hardest to get maximum results.”
The Ursinus Bears will return a large group of All-Conference players, which includes Bradford, a Second-Team All-Centennial-Conference defensive back selection. If there were a time to make a run at the championship it would be this upcoming fall in the 2019 season.
Additional reporting by David Mendelsohn. Tommy Garlick is a quarterback on the Ursinus College Football Team.