Cooler weather puts Flyers ahead of the game

The Flyers open the season Sept. 6 at Welcome Stadium against Georgetown University.

Dayton coach Rick Chamberlin said the cooler-than-average summer temperatures have been a boon for the Flyers, who opened preseason camp Aug. 11.

“What (the cooler weather) does is really allows the players to keep focused,” he said Friday at Welcome Stadium. “When you get hot, you ge tired. Mentally you start having lapses.

“I worry more about the coaches when it gets hot,” Chamberlin joked. “The players are in shape.”

Will Bardo, a four-year starter at quarterback, leads an experience Flyers offense that returns seven starters. Bardo, the team’s MVP last season, and running back Connor Kacsor were preseason all-Pioneer Football League picks. Bardo and Kacsor combined for 3,463 of UD’s 4,190 yards of total offense in 2013.

Bardo has four fifth-year seniors — Branden Johnson, Andy Powers, Gabe Macis, and Ross Smith — at his disposal.

Defensive end Pat Dowd and place-kicker William Will also were all-PFL preseason selections. Dowd is the only active two-time, all-PFL player. He recorded 10 1/2 sacks last season.

Bardo and Dowd are co-captains.

Chamberlin said the back end of Dayton’s defense is the most uncertain.

“What the questions are right now would be who would play in the defensive secondary,” he said. “We had some players like Nolan Harmotto, Luke Welsh, and Zach Elias who were hurt in the spring but are going to be players for us this year. We need to have them out on the field.”

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