St. Joseph's College first-year football coach Dan Day isn't staying up late watching videos of his football team or Edinboro (Pa.), tonight's opponent.

He is just tossing and turning.

"I am struggling to find sleep," he said. "It is not nervousness, but excitement, nervous energy. I cannot describe how excited I am."

The Pumas are coming off back-to-back eight-win seasons.

Day succeeds Cory Sanders, who left to become the defensive coordinator at West Florida, which will begin its intercollegiate football program in 2016. Day said he will keep most of what Sanders implemented.

"No need to fix what isn't broke," Day said. "We preach toughness and discipline and need to be a blue-collar as we can be. We have to go out there and just take care of business."

The Pumas return Kobi Cook and Braxton Shelton, who rushed for a combined 1,831 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. Defensively, they return top tackler Joel Wimbley (90 tackles, 15 1/2 tackles for loss, 6 1/2 sacks).

A good beginning: Purdue North Central freshman cross country runner Kyleigh Werner's college debut was a memorable one, winning the inaugural Purdue Northwest Classic title last Friday.

Werner, a South Central grad, won in 19:14.7 and helped the Panthers finish third with 80 points behind Grace College (32) and Indiana Kokomo (51). She was was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week for women's cross county Wednesday.

She said it was a unique situation, since South Central did not have a full team.

"It was great to have teammates to run with and we support each other," Werner said. "This was a confident builder not just for me but for the team. We really ran well."

She still had butterflies like she did in high school.

"Oh, I was extremely nervous," Werner said. "I always am and will be, but having a team helped a little becaue you had teammates to help calm you down."

Teammate Ariel Langley was 10th.

The Panthers will travel to Bourbonnais, Ill. on Friday for the Midwest Classic.

Cordova brings it home: Purdue Calumet men's cross country runner Alex Cordova started his season like he did last year — with a first-place finish.

The Hobart grad won the inaugural Purdue Northwest Classic on Friday in 16:03.9 and led the Peregrines to a second-place finish. He also was the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's cross country athlete of the week on Wednesday.

He was first in last year's first race. the Regional Campus Rumble in Richmond.

"Wining the first race gets me excited and it boosts your confidence," Cordova said. "That doesn't mean a lot because it is a long season with some really good races coming up with some tough runners."

Purdue Calumet competes Friday at the Regional Campus Rumble in Channahon, Ill.

Valparaiso tops in Tennessee: The Valparaiso women's volleyball team won its fourth straight in-season tournament, capturing the Chattanooga Classic with a 3-0 mark.

Coach Carin Avery pointed to the win over the host Moccasins.

"We got down big and came back," Avery said. "That showed a lot because we didn't quit. We fought and Chattanooga fought back. It was a great season-opening match.

"Chattanooga plays like a lot of Horizon League teams do, so that was a plus for us."

Taylor Graboski was named the tournament's most valuable player and Emily Campbell and Morganne Longoria were named to the all-tournament team.

The Crusaders travel to Brooklyn Heights (NY) for the Terrier Invitational.

Running Crusaders: The Valparaiso men's and women's cross country teams will host the Crusader Open Friday at Sunset Hills Farm.

The women's race is at 5 p.m., with the men to follow at 5:45.

Crusaders coach Mike Straubel said his first goal is to start getting everybody on pace as the teams work towards the Horizon League Conference meet. He also expects a good field with Notre Dame and Purdue competing.

"We would like a few of our top runners to break away and run with those top runners," he said. "Liz Bloy on the women's side and Adam Bruno, who had a great summer, and Dan Walters (Crown Point), I think can run up there with the top runners."


Sports Copy Editor

Jim is a copy editor for The Times who works out of Valparaiso. A South Central High School (1984) and Ball State ('89) grad, he’s covered preps most of his career. He received the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Media Award in 1997.

Jason is a sports copy editor and avid traveler whose goal is to see and do everything before he expires from this mortal coil. Also, mosquitoes find him delicious.