Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.


It was actually fun – time on the field with the players, and freedom to ask whatever you wanted to whomever you wanted, for as long as you wanted. It was media day as it should be…with the UD Flyers.

Rick Chamberlin was in a very good mood Sunday afternoon. It was media day for the University of Dayton football Flyers and the coach was open for business, more than forthcoming to those who wanted his attention.

It was my first football media day at UD, as compared to the last five years and the same opportunity with the Ohio State Buckeyes. And the differences couldn’t have been more stark.

Of course, Ohio State gets a WHOLE LOT more attention from the media; throngs of people, from the everyday beat writers to the curious weekenders just wanting to be in the same space with Urban Meyer.

However, for the sake of availability, and full disclosure, the two coaches, Meyer and Chamberlin, couldn’t be more different.

You get what Meyer wants you to have if you’re called upon to ask a question (there is a pecking order), and rarely more.

You don’t have to worry about being called on to talk with Chamberlin. I chuckled as I mentioned that fact to him. He chuckled, too, and admitted that the world of UD football is a little different.

“You know it’s relaxed here, and that’s how we like it,” he said, entering his tenth season as coach. “We all enjoy being here, coaches and players. It’s not a job for ‘em (the players), and if it is a job you need to think about whether it’s the right decision for you to play football at the University of Dayton.

“When you’re relaxed you just play better. Our young men aren’t worried about their stats, or their draft status.  They just focus on being out here for their team, and the University of Dayton.”

“Bunkers” is proud to sponsor coverage of the UD Flyers on PressPros

“Bunkers” is proud to sponsor coverage of the UD Flyers on PressPros

Wes Hegeman, from Minster, knows something about it. A senior, majoring in marketing, Hegeman is a starting offensive lineman who has thrived in the Dayton environment.

“It’s great for the people back home,” he said, scanning the playing field at Welcome Stadium and the number of families making the most of photo opportunities, and conversation with coaches. “And it is fun to be a Dayton Flyer.”

If there’s any class status, it’s not apparent. The freshmen and upperclassmen are pretty much indistinguishable.

Minster's Wes Hegeman (#50) mugs with Hal McCoy during Sunday's media day.

Minster’s Wes Hegeman (#50) mugs with Hal McCoy during Sunday’s media day.

“We pull for one another,” said redshirt freshman running back Cole Kaparos, from Upper Arlington. “There’s opportunity. We travel with four running backs and you know, on offense or special teams, you can get game time.”

If you haven’t seen the Flyers, or even read about them, you’ll have that opportunity this fall on Press Pros. We’ll be with them for all eleven games, something that Chamberlin eagerly welcomes.

“It’s a great opportunity for the people in your Press Pros market who have Dayton ties to follow the Flyers on the internet,” added Chamberlin. “We know there are lots of UD people out there and we’re glad to have you with us.”

Something you probably wouldn’t hear at media day in Columbus, but then again, there’s so many people there they’d have to air drop the message to get it to everyone.

The Flyers’ season opens in two weeks, September 2, in Pittsburgh against Robert Morris. Their home opener is the following Saturday, September 9, at Welcome Stadium against Southeast Missouri. Hal McCoy, who shared Sunday that he cut his journalism teeth on covering Flyers football when they were Division I, and coached by John McVay, will return after 40 years to do the honors.

We intend to make it fun. That’s how Rick Chamberlin likes it.

Redshirt freshman Cole Kaparos broke the longest play of Saturday's scrimmage, a 70 yard touchdown.

Redshirt freshman Cole Kaparos broke the longest play of Saturday’s scrimmage, a 70 yard touchdown.

Dave Arbogast is proud to sponsor coverage of the Dayton Flyers on Press Pros