Walsh U. loses first regular season football game at new stadium

Alumni, students and local fans fill the stands on Saturday afternoon as Walsh University plays its first regular-season football game on campus at the new Larry Staudt Field.

NORTH CANTON – Knowing that their children could be a part of Walsh University sports history excited the Bischof and Francz families.

Linebackers Kyle Bischof and Connor Francz transferred to Walsh from the University of Akron and would play Saturday’s regular-season football game on the school’s campus at Larry Staudt Field.

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Until this season, the Walsh football team (the program began in 1995) played “home games” at North Canton Hoover Memorial Stadium, Fawcett Stadium, Bob Commings Field at GlenOak High School, and Tom Benson Hall. of Fame.

Proud moms Kelly Bischof and Sharon Francz enjoy pregame fun before their sons Kyle Bischof and Connor Francz take the field Saturday in Walsh University's first regular season football game at Larry Staudt Field.

“It’s good to see they brought it home,” Kelly Bischof said of the new field on campus. The Bischofs and Franczes joined others to participate in a parking lot next to the stadium, which is located on the north side of East Maple Street.

A crowd of local alumni, students, and fans filled the hometown stands on the west side of the stadium. Many spread out and stood along the fence. Others found places on the grassy slope of East Maple Street.

Adding the stadium is a positive move for the university, Sharon Francz said. Walsh has a great academic and sports reputation, but the stadium is an amenity that will help attract students, she said.

At home but a Walsh University football loss

Unfortunately, the first game on campus didn’t have a Hollywood ending.

The Cavaliers lost, 42-0, to Tiffin University, a rival in the Greater Midwest Athletic Conference.

The results weren’t much better than when Walsh played Tiffin in his last home game at Bob Commings Field, on Easton Avenue NE, less than a mile east of campus. Tiffin defeated the Cavaliers in that game, 56-16.

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Oddsmakers probably weren’t expecting a turnaround for Walsh in this year’s opener with Tiffin.

Walsh University players walk onto the field to toss the coin before the football team's first game on campus at Larry Staudt Field.

The G-MAC preseason poll ranked Tiffin as the second-best team in the league, just behind Findlay University and just ahead of Ashland University. Walsh tied for eighth in the nine-team league, earning as many points as Lake Erie College in Painesville.

Already home to the lacrosse, soccer, and track teams

Saturday afternoon was not the first time Walsh’s football team played at Larry Staudt Field. It was also the site of the team’s spring game.

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