The Shippensburg University football team is looking to rise to the top this year. Although that challenge will not come without adversity as the Raiders have only 11 returning starters from the 2021 team, losing 17 players from last year’s team.
Last season the Raiders finished 9-2, which is the best record the team has posted since 2017 when they made the NCAA playoffs. The Raiders only loss came to Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) foes in Kutztown University and Shepherd University. The Raiders also finished 2021 Ranked No. 8 in The Super Region One Rankings.
This year the Raiders were voted fourth in the 2022 PSAC Preseason football coaches polls. The Raiders were voted in front of division rivals such as Shepherd, Kutztown and West Chester University. However, the Raiders did not receive any first-place votes in the poll.
The Raiders return three players who were named All-PSAC players from last season. One of those players is sophomore wide receiver Ian Sheehan. Sheehan had a phenomenal first season with the Raiders and led the team in receiving yards with 727 yards and six touchdowns. The Raiders also bring back defensive tackle Jacoby Sherard and sophomore All-Region place kicker Jaxson Montross.
One of the biggest questions for the Raiders this season is who is going to start under center. The Raider’s quarterback room has a lot of new faces after last year’s starter Brycen Mussina graduated. The Raiders received multiple transfers into their quarterback room over the offseason. Redshirt Freshman Ryan Orr transferred to SU after a redshirt year at Clarion University. Also in the running for the starting quarterback job is Sam Johnson III. Johnson transferred into SU from Boston College. Freshman Joey McCracken transferred in from Maine and took the majority of the snaps under center in the team’s Red-White spring game.
Leading the Raiders this year is head coach Mark Maciejewski. Coach “Mac” returns as the head coach of the Raiders for his 12th season. Mac ranks second all-time at SU in career victories.
This season the Raiders have five home games at Seth Grove Stadium. The Raiders will open their home schedule on Sept. 10 against Seton Hill University. The Raiders will also host Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Shepherd and PSAC Eastern Division rival Kutztown and East Stroudsburg. The Raiders were undefeated in their six games at home in 2021 and are 41-16 at Seth Grove Stadium in the past 10 seasons.
The Raiders have six games on the road this season. They will travel to PSAC rivals Bloomsburg, West Chester, Millersville, and Lock Haven.
The Raiders will open their season on the road with their only non-conference game of the season on Sept. 3 at 12 p.m..