Mike Keir relishes successful start to the season


Sports Information

Mike Keir leads the Vulcan offense.

Rachael Kriger, Editor In Chief

Mike Keir’s smile was visible all way from the stands when the quarterback lifted up the Coal Bowl trophy on Saturday. Kier, who was named the MVP of the game for his efforts, threw one touchdown and rushed for two touchdowns against Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“Since I’ve been here at Cal, that’s the best atmosphere we’ve had,” Keir said. “Playing against IUP in the Coal Bowl is special. They’re our biggest rival, obviously. I knew going into the game it was going to be tough. It always has been against them, no matter what the records of both teams were. It was great to get the win and lift up the Coal Bowl trophy.”

Keir still has a reason to remain smiling. The Vulcans are undefeated with a 5-0 record this season and recently moved up to the number seven team in the recent American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 list.

Even personally for Keir, he’s smiling after being named the PSAC West Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. According to the man himself, he wasn’t expecting the honor of Player of the Week or the MVP honor against IUP.

“It’s nice, but honestly I wish there was an MVP for everyone because the entire team deserved it,” Keir said. “Everybody played so great that night. I don’t think I should’ve been named the MVP. Both were unexpected. You have to give it to our guys. We have such a great group of guys around our team. It was just unexpected to be presented that.”

Keir has been praised by his teammates for his leadership on and off the field by wide receiver Tom Greene and offensive lineman Craig McCorkle. Greene went off to say in the beginning of the season that he and Keir have a “strong and trusting [relationship]. We both rely on each other to complete the play called and you need that for success on offense.”

As for McCorkle, he praised his quarterback’s intellect and his ability to step up when needed for the team.

“Mike Keir is a very smart quarterback who can make great throws and great decision in difficult situations,” McCorkle said. “I have a lot of confidence that he will be very productive this season.”

However, Keir counts himself lucky to have Greene, McCorkle, and the entire Vulcan football team by his side on and off the field. He credits them for the success of the team.

“They love me being their quarterback, well I love them being my teammates,” Keir said. “Look at Tom and Garry [Brown]. They’re two of the best wide receivers in the PSAC, if not the whole country. Those guys together, it’s hard to guard and cover. Putting them together is just dangerous. Our whole team is dangerous together.”

Another key figure for the Vulcans that has Keir’s back is head coach Gary Dunn. Dunn provided his trust in Keir when he named him the starting quarterback in the off season, as he needed a replacement for the graduated James Harris.

“I’ve been here for three years now, waiting behind James, and for me, my family, there was a lot of excitement,” Keir said. “It’s something nice to hear, after being a backup for two years.”

“It’s fun learning from Coach Dunn,” Keir continued. “It was kind of in the air during the offseason, wondering who would be our coach. Everyone was on the edge, and then Coach Dunn gets picked and it’s been really great. I think Coach Dunn and I have a really good relationship. We have a lot of trust in him because he has a lot of trust in us.”

Keir, who also serves as the punter on the team and did for the last two seasons, and the Vulcans will face Clarion University, who are 2-4 overall, on Saturday, October 15 in Clarion. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and kickoff is set for 6 p.m. As for their next home game, the Vulcans will take on Gannon University, who are 3-3 overall, during Homecoming weekend, on October 22 at 3 p.m.