Former Parkersburg High all-stater John Weber is no stranger to playing on a championship team.
But that was many moons ago and it didn't involve a ring.
Saturday afternoon at Goodman Stadium in Bethlehem, Pa., Weber and his Colgate teammates meet a Lehigh squad which is ranked No. 5 in the FCS Coaches Poll. At stake is the Patriot League title and an automatic berth in the NCAA playoffs.
At 6-foot-2 and 257 pounds, Weber plays backup at right tackle.
"I haven't played for a championship team since I was in seventh grade at Jackson Middle School," Weber said. "Our coach at Colgate has always been telling us he wants everybody on this team to have a ring. Winning the Patriot League and going to the playoffs would be awesome."
Colgate is coached by Parkersburg native Dick Biddle, who was all-state in football and earned three letters in wrestling as a Big Red. In 17 seasons at the helm of the Colgate program, Biddle is the winningest coach in school history.
"Coach Biddle makes you get after it on every play - he wants you to give your absolute best effort on every single play," Weber continued. "Off the field, he's a great guy. He's like a father-figure to the team. He is really supportive to everybody and really takes an interest. He wants to make sure he doesn't just prepare you as a football player, but we're prepared as soon as we come out of school with a degree."
Weber has made the transition from playing offensive guard in high school. Strength training was the biggest adjustment he had to grasp.
"Before at guard, you were pretty much man-on-man against a defensive lineman and had the help of the center," he said. "As a tackle, you have to be able to move around a lot more. It's been a little bit of an adjustment, but I am getting used to it."
Lehigh (9-0, 3-0 Patriot League) looks to clinch its third straight conference title and league-best 11th overall. Colgate (6-3, 4-0), which has not won the championship since 2008, ranks second along with Holy Cross and Lafayette with six league titles.
Colgate has been an offensive juggernaut since losing by one point (32-31) at Stony Brook on Sept. 22. During their current five-game win streak, the Raiders' offense is averaging 53.4 points per game.
"We were picked to finish toward the bottom of the league because we were losing a lot of talent from last year," Weber said. "We've worked really hard and done a really great job in every aspect of the game.
"We had three losses early in the season we wish we could have back, but we've gotten on a roll and playing a really high level."
The game is set for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
"Both teams are pretty similar," Weber noted. "Our coach teaches us execution, and playing great defense and solid offense. It will come down to which team executes on both sides of the ball and what team is more physical."
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