Athletes rock on at annual Jock Rock

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

On Friday, January 31, Alma College athletics hosted the annual Jock Rock event. This friendly competition was started 11 years ago and takes place once a year, where student athletes and their teams go head-to-head in various performances.

It was formed by Andria Baker, who is a former Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President and member of the Alma College Volleyball team, as a way to bring athletes together.

Each team puts their best skills and wildest talents to the test in order to win an award at the Scotty awards in the spring.

“Jock rock is an Alma college tradition where every sports team on campus creates their own skits, and performs it in front of each other and designated judges. The judges then vote and the winner is announced at the Scotty awards at the end of the year,” said sophomore co-host of the event, Alexandria Loonsfoot (’22).

As one of the hosts, who was nominated by the members of SAAC, Loonsfoot is expected to keep the event moving smoothly and the crowd of students entertained between performances without any bumps in the production.

The overall goal of Jock Rock is to not only have fun and bring the sports’ teams together, but to show just how creative Alma’s student athletes can be. Because at Jock Rock, there is no idea that is too out of the box.

At past Jock Rocks, sports teams have done everything from choreographed dance routines, dodgeball games, lip syncing, jump roping, and impersonating other teams or celebrities.

Senior SAAC member, Jennifer Kowalczyk (’20), said, “One of my favorite performances was when women’s Lacrosse had giant fat head masks of all the coaches and danced around as the coaches!”

Anything students can think of can fly at Jock Rock with only a few minor rules and limits to hold them back, such as time limitation, no use of glitter, and no damaging of the gym floor. With these rules in mind, athletic teams are left to form a routine to not only impress the crowd, but the judges as well.

At the end of the day, no matter the level of creativity and originality a team uses in their routine, the winner of the Jock Rock award at the Scotty awards comes down to the decision of the judges, who hold familiar faces on campus, especially in the Sports realm at Alma.

“This will be my first year as a judge, which I am very excited for. The judges will be judging on choreography, costumes, originality, energy and entertainment value, and overall impact,” said Athletic Director Sarah Dehring.

This year the judges consisted of Zach Russo, who is the Director of Sports Information, Head Athletic Trainer Brad Smith, Andrew Pomerville, who is the Chaplain at Alma College, and Dehring.

Each of these judges were selected by the members of SAAC, who nominated faculty and staff members from the college. A fan favorite judge from past competitions has always been Nancy.

“Our SAAC members vote on faculty, and staff from the college to be our judges for the night. Nancy is always a favorite judge, as she does not play favorites when it comes to deciding who wins!” said Kowalczyk.

Regardless of who the judges are, each team aims to not only put on a good show, but to enjoy their own performance and the event as a whole.

Jock Rock is a different opportunity for athletes to show their fun side and to interact in a different element outside of sports and school.

“I love the energy in the arena during Jock Rock. Even though it is a competition, all of the teams are very supportive of each other. I think it is a great event to build camaraderie among our athletics programs,” said Dehring.

Athletes prepare to spring into new season

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

Athletes prepare to spring into the new season

With the beginning of the new semester starting, Alma College’s 2020 Spring sports teams prepare to kick off their seasons within the next upcoming weeks.

While Fall and Winter sports’ teams dominated much of the Fall semester, the new winter semester welcomes the beginning of Spring sports’ teams, such as Softball, Baseball, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Track and Field, and a few others.

Unlike the other teams, who work on most of their pre-season workout in the spring and over the summer, Spring sports teams begin their pre-season workout in the Fall with it intensifying over winter break and the Holidays.

“We have a short fall season. I believe it lasts for about a month or two. We practice four days a week during that season and we also host a small tournament with 3 teams, including us. During the whole fall semester, we are in the weight room with Fletcher [the team’s strength and conditioning Coach] 4 days a week working on our strength training,” said Softball player Hannah Cambe (’21).

For many Spring teams like Softball, they ease back into the school year with a short “fall season.” This is primarily a time to refresh the fundamentals and start bonding as a team with the new incoming players.

At the end of the “fall season,” teams typically compete in a tournament or a friendly match to put their fundamental work to the test.

“[Fall practice] is mainly a time for people on the team to prove themselves and show what they can bring to the table. We also get one play date against another college during the fall where we get the chance to show coaches and ourselves how we can compete in a game,” said Baseball player Logan Huff (’20).

Following these fall practices, each Spring team begins to move into weight lifting. Each team is assigned a strength and conditioning coach to map out a specific workout plan for them. These workout plans vary between each team but can consist of four lifts a week until the start of the team’s season.

Each workout plan is molded to meet the team’s needs and to get them in the best shape possible for season. Some teams also set up team workouts to add to their training.

“In the offseason, we do team workouts four days a week at 6:30am before classes. We have certain hitting and fielding groups that we work with during the off-season as well,” said Huff.

For Spring sports, extra team workouts without their coaches, due to MIAA rules forbidding coach and athlete sport interaction until season, help the team gel and prepare the fundamentals for the season.

Some Spring season coaches also offer one credit classes in their particular sport during the last seven weeks of the Fall semester for not only their team, but any Alma College student to take. This allows players to not only keep their skills fresh, but for any student interested in that sport to learn more about it.

“Denny, our coach, teaches a 1 credit softball class that is an option for girls with room in their schedules,” said Cambe.

At the end of the Fall semester, all of the teams extra training and conditioning typically does not stop. It actually begins to intensify as teams inch closer towards their season with their strength

and conditioning coach providing them with a workout plan to follow over winter break until the start of their season.

“Over winter break, Fletcher provides us with a 4-day per week workout plan. We also do what we can as individuals to get into the gym to workout. The few weeks before we start is usually when girls start getting back in the gym and working on their swings, playing catch, etc,” said Cambe.

Teams start to get back into the swing of things when the Winter semester begins. They receive new season workouts from their Strength and Conditioning Coach to lessen their weightlifting for the season. Athletes also continue to work out on their own to work on personal goals and skills.

“I mainly follow the team workout and hitting plans, but I do like to practice tough throws on the run and eating healthy as way to keep myself ready for the season,” said Huff.

With personal goals in mind and continuous practice from the beginning of the Fall semester, Spring sports have spent the majority of the school year prepping for their season. Their constant emphasis on hard work in the off-season not only pushes them to excel in their upcoming Spring season, but to meet the expectations they set for themselves after their last season.

“One of the biggest things our coaches are hoping for this year is for us to really come together as a team and to work together toward a common goal. We as a team are really preaching the idea of ‘serving’ each other,” said Cambe.

Bowling makes history with big win

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

On Saturday, November 16, Alma College’s Bowling Team made history at the BGSU Falcon Classic. With some standout performances and the overall team score, both the Varsity and JV team finished the tournament in first place.  

This first-place finish for both teams at a tournament is a first for the program and an indication for the rest of the season to come as the Scots approach the halfway mark of their season. 

“Out of the four years that I have been on this team, it is by far the best season that we’ve had. All of the girls on the team are believing in themselves and it is really starting to show on the lanes!” said senior Varsity bowler, Emma Davis (’20)

The Scots have competed in seven total tournaments this far in the season with the BGSU Falcon Tournament being the half-way mark. With dedication and time, the team has managed to not only set records, but have this season be the best start in the program’s history. 

Head Bowling Coach Kyle Woodcock said, “The first 2 [tournaments] we struggled a little, but that’s to be expected. We had been working on a lot of things with many of the bowlers plus it was the first tournament for 4 of the bowlers. We finished 8th and 9th in those events. In the last 5 events, we have had 3 first place and 2 second place finishes. This is the best start in program history. We are currently ranked 15th in the Nation.” 

With a start like this, the team is on its way to making more firsts and breaking more records for the program. This includes not only for the team, but the individual performances as well, which all aided in the team’s success on Saturday. 

At the BGSU Falcon Classic, the team competed in 5 regular games as well as 12 Baker games. Baker games are played by 5 bowlers, where the first bowler bowls the first frame and then the 6th with the second bowler bowling second and seventh and so on until the last frame. 

The team performed well to start and picked up speed to seal a win in the baker games. 

“At the BGSU Falcon Classic, our team did great in the individual games putting us first in totals going into the baker games, but with Wright State not far behind. Once we started baker games, it was a battle between Wright State and us. It was really going to be down to the last game, but we pulled through and ended up bowling a 211 in the last baker game to win the whole tournament,” said Sophomore Varsity bowler, Rachel Kuczajda (’22).

This tournament win was a collaborative team effort from start to finish. Although the BGSU Falcon Classic was a moment for not only the team’s overall success, but also an opportunity for individuals to shine as well. 

“The BGSU Falcon Classic went really well! […] We also had three girls make the all-tournament team. Rachel Kuczajda led the varsity division, Cassie White led the JV Division, and Sarah Gadde took 2nd place in the JV division!” said Davis. 

Adding onto Davis’s comment, Coach Woodcock said, “Sophomore Rachel Kuczajda led all bowlers with a 216 average. Freshman Cassie White led all JV bowlers with a 204 average.” 

The overall win and individual performances helped place the bowling team in a strong position for the second half of the season, which starts Saturday, January 11, 2020. These wins not only aid in their program’s success, but in the overall atmosphere of the team. 

The Bowling team’s first match was in October with their season extending all the way into March. Due to the length and success of the season, it is only fitting that the team not only works together in matches, but outside of them as well. 

“My favorite part of being on the bowling team is really the sense of community and belonging that bowling brings […] We are all so unique and we come from so many different backgrounds, but bowling brings us all together forming a special bond that I will have for the rest of my life,” said Kuczajda. 

With this bond, the bowling team has not only proven to pose a threat this season, but to continue making history. All of this not only showcases the hard work the team puts in every day, but the goals and mindset they all embrace and want for this season. 

“Our goal starting the season was to advance past Sectionals this year. I think our early success has put us in a lot of pressure situations that will help with that goal. I believe we will have more opportunities in the second half to challenge ourselves to also help achieve that goal,” said Coach Woodcock. 

 

Women’s basketball starts off strong

ALYSSA GALL
STAFF WRITER

On Saturday, November 9, Alma College’s Women’s Basketball team tipped off their season to not only a great start with a 60-44 win over Oberlin College, but new Head Coach Samantha Stormont’s first collegiate win. 

This win set the tone for the season and expectations after coming off of a successful 2018-2019 season with a 9-7 record and advancement to the semifinals in the MIAA conference. 

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Samantha Stormont said, “I am so proud of the year we had last year, but when the season ended, we all agreed we wanted more. We talked a lot about putting in the work this summer individually, so we didn’t miss a beat when we came back together in the fall. As a program, we constantly talk about our goals and what we’re fighting for.” 

With this mindset in mind, the team makes sure to embrace the upcoming season and new head coach with open arms. The team is eager to make this year different and prove that they are here to play, which is the exact point the team made on the court on Saturday.  

“The team’s mindset [going into Saturday’s game] was coming out and setting the pace within the first five minutes. We competed the entire game and are taking one game at a time. We protected home court and played as a team,” said Hannah Thelen (’20), a senior on the Basketball team. 

From Coach Stormont’s leadership and the team’s mindset, mentality and a want to start off strong helped the Scots make a strong point with their win. 

However, behind the mindset and hunger for a successful new season is the foundation for the up and coming team. Before the Scots take the court, they spend constant hours and time preparing for these moments. 

These hours of practice not only help the athletes stay in prime condition for the season, but play a role in the overall cohesion of the team. 

“Our practices consist of break-down drills between post and guards, shooting drills, and we focus a lot on defense and build on our offense. We end practices with a scrimmage or 5-on-5 drill. When practice is over, we recognize players who we believe stood out during the practice. We call these ‘Spotlights,”’ said Thelen. 

These “spotlights” reflect not only the hard work of the players, but the unity and bond of the team that stems from the acknowledgement and practice. 

Without these moments, the team would not be the team it is today. 

“My favorite part of being a part of this team is how connected we are.  Our crazy team has fun making memories and laughing together. Our team chemistry is the key to success,” said Thelen. 

The same can be said about Coach Stormont. Outside of these moments and the “spotlights” in practice, the team and their win on Saturday put a big spotlight on their new head coach.  

“Coach Stormont has high and achievable expectations for each individual along with the team as a whole this season to put nothing but 100% effort and dedication to this team and to never lose sight of how lucky we are and how great this program can be if we believe,” said Jennifer Brandt (’21)

From assistant coach to head coach, Coach Stormont already had a preexisting bond with the team. Her presence was a familiar face and impact on the team. 

This made the transition easier for the team and herself.  

“As our assistant coach last year, she knows the ins and outs of our team and uses that to capitalize our program this year.  Sami’s expectations for this team are high. She knows our potential and believes this is the year we become MIAA Champs,” said Thelen.
With that in mind and Coach Stormont’s first big win on Saturday, 
the team went back to the court on Monday, November 11 to face off against Bluffton University, where their expectation and goals remained the same. 

Speaking about Monday’s game, Brandt said, “We also hope to learn even more from this experience to take to the next practice and grow off of. We know what we came here for and what we have to do to get where we want to be and we hope to carry that out every minute of the game.” 

The Scots put up a tough fight, but fell short with a 62-49 lose against Bluffton. This placing the team at 1-1. 

However, despite the loss, the team is determined to keep moving forward and taking it day by day – one basket at a time. 

“The girls absolutely set the tone for how hard we will compete every night. We played as a team and had a lot of fun, I expect nothing to change,” said Coach Stormont. 

Wrestling makes a move for the new season

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

Photo by ALLISON WOODLAND

Coming off of a successful season last year, the Alma College’s Wrestling team is looking to keep that same momentum as their new season came to a start on Wednesday, October 7, against Davenport University.

The team finished 17 out of 74 teams in the NCAA Division III Championship last season as well as graduating only one senior and welcoming in six new freshmen.

Wrestling Coach Jeremiah Tobias said, “As a team, we are pre-season ranked 15th. Brendan Ladd and Zachary Cooper are both ranked top 8.”

Their season finish and pre-season ranking helps set the tone and expectations for this upcoming 2019-2020 season. It helps the team outline and emphasize what steps they need to take to better themselves.

Our conversation at the end of last year was about the process and what they need to be doing in the off season to have a better out come this year. There were many guys that came back in great shape and it was in a way like we didn’t skip a beat from last year to this year. The team this year is a little bigger, older and knows what the expectations are and how hard they will have to work in order to accomplish their goals,” said Tobias.

With these expectations and goals in mind, the team hopes to carry their hard work in the off season into their practices and matches. Preparation for this season began when their last season ended.

This includes preparation both physically and mentally.

Junior wrestler, Austin Popp (’21) said, “The team has prepared both mentally and physically in the preseason and the season so far. Pushing the pace in practice helps develop not only our physical stamina and strength, but also our mental fortitude.”

During the off-season, the wrestlers made sure to stay fit and healthy in order to be best prepared for when practices began and to be able to give maximum effort on and off the mat. This includes everything from weightlifting to eating healthy.

“A typical practice consists of: a discussion with the coaches, warm-up, drilling, “live” wrestling, conditioning, and a cool-down, followed by a 5 minute visualization time in which we visualize what went well and what we can improve on going into the next practice or competition,” said Popp.

This mentality and daily practice regime is all a part of the team’s necessary steps towards having a successful season. The hard work and effort they put into practice will reflect how they perform on the mat in a match.

With the goal being to score the highest amount of points or touch both of their opponent’s shoulder blades flat onto the mat for about one second.

“A typical match consists of 3 periods, the first being three minutes, and the second and third being two minutes each, with the possibility of overtime periods in the case of a tie score. There is a scoring system which rewards points to each wrestler in regards to the position they are in, and the position they end up in,” said Popp.

In Alma’s match against Davenport on Wednesday, the Scots put to work what they learned in their matches. This included two wrestlers winning by pin fall with one pin being the quickest match out of the competition at 56 seconds.

When it was time for the team to compete, they were not only relying on their work in the pre-season as well as the returners, but for the new wrestlers to step up and make a move.

Referring to the Davenport match on Wednesday, Coach Tobias said, “It is going to be a tough dual. We are looking for our young guys to step up and our older guys to wrestle like they know they are capable of.”

Just as Coach Tobias predicted, the Scots faced a tough dual against the Panthers, but fell just short in a 25-20 loss.

This was not the outcome the Scots wanted, but is merely the beginning of the season with much time and room to overcome their losses and challenges. The goal for the team still remains the same and unfazed.

“The goal is to be MIAA champions, Top 4 at Regionals and Top 10 at the NCAA tournament while increasing the number of all-Americans and academic all-Americans,” said Coach Tobias.

Throwdown in A-Town kicks off winter

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

Photo by KELSEY WEISS

On Friday, Oct. 25, Alma athletics kicked off their winter sports season with the annual Throwdown in A-Town event. This event gathered all of Alma’s sports teams to come together for fun games and entertainment, while acknowledging the beginning of sports like Basketball, Swimming, Indoor Track and Field, STUNT and a few others.

Cheer and STUNT Coach Michelle Sabourin, who helped coordinate and advise the event, said, “Throwdown is the winter sports season kick-off. We started the event in 2013 as a way to bring a midnight madness type event to Alma College. We have since opened it up to be more of a pep-assembly event that brings all of athletics together.”

A-Town is a way to bring all of the sports teams closer. It not only gives students a break from the monotony of their school day, but is put on to teach athletes about each other’s sports and the differing teams on campus.

“Throwdown in A-Town is an event put on by Alma College SAAC (student athlete advisory council) and I [Sabourin] serve as one of the SAAC advisors,” said Sabourin.

SAAC hosts many events for students with A-Town being one of them. The purpose of these events typically centers around not just the students, who are all welcome to attend, even if they are not an athlete, but the relationship between the teams and coaches as well.

A-Town helps build unity among the college, teams and coaches. It involves numerous events and games for students and coaches to be involved in or entertained by.

“It brings athletics, Greek life and hopefully other members of the student body and community together for a fun night,” said Sabourin.

At this A-Town, students were treated to performances by the drum line from the Kiltie Marching Band, the Dance team, a free throw competition between the Men and Women’s basketball team and a dodgeball competition between the coaches as well as an opening performance from the Cheer and Stunt team.

These performances kick off their season and give the students a look at what each sport entails and as to what each team has been up to in their off season.

When asked why the Cheer and Stunt team love being a part of A-Town, Sabourin said, “As a sport where our result is based on strong performances, we love any opportunity to perform in front of a crowd!”

Besides these performances from the winter sports and coaches, other teams participated in the event as well.

Every year at A-Town, there is a tug of war challenge between the different sports seasons and Greek Life. This is where one member from each team participates in a game of tug of war to represent their team and season.

This year, winter sports went up against fall sports first and then went all the way to defeat Greek Life in the final and become the winner.

“My favorite part is the different contests because they’re pretty funny to watch,” said Jayce Kuehnlein (’22), a member of the Wrestling team.

Another challenge that happens every year is the “minute-to-win-it” challenge, where the winner gets their team and themselves VIP seats at the Scotty awards, another SAAC event for the athletes.

For this challenge, teams pick one player to represent their team. This player then had to hold a balloon with pencils while keeping their arms straight and only being able to grip the edge of the pencils.

When they got down to the finalists, they then had to hold the end of a pencil eraser between a stretched-out rubber band with their arms still remaining straight.

Soccer teams celebrate their seniors

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

Photo by GRACE GRELAK

Like every college, sports are a fundamental part of student athletes’ careers. It is something they partake in from their first day on campus to their last day.

Athletes learn not only how to master their sport at the collegiate level, but how to master the art of balancing school, practice, weightlifting, and games at the same time. For some, sports introduce them to their lifelong friends and teach them lessons they could not have learned from a book.

When senior student athletes cross the stage at graduation to get their diploma, they are leaving behind more than a four-year sports career. They are leaving behind something that has built them into the person they are today.

Therefore, many sports teams at Alma recognize this and participate in “Senior Day” games in order to give the team’s seniors proper recognition and send off from college.

“The senior game is the game where the team and supporters take a moment and recognize the current seniors on the team and all their work that they have put into the program in their time here at Alma,” said Kyle Farmer (’20).

Both of Alma’s soccer teams recently celebrated their seniors with the Women’s senior game being Wednesday, October 23rd, and the Men’s senior game on Saturday, October 26th. Each game took place at Scotland Yard, where the Seniors played their last guaranteed home game.

“Senior day is a big game for the team, especially the seniors. This is the last promised time that we, as seniors, will be able to compete on Scotland Yard which has been our home the past four years. We have cherished our time competing on The Yard and would do anything to have more time to rep the crest out on the pitch,” said Garrison Mast (’20), a senior on the Men’s soccer team.

Mast is one of the ten seniors from the Men’s team, who was recognized at the Senior game, while the women’s team congratulated two seniors on their season and career.

When recognizing the athletes on their success, they are surrounded by their teammates, family and friends. Seniors at either half-time or the end of the game will be asked to walk out to the middle of the field with their parents or family for pictures and the senior ceremony.

“At the game, each senior will be recognized with their parents. Our name, number, position, and post-graduation plans will be read off as we are recognized. Family and friends will likely be in attendance as it is the last time we are guaranteed to compete on Scotland Yard, our home the past four years,” said Mast.

The senior ceremony is a moment for seniors to reminisce on their sports career, while handing the team over to the underclassmen. It gives them a chance to look back on their time and provide their wisdom and tips to the future team.

“The senior game to me is an opportunity to thank the seniors for all the work that they have put in to making Alma College Men’s soccer the team that it is today. It is important to recognize the work that they have put in, not only at Alma but over the course of their careers,” said Farmer.

Having a senior game also allows players to say goodbye to a sport they have been playing since they were young. Many athletes coming into college have been playing their sport for years and have made it a part of their identity.

Senior games give seniors the opportunity to reflect on their sport career and time at Alma.

“My favorite memory would have to be scoring the game winning goal in our conference semi-final game my freshman year and the reaction from the team after. The celebration was complete unity within the team, no one cared who scored the goal. Everyone was united as a team ecstatic that we were moving on in the tournament,” said Farmer.

Senior games give teams the opportunity to recognize and thank seniors for everything they do on and off the field. Every player, whether they are a freshman or a senior, plays a role on a team.

Hence, when the time arrives for a player’s career to come to an end, it is only fitting to thank them for their time and commitment to the program they have helped build and participate in.

“Being a part of this program has meant the world to me. This team means everything to me; I would do anything for anyone that I have played with here at Alma. The brotherhood we have and the bonds that I have made are unreal and will last until the day I die,” said Mast.

Football takes feud from twitter to the end zone

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

On Saturday October 5th, Alma’s football team started off their conference season with a bang by defeating their rival, Albion, in a close 32-28 win.

Alma, who had been trailing Albion for most of the game, made a huge comeback in the final quarter of the game.

“Collin Smith’s interception in the 4th was a momentum spark. We had quick drives resulting in TD’s and the defense played great in the fourth quarter, forcing three and out possessions for the Brits,” said Head Coach Jason Couch.

This comeback win helped Alma not only charge past Albion, but placed them as 1-0 to start off the MIAA conference.

“We were very excited to be back on the field after our bye week.  On top of that, to play a conference rival and start MIAA play made it more exciting. We thought it would be a hard-fought game and it proved to be that,” said Couch.

However, the intense game was not just fueled by the conference rivalry between the two teams. The “battle” between the two began before the game even started.

For as long as the two teams have existed, they have always been major rivals. This rivalry impacts everything from the way they prepare, practice and even dress.

“They consider us as the ‘little brother’ which of course plays a part in how we prep. No purple at practice, no purple to be worn the week of the game to class. Anything Albion goes,” said Lawrence Mikowski (’22).

This played into the team’s mentality when it came to preparing. Alma did not have the winning record out of the two. Hence, the stakes to beat them were higher this year.

“We’ve lost to Albion the past few years and last year was especially hard since we were so close in double overtime. If there was a year to beat them and ‘shut them up’ it was this year,” said Mikowski.

The hunger for a win against Albion was not the only fuel this year.

During the week leading up to the game, a feud occurred with Albion’s retired Football Coach, Craig Rundle, commenting on one of Alma’s football player’s tweet.

Rundle instigated the argument when he commented on a current player’s picture of Coach Couch and referred to him as the player’s mom. This remark sparked an abundance of responses and support from the Alma community and past players.

“I felt obligated [to say something] because I have a lot of respect for Coach Couch and what was said didn’t sit right with me,” said Brenden Newvine(’19), a former Alma College football player.

Many athletes like Newvine stepped in to respond to Rundle’s remarks out of shock and respect for the program and coaching staff. The responses to Rundle focused on how unnecessary his comments were and how no coach at Alma would go out of their way to degrade another team like Rundle did.

Mikowski, who responded to Rundle about his character, said, “As soon as Coach Couch saw my tweet, he sent a full team text out just reminding everyone to stay off social media and not get involved. Once again, since I’m not technically on the team, it wasn’t really giving the program a bad look. I was just a student standing up for his school.”

Mikowski and Newvine’s responses were met with Rundle’s taunts of his Championship rings and trophies from his time as a Coach at Albion. However, for every taunt, there was an equal amount of responses about character and integrity from the Alma Community.

There was so much backlash towards Rundle that he even deleted his Twitter following the feud.

“I was proud of our guys.  None of the current players responded at all to his tweet.  Some past players did and he attempted to degrade them as well.  Once again, I am proud of the Scots for taking the higher road. Albion’s AD and current coach reached out to apologize for Mr. Rundle’s remarks,” said Couch.

Despite Rundle’s attempt to degrade and distract the team, the football team stayed focused on the task at hand – winning Saturday’s game. The feud became another incentive for the team to use when prepping for the game.

Coach Couch also used it as a learning opportunity for not only the team, but himself as a Coach.

“Just focus on what you can control.  I can’t control what someone, so distant from our program says or does.  One of his goals may have been to distract us…when you have a task to complete, you can’t let distractions get in the way of your preparations.  I love this team and love how our men showed maturity and focus,” said Couch.

Athletes improve in the off-season

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

Photo by ALLISON WOODLAND

In an athlete’s career, they have two types of mindsets: their in-season mindset and their off-season mindset.

The season is the time of the year where athletes get to shine and compete for what they have been training for all year. It is where they show off their skills and hard work.

However, skills and hard work do not just form overnight. The offseason is where athletes work on bettering themselves and their skills.

“The off-season is the most important time for an athlete and their team,” said softball player Kendall Bird (‘20). “This is the time when you can go and work on exactly what you need to be better for your team and the upcoming season ahead. This is the time to get into the best shape possible and be as strong as you can be.”

Most of an athlete’s career is spent out of season. Therefore, it is up to them to utilize their off-season time as much as they can.

Currently at Alma College, winter and spring sports, such as Softball, Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s and Men’s basketball and a few others, are in their off-season until late November or January when their seasons start.

Most of these teams have limited action on the field or court due to regulations and have to rely on finding other ways to prepare themselves for their season.

One way is through weightlifting or extra training on their own. “During season our lifts are lighter, not as frequent and more focused on sustaining strength,” said Bird.

“During the off-season, our lifts are set toward building strength. We use three out of the four days in the weight room as strictly lifting weights and the fourth day we use as a cardio circuit day.”

Most teams, when out of season, go to the weight room four times a week to keep themselves active and prepped for season. They also partake in “Fall Ball,” which is fourteen days in the off-season where the team can meet with their coaches to practice as a team.

Besides “Fall Ball,” players like Bird take initiative to make sure to go and get a few hits in to fine tune their skills every week.

Athletes who wait until the season starts to get back into the swing of the sport, often fall behind or lack the skills and rhythm they need for season.

It is important for athletes to constantly be working on their skills and fitness in the off-season whether it is with their team or on their own. Some athletes even utilize their off-season by partaking in another sport.

“Our team always jokes saying that our off-season doesn’t exist because we are always training. We get about two weeks total strictly no running and just cross training and then we go all season from there,” said Madeline McDonnell (’20).

As a runner, McDonnell participates in cross country and indoor and outdoor track. Hence, her off-season is generally in prep for the next season.

While she is training for cross country season, she is in season for track and vice versa.

“Personally, I use the track season to train for cross country because I run the same event all year around,” said McDonnell.

Athletes like McDonnell choose to use their “offseason” by being involved in other sports that help enhance and improve their skills for the next season.

It is similar to other sports’ “Fall Ball,” but involves the season mentality more than the off-season. However, this does not mean these athletes do not recognize the importance of their off-seasons.

“Having an off-season or a period of rest during training cycles are so important,” said McDonnell. “As athletes, we need to be able to trust our bodies and training levels so we know that we are capable of being where we are at physically as well as mentally.”

Besides training and weightlifting, athletes also have other ways to spend their off seasons. Many teams, such as the Women’s Lacrosse team, make volunteering a priority all year round, but especially in the off-season.

“The volunteer opportunities we participate in help our team become closer with each other and the community around us, which only positively affects our performance on the field,” said Courtney Hartnagle (’21).

Many teams use the off-season as a way to not only better themselves, but to better the community. It is a time for teams and athletes to give back to the people who support them in and out of season.

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