Swim’s Flatoff supported by teammates

By Joelle Fisher

Sports Writer

Being on a team isn’t just about helping each other win games. The swim and dive team has demonstrated this first hand with its support for fellow teammate, Elizabeth Flatoff (’20), who is in the process of recovering from the removal of three tumors.    

“Teammates become your family so quickly, and it is so important to be kind and uplift them,” said Sydney Louis Ferdinand (‘20).   

“These are the people you spend almost every minute of every day with; they are the ones who know you the best. 

“They allow you to joke, laugh, say what’s on your mind and be crazy, so when something like this gets thrown at you it’s important to have those around you who accept you for who you are,” said Flatoff.   

Flatoff, known by her teammates as Libby, suffered from a seizure over Thanksgiving break after a few months of dizzy spells that she attributed to stress. When she consulted doctors, she had an MRI in which they found two tumors inside of her brain and another in her liver.   

Flatoff has been staying positive throughout this entire process. She and her friends jokingly named her two brain tumors Mary Ann and Gerald after the white pine trees they received at freshmen year’s traditions dinner that died shortly after. They named the tumor in her liver Daniel.   

“Watching Libbey go through such a challenging experience was heartbreaking for our team,” said Nick Fuller (‘18).   

“To see our team come together in support for her is inspiring and really shows how much of an impact your team can have on your life.”  

Because of the required surgery, Flatoff had planned on shaving her head before the tumors were removed. Following in suit, three of her close friends, Molly McFadden (‘20), Sydney Louis Ferdinand (‘20), and Taylor Disantis (‘18), also shaved their heads to show their support.  

“Libby was planning on shaving her head and her roommate, Molly, decided to join her to show support,” said Ferdinand.   

“After that, it was just a domino effect and more and more of her friends decided to as well because we knew that if we were in her position that she would do the same for us.” 

On March 9, Flatoff went into surgery to have her tumors removed and the procedure was successful. She will be taking a month off of school to recover before returning in April.   

“Surround yourself with people and places that make you feel like you are not restricted,” said Flatoff.   

“Don’t stick around with people who make you feel like you can’t do things. Find the people who laugh as you decide to jump through mud puddles for no reason like my roommate Molly, the MUN team, my sorority and the swim and dive team.”     

At the team’s banquet, Flatoff was granted the perseverance award for her positivity throughout everything. Despite not being able to continue competing in the rest of the swim season, she still showed her support at practices and meets regularly.   

“If you’re more positive, people tend to be more comfortable and then don’t stare at you like you might shatter,” said Flatoff.   

“That being said, positivity is not expected or required to go through something like this: You need to make sure you take care of yourself first.”   

Teammates and friends plan to visit and keep up with Flatoff during her time off.    

“I am truly grateful for all of my friends who supported me through this journey, as well as my coaches and teammates,” said Flatoff.   

“I definitely could not have done this without any of them: everyone made an impact on me and helped me, no matter how small they thought their contribution was, it was still very important to me.”  

After school finishes, Flatoff plans to travel to India for the summer through the P-Global foundation.

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Scots travel for break competition

By Joelle Fisher

Sports Writer

While many students travel across the country searching for a week of relaxation after stressful midterms, student athletes on campus packed their bags and boarded their buses/planes in search of competition. Six teams traveled near and far to kick off their seasons over spring break.   

The baseball team went 3-3 on its adventure down south in Florida. Six home runs were recorded in the first five games for the Scots.   

“Florida is one of my favorite memories about playing baseball at Alma,” said Matt Minuado (‘18).   

“The boys and I are able to work on our confidence in each other on the field while strengthening our friendships off the field,” said Minuado.   

Minuado led the team with his three home runs. The boys will continue their season March 20th for a home game against Finlandia University.   

The softball team spent its week in Florida working their way towards a 10-2 record for its annual spring break trip. The girls excelled offensively, having five Scots batting over .400.   

“Most college students spend their spring breaks relaxing, but our team is up at the crack of dawn day in and day out,” said Erin Lee (‘18).   

“The week gives us the opportunity to focus strictly on our athletics without having to place our academics in jeopardy,” said Lee.   

The softball program will continue its season Thursday  Mar. 15 against Ohio Northern University for a home game.   

“I hope our team continues to surprise people and that we continue to learn/grow each and every day,” said Lee.   

The men’s lacrosse team traveled through Virginia and North Carolina over its spring break to compete for a 1-2 record. The team picked up its first win of the season against Virginia Wesleyan University with a 22-14 victory.   

“Our spring break trip gave us a lot of insight on our strengths and weaknesses as a team,” said Dan Buchy (‘18).  

“We look forward to working hard for our program and making a name for ourselves in the MIAA and beyond,” said Buchy.  

Chase Hunyadi (‘20) leads the team with 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points total, while sophomore transfer, Trevor Bailey (‘20) follows close behind with 9 goals.   

The women’s lacrosse team played two games in Texas last week, defeating the University of Dallas and falling to Otterbein College (OH).   

“Since we are in season while a large majority of our peers are on tropical vacations, it’s nice to get away from school and compete in new environments where we can focus solely on succeeding,” said Allie Ray (‘20).   

Senior captain, Brianna Soriano (‘18), leads the MIAA in goals with 13, while fellow captain, Shelby Frazer (‘18), follows in suit with 10 goals that puts her at third place.  

“We have a lot of new players this year so being able to work on our skills over spring break gave us a chance to get more comfortable with each other,” said Soriano.  

“I am proud of the effort and hard work that our team has put in and will continue to put in for the rest of our season,” said Soriano.  

The men’s tennis team went undefeated on its spring break trip to Ohio. The four wins extended its record to 6-3.   

“It’s always a fun experience to travel with your teammates far away,” said Noah Ackerman (‘18).   

“The team bonding experiences that happen over break allow for us all to connect on the court at a new level,” said Ackerman.   

The team will face off against Illinois Institute of Technology at Calvin College on March 10th to further their record.  

“After going undefeated on break, we know what we can accomplish and hopefully we can use this momentum to take us into contention for an MIAA championship,” said Ackerman.  

The women’s tennis team won back-to-back matches to close out its five-match spring break road trip. The Scots are now 3-5 overall, while Amy Wood (‘18) leads the team with a perfect 5-0 record for the season thus far.   

The team will compete next against Lake Superior State on Sunday.   

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STUNT tumbles into winning record

By Joelle Fisher

Sports Writer

STUNT began its season in full force with two perfect performances on back to back weekends. The team sits at a 7-1 record with only one loss to Davenport by a 12-18 margin.

“STUNT season is my favorite time of the year because I love the atmosphere and energy that game days bring,” said Morgan Thompson (‘18).

“It’s an experience and feeling that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else,” said Thompson.

“It’s fast-paced and pushes both the athletes and coaches to strategize, think, react and perform under pressure,” said Michelle Sabourin, head cheer and STUNT coach.

During its 2016-2017 season, the girls lost to Davenport with a score of 14-17 at College STUNT National Championships in Dallas, Texas. The team’s achievements put them at second place overall at the tournament.

“Being involved in STUNT makes me a better athlete because there is a major emphasis on teamwork,” said Erica Kuiper (‘18).

“Every individual plays a role in the game and we all have to work together to produce the best outcome,” said Kuiper.

This season the girls are focusing on striving for perfect routines so that their only option is to win or tie. More STUNT teams have formed in the past few years which has lead to more competition and room for improvement within Alma’s team.

“As coaches, we try to treat each team and each season as a new start, and progress the team to grow and improve,” said Sabourin.

With the addition of nine new freshmen to the team, the girls are ready to chase their dreams and show off their hard work.

“I set a 5-year plan when I was hired, and my team met every goal in year two,” said Sabourin.

“Since that time, we have just worked on being the best we can be every day, having purposeful practices, and making the most of every opportunity to get better,” said Sabourin.

The team wrapped up their regional play on Sunday, Feb. 18. Alma College hosted the STUNT tournament at Art Smith Arena and invited University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Olivet College, Davenport University and Ferris State for competition. (See goalmascots.com for results)

“I want the girls to withhold the culture that we’ve worked so hard to build and ensure that it continues after they are gone by teaching and mentoring the new members,” said Sabourin.


Student Athletic Advisory Council hosts Jock Rock

By Joelle Fisher

Sports Writer

Students, faculty and friends gathered together for an evening of laughter and self-inflicted embarrassment in the Hogan Center for the 7th annual Jock Rock this past weekend. Jock Rock is an event that is organized and hosted by the Student Advisory Council (SAAC).  

The acts during the events are put on by student-athletes and the athletic department faculty; however, anyone in the community is welcome to attend.   

“Jock Rock is a great time for athletes to get together and have some fun, and enjoy a night of great laughs,” said Michelle Sabourin, head cheer and stunt coach.  “It’s always a blast to see student athletes out of their normal roles and this event really serves as a great event for all involved,” said Sabourin.  

The rules of Jock Rock have been quite the same over the years. All participating sports teams are required to put on a skit and/or music parody in under 5 minutes. Three judges will score each routine based on its creativity, costumes, audience response and overall impression.  

The winning team will receive a trophy to hold onto for the year as well as bragging rights.” 

My freshman year we got everyone from our team involved which was an awesome excuse for more bonding time together,” said Kristina Berklanz (‘19).  

“We had so much fun the whole time while choreographing a dance and even ended up getting placed in the top five,” said Berklanz.   

The judges this year were Nancy Gagerfrom Hamilton Commons, Pete the custodian and John from the Registrar’s office.  

SAAC picks these individuals based on a voting system within the club. Judges are typically chosen because of their presence on campus and impartiality to the event.   

“I love that Jock Rock is embarrassing, but in a funny, nonjudgmental way,” said Miller.  “My favorite memory from last year was when one of the baseball players serenaded Nancy,”said Miller. This year’s Jock Rock was hosted by Katie Bush (‘19) and Laura Kastler (‘19).  

This is their second year in a row hosting together, and their third year involved in SAAC.   

“Jock Rock is one of my favorite events that SAAC runs every year,” said Bush.  

“Student athletes are given a chance to compete in a new atmosphere that is based more on creativity and humor rather than skill and strength,” said Bush.  

“Thinking of something creative as a team and going through the process of putting it into a skit is my favorite part of Jock Rock because you get to see a side of your teammates that you don’t normally see on the field,” said Ally Ray (‘20). 


The top five spots this year were dominated by women’s teams. Women’s lacrosse, soccer, basketball, softball and Cheer & STUNT were among the top five. 

The winning team will be announced in the weeks to come and will be able to pick where they wish to sit at Scotties.  

“Win or lose, this is always such a fun time for our student athletes on campus,” said Bush. “We love to see how involved everyone can be and how enjoyable it is to come together as a community.” 

There is life after Scots athletics

By Joelle Fisher

Staff Writer

There comes a time in every athlete’s life when it’s finally time to hang up the jersey for good. Whether it be 14 years or four years of playing the sport, the dreaded experience is never an easy one.  

Senior athletes on campus opened up about their experiences with completing the final season of their respective sports. 

“I spent four years of my college career giving everything I could to the sport and I’m definitely going to miss it, but for now I’m enjoying the time to myself,” said Amanda Mladenovski (‘18), former women’s soccer player. 

“I have closed a chapter in my life that has been there since I can remember, but it’s gratifying knowing I was blessed with the ability to play the sport I love competitively for 10 years,” said former volleyball player Dakota Pelach (‘18). 

Every athlete faces different circumstances: some only play for a few years at the collegiate level, whereas others are forced to give up their dreams early because of injuries. 

“I love soccer and I love my team, but I physically don’t think I could play another game even if I tried: I know I’m only 21, but my body feels so much older than that,” said Mladenovski. 

It is easy to become caught up in the extensive free time that comes with no longer having practices, games, and mandatory lifts. However, it is important to be able to balance continuing a healthy lifestyle with endless episodes of Netflix and freedom. 

“I still lift with the team occasionally and go to the rec or do Zumba when I can,” said Kara Muxlow (‘18) who previously played on the volleyball team. 

“It’s really nice to be able to work out on my own terms now and incorporate new activities into my routine, but I definitely will miss the structure of the workouts that came with being on a team,” added Muxlow. 

“The best way to stay in shape is to find something you love doing,” said Pelach. 

Retired athletes are encouraged to speak with John “Fletcher” Roberts, assistant wrestling and strength & conditioning coach, in the new weight room to discuss a post-athletics workout plan. 

Fletcher strives to accommodate a variety of student-athletes on campus to ensure that their health and fitness needs are met and maximized. 

“I do Crossfit with Fletcher almost every day for 2-3 hours in the weight room working on strength and conditioning.”  

“I promise it is a lot more fun that it looks, and it feels really good to stay active in my own way,” said Mladenovski. 

Despite the freedom that comes from finishing their athletic careers, athletes mentioned how important it was for underclassmen student-athletes to stay dedicated and goal-oriented. 

“In the off season, stick with someone who will push you to be better and work harder,” said Muxlow. 

“It makes a big difference in your mentality and it help syou find out strengths about yourself you might not have noticed otherwise,” said Muxlow. 

“Have fun with every aspect of your sport, set goals for yourself and never stop working at them because one day you’re going to run out of time and you don’t want to regret anything,” said Mladenovski. 

Scots athletics hosts campus-wide formal dance

By Joelle Fisher

Staff Writer

The Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC) will host an all-student formal dance on Feb 3. Not only is this an event for all students on campus to enjoy, but it is also a charity event in which all proceeds will be donated to the Amazing Grace Foundation.   

SAACs across the country have continued hosting formals such as this one and donating money to the same organization for many years in hopes to bring together a variety of students for a purposeful cause.   

“SAAC wanted to give all students the chance to attend a formal,” explained Sarah Dehring, assistant athletic director.   

“As many students here at Alma College are members of Greek life and have the opportunity to experience a formal, many of the students do not,” added Dehring.  

The theme of the dance is “Starry Night” and tickets will be available for $10 during lunch at SAGA until Jan. 31. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event for $15. Guests are encouraged to arrive at 8 p.m. for pictures and appetizers, followed by a guest DJ’s music entertainment for dancing at 9 p.m.  

“Events like this help build relationships between athletic teams, but also across campus,” stated Dehring.  

“The tighter community we can build, the more support we will see at our athletic events and with those relationships I also would hope to see the student athletes branching out and attending other campus events outside of athletics,” added Dehring.  

This event was inspired by a former event at Alma College, Amo-te, which was a girls ask guy dance from years past that also donated their profit to the Amazing Grace Foundation. Ballroom dance classes were offered prior to the event that students were encouraged to sign up for. The dance was largely successful, but over time the school ceased running.   

“We hope to make this an annual event. SAAC would love to continue to give opportunities for campus collaboration and unity,” explained Jennifer Kowalczyk (‘19).  

“In future years, we plan to work with ACUB and other school clubs/organizations to make this event better every year,” added Kowalczyk.   

“I think hosting a formal is a great way to help out a charity while also bringing together all of Alma’s student body,” said Katie Bush (‘19).   

“We’re all really excited to be hosting this event through SAAC and I can’t wait to see how much everyone loves it,” added Bush.  

Scots work hard over winter break

By Joelle Fisher

Staff Writer

Christmas break is filled with family, friends, holiday traditions and for many of our winter athletes on campus, a series of competitive games. Four winter sports teams spent their holiday breaks traveling near and far to compete against various teams throughout the country.   

The men’s basketball program played a series of games over its holiday break. The team traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida, to compete in the Daytona Beach Shootout in which they went 1-1 and traveled to Ohio to play in the Wooster Kiwanis Classic where they went 0-2.   

“We did have a wonderful team bonding experience traveling to Daytona together,” stated Sam Hargraves, head men’s basketball coach.   

“Having games over Christmas break helps me connect with all my teammates,” explained Ethan Apsey (‘18) 

“It is nice to be able to work on our skills and relationships together when we don’t have to be focusing on our school work as well,” added Apsey.  

Despite these distant trips, the team was able to play a few closer to home games as well. Overall, the team went 3-5 over the break, putting its record at 4-9 for the season thus far with many games to come.  

“We’ve had a very up and down season so far by playing very good at times and not so good at others,” explained Hargraves.  

“Our goal with the new year and remainder of our season is to try and find a consistent effort and confidence level because if we can do that we’ve got a chance every game,” added Hargraves.  

The women’s basketball team also had a series of games over its Christmas holiday, playing a series of games in Ohio as well as locally in Michigan.   

“It is crucial for us to play games over break because we would lose a lot of ground in our game if we took the entire 3-4 weeks off,” explained Abbi Phillipson (‘18).   

“Having these games allows us to continue to improve our game and improve our team chemistry,” added Phillipson.  

The squad concluded its break with one win and six losses, altering its record to 1-12 overall for the season so far.  

“Our record does not reflect how good we are and how good we are going to be,” stated Kris Johnson, head coach for the women’s basketball team.   

“Our goal is to continue to play for one another, the love of the game and for the pride of the program,” added Johnson.  

Other teams that were able to travel to warmer weather over the holiday include the swimming and diving team as well as the men’s wrestling squad.   

Swim and dive traveled to Deerfield Beach, Florida, and placed two out of two teams while the wrestling team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago, Illinois, to collect one win and six losses over its holiday.     

“We were able to train at four different facilities while we were down there and we even had the chance to do an ocean swim by the pier in Deerfield Beach,” explained Jason Lintjer, head swim and dive coach.   



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