Softball wins big over break

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

For many athletes, spring break is a time for training and practice before their conference season. For Alma College’s Softball team, it was a time for the team to shine and set the pace for their upcoming conference season.

Over spring break, the Softball team traveled to Florida to compete in a total of eight games. While in Florida, the Scots were given the opportunity to put their skills to the test. They were able to practice outside on a field rather being confined to a gym.

“Having the opportunity to travel to Florida over Spring Break is really important because it allows our team to get out into some warm weather and play games. The weather in Michigan doesn’t typically allow us to play until mid-march and taking advantage of spring break to travel somewhere warm and play 8-10 games every year really helps us prepare for the rest of our season,” said outfielder Bryanna Chapman (’20).

Hence, the Softball team took advantage of this opportunity and the weather. While competing in Florida, the team faced teams from not only Florida, but Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well. Each game gave the Scots an opportunity to compete and put their expectations and goals to the test.

“Our expectations going into the spring games was to win. We all knew what our team was capable of and we were excited to be able to show people what we are going to be made of this year,” said second baseman Cassidy Tucker (’20).

With those high expectations, the Scots managed to walk away from the tournament with eight straight wins out of eight total games.

In each game, the Scots managed to win by a substantial amount of points with their closest scoring win being 5-4 against Capital University and their biggest wins being 22-1 and 18-0 against Northern Vermont-Johnson University.

Each win solidified their season expectations and brings them one step closer to conference season.

“Finishing 8-0 was really exciting for our team. We know we need to continue to work hard to be successful this season and going 8-0 was a great start and really made us all excited for what this team is going to do this season,” said Tucker.

Not only did the team walk away from their spring break with a successful record, but some players walked away with some personal achievements as well.

Freshman pitcher Daniella Little earned herself the title of being the MIAA Pitcher of the Week for her performance in Florida. She pitched two complete games against Hanover College and Capital University, where she struck out 12 batters in 14 innings and only allowed one earned run.

“Honestly I did not expect to be named MIAA pitcher of the week. I just went into spring break trying to do my best and help out my team. I, of course, could not have done it without my teammates supporting me and having my back,” said Daniella Little (’23).

Even as a freshman, Little currently leads the team in strikeouts and has only allowed 10 hits in a total of 15 total innings. With not only Little’s performance, but the performance of other underclassmen, the Scots, especially the seniors, look hopeful for what is in store for the predominantly young team.

“Our freshmen were fearless in Florida, looking at our team you’d never know that many had never played in a collegiate game before, and that was super inspiring to just leave everything on the field and give it all we had. Leaving my last spring break behind was easy knowing we still have so much to look forward to,” said Chapman.

With a current overall record of 10-3, the Scots keep prepping for their conference season with the goal of getting better every day.

Although they have had a successful start to their season so far, they still have plenty of season left to grow and keep moving forward.

“We were definitely excited about what we were able to do in Florida this past Spring Break, but we are definitely not satisfied. We have big goals for this season and we know those games are over and it’s time to focus on what’s next,” said Chapman

Athletes travel to compete over spring break

ALYSSA GALL
SPORTS WRITER

While students prepared to head home for spring break, Alma College’s spring sports’ teams geared up to train, compete, and travel over break. With each spring team prepping for the start of their conference season, they took advantage of their break to put in some extra practice.

From Softball and Baseball going to Florida to Cheer and STUNT competing in Missouri, each team did something different for break.

For the Baseball team, they traveled to play in Orlando, Florida. While there, they competed in a total of 8 games against teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and New York.

“It is important to go to Florida and play during spring break because we need to prepare ourselves for conference play to the best of our ability because it comes really fast. The only way to get better is to keep playing and to get outside and improve our skills,” said infielder Benjamin Skinner (’21).

The Scots finished their spring break by splitting the 8 games with 4 wins and 4 loses. Logan Huff (’20) was also announced as the MIAA Position Player of the Week for his overall performance in the RussMatt Tournament in Florida.

This tournament not only gave the team a 5-6 overall record, but practice before their upcoming conference games.

“We have an overall goal to go there and win games and be competitive. At the same time, we are going to try to work out some kinks before conference play by getting outside and playing on an actual field,” said Skinner.

Also in Florida, the Softball team dominated their competition with an 8-0 record during spring break. The team played against teams from Ohio, Indiana, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Daniella Little (’23) also earned the MIAA Pitcher of the Week title for her performance in the tournament with only allowing 10 hits in 15 total innings and leading the team with 14 strikeouts.

Outside of Florida in St. Louis, Missouri, the STUNT team picked up two more wins against Oklahoma Baptist University and Oklahoma City University. The team continues to rack up wins as they move towards their goal of competing in the D3 STUNT Nationals in April.

Men’s Lacrosse was expected to compete in Chicago on the first day of spring break but faced a game cancellation due to weather. However, they did travel to play against Illinois Wesleyan University a week later at the end of spring break, where they fell to the Titans 24-11. Chase Hunyadi (’20) managed to pick up his 200th career point while competing against the Titans.

While some teams ventured outside of Michigan, other teams stayed local during the break to either compete or keep their skills sharp.

The Women’s Lacrosse team took a different approach this spring break by not traveling for competition.

“We have traveled my last 3 years over spring break, but this year we were able to go home or travel where we would like to. The reasoning behind having off is because the team will be traveling to Ireland and Scotland after spring term ends in May for a few exhibition games,” said goalie Allie Ray (’20).

Before going home, the team competed in a home match against Earlham College, where the scots fell short in a 9-3 loss. In that game, Ray picked up her 600th career save and senior Olivia Benoit earned her 100th career draw control.

Following the game, the team was free to go home and work out on their own over break.

“Our Coach expected us to work out for a minimum of 6 of the 8 days we were home. She asked us to find a field and do sprints and expected us to do wall ball a few times over break. She did not want us to lose the progress we have made prior to break,” said Ray.

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. 

 

Football team honors fallen veteran

JACOB SMITH
SPORTS WRITER

Alma College Football faced off against Olivet on Saturday Nov. 9. The team suffered a loss on the field but they secured a win through the honor they showed in this memorial game to a fallen veteran and football alumni.  

Chris O’Connor was a 1985 graduate of Alma College and former member of the football team. O’Connor then joined the Marine Corps and in 1989 he passed away in a tragic helicopter training exercise in South Korea. 

Each and every day we honor Chris by doing so touching the victory bell, but Saturday was a day to inform others of Chris’ unselfishness and also honor all the other veterans who lived similar admirable traits as Chris.  Alumni that knew Chris speak very highly of him.  I think it is always important to remember and appreciate those that have come before us and many alumni have reached out to express their support of the Chris O’Connor Veteran’s Day Game,” said Head Football Coach Jason Couch.  

The victory bell sits in the grass by the entrance into Bhalke Field. It is a memorial to Chris O’Connor and the bell is rung by a brother of his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, every time the Scots score a touchdown.  

This game means so much because of the bond I share with my brothers from the military, football, and from the TKE household. It’s an honor to represent a man who was so well respected,” said Veteran, Football Player, and TKE Brother, Stephen White ‘22 

The Scots fell in a 28-13 game to the Comets. Though the Scots surpassed Olivet in both passing yards, with 207, and rushing yards, 184, they still suffered 4 turnovers compared to Olivet’s 1 which contributed to the loss. 

“I am extremely happy with how hard the team worked and every week they competed.  If they take that same mentality into everything else they do, they will be successful.  It was fun to be a part of this team, it’s obvious they care about each other and have a deep desire to do their best for one another,” said Coach Couch. 

The Scots will end their season on Saturday Nov. 15 in a game against Finlandia University. For some players, this will be the last game they ever play. 

The team has come a long way from last season and they look forward to ending their season on a high note. 

“The progression of our team has been steady ever since the end of last season. The senior group we had this year have stepped up and created a culture that I feel will be around for a long time. Seniors such as Max Kretzschmar, Steve Sowa, Zeke Ramirez deserve a lot of credit for the impact they have left on this program and have set the bar high for the years to come,” said Couch. 

Coach Couch spoke his thoughts on the season ending game. 

“WIN, and honor the seniors who are going to put on the Scots jersey one last time.  They have spent countless hours preparing themselves, making sure they are physically and mentally ready to represent Alma College the best they can.  When you work so hard on something and it comes to an end it is very difficult and emotional.  We will share laughs and tears following the game.  The Seniors and their parents should be proud of what they have accomplished.  They will be missed,” Said Couch.  

After Saturday’s season ending game, the coaches will get to work to replace and build next year’s team. 

“Coaches will hit the road Monday, working hard to bring in a strong 2020 class.  We will travel to most of the schools in the state of Michigan and target a 40-50 schools out of state,” said Couch. 

 

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. 

Women’s soccer competes in MIAA tournament

JACOB SMITH
SPORTS WRITER

The Alma College Women’s Soccer team concluded their season after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Albion on Saturday, Nov. 2. This loss came in the first round of the 2019 MIAA conference tournament.

The Scot’s started the scoring in the 30th minute with a goal from Ashley Odham (’22) to take the lead. Lily Stephan (‘23) earned an assist on the scoring play.

In the 68th minute, Albion returned the favor to tie the game at one. A second goal was scored just three minutes after by the Britons and was the last goal scored in the game.

Goalkeeper, Ally Wentworth (’21) made six saves in the game but Albion outshot the Scots 12-3 overall; allowing them to secure the victory.

 “The conference tournament was very exciting for our team. As a current junior, it was our first appearance in the tournament! The nerves were high as we were ready to get revenge on Albion. Obviously, the outcome was not what we expected and wanted, but it just gives our team more motivation to put the work in now to get the outcome we want next year!” said Makenzie Rajewski (’21).

Head coach Meghan Gorsuch spoke about the team progression throughout the year and how that prepared them to go into conference play strong.

We played a lot of tough matches early on in the season and suffered in particular two overtime losses. Later on, in the season during conference play, we had a huge overtime win against Olivet, we were able to learn from our previous experiences and apply moving forward. Winning non-conference games in the first half of season definitely gave us confidence and helped us to establish our style of play that applied in conference season,” said Gorsuch.

The team also had four women make the All-Conference team this season. Makenzie Rajewski and Lily Stephan were voted first team; Lexi Russell (’22) and Dakota Booher (’23) earned second team.

A lot of young players were playing big roles this season, including transfer sophomore Lexi Russell.

“As a transfer sophomore, I found this transition to be amazing. My individual growth and success this season came largely from the team and the positive environment they provided all season. They brought competition, excitement, energy, and encouragement every day whether it be to practices, games, lifts or team events. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to be a part of this team this past season and help contribute to the team’s success,” said Russell.

Though the team is young there is still a vital part that is filled by upperclassman, including junior Makenzie Rajewski.

“I am very proud of our team this year. We are a very young team and are full of potential! We were ranked last in preseason rankings and ended up in 4th place. We had many come-back wins and also defeated the number 1 ranked team. We fought hard this year and it showed. To say the least, we have grown so much in the past year and have a lot of growing to still do!” said Rajewski.

A major accomplishment for the team this season was their major strides in performance from last season, Coach Meghan Gorsuch gave some insight on that.

“There was a belief in the team’s mission and process to get there this season. There was a willingness to learn and less of an ego problem this year. Everybody was willing to put in the work and accepted their roles, which is essential for genuine team chemistry. There are always things to work on, but we connected on and off the field and that makes a difference,” said Gorsuch.

The team moves into next season with big goals and lots of confidence after their promising season.

“Moving into next season our goals are focused around our performance and commitment in the off-season. By holding ourselves accountable, lifting, and practicing in the off-season, we can work towards even greater success next season. Being ranked first in conference is a goal we have for next season and, of course, the main goal will be to win our conference tournament and be selected for the D3 NCAA tournament,” said Russell.

The Scots’ Women’s Soccer team finished with a 10-6-1 overall record and 5-3 in the conference. This was a strong finish compared to last season, when they only had two wins overall.

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.

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