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Fall 1981,   Alumni News - Concordia Moorhead
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Football team Shares National Title

Concordia's head football coach, Jim Christopherson, had thought the 1981 season would be one of rebuilding, having lost a number of experienced players  - to graduation.

If it was a "back-to-the drawing board" season  then Christopherson knows how to build a football team in a hurry He coached his players to a 9 0 1 season (8-0 in regular season conference play). The record earned the Cobbers the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) title. This was the first unbeaten season since 1969, the seventh conference title or share of the title in 13 years for Christopherson, and the second outright title.

Concordia clinched the MIAC title with a 17-3 win over Gustavus Adolphus on Nov 14 and advanced to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II playoffs for the first time since 1978 and the fourth time overall. The Cobbers won the NAIA Division II title in 1964 and 1978.

In quarterfinal action of the NAIA Division II playoffs with North Dakota College Athletic Conference winner Dickinson State on Nov.21, the Cobbers tallied a 13-9 win. In semifinal competition, the Cobbers played Westminster College at New Wilmington, Pa., on Dec. 5, winning that contest 23 to 17. The championship game with Austin College will be played at Sherman, Texas, Dec.12.

As a result of the successful season, the Cobbers placed three players each (all seniors from Minnesota) on the offense and defense of the MIAC all-conference team.  Defensive - players named are: linemen Dwight Hintermeister, Rochester,  and David Rosengren, Plymouth; and defensive back Dan Olson from Buffalo Concordia players on the offensive team are linemen Bruce Rimmereid from Brainerd and Robert Vangerud, Roseville; and running back James Klug from Litchfield.

Cobber football team shares national title

In commenting on his team's 11-0-2 overall record, their perfect 8-0 standing in the MIAC and the first undefeated season in his ~3 years as football coach, Jim Christopherson credited his team for their discipline in training and what he called a "sixth sense" - an ability to know how to win.

"Whenever we were behind," he explained, "the team did not lose their composure. They maintained their confidence, knowing a win could be salvaged."

The Cobber game in Sherman, Texas, on Dec. 12 with the Austin College kangaroos for the NAIA Division II football crown is a prime example. When the Kangaroos marched 54 yards for an early 7-0 lead, the Cobbers began demonstrating the kind of adaptability referred to by Christopherson.

A field goal and a 34-yard touchdown pass gave Concordia a slim 10-7 lead. But Austin retaliated by scrambling 77 yards in seven plays to regain the lead, 14-10. An 80-yard drive put the Cobbers in front at halftime 17-14.

Concordia scored their final touchdown of the season in the third quarter to claim a 24-14 lead.  The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Kangaroos, who rampaged with another 77-yard scoring drive, then tied the game 24-24 when Kangaroo Gene Branum kicked a playoff record 57-yard field goal with just 72 seconds left.

"I couldn't believe that kick," commented Christopherson. "We thought they might fake a field goal and go for a pass. The kick was kind of like a dream. But since the game ended in a tie, it is a compliment for two fine teams. It was a perfect ball game."

Following the championship game, Dwight Hintermeister, tri-captain for the Cobbers from Rochester, Minn., was voted the top defensive player in the game. Jim Klug, Litchfield, Minn., and David Rosengren, Plymouth, Mino., both seniors, were named to the second team NAIA Division II all-American squad. Hintermeister; Dan Olson, Buffalo, Minn.; and Robert Vangerud, Roseville, Minn., all seniors, received honorable mention. Christopherson's record as head football coach at Concordia stands at 96-31-3.

This is the second time Concordia has tied for a national championship. In 1964 the Cobbers tied Sam Houston State College, Huntsville, Texas, 7-7 in the NAIA Division I final. In 1969 the Cobbers lost to Texas A & I University, Kingsville, in the Division I playoffs. Concordia claimed an uncontested title in 1978 by defeating Findlay (Ohio) College 7-0 for Division II championship honors.

On their way to the national contest, Concordia defeated Gustavus Adolphus College 17-3 on Nov.14 to keep their perfect 8-0 record and ensure their seventh MIAC title. In the national quarterfinals, Concordia defeated Dickinson (N.D.) State College 13-9 and upset Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa., 23-17 in the semifinals before tying Austin College for a share of the national championship.

Concordia was presented with the Theodore Roosevelt Trophy, given annually by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame to winners of the Division II championship.

Christopherson was named Coach of the Year.

Hard work on the part of the team members was the key to this year's successful season, ac cording to Christopherson  As soon as the 1980 season finished all the guys went right to work preparing for this year. My hat is off to those guys, the tri captains and the seniors who provided initiative to the younger players," he said Tn captains this year were Rosengren, Hintermeister and Klug There were no major injuries until midseason when halfbacks Dave Blaske, a sophomore from Princeton, Minn., and Greg Richardson, a sophomore from -South Brunswick, N.J., were lost to the lineup with knee injuries and quarterback Ron Rasmus, a junior from Forest Grove, Ore., was injured. Craig  Samuelson,  a senior from Pelican Rapids, Minn. finished --½the season at the quarterback position. Samuelson was the team's 1980 starting quarterback but was replaced by Rasmus when he suffered a broken leg

Two mid-season victories over St. Thomas on Oct 17 and St. John's a week later were the turning point, according to Christopherson. "I knew then we were going to be contenders he said.

Christopherson experienced a personal season highlight during the Cobbers' Nov. 7 game at St. Olaf. During that game, his son Reid, a freshman, went into the game to gain 243 yards, scoring -three touchdowns. With the 42-13 win over St. Olaf, Concordia retained possession of the Norwegian troll - the trophy is awarded to the winner of the "Lefse Bowl."

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 Field hockey faces tough competition

"We had a new team with Oflly four returning players, making competition against some very excellent teams difficult," said Concordia's field hockey coach Julie Rosenfeldt, summing up a disappointing season.

Among the tough competition were teams from the University of North Dakota and Bemidji State University, who both played in the Division II nationals last year. The Cobbers ended the season with a 1-18 record.

During the course of the season, the field hockey team played in the Invitational at the University of North Dakota and in invitationals with Bemidji State University, Moorhead State University and Carleton College.

Rosenfeldt's four returning players  were  senior  Deb Steenberg,  Nagoya,  Japan, juniors Kristen Poole, Sudbury, Mass., and Sue Vitalis Fargo, N.D.; and sophomore JoDee LaCasse,  White Bear Lake Minn.

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Volleyball team plays in MIAC

When volleyball season begins next year at Concordia, Coach Kay Peterson expects to have an experienced, competitive team. She will lose only one player to graduation, senior Raye Ann Hoffman, Watertown, Minn.

"Almost everyone will be back," Peterson said, and noted that her three leading hitters, freshman Karen Johnson, Kenyon, Minn., and sophomores Becky Johnson, Bloomington, Minn., and Sue Quenette, Moorhead, Minn., show a lot of promise.

Playing in the MIAC for the first time, the women also had contests with Moorhead State University, North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota-Morris.

Ranked 11th out of is teams the Cobber women qualified to compete in the state tournament, Nov. 6-7, but did not ad vance to championship play They closed their season 8 18.
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Women Golfer Haugstul earns medalist honors

Concordia women's golf coach Duane Siverson is excited about his team, which is both young  and talented. The top three women  are freshmen; the fourth is a sophomore. And one of them, freshman Annette Haugstul from Fosston, Minn., took medalist honors in the Region 6 tournament, shooting a two-day total of 129.

In addition to Raugstul, Siverson's 1981 team consisted of freshmen Jill Olafson, Wadena, Minn., and Cindy Johnson, Anoka, Minn.; sophomore Lisa Evanson,  Redwood Falls, Minn.; and seniors Liz Jensen, koseville,  Minn.,  and Faith Ronning, Iola, Wis.

The women played in six tournaments during the season, usually finishing second or third  behind tough South Dakota State University, Brookings and Dakota State University, Madison, S.D. The team 5 second-place finish in the Region 6 tournament held Oct.  23 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, qualified them for a berth in the national tournament to be held in Wilmington, N.C., during May or June.

Noting that in the past, golf teams won tournaments with scores in the 350s, Siverson said that he has seen a marked improvement in women's golf. "This year we reduced our team average by 17 strokes - for a 344 average - and still usually came in second or third."

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Men's cross country places fifth

A fifth-place finish in the MIAC meet and a 21st-place finish out of 34 teams in the NCAA Division III regional meet were the high points of the men's cross country season in 1981.

Top Concordia runner for the conference meet, held Oct.31 at St. Paul's Como Golf Course, was Kevin Johnson, a senior from International Falls, Minn. He placed 14th with a time of 26:31.

Kevin Benson was the team's top performer in the regional event, held Nov.14 at Rock Island, Ill. Benson, a junior from North Branch, Minn., placed 61st and ran the course in 25:50, the fastest time of the team's season.

Steve Danielson,  a senior from Moorhead, placed 71st in that competition with a time of 26:08.

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Dyrdahl competes in national Women's Cross Country meet

Concordia sophomore Lynnette Dyrdahl, Kalispell, Mont., achieved a first for the women's cross country team this fall.

Running in the regional meet held Nov. 7 at the University of Minnesota, she completed the 5,000-meter track with a time of 20:06 to finish 22nd and earn a spot in the national competition. This was the first time a Concordia woman has qualified for the national event. Dyrdahl, along with coach Dr. Paul Frederickson,  traveled to Pocatello,  Idaho, Nov.21 for the national competition, where she finished the 5,000-meter run with a time  of 20:45, placing 77th out of 162 runners.

Prior to the regional meet, Dyrdahl placed 34th in the state meet held Oct.31 at Mankato, taking top honors for the Cob-  ber women. As a team  the women placed sixth out of 11 in the state meet and sixth out of 14 in the regional contest.

Another Concordian, freshman  Nettie Donovan  from Odessa, Wash., almost qualified for the national event. She finished the regional meet with a time of 20:38 for a 34th place finish, exceeding the qualifying time by 16 seconds.

Frederickson said he is pleased with the women's performance this fall and looks forward to an excellent season next year, since no runners will graduate. He has  only one junior on the team, and the rest  are  freshmen and sophomores.

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Men's golf takes first in MIAC

Highlighting this year's golf  season for the men was the firstplace finish in the Minnesota Intercollegi ate Athletic Conference (MIAC) tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids, Minn., Oct. 9. With ateam score of 634, Concordia's golfers were victorious over eight other MIAC teams.

Two golfers - Scott Steinbach, a sophomore from Bagley, Minn., and Tim Tingelstad, a senior from Detroit Lakes,  Minn., - were named to the MIAC team for the 1981 season. The two had earned low honors in the MIAC meet, with Steinbach shooting 79-77-156 and Tingeistad,  77-80-157.  This was the first time Steinbach had been named to the honor team and  the  third  time  for Tingeistad.

Commenting on the team's performance in the MIAC meet, golf coach John Eidsness said, "Our team really gave a quality performance under adverse weather conditions to win the conference championship. Everything we did all fall was in preparation for the conference tournament, and it certainly paid off."

Also, at the Erv Kaiser Invitational held at the Fargo Country Club, the Oxbow Country Club and the Edgewood Golf Course Sept. 17-19, the tearn set a school record for an 18-hole round, shooting a cumulative score of 281 the first day of competition.
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