After predictions of being in a 'building' year, reinforced by a 21-0 opening season loss to Moorhead State University in nonconference play, Concordia's football team belied predictions by earning a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and Division III playoffs in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Cobbers began conference play with a 33-0 defeat of Bethel College and remained undefeated for the next 10 games. Although they had clinched the MIAC title with a 35-23 defeat of the College of St. Thomas on Nov. 1, they confirmed it by freezing out the Hamline Pipers 19-3 under nearblizzard conditions at Jake Christiansen Stadium Nov. 8.
Division III playoff action started Nov.22 when Concordia was host to the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. With a 24-15 victory in that game, the Cobbers moved on to challenge Central College of Pella, Iowa, in quarterfinal action. A come-from-behind victory of 17-14 set the CobI bers up for the semifinals game against Augustana College of Rockford, Ill. The outstanding season came to a halt for the Cobbers with a 41-7 loss to the Vikings, who subsequently won their fourth consecutive national championship.
In recognition of an outstanding season, veteran coach Jim Christopherson was named MIAC Coach of the Year and 10 Cobbers were nominated to the allconference team: sophomore quarterback Dan Paladichuk, Sidney, Mont.; senior running back Dale McCullough, Brainerd; senior safety Brian Durkop, Moorhead; senior safety Russ Winkels, I Perham; junior slotback Kevin Hiedeman, Breckenridge; sophomore wide receiver Terry Horan, Wilimar; junior center Joel Anderson, North St. Paul; junior nose guard Jim Southwick, Rochester; and junior end Tim Kruse, Thief River Falls, all in Minnesota; and senior tackle Mike Schriner, Fargo, N.D.
While football stole the spotlight, the men and women Cobbers enjoyed varying degrees of success in volleyball, golf, soccer and cross country.
A young and inexperienced volleyball team added up an overall record of 11-21 The women pulled themselves out of a mid-season losing streak to place seventh in the conference.
The women's golf team, plagued by inclement weather, had just three golfers with previous collegiate golf experience. On the positive side, they gained valuable experience in competition against Division II teams in a three-state area.
Returning players provided a strong core for the men's golf team. They placed fifth in MIAC competition, but rain and inconsistency presented problems. Two top golfers will graduate this spring, making next season a building year for the team.
Nine returning players led the women's soccer team to its best
season ever. It chalked up a 9-6 record for the season and placed fifth
in MIAC competition. The Cobbers lost to St. Olaf in the first round of
tournament play, but came back to capture the consolation title by defeating
Augsburg and Carleton.
The women's cross country team placed fourth in a conference of 12; the men's team, weakened by injuries, placed eighth in a conference of 10 teams.
Inaugurated this year the men's soccer team, while not winning many victories, gained valuable experience for next year when they will become official members of the MIAC conference.
Speaking of the addition of soccer to men's intercollegiate athletics and of women's softball, Dr. Armin Pipho, athletic director, said, "At a time when many schools are reducing their athletic offerings, it is particularly exciting to see Concordia expanding its athletic opportunities."