|Dec. 5, 1997
Men's Basketball | Volleyball | Noon Ball |
| Academic All-MIAC Honorees | Football |
Cobbers Fall to Cobbers fall to MSU 73-61. But inexperienced team is already
The inexperienced, young Cobber basketball team the crowd expected to
see last week at the cross-town game against MSU didnt show up.
"We played pretty well and handled their pressure," said sophomore Micah Benson. "But we didn't do a great job of rebounding."
So they're not up to perfection, but they're off to a workable start. James Gillhouse opened scoring for Concordia with two field goals and a 3-pointer. With Gillhouse's score and Benson's layup four minutes into the game, Concordia posted a 9-6 lead. The Cobbers enjoyed the lead for a short time before MSU went on a 10-0 scoring streak, bringing the score to 16-9 in the Dragons favor.
Freshman Mike Wrobel ended MSU's streak when he broke away from a turnover scramble between the Cobbers and the Dragons and scored two for Concordia. Two minutes later, Wrobel shot one in from under the basket, and the Cobbers trailed 18-13.
Senior Phil Wishart cut the Dragon lead to two just under the 10-minute mark. The Dragons continued to dominate the first half, leading by as many as 10 points in the last 10 minutes. In the final three minutes of the first half, Concordia stayed within six points of the Dragons. Wishart's 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the Cobbers to the locker room trailing MSU 36-33.
Gillhouse scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes for the Cobbers and finished the game with 23 points. The Cobbers held MSU scoreless for almost three minutes of the second half. Trevor Peterson tied the game early with a 3-pointer, and a 3-point swish by Gillhouse at 15:20 sent the Cobbers to a 41-40 lead.
"At times we played really well," said Gillhouse. "We were up 41-40 early in the second half, but then we let down a little bit."
It didn't take long for the Dragons to regain control as they went on a 14-4 scoring run. Two foul shots by junior Brian Kesselring cut MSUs lead to 46-45 with 13 minutes left in the game. But after fights for the rebound and a few Concordia turnovers, Tunde Adelkan led the ball back to MSU's end of the court, and eventually into the basket. The Dragon stand-out scored eight points straight for MSU, cushioning his team with a nine-point lead.
MSU out-rebounded Concordia offensively, 19-5.
"They out-rebounded us terribly," said Gillhouse. They had a lot of offensive rebounds that we shouldn't have let happen. Many of those offensive rebounds turned into points when the Dragons took a second attempt at the basket.
"[Missed rebounds] were due to our inexperience," said Benson. "We didn't know yet what it took to win the game."
MSU's biggest lead of the game, 58-71, came with a minute and a half to go. Wrobel cut the lead with a field goal, and Benson added a free throw to finish out Cobber scoring for the game. MSU's final point, a free throw, nudged their score to 73.
"Of course we wanted to win," said Gillhouse. "But we played really well. We've gotten to where we expected to be."
"We're starting to meet our goals," he continued. "We saw what we need to improve on (against MSU), and were not going to quit now."
"It's the little things we need to work on now, like rebounds," added Benson.
Concordia went into the game at 1-1 after finishing third at the Lakeland (Wis.) Tournament Nov. 22-23. The Cobbers lost 73-68 to Viterbo in the tournament opener Friday, then beat Lakeland 64-61 on Saturday. Freshman Mike Wrobel earned All-Tournament honors with 27 points and 14 rebounds for the weekend. Senior Trevor Peterson sank six 3-pointers, and had a weekend total of 28 points.
The Cobbers host St. Johns Monday at 7:30 in Memorial Auditorium.
3rd in MIAC
The women's volleyball team was definitely a force this season and most definitely will be a force to reckon with next year. Finishing third overall in the conference, the team consists of no seniors and looks enthusiastically to next year's season.
"We did very well this season," coach Tim Mosser said. "We struggled at the beginning, but we ended strong.
"I was very impressed with this team," he continued. The team was just one victory away from making the playoffs, and had five first-year students on its roster.
"They played with a lot of heart," Mosser said. "I could praise individually, but it was really about everyone."
The team was seeded second going into the MIAC tournament. The Cobbers beat the Augsburg Auggies but were defeated by St. Olaf in the semifinals.
"The match with St. Olaf was a big game for us," coach Mosser said. "We played really hard and battled with them, but they came out on top."
Another highlight of the women's volleyball season was their victory over UW-Eau Claire, ranked third in the nation. Unfortunately, Concordia missed a chance to tie with the host River Falls 4-0 tournament record when they lost to UM-Crookson.
Noon ball: exercise, male bonding
and broken noses
"It's kind of like rugby football," said noon baller and head men's basketball coach Duane Siverson. "My major intent is not to get hurt." And how does a noon baller avoid these dangers? "Stay out of the middle of the lane, and do not drive to the basket," Siverson said. His college team receives the opposite advice.
"We don't allow our players to watch noon ball," said Jerry Pyle, assistant men's basketball coach, with a smile. Both men's basketball coaches admit noon ball is not a place for the serious study of basketball.
"Basically noon ball summons Cobbers for the purpose of exercise, fun and that all-important male camaraderie you dont find on campus," said Ed Schmoll, classical studies professor and long-time player.
The group typically plays games up to seven points with a win by two
points mandatory. "One of the hardest decisions each day is who's going
to be the skins," Siverson said. You never know who may be walking through
the gym to see these shirtless wonders. Choosing teams is not as technical
as the NBA draft. The players match-up with someone of similar size they
think they can guard. "Then it's kind of a tug-of-war who's going to be
Injuries are not completely out of question during noon ball sessions.
Emeriti Roger Spilde recalled a time he broke his nose as Pyle was trying
to protect the ball. This occurred toward the end of the semester before
the faculty Christmas dinner. "By mere coincidence [Pyle's] Barbara and
my Barbara sat across from each other," said Spilde. As soon as Pyle began
to apologize to Barbara Spilde, she quickly interrupted and exclaimed no
apology was necessary since this was the first time in 25 years her husband
had stopped snoring. "I've started again, so it wasn't a perfect fix,"
Men's soccer coach Jim Cella quit the league a few years ago after he first landed on a player's ankle and then hurt his own in the same day. This signaled a time for Cella to give up the game, but his thirst never left. After this year's soccer season, Cella said he will probably come out of retirement and take up the league once again.
Noon ball does not have an official organizer; however, the group informally gave Spilde the title Chairman of noon ball. He decides when the group convenes and wraps it all up at the end of the noon ball season. Sixty-eight year old Spilde has played the game for over 30 years, but he still can't be labeled a founding father of noon ball. The game began even before his time at Concordia. When he first played, the group only played half-court ball and didn't have the use of Olson Forum. When Memorial Auditorium needed to be used for music programs, the noon ballers would assemble in one of the small gyms. Those days of ball are over for Roger The Dodger Spilde. Although he has retired as a professor, his new lifestyle has not taken him away from noon ball. Spilde takes it to the hoop almost every session. The Chairman must uphold his duties.
Unwritten, or rather, uncommon rules are another aspect of the game. Noon ball is the only place to see six-on-six play with regularity. Players substitute and take water breaks only after completion of the game. The Fast Break Rule applies when teams are uneven. For instance, the team with four players can't fast break against the team of three; however, the rule doesn't need to be applied in the reverse. The group also used to implement the Hockey Rule which meant players could not cross mid-court until two defenders were across the center line. This took away the advantage from faster players. The younger players hated this rule since usually they were quicker. Recently the group abolished the rule. "The Chairman deemed it was unplayable and unfit for noon ball activity," said Siverson.
Experience and skill are represented from the most basic to the advanced. After playing basketball at Rogers High School in Spokane, Wash., and then at Yankton College in Yankton, S.D., Siverson had a different mind set on the game than he does today. "The first five or six years I was just out of college and I was going to show everybody that I could still play. I got older and wiser," said Siverson.
Sheldon Green, senior writer/editor of communications and five-year player agrees. "It's changed from a physical game to a mental game," he said. "They have the ability; we have the moxie."
Another former noon baller and college star is Pyle, who played Division I basketball at the University of Minnesota. Other levels of ability even out the scale of players. Since noon ball focuses on the friends and fun the group does not discriminate on previous playing experience. "The most organized basketball I've played is noon ball, which is a laugh," said Spilde.
Cella played hockey in high school and soccer at St. John's University,
but he has always played half-court ball with his friends. This makes adjustment
to a full court game more difficult. "You don't see me running up and down
the court too much," Cella said. He tries not to take the game too
In the game's 30-some years of existence the number of players has fluctuated. The group used to have more people than they could deal with. Such players as Rene Clausen, Jim Hausmann, Jim Holman and Morris Lanning used to frequent the games. Green tried to recruit a few enthusiasts in the Oct. 21 Intercom with the message that sums up the entire noon ball experience:
"Noon ball. This is an outstanding exercise opportunity for mature players. Cerebral preferred over athletic. Great fellowship. Free towels. Mon., Wed., and Fri., 12 p.m. to 1 p.m."
Since 1986 the MIAC Sports Information Directors have sponsored an Academic All-MIAC awards program. Beginning in the fall of 1997, the MIAC changed the critieria to see that more of the deserving student athletes in the MIAC could be recognized for their combined athletic and classroom achievements.
The award now goes to all MIAC student athletes participating in at least their second year, who have maintained a 3.35 cumulative GPA. The following Concordia athletes received Academic All-MIAC awards this fall:
Men's golf - Sophomore Kyle Newman
Team: Thanks for the memories
Although the team and their fans wish the season would have ended in a different way, there is still much to be proud of. The team entered the season with question marks at defense and in their running game. Those questions were quickly answered. Senior Dan Steinbeisser helped establish the running game. The Cobbers big offensive line, led by seniors Jed Seeger and Noah Caron, helped open holes all season long.
The defense was one of the nation's best.
One of the more notable moments of the season was head coach Jim Christopherson winning his 200th game, coaching all of them at Concordia. The Cobbers opened the season with a 17-7 victory against Moorhead State University in the annual Crystal Bowl, a game the Cobber defense dominated.
Concordia then showed just how talented they were as they swept the MIAC by storm. Perhaps the Cobber's highlight of the season was a win against St. Thomas on October 11. The only negative outcome of the game was a knee injury to Dan Steinbeisser. The Cobbers then suffered their only two defeats of the regular season with losses against St. John's and Augsburg. Concordia finished the season strongly with wins against Hamline in the Fargodome and Carleton in the Metrodome.
The Cobbers have things to be proud of off the field as well, as 12
Cobbers were named to the all MIAC academic team. This college should also
be proud of their coach who couldn't possibly get enough acclaim for the
job he has done, much less for the person he is. In four years, I can't
ever remember him not finding time to talk to me about his team. For that
matter, I can't ever remember him not doing it with a smile on his face.
For 29 years he has led the Cobbers to battle, and over 200 times he has
come out victoriously. Some of my fondest memories at Concordia are of
Saturday afternoons at Jake Christiansen Stadium. I think I speak for many
when I say, "Coach, congratulations on 200, and thanks for the memories."