Cobber Football Home Pages |
Nov. 20, 1998 Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Football | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Women's Cross Country | Men's Cross Country | Dance Team Story |
Football loses final game
For some teams in the MIAC football conference, now is the time to gear up for post-season play. However, the Cobber's football team, which is in a year of transition, failed to advance to post-season play, ending their season with a loss to Augsburg at the metrodome Friday, 25-0. Augsburg's Scott Hvistendahl broke Jerry Rice's college record for most yardage. He caught 18 passes for 230 yards against the Cobbers.
"Well, I felt, offensively, we just needed to get some drives and score some points," head coach Jim Christopherson said. "Even though they were gaining a lot of yards on us, we were holding them down. We were only down 13-0 at half. Even if we got one score it would have put us in the game a little bit."
Senior quarterback Ethan Pole struggled, throwing 9 of 19 for 100 yards in three quarters of work.
"I think he was pressured a lot," Christopherson said. "I think our offensive line didn't play as well as we would of hoped."
The running game also wasn't up to par as sophomore Jason Braaten had 40 yards on 11 carries. Sophomore Len Crouse had 38 yards on 8 carries. Junior punter Clayton Horgen had to put the foot to the ball eight times during the game.
"We had to punt too many times," Christopherson said. "Horgen had to punt eight times. For him it was good. He won the MIAC punting championship with a 41 yard average, but we don't like to punt eight times in a game. He got the practice but we didn't get the points."
However, Christopherson took the game as an opportunity to look at some young and upcoming talent for next year.
"When we are out of the conference race, we are letting our seniors play, but we are also building for next year," Christopherson said.
Sophomore Rob Szmanski took over the quarterback duties for Pole in the fourth quarter.
"We see a real good running option quarterback," Christopherson said. "We didn't see much on the passing game. He isn't as strong of a passer as Pole."
Another position which Christopherson's coaching staff watched closely as they tried some new talent was Braaten.
"We also played Braaten for the whole second half," Christopherson said. "[Sophomore Marcus] Ludtke may have felt bad he wasn't in there, but we have to take a look at Braaten. We saw some good things. However, it doesn't mean Ludtke won't be our starter at tail back next year."
Christopherson said that he is looking ahead to see what they can do in the off-season to build on this year's transition year. "We have to get stronger in the off-season with our weight program," Christopherson said. "If we are going to win consistently in the MIAC, we have to get more physical."
Another goal for Christopherson staff is to recruit more linemen.
"Linemen are the hardest to find," Christopherson said. "It's like the
6'8" basketball player. Everybody wants those few guys."
| 1998 Cobber
Men's Basketball |
Men's basketball team hopes to start a turnaround in season opener
With new players, a new attitude, and revised strategy, the men's basketball team has what it takes to make a run at the playoffs this year. Fans will get their first look at the team when they host Valley City State University in the season opener Saturday.
Last season, the team finished with a 3-21 overall record and went 2-18 in the MIAC en route to an eleventh-place finish. This was an uncharacteristic season for a team that had lost a combined 23 games in the previous three seasons.
This year, with strong returning players, a promising freshman class, and three talented junior college transfers, the Cobbers hope to compete in an extremely tough conference, where, according to Siverson, "Every game is a war."
"Last year we hoped to win, and I'm not sure everybody knew what it took to win," sophomore Mike Wrobel said. "I think this team knows what it takes to win. We expect to win this year, and it's just a question of whether we can go out and do it now."
Wrobel, a member of the MIAC all-freshman team last year, will join senior Brian Kesselring and junior Micah Benson as returning starters. Kesselring led the team with 12 points per game last season, and Benson was sixth best in the MIAC with 83 assists. New Cobbers include junior college transfers Kermit Cooper, Matt Anderson, and Joe Ford and freshmen Jeff Ubben and Steve Strittmatter.
"It's been the most intense preparation I've ever been through," Kesselring said. "We've had six days of intense practices and scrimmaging, plus captains practices. We've been lifting, running and playing every day. We're not resting-- it's a two or three hour commitment every day." Thanks to the extra preparation and added talent, the team has the ability to try the same approach that has led the team to MIAC and NCAA playoff spots.
"It's a totally different format. We"ll be running the full court press, like Rick Pitino did in Kentucky with the Wildcats," Kesselring said. "We'll be rotating ten guys. We hope to run teams into the ground. We'll have a higher scoring attack. We've got a parameter game as well as a post game. The fans should get a lot more entertainment. Last year we didn't have the depth. This year we have the talent and the endurance to adopt this approach."
If the new approach is successful, fans should expect higher point totals,
more intense games, and a better record.
| 1998 Cobber
Women's Basketball |
Women's basketball team has a new look
The young Cobber women's basketball team will be trying something new this year. With the help of their few upperclassmen, the women will be running a faster paced game this season.
"We will be young on paper," head coach Kathy Wall said, "But I think our sophomores will be like upperclassmen. We have incredible leadership from our three juniors, Sara, Nikki and Steffi. We have freshman that will play a lot and we are going to ask a lot from them. I think they will be able to contribute a lot in the first part of the season."
Sophomore Brandi Myers feels feels that the team will do well this year. "We have the talent," Myers said. "The thing that might put us back is that we are running a whole new offense. Everything is changed and it depends on whether we make a shot or our opponents make a shot. It's a lot of thing out there. When we put it all together we are going to be tough to beat."
After going 17-5 in the MIAC and finishing third, Wall wanted to take the team in a different direction than in her previous three years of coaching. "We definitely have made adjustments," Wall said. "We want to pick up the tempo. We constantly want to change the defense. We are more athletic than we ever have been."
The new up-tempo game is really different from the style of game play that the team used last year.
"I like it. It fits my game," Myers said. "Last year we had a half court game. This year it's up and down full court, fast breaks. It's a faster paced game than last year."
Wall describes the style of play as more disorganized than their previous season's style. "The first day was complete chaos," Wall said. "The second day it was just organized chaos."
The fans of the team will be able to see for themselves the new style of play Saturday when the team takes on Valley City in the Cobbers' first game of the year.
"It's one of those things where on Saturday we throw the ball up and open one eye," Wall said. "It's exciting. I know the girls are excited. It's something new, and it's a incredible challenge."
While Wall hopes for the best, she expects some transition ahead. "We might take some knocks right away, but I think it's going to be the best type of style for this team," Wall said.
Wall also hopes that the new style of play will help to cut down on the mental lapses that hurt the team last year.
"The way this offensive philosophy is designed is you have small spurts
of three or four minutes and that's all you are going to play before you
get a sub," she said. "So hopefully it will keep the intensity knowing
that they will get a break in three or four minutes."
Cobber Men's Hockey |
Men's hockey defeats UMC
The men's hockey team won 5-3 at U of M Crookston improving their record to 2-1 overall.
Sophomore Mark Schiller and sophomore Mike Gast scored for the Cobbers in the first period to put them up 2-1. In the second period after UMC scored to tie the game junior Ken Putt scored a goal to put Concordia 3-2. UMC tied the game up again before the end of the second period.
In the third period the Cobbers dashed any hope of an UMC comeback when Schiller scored his second goal of the game. Junior Travis Rybchnishi added an insurance goal giving the Cobbers a two goal lead.
"Last night we were kind of up and down in the game," head coach Steve Baumgartner said. "I think we played as hard as they have to play in a situation like that. I thought we played very well in the third period for about 15 minutes. In the third period we started to get things under control and doing the things we were capable of doing."
While the team is trying to find their rhythm early, Baumgartner is trying to find the right Combination in the team's lineup.
"We have pretty much seen everyone in action," Baumgartner said. "I have been pleasantly surprised at what I have seen. We are still trying to find that combination that is going to get us over the top. One line may be a player away from really clicking and we just haven't found that combination yet."
This Friday and Saturday the Concordia men's hockey team hosts Air Force Academy at the Moorhead Sports Complex.
"We are going to have to be very consistent defensively," Baumgartner said. "We are going to have to work very hard because that's what they are going to do. even though they have the Division I title they are just a very good Division III team as far as skill level goes."
According to Baumgartner it is great that people can see a Division I team come and play.
Baumgartner has wanted to get Air Force Academy here for a while now.
"I think its great we are finally getting them to come into our arena and
play," Baumgartner said. Most of the time they will host teams coming out
to their arena. We now have a two year contract where they come here this
year and then we go out there next year."
| 1998 Cobber
Men's Cross Country |
Men's cross country team 12th at Regions
The men's cross country team ended the season finishing 12th at the NCAA regional meet at St. Olaf Saturday.
"I felt okay about it," head coach Garrick Larson said. "We were shooting for 10th, but 12th isn't that far away. The middle teams from eighth through 19th were super close."
The young team came out of the race with 363 points and a average race time of 28:11.
"We had a couple of guys [freshman] Brian Klug and [sophomore] Steve Edlund that just didn't perform up to their potential that day and that's going to happen," Larson said. "[In] every race, some are up, [and] some are down. You can only hope that all of them have run well on the same day. The good thing is [for] the two people who didn't have as good a race as they could, I had two others [freshman] David Dahlseng and [freshman] Brian Stotts that ran better than I expected so it all sort of balanced out."
Dahlseng was the leading runner for Concordia at 47th place with a time of 27:38. Freshman Gabe Arntson also gave a strong performance coming in at 54th place with a time of 27:49.
"I thought Dahlseng, Klug and Stotts all ran very well," Larson said. "Dahlseng was our number one runner again. This is his only third meet of the year because he has been hurt a lot. All three of these players were in our top five at regions."
According to Larson, there are very few seniors graduating in all the MIAC teams so he thinks that next year will be even tougher than this year.
"Next year we just want to move up again even if it's only a little," Larson said. "However, I know my guys want to move up even further into the top three or four in the MIAC and into the top 10 at regions. It will be no easy task, but talent wise I think they have the ability."
Women's Cross Country |
Women's cross country finishes 8th at Regions
The women's cross country team finished eighth at the regionals on Saturday. The team finished with 218 points and an average time of 20:08. "I am pleased with their finishes," head coach Sharon Espeland said. "I would have liked a better overall team finish. We were shooting for a little bit better than eighth, but I am pleased with the way it ended up." Last year's team finished 13th at the regional meet.
"They were more confident, more experienced in their running," Espeland said. "Rather than having the race control them, I think they now take charge of their race."
According the Espeland, the team did two things this year to try to give the runners the edge that they would need to compete. First the team had mandatory weight lifting sessions each morning. Another addition was adding more miles so that they were better able to handle the race without as much fatigue as before.
"Two athletes that really excelled was senior Barb Breidenbach and [junior] Steph Collins," Espeland said. "Heidi and Heather [Brenden]... Particularly Heather was a little ill before the Regionals. However, she still gutted it out, and I think that it was a little bit of a factor in their performances."
Sophomore Heidi Brenden finished 19th with a time of 19:38. Breidenbach finished 30th with a time of 19:50.
Espeland thought that the weather slowed everybody down at the regional meet Saturday.
"The regional course at St. Olaf was wet," Espeland said. "It was a little soft. The conference course was kind of like running on a track which is easy and smooth and springy. The regional course was almost like running on a couch or on pillows. It was a softer ground. It was also muddy in spots. The runners had a hard time getting their footing."
Cobber Women's Hockey |
No story this week
Cobber Women's Swimming |
No story this week
Cobber Wrestling |
No story this week
Cobber Dance Team |
Zea Mays show off new dance at the Metrodome
When most people step onto the astro-turf on the floor of the Metrodome they want to run around like the players that play on this surface day in and day out. However, for Concordia's Zea Mays, the chance to be on the metrodome floor meant a chance to try out their newest dance that the members have been working on.
On Friday, the Zea Mays showed their dance to the crowd at the metrodome during halftime of the Concordia-Augsburg football game.
"It was a different style that we have been working on," sophomore member Jen Berhow said. "I think we pulled it together, and it looked really great out there."
According co-captain Rikki Schmeck, junior, the team drove down and stayed overnight in the cities which was fun and also helped them bond as a team. "I think it's fun," Berhow said. "Being with the team is a really good experience. ItUs really fun performing and showing the school what we can do."
The team's new dance was different in several ways from the dance that has been performed at ConcordiaUs football home games this year. "We dance to a Guns 'n Roses mix, and it's a compilation of a jazz-funk and the jazz technique," co-captain sophomore Jessica Crawford said. "It is really nice to get those together because we usually focus more on the funk. It's nice to get in some of the studio jazz."
Schmeck added that another difference was that the music that they danced to was metal music instead of the hip hop music that the team usually has along with their dance.
Another change this year for the team is that they switched their name at the end of last year from Concordia's dance team to the Zea Mays which is the biological nomenclature for corn.
"We just thought when we got announced the team was sounding just a bit boring," Schmeck said. "We were trying to come up with names, and we finally decided on Cobber girls or something like that. We weren't very excited about that, but we thought it would be better than just the dance team. Our co-captain from last year, [senior] Kim Shotwell, had this great idea and thought of Zea Mays, and we were all like 'that sounds really cool'."
While the Zea Mays perform at football and basketball games during the year, they also enter a competition each year which they must prepare months in advance for. Some members of the team feel that performing at games is easier than performing in competition.
"I think performing at games is a lot more of a relaxed atmosphere," Crawford said. "Whereas performing at nationals takes so much preparation and training where you have to break down the dance every single day and go over it step by step. Whereas [for] the games, we spend typically a week perfecting a dance."
The Zea Mays recently went before the student association to ask for an allocation of $1,811.00 for a trip to Minneapolis for a competition in February.
"It was about three times less than we have asked for in previous years," Schmeck said. It was kind of nice to not have to ask them for a huge sum of money."
According to the co-captians, the Zea Mays are not attending nationals in Florida this year because the team wanted a break from fund raising, and so they wouldn't have to as SA for as much money as in the past. However, the dance team hasn't ever been to this competition. "I think there will be a lot less teams attending the nationals in Minneapolis, but we are not real sure what we are getting into yet," Schmeck said. "We are hoping for it to be the same caliber."