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The Concordian Sports

Mar. 21, 1997

  Baseball   Hockey  

Men's and Women's Track and Field

Men's and Women's Tennis

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Baseball :WHOāS ON FIRST? Andy Pratt, Staff Writer, 3/21/97

The Concordia baseball team, coming off a highly successful 1996 campaign, is looking to be even better this spring.

Last year, the Cobbers compiled a 19-14 record, which was good for second place behind conference champ St. Thomas.

St. Olaf and Hamline closely followed Concordia. Both turned in 13-7 records.

In conference play last year, Concordia scored 88 runs while giving up 44.

Head coach Bucky Burgau stated that the number of runs scored needs to improve this year.

"We need to improve on the offensive output. If we can do that and maintain our other strengths, we should have a good year," he said.

According to Burgau, the team has "good pitching depth and we are very good defensively up the middle."

Helping the pitching staff this year will be three-year starter and 1996 All-MIAC athlete senior Joe Cuchna. He will join fellow three-year starter senior Jim McCormick.

Catcher junior Matt Bergstrom will be behind the plate.

Anchoring the infield will be junior Jeremy Holm, a two-time all-conference second baseman and 1996 all-conference shortstop Scott DeBrito, a junior.

Another returning veteran is all-conference left fielder Randy Razidlo, a senior.

Roving centerfield will be senior Noah Johnson.

The veteran-laden team will be tested early when it travels to the Metrodome in Minneapolis this week for a doubleheader against Winona State University.

The Cobbers then embark on a 10-game trip March 22-29 in Florida.

"We are as ready as we always are," Burgau said. "There are some things you canāt work on inside, and we get down there to get the kinks out."

The Cobbers begin conference play at Gustavus April 5 with a double-header.

Return to Mar. 21 index of The Concordian Sports

Hockey : CORKISH NAMED TO ALL-MIAC HOCKEY TEAM
Darrell Ehrlick, 3/21/97 , Managing Editor

Endless open land stretches across the southern Saskatchewan plain.

This land, to the casual observer, is virtually indistinguishable from one acre to the next, save for the occasional small town. These small towns seem as undistinguished as the land that surrounds them.

Lying in these small Canadian "bread basket" towns is a culture that only a native can truly understand. The culture is hockey. Itās not simply a game. It encompasses every child, boy or girl.

They skate before they can walk. They grow up living hockey.

One product of that culture came from the small town of Wawota, Sask. He first laced up his skates at two.

He used to bring his nets to grade school and store them in his uncleās truck so that he could play at recess.

He had a key to the hockey rink so he and his friends could play every Sunday. He wasnāt trying to be the next Gretsky. He had a dream ö to play in the pros.

It was simply the culture that was in his blood.

Senior Jeff Corkish finished his collegiate career this season for Concordia by being named to the All-MIAC team.

Upon receiving the award, he said, "I would have rather seen the team win."

Corkish was the captain of the team. Corkish led by scoring 35 points on 20 goals and 15 assists in 25 games.

Before coming to Concordia, Corkish gained success as a hockey player in Canada. His midget team won a Provincial title. Corkish was then asked to try out for Team Western, a Canadian junior all star team, and was one of only four players out of the 40 asked to try out who came from a rural town.

Corkish first came to Concordia as a 17-year-old and spend a semester playing for Concordia before even getting an offer to play Canadian junior hockey. Corkish returned to Saskatchewan for two seasons of Junior hockey.

"It is a tough league and you have to be aggressive, regardless of you size," Corkish said.

Following his stint with the Juniors, Corkish returned to Concordia.

"I liked the school and the people," Corkish said. "I wanted to get a good education because I know hockey isnāt everything."

In his three final years with Concordia, Corkish tallied a total of 79 points on 42 goals and 37 assists while playing 66 games.

Corkish plans to pursue his masterās and then go into coaching.

"I really know a lot of ins and outs of the game because I am smaller and I had to learn them in order to play," said Corkish.

Perhaps more importantly for Corkish is the hockey culture that serves as an intangible advantage that canāt be articulated.

Return to Mar. 21 index of The Concordian Sports

Cobber Men's and Women's Track: COBBERS RUNNING IN SAN DIEGO
Selmer Moen, Staff Writer, 3/21/97

Itās the time of year when most people have warm thoughts of the beckoning spring, the return of longer days and melting snow on their minds.

Now think about trying to prepare for an outdoor track season in the midst of such a spring.

Such is the charge of Concordiaās menās and womenās track teams.

"We all really have cabin fever," said assistant coach Chris Schumacher.

Although the team hasnāt been training outside yet, itās been training in Olson Forum, according to Schumacher.

Senior Bill Keating added that despite the conditions, the Cobbers "need to be ready to compete as soon as we get a chance."

That first chance comes next weekend, March 28 and 29, in San Diego, where there is plenty of opportunity to get outside. In San Diego, the Cobbers take on schools similar in size.

This first meet starts the Cobbers out on a season of high expectations.

"We are a young, talented team and we would like to do well in the MIAC," said senior Michele Haugen.

Womenās head coach Marv Roeske said senior captain Renee Erickson, a three-time national javelin champ, will be one of the keys to the outdoor season.

"We will be helped by picking up some strong athletes and some events that we are really strong in," said Roeske.

In addition to veterans, the team will draw upon the youth.

"Look for some of the younger girls to really step up in the outdoors," added Schumacher.

All agree that going into the outdoor season, the women should be able to compete at the top of the MIAC, according to Schumacher.

The menās team looks to improve on its finish in the indoor season, where it was denied sixth place in the MIAC by a fraction of a point.

"We would like to get in the top four of the MIAC," said senior Ryan Williams.

Williams added that if the men can stay healthy, he thinks they can easily achieve this goal.

This year, the women are led by senior captains Michele Haugen, Kristi Berger, and Renee Erickson.

The menās captains are seniors Ryan Williams, Bill Keating and Adam Lovehaug.

Return to Mar. 21 index of The Concordian Sports

From the Archives

The March 21, 1969, section of The Concordian reported that two nationally known coaches participated at the Cobber Coaching Clinic. The two collegiate football coaches were the then Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes and Penn State coach Joe Paterno.

Paterno had just led the Penn State Nittany Lions to their greatest season in history and ended the season in a come-from-behind win over Kansas in the Orange Bowl.

Return to Mar. 21 index of The Concordian Sports

Men's and Women's Tennis: TENNIS TEAMS SPLIT WEEKEND MATCHES
Elizabeth Weixel, Staff Writer, 3/21/97

The menās and womenās tennis teams put wins under their belts this weekend.

Both teams went one-for-two this weekend against St. Olaf and Augsburg. The men fell 3-6 and the womenās team lost 0-9 to St. Olaf on Saturday. The menās team defeated Augsburg 9-0 on Sunday, and the women won against Augsburg 7-2.

Assistant coach Dave Lester was pleased with the wins.

"We were due. We showed what we could do," he said. "We scared them."

Lester cited junior Eric Nielson and sophomore Ross Gustafsonās doubles match against Augsburg as an example of the Cobbersā improvement. Nielson and Gustafson won the match 9-0 and did not give up a point. This is extremely rare in tennis, according to Lester.

"To not give up any points, you really have to stay focused," Lester said.

Gustafson has "never in [his] life" played a match without giving up a point, he said.

"Everything was working well. Everything was quick. It was like we were in the zone. We could do no wrong," Gustafson said.

St. Olaf presented though competition, according to freshman Matt Blom.

"St. Olaf and other teams have been real tests to see where weāre going to stand in the conference," Blom said. "When you see that you can win, and you donāt, thatās tough to take. Weāve lost a couple of matches that have been close· we need to pull out the small victories."

Junior Stacy Bauck saw the matches as part of a continuous learning process for the womenās team.

"Itās a building year," Bauck said. "These matches opened our eyes. Weāre recognizing the problems and weaknesses and working on them."

According to head coach Bob Nick, improvement is already underway for both teams.

"Theyāre in a learning mode just about the whole season. Itās tough to play when you get beat up, but I have nothing but good things to say. The idea is to get as good as we can with our abilities," Nick said.

This means improving consistency, the largest problem the tennis teams have now, according to Nick.

"We need to be more consistent in every phase of the game," Nick said.

Staying in rallies longer, fine-tuning technical skills and winning close games are a part of this, said Lester.

"We have to try to find the right formula to do that. Weāre getting closer," Lester said.

Challenge matches are part of that formula. They "put people on the right position on the ladder," according to Nick, and determine who plays what rank in conference matches.

Gustafson credits challenge matches and in-team competition with motivating team members to improve.

"Our team this year is 100 percent better than last year," Gustafson said.

Bauck is optimistic but also realistic about the work cut out for the team. "These [players] definitely have the determination to do it," she said. "[But] weāll never be ablea to walk into a match and say, ĪWeāve got this one.ā"

The menās tennis team played St. Johnās yesterday at home. Results were not available at press time. The men play Gustavus, traditionally a top team in the conference, tomorrow at Gustavus. Both teams take on the University of Mary Sunday at home.

Return to Mar. 21 index of The Concordian Sports

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