MVNU Track and Field: Succeeding in the Season
After the indoor track and field season, coach Ellis Gallion admitted that the team exceeded his expectations. He stated, “We expected national qualifications and potential all-conference finishes. After that, we are aiming for personal improvement and trying to work into scoring positions at conference.” Many team records have been shattered this season, and several individuals have earned outstanding honors.
Senior thrower Kyler Dickey received All-American honors after placing seventh at nationals in shot put. In addition, he won the Crossroads League championship in the shot put for the third consecutive year. Despite this success, Dickey knows that he is capable of even more. He said, “I want to set my eyes higher as I know that I have the ability to jump up to the top three in the shot put.” He said that he owes much of his success to MVNU’s only national champion, Mitchell Soviak. Dickey said of Soviak, “He taught me what to do and where I could eventually be in my career, and that opened my eyes as a young freshman.”
In addition, other athletes have enjoyed success so far this season. Senior Macy Weaver was able to qualify for nationals in the 3000 meters. She said, “After the first 3K that I did, I was really close to qualifying for indoor nationals, so then I wanted to focus on it, and I was fortunate enough to be able to. It was something I had never been able to do before.” Weaver also qualified for nationals in the marathon event.
The team is also looking toward the outdoor track and field season, which starts in late March. After a season-best race during the indoor season, senior Justis Paul stated, “Coming off a good indoor season, I feel like we got better as the season went on. As we go into outdoor, expectations are high.” He also said he is looking forward to giving the outdoor season his best effort for his final year of track and is excited to see the team continue to grow stronger as they work towards nationals.
As the team looks on to the outdoor season, Coach Gallion is eager to see how the team can perform. He said, “I am excited to see how our young team continues to develop and compete. I think we have a lot of potential to add more all-conference finishes and All-American status. Exciting things are happening, and we must continue to stay focused, love each other, and work hard!” With high expectations and passion, the team looks to represent MVNU at each meet and, eventually, nationals.
March 18, 2022 Mike Basko
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WRAPS UP SEASON
March 30, 2022 Dana Hicks
Another season is in the books for the Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s basketball team. It was a historic season, as the team saw two of its players in Rylee Pireu and Maggie Coe surpass the 1,000-point mark in their careers. The team itself also made their way into the Crossroads League Quarterfinals.
Expectations were high going into the season, according to senior Kayla Hovorka, the team’s student assistant. When asked about the expectations going into the season, Hovorka said, “I thought this year we were going to end up doing very well in the conference and have a winning record.” While these expectations did not come to fruition, as the team finished the season on five straight losses, Hovorka did acknowledge some up sides. “We are a lot closer this season than I thought we would be, outside of basketball. Seeing how close all the girls are this season is really exciting.”
The Lady Cougars finished the season at 14-16 overall and 8-9 within the Crossroads League but held a winning record when playing at home. Though the season played out differently than they would have liked, four players went on to receive league honors at the conclusion of the season. Junior guard Maggie Coe played her way to first-team honors while junior Rylee Pireu and senior Sage Brannon earned their way to second-team honors. Freshman Emily Walker had an impact on the team that saw her place on the all-freshman team. Coe was awarded a spot on the All-Defensive team and was most recently awarded All-American Honorable Mention.
MVNU Women's Lacrosse Takes the Field
February 18, 2022 Henry Shobert
Following two cancellations, the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Women’s Lacrosse team plans to open their season on the road, March 19, against Saginaw Valley State University. The team is coming off their inaugural season in which they finished 1-2 with their last game, and lone win, appearing to show glimpses of what they believe to be a bright future.
Head coach, Caitlyn Kyer, discussed her expectations for the upcoming season. Though the team played just three games last season to get the program started, Kyer is setting the standard high. She explained, “I have high hopes and a lot of expectations for the team. Our girls have been preparing and training all throughout our fall pre-season and into the season this spring. We have had different challenges and hurdles thrown our way, but this team has persevered and flourished through it all.” Kyer continued, “We have been working closely on building our team’s defensive skills and I am expecting big things from our defense once games begin, and we are able to put our efforts from practice into play.” She also pointed out a couple of players whom she believes are key to the team’s success. She claimed to be, “particularly excited to watch team captains, Bekah Kalas, and Ellie Brillhart, grow as players this season.” She explained that both will be filling crucial roles this season, with Kalas stepping up to play goalie, and Brillhart becoming a leader on defense.
Both Coach Kyer and assistant coach, Sutton Fansler, expressed their enthusiasm for the growth of the team over the past year. Fansler said, “I believe the biggest area of growth is our understanding of the game. The team last year was composed of girls who were brand new to the sport and this year our girls are more experienced.” She continued, “Heading into this season with gameplay under our belt is exciting and I look forward to watching the team develop their style of play.” Coach Kyer added, “We recruited an excellent incoming class of freshmen that began their lacrosse journey in high school, and some in middle school,” and explained, “This varying level of skill across our team has helped all our players grow in different ways.”
Captains, Sam Poor, and Bekah Kalas discussed the importance of leadership and building relationships amongst the team. Poor said, “Being with this program since it started has made me care so much about each of our players on and off the field. To have a successful program I believe it’s important to develop relationships first to aid the chemistry on the field.” Kalas added, “It is easy for me to have a positive attitude around this group. I care about this family and I would do anything for them, and they know that, so they do the same for each other and myself.” Poor also commented on the teams’ unique method of bonding and building connections. She explained, “Each girl on the team has a big or little sister that we get gifts for and write notes to before each game.” She continued, “My little sis is one of the freshmen, Jane, and I have loved getting to know her more this way.”
With high aspirations and new faces, the MVNU Women’s lacrosse team believes they can come out and have a successful season. The Cougars began their campaign on the road, March 19, against Saginaw Valley State University.
February 13, 2022 Kelsi Brake
MVNU Begins Swim Program
MVNU recently added a new campus sport to its mix. A swim team has surfaced, and many are anxious to see where it goes. The team is coached by Brad Snow and Laura Duncan.
Ryan Farr, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, was a big part of starting the team alongside head coach Brad Snow. The idea of a swim team is not a new interest among MVNU students.
“The concept of a student swim team has been around a while; we've had a number of students over the years ask about the possibility of starting a student-led club,” said coach Farr. Coach Snow added, “For a long time, I have been talking to people about my vision of MVNU starting a swim team and how I wanted to be their first coach. Word got back to me that MVNU was starting a team, and I approached Ryan Farr about allowing me the opportunity to assist with the program.” Coach Snow is very excited to see where the team goes in the following years.
Snow is not new to being a part of a swim team. He was a part of the Mount Vernon YMCA swim team starting at the age of 9, and he continued ‘til he graduated. He then went on to swim for Fairmont State University in West Virginia for all four years. He was the head coach of the Mt. Gilead High School swim team for 13 years and continues to swim himself. In 2015, he went to the national championship and made the podium in his six events, with a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.
The team consists of 17 students this year and is looking to grow from there in the coming years. Coach Farr said, “The great thing about the way we are launching swim at MVNU is that it can be a great opportunity for everyone. If you are an elite swimmer who wants to challenge yourself at the highest level, MVNU's swim program offers the opportunity to compete for conference and national championships. If you are a recreational swimmer who would just love to be a part of the team and compete at practice or just with your own times, there's also a place for you as well.” The swim team is a place for swimmers in any place in their career.
The MVNU swim team has come together with the Mount Vernon YMCA to facilitate practices. The YMCA lets the swim team come after hours three days a week together. The team will be attending the CSOSU Spring Invitational Meet on Feb. 26.
February 13, 2022 Henry Shobert
MVNU Men's Lacrosse Season Outlook
Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s lacrosse team opened their season at home Feb. 9 against the University of Heidelberg. The Cougars are coming off a promising campaign in which they finished 6-5 and managed to defeat rival Taylor University on the Trojans’ senior day. As the team has competed for a couple of years now, players have grown and are more ready now than ever to take the field
Head coach Ryan Farr is excited to get the season going. Farr exclaimed, “Expectations for this season are high, and there is a definite buzz amongst our team.” Farr continued, expressing his enthusiasm for some of the teams’ leading players. He explained, “Our defense is anchored by great goalie play in Jr. Josh Hageman. We return our entire starting defense from last season including junior all-conference defensive midfielder Micah Rex and sophomore all-conference defenseman Kaelin Tran.” Along with these returners, Farr said the defense will be bolstered by newcomer sophomore Luke Modesto.
Farr also expressed his optimism for the other side of the ball. He said, “Offensively, we return a pair of all-conference players in sophomore Johnny Grumney and Sr. Ian Ranck as well as a majority of our starting offensive unit and a talented freshman class.” Farr concluded by encouraging the community to come out and support the team. He said, “Overall, I’d just like to encourage everyone to come out and check out a game this season. Lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet and a lot of fun to watch for both the dedicated fan and the student just coming to check it out.”
Senior and captain Ian Ranck also expressed his optimism regarding the Cougars’ upcoming season. He acknowledged the importance of it, saying, “This is going to be a very big season for MVNU lacrosse. We brought in a lot of talent this fall, and everyone is itching to get on the field and compete as a team.”
Ranck discussed the work the team has been putting in since the fall. He said, “There has been a lot of build up through fall-ball,” and explained that the team is ready to see how the hard work will pay off. Ranck is coming off a solid season in which he scored eight goals and tallied 15 assists.
Andrew Ehrenberg, another senior, discussed his feelings about the upcoming season. The defenseman picked up the sport a few years ago when it initially came to MVNU. He said, “It’s a little bittersweet. I enjoyed getting to play lacrosse and am thankful to everyone who helped me along the way.” He continued, “I feel good about this upcoming season and am hopeful for a winning record.” The senior concluded by reflecting on the past few years and what he has seen from the team. He said, “It was fun to see the growth of a program from a club sport to now a varsity team, and getting better each year has been fun to see.”
The lacrosse season began for the Cougars at home on Feb. 9 against the University of Heidelberg. The Cougars believe in themselves and are prepared for a strong and competitive season.
February 13, 2022 Mackenzie Holder
Competition Cheer Wins Home Invite
The MVNU competitive cheer team made history on Feb. 5 during their only home competition of the year. They hosted Bethel University and Point Park University in a tri-competition where they all competed two separate times. With all the challenges that the 2021 season brought to the competition team, they were determined to make this season even better than before. They have been practicing hard every day to be the best that they can be in an attempt to improve their score each time they compete.
The team started their season on Jan. 15 at the Concordia invite where they received their third-highest score in program history. Freshman Taylor Tyler stated, “This was a great competition to start with. I had never competed before until coming to MVNU, but I was proud of the routine we put on the floor and was excited to get back in the gym and improve before we competed again.”
After starting the season about three weeks ago, the team has had one thing on their mind since the beginning of the season. If asked what was going to happen on Feb. 5, every single cheerleader on the competition team knew they would be competing at home in front of all of their friends and family, and they wanted to look good. Sophomore Taylor Maibach said, “We upgraded our routine for our home competition because we wanted to put the best possible routine on the floor.”
After spending all week practicing for countless hours, the blood, sweat, and tears were all worth it when the MVNU competition team was announced as the winner of the second competition. Yells and shrieks filled the air when they announced Bethel University as second place. At that moment, MVNU knew they had just made history. It was something the program has been working towards for three years, and they had finally achieved it in front of the people that mean the most to them.
In a recap of the competition coach Melissa Nowicki stated, “ I am so proud of this team and their first-place performance tonight! They deserved the win! We fought hard to hit a new pyramid and basket this week. Tonight's win was about execution and showmanship. Every athlete worked hard to hit their skills, and you could see that they had a lot of fun doing it.”
The competition cheer team has competed in a total of six competitions so far and is looking forward to the rest of the season. They will continue their season on Saturday, February 26 where they will be heading to Bethel University to compete in the Crossroads League Competition .