• Gearing Up

    PSU looks to return to playoffs

    | Michael Bauer sports editor |

    It didn’t seem fair to the Gorillas.
    A 35-21 loss to the Missouri Southern Lions on the final day of the regular season kicked PSU out of contention for the NCAA Division II playoffs for a second consecutive year despite a 9-2 regular season record and finishing the season ranked 19th in the AFCA coaches poll.

    PSU Football

    PSU Football

    Emporia State, a team that PSU didn’t get to play, took advantage of the Gorilla loss and jumped ahead in the regional rankings to snatch a spot in the playoffs after going 9-1 in the regular season while PSU had to settle for the Mineral Water Bowl.
    It didn’t matter that the Gorillas only other loss was to the eventual national champions, Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, and it didn’t matter that PSU had to play a daunting October schedule against Division I Abilene Christian, Central Missouri, NWMSU and Missouri Western State consecutively. It was also a tough ending for All-Americans John Brown, receiver, and Nate Dreiling, linebacker. The two players would see the playoffs only once in their years at PSU.
    But if Pittsburg State had any trouble finding motivation in its final game, it didn’t show as the Gorillas scorched Southwest Minnesota State 90-28, breaking the record for the most points in the Mineral Water Bowl’s history.
    “The nice thing was we still got to play a game after the loss to MSSU,” head coach Tim Beck said. “We were able to finish up on a positive note.”
    With nine starters returning on offense and nine on defense and three on special teams, the Gorillas are in prime position to carry that momentum from last year’s bowl game to get back to the national playoffs this year.
    PSU enters 2014 ranked second in the MIAA coaches and media preseason polls, right behind NWMSU.
    The schedule won’t include Lincoln or Southwest Baptist, two teams that PSU easily beat. Since both schools have left the MIAA in football, the conference has introduced a conference-only schedule for all 12 teams, meaning PSU will face conference foes Washburn, Fort Hays State and Emporia State for the first time since 2011. The new round robin scheduling should quell most arguments over regional rankings.
    “We have a bunch of players returning, and this will be a grueling season playing every team but we have a lot of players back,” Beck said. “We have guys who have been in the fire and know how to come from tough situations.”
    The schedule shouldn’t be any tougher than what the Gorillas went through last year.
    Pittsburg State will get a comfortable start to the season by facing Northeastern State for the third consecutive year.
    The Gorillas will then play a Thursday night game all the way in St. Charles, Mo., against Lindenwood.
    PSU travels to take on Washburn at Yager Stadium in Topeka. The last time PSU faced Washburn, the Gorillas were on their way to a national championship, beating the Ichabods in the playoffs, but Washburn isn’t as dangerous as it was in 2011.
    Following that, PSU will entertain the Fort Hays State Tigers in the Jungle in a conference-televised contest. Since 2011, the Tigers have improved under head coach Chris Brown, coming off a 6-5 overall record.
    PSU will face Missouri Western and ESU on consecutive weeks before going against the Bearcats in the annual Fall Classic in what will be the toughest stretch of the schedule.
    It will also mark the first time since 2001 that PSU and NWMSU won’t play each other on a neutral site as the 12-year battle at Arrowhead Stadium has come to an end with the Gorillas traveling to Maryville, Mo., this year while hoping to end the two-year skid against the Bearcats.
    “I loved playing at Arrowhead but it’s above our heads and we enjoyed it as it lasted,” senior safety Keeston Terry said.
    Nebraska Kearney will get to make the six-hour trip to Pittsburg on Oct. 25. If the Gorillas want to avenge last year’s loss against rivals Missouri Southern in the Sonic Miners Bowl, then they’ll have to do it in Joplin, Mo., on Nov. 1 before facing Central Missouri and Central Oklahoma for the regular season finale.


    Defense looks to succeed without Dreiling

    | Michael Bauer sports editor |

    Just like John Brown on offense, the Gorilla defense faces the impossible task of replacing Nate Dreiling. The former linebacker became the second position player in PSU history to earn All-America honors in all four seasons and is now the assistant coach at Humboldt High School, leaving the Gorillas with a void to fill on defense.
    Fortunately for PSU, the Gorilla defense returns nine starters from last year’s unit, which finished third in the MIAA in total defense and second in scoring defense.
    “We have a lot of experience coming back,” said safety Keeston Terry, senior from Blue Springs, Mo. “I know we lost Nate, but I think we have a few guys who can fill that role. I think we have the potential to be as good as we were last year.”
    Terry finished the year with 64 total tackles, 35 of them solo and 29 assists.
    Dreiling, who led the team in tackles with 109 total, may be gone but second-leading tackler Tyler Disney will be back at linebacker, after chalking up 101 tackles, 46 of them solo and 55 assists and 3.5 sacks. He also had two interceptions returned for 96 yards.
    Joe Windscheffel is another linebacker that the Gorillas lose, but Eric Brantley, junior from Kansas City, Mo., will try to get some playing time.
    The corner back position will feature Aries Herrion, senior from Tulsa, Okla., and Dino Teague, junior from Tulsa, Okla., returning. Herrion earned All-MIAA honors after recording 24 tackles with three interceptions and four pass break-ups.
    Strong safeties Jason Peete, senior from Olathe, earned All-MIAA honors in 2013 and Scott Roderique, junior from Webb City, Mo., looks to improve with more experience.
    Starting free safety Deron Washington, sophomore from Raymore, Mo., and Isaac Maselera, senior from Tulsa, Okla., will look to challenge for the starting job.
    De’Vante Bausby, senior from Kansas City, Mo., is back at cornerback after earning All-MIAA honors in a season that included 33 tackles with three interceptions and nine pass breakups.
    The defensive end spot might be at a question mark with the departure of Joe Uzzel, a first team All-MIAA honoree.
    Pittsburg State’s defense was fourth Uzzel, a first team All-MIAA honoree.
    Pittsburg State’s defense was fourth in the league in rush defense with 1,835 yards, while the unit was ranked second in the MIAA in pass defense with 2,226 yards and 15 touchdowns. They were also second in pass defense efficiency at 110.1 but were seventh in the conference in interceptions with 12, one of them being for a touchdown.
    In sacks, the Gorillas were tied for third with Nebraska Kearney at 24 total for 168 yards, behind Northwest Missouri State and Washburn.
    Pittsburg State was fourth in opponent first downs and third on opponent third-down conversions with 62 while finishing third on opponent fourth-down conversions.
    The MIAA may have proved to be among the best conference in Division II with Northwest Missouri State and PSU winning the title in the last five years with solid defensive performances. But the conference is also a battlefield of powerful offenses, including Missouri Southern State’s triple option attack that was second in the nation in rushing yards. The Gorillas will look to their nine returning starters for an advantage.
    “Every week will be a challenge,” said Terry. “The good thing is that we have a lot of players who are good enough to face everyone.”

  • PSU names director of strength training

    Michael Bauer, Sports Editor

    Matt Nelson may have been lining up against PSU while playing for Northwest Missouri State on the football field just a few years ago. But now, he’ll be assisting Pittsburg State’s athletes in the coming school year.
    Pittsburg State has named Matt Nelson as the director of strength training and nutrition for the Gorillas.
    The graduate from NWMSU is transitioning from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. He served as the Cardinals’ head strength and conditioning coach last year. Before that, he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at fellow Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) school Northwest Missouri State. He also served strength and conditioning internships at Texas Christian University and the University of Missouri during the past three years.
    Nelson’s job will be to provide help and training in strength development, physical conditioning, injury rehabilitation and nutrition for PSU athletes. Nelson will also conduct and monitor strength and conditioning programs for all athletic teams and monitor and advise student athletes on proper nutrition in addition to provide oversight and management of the strength and conditioning facility.
    “We are excited to have Matt Nelson join the Pitt State family as our director of strength and nutrition,” said Jim Johnson, athletic director on the PSU athletics page. “It became obvious in the search process that Matt’s previous experiences and talents are a perfect fit to help him come in and help our student athletes and our teams succeed.”
    Nelson’s education includes a bachelor’s of science degree in corporate recreation and wellness in May 2009. He earned a master’s of science degree in applied health/sports sciences from NWMSU in May 2011. Nelson is a certified strength and conditioning specialist.
    While he was at NWMSU, Nelson was a three-year starter for the Bearcats, playing from 2006-08. In addition to facing the Gorillas in the regular season each year, Nelson also faced PSU in the national play-offs in 2007 and 2008.
    “In addition to being a young, energetic individual, Matt has a good level of knowledge in his specialty areas,” said PSU head football coach Tim Beck. “He connected very well with our athletes during his day on campus and his knowledge of the MIAA certainly is an added bonus as well.”

  • Rec center offers students chance to get fit

    Michael Bauer, Editor-in-Chief

    Being away from home, trying to meet new people and studying for tests and working. These are some of the stresses that students face on any given school year.
    But for those who are looking to alleviate some of that stress or just trying to get into shape and stay active, the PSU Student Recreation Center is there to help.
    Located on 2001 S. Rouse, the rec center is available to all current Pitt State students and faculty.
    The center is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday during the school year and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.
    To get into the center, all students need is their university ID cards.
    The rec center houses weight machines as well as a running track on the second floor in addition to the basketball courts. It is also where intramural leagues compete.
    “The rec center is a great facility for everyone. It’s a part of the activities fees, so students are already paying for it,” said Vince Daino, center director. “It’s $42 per semester, which you can’t get anywhere else. We also have a lounge for students in case they want to sit around and watch TV between workouts.”
    Daino says the center has also been a good place for students to socialize.
    “It helps incoming freshmen get away from that away-from-home fever. Plus, they’re staying active and active students do well in classes.”
    Classes are held at the center, but those are a little different than traditional classes on campus.
    “We share with ROTC and they are fitness-based. What we do aren’t registered classes. You have to register through us to take those classes,” Daino said “We do a morning boot camp at 6:30 in the mornings. We do afternoon yoga. We also have two more programs that we’re trying to offer. We want people to register but it’s not a take-roll-and-take-credit classes, more of a get fit.”
    With the school year about to begin, so too is the intramural sports league.
    With sports ranging from flag football to ultimate Frisbee, participants compete in intramurals through the center.
    “It’s a great way to get out of classroom experience when you get to participate with your peers and make more friends,” said Steven Lilly, assistant director of intramural sports. “We have Greek, on campus and independent students who participate that live off campus. You get an opportunity to meet more people than who you just live with.”
    Thirteen sports are offered in the fall and 18 in the spring. Flag football is usually the biggest sport, consisting of 40 teams and 500 players.
    “The majority of participants will be in flag football. There will be co-ed teams so you have the opportunity to play male and female teams,” Lilly said.
    Not only that, but flag football also has the most refs.
    “We do hire the majority of officials for flag football. We hire anywhere from 15 to 25 depending on their class schedules,” Lilly said.
    According to Lilly, basketball will have 400 participants while volleyball will have 400 people with 26-30 teams.
    For students to sign up, there is an online registration.
    “You just go to our web page at pittstate.edu/intramurals and log in through GUS and you can see our activities,” Lilly said.
    The only difference that the intramural sports will be doing this year will be with indoor and outdoor soccer in which the indoor league will move to 4-on-4 from 3-on-3. The outdoor soccer league will be changed to 7-on-7 from 5-on-5.
    Intramurals also offers table tennis, 3-on-3 basketball, kickball, team handball and inner tube water polo during the fall. The spring season consist of basketball, a pickleball tournament, ultimate Frisbee and racquetball.

  • Brazil’s World Cup: an $11 billion trap

    Val Vita

    Here in my country, if you were to ask 10 little boys what they want to be when they grow up, it’s very possible that eight of them will tell you the same thing: soccer player. I’m not overreacting when I say that soccer in Brazil is like a religion. People here go crazy because of it – maybe even more than Americans go crazy for football. In Brazil, all the boys want to be Neymar.
    This year, as we all know, we are experiencing the delight (or the curse, depending on whom you ask) of hosting the FIFA World Cup. It’s interesting to be here on vacation and have the opportunity to see this particular phenomenon happening. Especially because a year ago the streets were filled with protesters (including me), screaming “Nao vai ter Copa” (which means “There won’t be World Cup”). A large part of the population is unhappy that our developing country is spending billions with soccer stadiums, instead of investing in education, health and infrastructure for our population.
    Well, it turns out the World Cup is here. And the people who were protesting at the time are now paying a huge amount of money to go to the stadiums to watch the games. Why? Because everyone here lives and breathes soccer.
    Don’t get me wrong. The protests are still occurring, but with very few people compared to last year. Instead, people on the opening game booed the president, Dilma Rousseff, who was kind of already expecting that. That’s why she didn’t speak at the opening ceremony, as expected.
    Brazilians were so excited with the start of the event and with all the tourists walking the streets of our capitals that they decided to forget how much money we lost because of the Cup.
    Brazil invested $11 billion in infrastructure related to the Cup and a third of this amount was spent on the stadiums. Well, putting money on stadiums is not exactly an investment. One, because all the money raised from the matches goes to FIFA and not to Brazil. Second, because some of these stadiums are never going to be used again.
    Here’s an example: $217 million was invested in a single stadium in the city of Manaus, and the place is destined to be used in four World Cup games. Four. There’s no soccer team in Manaus, and famous singers will probably not choose the city as part of a big tour. So, as comedian John Oliver said, Brazil constructed “the world’s most expensive bird toilet.” Sad, but true.
    What I’ve been seeing on the streets, though, is pure happiness and excitement. Every time Brazil plays, the country stops. Literally. If the game starts at 5 p.m., businesses allow their employees to leave at 4. The schools do the same. There’s traffic jam to go back home on game days. It’s as if it’s forbidden to do any thing during the games besides watching them.
    Brazilians go home earlier, they dress in green and yellow and they cheer. They cheer as if soccer were the most important thing in the world. As they cheer, they forget that we spent $11 billion that we didn’t even have. Go Brazil!

  • PSU announces 2014 Hall of Fame class

    Michael Bauer, Sports Editor

    Pittsburg State has announced the 2014 induction class of the intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. Nine members consisting of former athletes will be inducted during the ceremony on campus on Saturday, Oct. 25.
    The 2014 class is composed of six men and three women.
    This year’s group includes four-time All-America performer Megan (Corby) Haas, who competed in track and field as well as volleyball from 1991-95; All-America pitcher Daryl Cronk, a member of the baseball team’s 1999 MIAA title; All-America quarterback Brian Hutchins from the Gorillas’ 1991 NCAA Division II National Championship squad and a runner-up finish in 1992; All-America quarterback Neal Philpot, who compiled a school record 41 victories while leading the PSU record-breaking offense during a national runner-up finish in 2004; and outside hitter Dina (Wathan) Blevins, who was an All-America and three-time All-Region performer in volleyball from 2000 to 2003.
    Former football player Lon Farrell and former track and field athlete David Shrader will be inducted in the Hall of Fame’s “Legacy” category. The Legacy category focuses solely on individuals from the school’s first 50 years to bolster the school’s rich heritage from its first half-century.
    Alan and Roberta Whetzel were selected for the Hall of Fame as meritorious achievement inductees. The Whetzels are no strangers to the PSU athletic family, donating the $1.2 million anchor gift on the Weede Building Renovation Project.
    Corby was a four-time NCAA-II All-American in the triple jump and was a three-time MIAA individual event champion. She set the PSU record in the triple jump (40-1.25 indoor mark) and was a four-year volleyball letter-winner. She set PSU records for service aces (109), digs (875), and blocks (405) and received her bachelor’s in 1995.
    Cronk, who graduated in 2000, set PSU records for career victories at 27 and innings pitched with 258 2/3. He compiled a 27-12 record with a 3.51 ERA in 48 career appearances and was an NCAA-II All-American in 1997.
    Philpot graduated in 2005 and was MIAA All-Conference from 2001-04. He was conference Offensive MVP for the 2004 season and set the MIAA record for career total offense with 10,168 yards and career quarterback rushing with 4,337 yards.
    Blevins, who played from 2000 to 2003 and graduated in 2004, was a three-time NCAA-II All-Region from 2001-03 and was MIAA All-Conference 2000-03. She ranks second in Division II history in career digs (2,326) and helped the Gorillas to a 26-8 record and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003. Blevins also set eight PSU records: games played (468), career kills (1,814), career attacks (5,477), career service aces (158), career digs (2,326), single-season kills (481), single-season attacks (1,481) and single season digs (671).
    Farrell, who graduated in 1952, was a two-year member of the PSU football team, earning CIC All-Conference honors each year as both an offensive guard and a linebacker. As a high school football coach, he compiled a 54-7 record and served several years on the University of Arkansas football coaching staff. He earned his master’s degree from PSU in 1957 and a doctorate degree from Arkansas in 1965.
    Shrader was a five-time CIC champion before graduating in 1940 and captured league titles in the discus all four years.
    The 2014 hall of fame class will be honored at halftime of PSU’s football game against Nebraska-Kearney on the same day as their induction.

  • MIAA leads nation in basketball attendance

    Michael Bauer, sports editor

    Whether it’s the Central Missouri men’s basketball team winning the 2014 NCAA Division II title or the PSU and Emporia State women ranking in the top 25, the MIAA conference has been represented well this past basketball season. Now, attendance figures have shown the MIAA to be the leader in that category as well.
    According to the conference website, for the 2013-14 season, the MIAA led the nation in both men’s and women’s basketball attendance as the only league to average more than 1,000 fans per game for both. At 199 men’s games this season the conference drew 262,573 fans for an average of 1,319 while the women brought in 197,188 to 190 games for an average of 1,038 per game.
    In the men’s category, two MIAA schools were in the top 10 as Fort Hays State averaged 3,081 supporters per game while UCM averaged 2,257 fans to rank third and seventh respectively. Washburn was 15th in the nation with 1,907 fans per game at the men’s contests.
    For the women’s category, Fort Hays State took third nationally, drawing a total of 29,617 fans and averaging 1,851 per game. ESU took second with 29,617 total fans to average 1,847 per game. Washburn was the third conference institution in the top five, averaging 1,761 fans. UCM came in ninth with 1,366 fans per game.
    The MIAA drew 469,761 fans between the men’s and women’s games for an average of 1,155 per contest. The Northern Sun league, which has two more schools than the MIAA, brought in 287,403 in attendance with an average of 1,228 to finish second behind the MIAA while the Lone Star conference was third with an average of 1,141.

  • Pitt Sports Briefs

    Broyles, Gammon
    inducted to Hall of Fame

    Former PSU head football coach Chuck Broyles and former All-American football player Kendall Gammon have been enshrined into the MIAA Hall of Fame class of 2014.
    On Thursday, June 5, at the MIAA-Awards Ceremony at the Kansas City Public Library in Kansas City, Mo., the 10-member class was announced.
    Broyles coached the PSU football team to the 1991 NCAA Division II National Championship along with national championship appearances in 1992, 1995 and 2004 while posting an MIAA record of 198 victories during his 20-year tenure as head coach from 1990-2009. Broyles has also earned NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year honors three times. In addition, Broyles also posted a record nine MIAA titles and 15 trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs and was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
    Gammon, who went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs during a 15-year NFL career, was a first-team NCAA Division II All-American at PSU. Playing as an offensive guard, he helped the Gorillas win the 1991 National Championship with a 13-1-1 record. He also earned first-team All-MIAA honors in each of his final three seasons at PSU.
    Gammon’s football career included an AFC championship and an appearance in Super Bowl XXX with the Steelers and was selected to the 2004 Pro Bowl.

    TV schedule announced

    The MIAA announced the television network schedule for the 2014 football season. PSU will have two consecutive games broadcast on Cox Communications KS channel 22 with the first being an away game in Washburn on Saturday, Sept. 20, before the following week’s game against Fort Hays State at Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 27.
    The 11-game broadcast schedule will kick off with a Thursday night matchup on Sept. 4 between Nebraska-Kearney and defending national champions Northwest Missouri State.
    The MIAA TV Network will travel to a different campus each week featuring several key matchups in determining who will win the conference championship.

  • World Cup Watch Students gather for world’s top sporting event

    Michael Bauer editor-in-chief

    The world’s premier sporting event has been uniting people in supporting their countrymen. From Germany to Japan to even Pittsburg, fans have held mass gatherings to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
    Students from Pittsburg State have chimed in, hosting their own watch parties and it’s not only international students, either.
    On Monday, June 16, PSU students assembled at Varsity’s Sports Bar in Frontenac to watch the United States take on Ghana in its opening match.
    “My son told me today that they were going to bring in 30 of his friends to watch it,” said Mike Knaup, owner of Varsity’s Sports Bar.
    Varsity’s is no stranger to hosting watch parties from other sporting events like the Super Bowl, but this marked the first world cup watch party that Knaup’s restaurant has held and it shouldn’t be the last.
    “I’d be interested in doing this again,” said Matt Sayre, senior in trades program from Frontenac who also works part time at Varsity’s. “It beats sitting at home and watching the game by yourself.”
    About 30 supporters showed up and after each U.S. goal, the place erupted in jubilant cheers.
    “It seemed like everyone was pretty energetic,” Sayre said. “Everybody was pumped up and with the U.S. scoring 30 seconds into the game it made it pretty interesting. Once Ghana equalized, it was a nail biter.”
    So loud was the place after the United States’ 2-1 victory that Knaup jokingly told the fans about a noise complaint from the neighborhood.
    “I was joking about that,” Knaup said. “We welcome that, especially when you’re cheering for the USA.”
    But the United States isn’t the only team students are gathering to watch as people from other countries have their own nations to cheer for, including host nation Brazil.
    “I support Brazil, of course,” said Emely Baldi, junior in pharmacy from Brazil. “In Brazil, since you are a child, you are used to soccer and learn to appreciate it. It is a national passion and it gets more prominent during the world cup.”
    International students have also been gathering in their dorm rooms to watch.
    While American supporters are just hoping that the United States can advance to the knockout stages, Brazilian fans are demanding nothing less than for Brazil to win the entire tournament.
    “I expect to see Brazil in the final game,” Baldi said. “However, I don’t have any preference about who the opponent is. I would love to see Brazil win the world cup, especially since this one is in our house.”
    But being away from home while watching the world cup has its perks. For one, Baldi and the rest of the Brazilian fans are rooting from outside of their home country.
    “Even though I’m cheering here, it is not the same feeling. In Brazil, the world cup is a time to celebrate and support Brazil with my family and friends and I really would want to be there to do it,” Baldi said.
    Another difference lies in the experience in watching the tournament.
    “In Brazil, I love to live this experience and I know how people there can get crazy watching it,” Baldi said. “Since this world cup is in Brazil, I imagine it’s about ten times more amazing.”
    But not everyone is rooting just for their home nations. Some fans have taken a liking to individual stars such as four-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner Lionel Messi from Argentina.
    “I support Argentina because I like Messi and I believe he is one of the legendary players of the world,” said Tanjima Alam, graduate student in human resource development from Bangladesh.
    Alam, who said she traditionally watches the world cup in her home country with family and friends, would like to see Argentina and Brazil in the final match and loves everything about the tournament.
    “I like to watch because it’s really exciting and I like (soccer),” Alam said. “I enjoy the goals and most of all, the crowd.”

  • Jeronimus gets athlete of the year honors

    Michael Bauer, Sports Editor

    Lizzy Jeronimus was named the recipient of the MIAA Ken B. Jones Award for the 2013-14 school year.
    The annual award goes to the top male and female athlete of the year in the conference.
    To be nominated for the award, an athlete is judged in four areas: athletic accomplishments from the current season, career academic accomplishments, campus and community service and career athletic and service achievements.
    The other recipient of the award was Northwest Missouri State’s quarterback Trevor Adams who helped the Bearcats to the 2013 NCAA Division II national championship with an undefeated record. The award was given on Thursday, June 5, in Kansas City, Mo., at the Public Library.
    “I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Jeronimus, Lenexa junior majoring in management, told the crowd at the ceremony.
    Jeronimus took the award over nominated track and field athletes Emma Shell of Southwest Baptist and Elin Alewine of Central Missouri.
    “I first want to congratulate Erin and Emma for also being nominated and being finalists,” Jeronimus said. “They are both very accomplished athletes and students.”
    Jeronimus completed one of her best seasons for the Pitt State women’s basketball team, finishing second this past season in the MIAA in scoring over 18 points per game and was ranked among the statistical leaders in rebounding, field goals percentage, assists and blocked shots in the conference. She also scored in double figures in 28 games and put up 20 or more points 15 times this season and helped the Gorillas to their second NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in three years. Jeronimus is already the second leading active career scorer in Division II with over 1,600 career points.
    “This award means a lot to me because it not only shows my athletic success but also my success in the classroom and my work in the community,” Jeronimus said.
    Her work in the classroom earned her both MIAA Scholar Athlete Honors in addition to Capital One Academic All-District honors. Jeronimus has also been a multiple award recipient of the PSU Provost Award for Academic Excellence and currently carries a 3.8 GPA.
    “It was my goal to be a student first and an athlete second at Pitt State,” Jeronimus said. “I am fortunate enough to have had many people support me along the way. My family, my coaches, teammates, professors and fans have kept me going throughout my journey.”
    Lizzy also was a volunteer in cleanup efforts from the tornado that struck Baxter Springs last month and helped with a clinic for area Girl Scouts. She was also active in the annual Backpack program food drive and an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
    Linebacker Nate Dreiling, Hutchinson, who graduated last December in general studies, was nominated for the award. The former PSU player was a four-time All-American who set PSU and MIAA records for career tackles with 491 and earned Capital One Academic All-America honors after his senior season. He graduated with a 3.37 GPA.

  • 2014 FIFA World Cup preview

    Michael Bauer

    Every four years, the biggest stage in soccer occurs, bringing with it the pride and passion of all the countries that have qualified and ending a long wait for thousands of fans around the globe.
    The FIFA World Cup, rich with triumph and history, will reignite next week in the most successful nation in soccer history: Brazil.
    Thirty-two of the best teams will square off for the next month with only one goal in mind: to win the coveted World Cup trophy. The teams have been split into groups of eight. The best two teams in each group will advance to the knock-out stages beginning with the round of 16 and eventually working its way to the last two countries in the final, which will be played in Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium on Sunday, July 13.
    For some teams, just qualifying for the contest is an accomplishment. For others, like the U.S., getting to the knockout stages is the key while for others, Brazil and Germany, nothing short of winning the tournament will be accepted.
    Spain is the defending champion from 2010. The Spaniards (also known as La Roja) are in the middle of a dynasty, winning back-to-back European championships in 2008 and 2012. They enter the tournament with a No. 1 world ranking and will be looking to add another trophy to their growing pile.
    The United States, currently ranked 14th, has an arduous task ahead. After being placed in the “Group of Death” along with three-time winners Germany, third-ranked Portugal and Ghana, the strongest team in Africa, the Americans have some work to do if they’re to advance.
    Below is a breakdown of all 32 teams.

    Group A

    Brazil: Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. will have to carry a young Brazil squad to glory just as he did in last summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup.
    Cameroon: Have struggled since its historic 1990 quarterfinal run.
    Mexico: Struggled to qualify but is a safe bet to advance.
    Croatia: Barely beat Iceland in the qualifying playoffs. Luka Modric must shine.

    Group B

    Spain: Could face Argentina, Portugal or even Uruguay in the knockout stages. Repeating as champions will be a tall order.
    Chile: Advancing ahead of the Netherlands will be difficult but don’t be surprised if it happens.
    Australia: Struggled to qualify and anything other than three straight losses will be a surprise.
    Netherlands: Age might hurt the Dutches’ attempt at their first world cup title.

    Group C

    Colombia: Could become vulnerable without Radamel Falcao.
    Ivory Coast: With an easier group draw, should have the best chance of all the African teams to advance.
    Greece: Qualified strongly from a very weak group.
    Japan: Might be the strongest Asian squad, but always struggles to live up to expectations.

    Group D

    Uruguay: 2010’s semifinals appearance was a surprise. This time, the same will be expected if they can avoid Spain or Brazil in the quarterfinals.
    Italy: Missing out on two consecutive knockout stages shouldn’t happen for Italy.
    England: Wayne Rooney must show he can carry England in the world cup.
    Costa Rica: Don’t expect them to make any headlines in Brazil.

    Group E

    France: Needs to show the strength it used to beat Ukraine in the playoffs in order to advance.
    Ecuador: Believed to be the weakest South American side, though a second-round appearance isn’t out of reach.
    Switzerland: Probably the weakest seeded team in the tournament. Lack of a big name player will prove costly.
    Honduras: Will be a big surprise if they advance.

    Group F

    Argentina: Seems to lack the quality needed to win its third world cup.
    Bosnia-Herzegovina: Will go only as far as Eden Dzeko can carry them.
    Nigeria: Too young and inexperienced to do much.
    Iran: One of the weakest of all 32 teams.

    Group G

    Germany: Among the favorites, but injuries will hurt its chances.
    Portugal: Must show it can win with more than just Cristiano Ronaldo.
    Ghana: Has the talent to reach the quarterfinals if it can escape the group.
    United States: Jozy Altidore needs to end drought of goals scored by U.S. strikers at the world cup.

    Group H

    Belgium: Plenty of talent to be a dark horse but won’t reach the quarterfinals.
    Algeria: With no proven attacker, could end up dead last.
    Russia: Qualified ahead of Portugal but won’t do much better.
    South Korea: Improved with a versatility of scorers in qualifying,

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