By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018

Basketball season is underway and Sterling College’s women’s junior varsity basketball team has been hard at work.

While junior varsity teams do not rank, the women’s junior varsity basketball team still plays competitively against other college teams.

“They’re very, very competitive,” Head Coach K.C. Bassett said. “They’ve played four really tough junior college teams and have improved a ton. It’s crazy.”

Coach Bassett believes in her team and is hopeful for their future together.

“I think it’s a really good group. I really think that they work hard every single day in practice,” Coach Bassett said. “There’s been much improvement we’ve made since we’ve started. One of our goals is to get better every day and they’re doing a really, really good job with that.”

The women’s junior varsity basketball team started conference on Saturday, Nov. 17 in a game against Tabor College. Sterling beat Tabor 68-63. The team’s next game will be a home game against Kansas Wesleyan University on Nov. 20.

 

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team finished their season competing at the KCAC Conference Championship race, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bethel College. Both teams placed ninth overall, with their top runner, sophomore Jasmine Travelbee, placing thirtieth-–just ten spots away from qualifying for nationals.

The team faced some challenges this fall battling injuries and merging young runners into the program. The result of all their training was revealed at conference, and freshman Zach McCammon said that opportunity for a comeback was rewarding.

“I will always remember how well we pulled together and finished the season strong,” said McCammon.

The two teams had ran the Bethel course twice already this season, so senior Abby Reed said that helped them feel confident during the race.

“Going into the meet, the girls were projected to place eleventh, so we did do better than what was expected for us. I think it could have been considered a successful meet before the race even finished just because we had all 8 girls racing for the first time all season. Everyone competed really well and I think the majority of the team ran a personal best, which is always exciting,” Reed said.

 Though the runners entered the season with running goals and scholarships, the bonding aspect of the team is equally important, if not more important than the medals and qualifications.

 “This season brought us all closer to each other in friendship. We have been through thick and thin these past few months, and each circumstance has helped create a tight, lasting bond between us,” sophomore Evelyn Barnhart said.

 Head coach Jack Dillard was proud of his athletes, and looks forward to continued growth and development during track season.

 “Our student athletes competed with courage and strength. Both men’s and women’s teams ran very smart tactical races that helped everyone overall,” Dillard said.

 Senior Abby Reed looks forward to training and racing for track season with the team, and helping each other be the best athletes and people they can be.

 “I’m looking forward to track season because it gives everyone the opportunity to do their specialty. In cross country, every girl runs the same distance and every guy runs the same distance. So track allows for a little more individuality in what people get to do. And those on the team that don’t run cross country have been working hard all fall, so I’m looking forward to being able to cheer them on in their throwing and sprinting like they cheered us on all fall,” Reed said.

 At the end of each season, the coaches award a male and female athlete with a Giving Tree, to recognize their outstanding commitment to the team through their time, effort, and attitude on and off the course. This season’s award recipients were Abby Reed and Zach McCammon.

By JESSE SHEPPARD, reporter
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018

The 2018 Volleyball season has concluded with Sterling ranked fifth in the KCAC (Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference). The team won its championship game against York, but was unable to defeat the University of Saint Mary in the tournament quarterfinals. They finished the season with seventeen wins and fifteen losses overall.

With the season over, the volleyball seniors took a moment to reflect on their season. Kristen Calderwood, a senior majoring in biology and a defensive specialist for the volleyball team enjoyed her final season at Sterling.

“I think this season was the best one we’ve had while I’ve been at Sterling,” Calderwood said, “We had a couple tough games, but we ended up in the top half of the conference. It was definitely a season to remember.”

Calderwood said that the team has genuinely impacted her throughout her years at Sterling.

“They [Calderwood’s teammates] have challenged me to be more outgoing, taught me how to maturely handle conflict, demonstrated incredible work ethic, and shown me love and grace in action. I am a much better person because of them,” she said.

Alexandra Reid is a senior Exercise Science major and a defensive specialist for Sterling College Volleyball. She is the all-time career leader in digs at Sterling College with 1,749 career digs. She is ranked fifteenth in NAIA Division 1 for total digs with 700 digs in the 2018 season. Reid said that the 2018 season had been challenging but strong.

“We had a rough start, but we got better as the season went on. We always fought hard even when things didn’t go our way, and [we] finished fifth in conference,” Reid said, “Out of my four years, this was my favorite team because we all got along, which made our team have great chemistry.”

Caitlyn Wood is a senior Athletic Training Major and four-time team manager for Sterling Volleyball. Wood was impressed with how the team challenged each other to grow this year, noting that some women have improved immensely over the past year.

“She [Breanne Akiu] is only a sophomore but she has grown so much both as a player and a woman. Her skill level and confidence on the court has improved so much. She is good on the court both mentally and physically. I cannot wait to see the player she turns into,” Wood said.

Wood reflects on the year with hope for the promising talent she witnessed this season.

“We had a lot of new great talent that will be good in future seasons once it is pushed to grow. I hope to see people grow and pushed outside their boundaries,” she said, “I have faith in the coaching staff and the team.”

 

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018

PHOTO BY JASE BRANDT

The Sterling College Warriors men’s soccer team hosted the Avila University Eagles on Wednesday and lost 2-1 in overtime. On Saturday, they traveled to Winfield to play the Southwestern College Moundbuilders and tied 0-0.

Coach Adriano Marques praises the team’s ability to remain strong and positive despite their tough season.

“I feel extremely proud of their resilience and dedication, day in and day out, hitting the pitch no matter the result of the previous fixture,” Marques said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had a little bumpy season but they haven’t lost focus on the goal all season and the coaching staff appreciates that immensely.”

Of all the games Sterling has played this year, they have won four, lost ten, and tied two.

“The things I feel that we are doing right, or better I should say, this season compare to previous ones is our communication on the pitch,” said Marques. “One of our greatest assets is our work ethic. The boys leave their hearts on the pitch every practice and every game no matter the score line.”

The Sterling College Warriors men’s soccer team will play the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes in Salina on Tuesday.

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018

The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team has spent their entire season preparing to qualify for nationals at the conference meet next Saturday.

Head coach Jack Dillard knows that what the runners emphasize in practice will repeat itself at the meets. As far as warming up, race attitude, and cooling down, the runners will feel comfortable doing what they have been practicing.

“We are focusing a lot of our attention on being at full strength on both the men’s and women’s side. We have yet to race everyone this fall and we will for the first time at the KCAC meet. We are mentally preparing to run in packs, to use each other for motivation, encouragement, and support. At this point it is recognizing this is bigger than any individual, as is a group effort of everyone contributing,” said Dillard.

As the meet approaches, its important that the team knows their potential. Together they have set goals, and will plan on meeting them at the meet.

“Our women have a chance to place within the top six teams. Our men will have to battle but have a chance to be in the top 2/3’s – but again we want to race in groups and minimize any opportunity for someone to fall off pace,” Dillard said.

Senior runner Abby Reed has raced at the conference meet three times total so far. She uses her experience and confidence to motivate the young women’s team to reach their goals.

“It’s exciting to see that in previous meets we’ve had a different number one runner almost every time, which I think shows that we have a lot of talented girls that aren’t afraid to step up, and that if everyone could work together that we could end up with a really fast front group. It’s also exciting to see how the track team has stepped up to be a support system for the cross country team. The last couple of meets they’ve helped us out a lot with support and cheering during the races,” Reed said.

Coach Dillard is hopeful entering the conference meet.

“We have faced some tough situations going into and going through this fall. This team has been resilient in all aspects, has shown a ton of growth and maturity in dealing with these battles. We are very young and have had some freshmen really step up and take some ownership of this team and play some key roles in who we are and how we want to do things. It has been a roller coaster ride to say the least, but I am genuinely excited heading into KCAC because there is no better time to be prepared, and no better group to do it with than this one,” Dillard said.

The KCAC Cross Country Conference meet will take place Saturday, November 3, in North Newton, KS, hosted by Bethel College.

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Monday, Oct. 1, 2018

Photo by Kaitlynn Little

The Sterling College junior varsity volleyball team hosted Barclay College Tuesday and won 3-1. This was their second time playing and winning against Barclay, and their third win of the season. 

“At the beginning of the game, we weren’t playing at our full potential. We won the first two sets, then lost the third one, which made our team get really competitive,” freshman Alexis Carmichael said. “We fought back during the 4th game, and at the end our confidence grew and we were able to win the game.”  

Photo by Kaitlynn Little

Junior Madaline Carr also felt proud of her team and thankful for how their examples keep her positive and keep her striving throughout the game. After the game, she was able to see areas they could improve upon.  

“I think that Barclay provided us with a good challenge,” she said. “I think my team blocked well, and we made a lot of great hustle plays to come out on top. But, I would like to see my team work on communicating better and continuing to be brave in tough circumstances.”  

Junior varsity coach Tamara Heitschmidt was proud her team didn’t let the third match defeat them and how they were able to comeback in the final match. She said she felt the game showed evidence of what they’d been working on in practice.  

“Our middle hitters are doing a better job of being an option on every play. Getting them in the air early and trusting the setters to get them the ball. We are working on increasing the trust all the way around,” Heitschmidt said. “I feel like we saw a bit more of that tonight against Barclay. Whatever  role that  was given to them, they each put their signature on it.”

The varsity volleyball team hosted St. Mary’s University following the junior varsity game Tuesday and lost 3-0. This was not their first loss, but they have won nine games so far.  

“I am disappointed on how our team confronted University of St. Mary because I know our team could have beat them,” senior Alexandra Reid said. “Sterling fought at some points during the game but experienced a lot of pressure. We were not playing confidently and were scared to make mistakes. After each set, we all came together on what we needed to work on and how to play better in each set. We tried to remain as positive as possible as the game did not go our way. To be honest, this was a horrible game so it is hard for me to respond about it.”

Though the game was a tough loss for them, varsity coach John Harding noticed the women’s competitiveness and improvements.  

“I was a little disappointed in how we started the match, but I was pleased with our resiliency and the way we kept fighting to the end. Throughout the game, they made some good adjustments and continued to improve on some of the things we have been working on in practice the past few weeks. We have been working on running a faster offense and finishing games well. We showed some improvement in both areas tonight,” Harding said.  

Harding also mentioned that there was a unique moment that was important for their team during the game. 

“One moment that stands out is in the third set of the match when we asked our team to attack a defensive player on St. Mary’s Team that was struggling on defense,” he said. “They executed the plan very well, and it helped us catch up and take the lead for a while.”

Despite the score, both coaches felt that their teams improved during, and because of, these games. Both of them feel that a game and the season is more than wins and losses.  

“This team is filled with amazing girls, and they all bring different strengths,” Heitschmidt said. “They have fun with each other while playing and they do a good job of remembering how lucky and blessed they are to be able to be a college athlete.”

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018

Photo by Jase Brandt

The Sterling College Warriors men’s soccer team hosted the Tabor College Bluejays Wednesday and won 3-0.

Head coach Nic Martinez had positive things to say about the team and their win.

“I feel like we played pretty well,” he said. “It’s probably one of the games where we actually played as a team and everything, which is a good time to do it since we’re going into conference and everything. I just feel like now going into the rest of the conference I feel comfortable now.”

Photo by Jase Brandt

The Warriors made a point early on in the first half of the game and held it until the end of the second half by earning two more points.

Sterling College sophomore midfielder Muhamad Alubaidi thinks they played well and wants to improve upon their success.

“We kept pressing down on the gas pedal and goin’,” he said. “I feel like that’s the mentality you should have goin’ into every game. Move the ball around, keep our heads, and keep our composure, and finish ‘em off in the second half instead of letting down. It’s hard but always keep your head up and be positive with your teammates.”

On Saturday, the Sterling College Warriors lost to the Oklahoma Wesleyan University Eagles 4-0 in Bartlesville, Okla.

By JESSE SHEPPARD, reporter
Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018

Saturday the Sterling College Warriors football team played at the Charles J. Berkel Memorial Stadium at the University of Saint Mary’s Spires annual homecoming game.

The Warriors led for the entirety of the game and came out victorious, 44-12.

This marks the sixth time the Warrior football team has won against the Spires since 2013, and it is also the second road victory and third win overall for Sterling this season.

The Warriors shined during the first half of the game, with four touchdowns and a field goal, ending the first half with a 31 point lead over the Spires.

The Warriors ended the third quarter with 41 points and giving up a touchdown to the Spires. During the fourth quarter, the Spires scored their second touchdown. Both point-after attempts were unsuccessful for the Spires.

Hunter Hathaway, Sterling’s freshman nose tackle, is looking forward to the upcoming homecoming game against Ottawa University at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in Smisor Stadium.

“This sets us up nicely for our game against Ottawa,” he said. “The defensive line did especially well tonight. Their (St. Mary’s) main advantage was their run game. Our defensive line shut that down.”

By HANNAH ABBATE, reporter
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018

Tennis had been missing from Sterling College for some years until it was recently brought back to life by head coach Lonnie Isaac in 2017.

Before coming to Sterling, Isaac had been the head tennis coach at Bethel College for the men’s and women’s programs for about 10 years.

For college, tennis programs have a set fall and spring season. September of each fall is filled with multiple tournaments for both the men’s and women’s teams. They then have a break period until they regroup before Christmas break to start conditioning. This also happens in February when the spring semester starts up.

“Since coach lives in town now, we’re actually going to do some weight lifting and everything,” Caissa Smith said.

Smith is a sophomore on the women’s team this year.

“I only played at the twenty-second through twenty-fourth tournament because I’m injured. Well not anymore. I had knee surgery,” she said.

Smith tore her meniscus. In surgery she learned it was torn in two places.

“I did good for my first tournament back. I only practiced a week,” Smith said.

For practices the program would divide into a women’s group and a men’s group and run individual drills.

“At the end we either did something fun or conditioning. We would play a game or we’d run lines,” Smith said.

This would be their weekly routine as they practiced five days a week.

Coaches will continue to recruit for both men’s and women’s during this break as they prepare for their upcoming season in the spring.