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Archive for August, 2011

The Monday Mess

One of the new features being kicked out by the Cobber SID this year will be the “Monday Mess” list. It will basically be a list of all the odds and ends that didn’t get posted on the athletic site because they weren’t big enough to be a feature but still give insight into what happened over the weekend with the Cobber sports teams. The feature will also include links to different recaps from CC games that appear on media websites or from opposing team websites. It will hopefully give you an easy way to catch up on what happened over the weekend and get you ready to start another week of work.

The title for the feature is taken from the state of the Cobber SID office on a Monday morning. After having to keep up with all the home games and lug all the equipment around, the office looks like the Grandstand at the Minnesota State Fair after a Def Leppard concert!

We hope you enjoy the Monday Mess!

– The Cobber football team scrimmaged UM-Morris on Friday. When asked how the scrimmage went, CC head coach Terry Horan simply stated, “no one got hurt.” Such is the case for all preseason scrimmages – practice against a different opponent, play in game-like situations and stay healthy.

– The Cobbers’ season-opening opponent Dickinson State lost 38-3 at Rocky Mountain College (Mont.) in their opener. The Blue Hawks were ranked No.7 in the NAIA preseason poll. Horan said that Rocky Mountain’s defensive line was very big and they looked like DI players. Complete game recap here. Dickinson State/Rocky Mountain game stats here.

– The Cobber men’s and women’s soccer teams also scrimmaged UM-Morris over the weekend. The men tied 1-1 and the women came away with a 4-0 win. Both teams also held Alumni games on Sunday and both teams recorded shutout victories. Look for both teams to be better than expected as both teams lost a lot of seniors from very good teams last year. Both teams open play this weekend. The men play Coe at Wartburg on Saturday and then at Wartburg on Sunday while the women play at Luther on Friday and then at Wartburg on Sunday. All four games will be great tests for the soccer squads.

– The volleyball team scrimmaged MSU Moorhead on Friday and came away with a lopsided victory. Tim Mosser’s was happy with the play of CC is excited about the upcoming season. The volleyball crew will be the team to watch this fall as they return all six starters from last year’s team that went to the NCAA Tournament. They start their season on Friday at the UW-Eau Claire Tournament.

– The men’s golf team opens the season on Friday and Saturday when they host the annual Concordia Invite at Village Green GC. The Cobbers should make a run at the top 3 in the MIAC this season as they return defending MIAC individual champion Andrew Whitchurch and Pine-to-Palm semifinalist Pat Deitz.

– The women’s golf team has the biggest turnover of any team this fall. Duane Siverson’s squad has one returner and seven freshmen on the roster.

– In case you missed it – The Fargo Forum had a great feature on CC volleyball senior setter Amy Sykora on Thursday. Click here to check out the article.

– Finally, it was freshmen move-in day on Sunday and the award for most creative trailer goes to this family: Fishing for a new start!

Enjoy the first week of fall!

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The Passage Of Time

Game week is upon us! After a quick summer and even shorter preseason, the Cobber fall teams are ready to step on the field and see which dreams will come true and which ones will be shattered.

One of the hardest parts of the first weeks of any new fall season is the visible passage of time. The leaders on the various teams have suddenly changed into “I can’t believe I am a senior”. They look at the freshmen and remember the days when they were wide-eyed and in awe of their seniors. Now they are filling those roles and can’t believe they are about to start their final college season.

As part of every team on campus, I get to see the athletes develop from nervous freshman to anxious seniors. The progress they show physically and mentally is remarkable. You get to see mature players develop right in front of your eyes. Case in point comes from two senior football players. Quarterback Michael Dunham and wide receiver Bronson Shepherd have gone from church mice to dominant forces in the MIAC. I don’t remember either of them saying more than two words as a freshman. Their first three years have flown by “in the blink of an eye” and they are more extroverted around the team and more comfortable in dealing with the requests of a zealous SID.

The two are now facing the final year of being able to step on the field in a competitive atmosphere. You can see it in their demeanor and the way they handle the other players on the team. Their desire has grown as they know that next year at this time they will be just another one of the alumni who come back and try to relive their “glory days” at Homecoming or alumni “get togethers”.

I was actually discussing this very point with Shepherd as he was about to be interviewed by one of the local TV stations. I remarked that I can’t believe he was already a senior. He looked back at me and just said, “yeah, it’s hard to believe that this is already my last year in college. I feel like it was only yesterday that I was just stepping on the Concordia field for the first time.”

No one takes much stock in the old cliché, “live every day as if it were your last”. When athletes are freshmen, sophomores and juniors and you tell them to enjoy their time with their teammates and coaches because it will be over way too soon they just nod and look at you like they have all the time in the world. For some reality finally sinks in when they start their senior season. For others it is not until the first fall after they graduate and they suddenly realize they aren’t going to preseason anymore and they won’t be headed back to school.

It’s too bad that you can’t get a re-do and go back for one more season and savor every practice, film session and game to really appreciate the experience.

The other visible passage of time comes from the annual alumni games where past stars come back and try to grab glory one last time. Unfortunately their “game” has slipped away and been replaced their ability to live in the real world. It is amazing to see players come back and realize that they can’t keep up with the college players – even though they are just a few years out of school. It is even more amazing for coaches and support staff to see the passage of time in former players. Players who you think have only been out of the program for a couple of years are now showing up for their five and 10-year reunions and have kids of their own in tow.

It’s a tough time of the year for players and coaches as they look back at how quickly seasons pass. Here’s hoping that everyone will take the time to relish all the great moments of the present before they fade. Soon enough these moments will be the memories we share and this year’s clueless freshmen will be the wise seniors starting their final season.

Please take time to savor all the moments of the 2011 fall season!

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Great news for former Cobber hockey player Josh Hand. Hand was just named as an assistant coach at Penn State. Penn State currently has a club team but will be fielding a full varsity squad in 2012-13 when they start play in the newly formed Big 10 Hockey Conference.

Here is the release we received about Josh’s hiring:

An assistant coach with the Icers for the 2010-11 season, Josh Hand will remain on the Penn State club hockey team staff for the 2011-12 campaign as a volunteer assistant coach. The 2011-12 season will serve as Penn State’s last at the ACHA level before elevating to NCAA play beginning in 2012-13.

During his first season, Hand assisted in various aspects of the program, including recruiting, video analysis and practice development. With Head Coach Scott Balboni’s participation at the World University Games in February, Hand assumed head coaching duties for a six-game stretch. He led the team to a 4-1-1 record and helped secure the Icers a spot in the ACHA national tournament.

The Reading, Pa., native was also named the recipient of the team’s 2010-11 Vance McCullough Award of Excellence, which is presented for important contributions made toward the development of Penn State Hockey.

Prior to joining the Icers, Hand spent two seasons as an assistant coach and hockey director at Texas A&M. During his second season in College Station, he helped lead the team to a 20-8-2 record and its first-ever berth into a ACHA regional tournament. The feat marked the first time the regional tournament included a Texas school.

During his coaching career, Hand has worked on many top coaching staffs, including Mitch Korn (Nashville Predators/NHL), Graeme Townsend (Toronto Maple Leafs/NHL) and Terry Ruskowski (Rio Grande Killer Bees/CHL).

As a player, Hand played collegiate at Concordia College (2004-08), where he also played football. A Dallas Stars rookie camp attendee, Hand was also a member of the Boston Junior Bulldogs of the AJHL. He graduated from Concordia with a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science.

Josh Hand Cobber Bio Page

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Great news from the Cobber athletic hiring department. Former World Series Champion Chris Coste has been hired as an  assistant baseball coach for the upcoming season.

Chris was an amazing player for the Cobbers in the mid 1990’s and then started a long journey through the minor leagues which finally ended up in a Major League catching job for the Phillies. Coste was a part of the 2008 World Series champions and then went on to have stints with the Houston Astros, New York Mets and Washington Nationals.

One of the best parts of the Coste story is that he starred as a pitcher and third baseman for the Cobbers but made his mark in MLB as a catcher. He didn’t start playing catcher until he was with the RedHawks – and the rest is history!

Chris Coste Hiring Links:
Official Cobber Release

In-Depth Fargo Forum Article

Chris Coste Cobber Bio (Pro Career Until 2006)

Chris Coste MLB Bio Page

Chris Coste Wikipedia Page

Chris Coste Baseball Reference Page

 

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Football Roster Tidbits

We got the football roster posted online earlier on Monday – all 130 players with bio pages and head shots. That might be a new record for the SID for getting the full roster posted with all the pictures attached to the bio pages.

Go to: 2001 Cobber Football Roster Page to check out all this year’s newcomers and returning players.

Here are some tidbits about this year’s roster:
– There are 21 seniors on the team
– Of those 21 seniors, five are offensive linemen while four are defensive backs.
– There are 40 freshmen on the roster and 42 newcomers
– Of the 130 players on the roster, 115 are from either Minnesota or North Dakota
– There are six players from Montana, three from Washington, two from South Dakota, one from Georgia, one from California and two from France.
– That’s right there are two CC football players from France which is the same number as players from South Dakota. It is also 1/3 as many as the number of players from Montana on the roster. The six players from Montana represent a recent low from the state that produced many great Cobber players.
– Moorhead is the most popular hometown on the roster. There are six players from M-town. Next up are Alexandria (5) and Willmar (5).
– There are four hometowns in Minnesota that the SID had never heard of, or typed in, before – Gully, Eyota, Viking and Svea. Bonus points to any fans who have visited all four.
– The tallest player on the roster is junior offensive tackle Ryan Filipek who is listed at 6-6.
– The heaviest players on the team? Tom Knowlton and the Wychor brothers – John and Mark – all tip the scales at 300 lbs.
– There are 67 players that weigh at least 200 lbs. on this year’s roster. Why do we bring that up? because of this little tidbit from the 1934 season recap, “It is interesting to note that the roster of the 1934 MIAC championship football team had only one player over 200 pounds and his weight was 210.”
– The two guys who would have fit right in with that 1934 MIAC title team are kicker Porfirio Diaz (shortest player – 5’6″) and back-up kicker Benjamin Wagner (lightest player – 140 lbs.) .

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A few thoughts and insights on the annual gold/maroon football scrimmage from Sunday: (Click here for the picture gallery from the scrimmage)

– Cobber starting QB Michael Dunham looked sharp. He was only in for a couple of series but the made the most of his first full-contact scrimmage. He hit WR Bronson Shepherd on a 20-yard TD pass. The pass led Shepherd in stride after he made his break to the outside.
– The timing between  Dunham and the receiving corps is definitely not in first-week mode. It is more developed – think third or fourth week of practice.
– Sophomore running back Trent Johnson looked quick and once he got to the outside he blew by defenders. He had a pair of TD runs (18 and 33 yards) and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.
– Shepherd’s TD on the second play of the scrimmage was set up by a long run from Chris Gilson. Gilson broke around the left end and went for 35 yards.
– One of the keys to the Cobber offense is the play from the fullback. In order to keep the defense from extending and keying on Dunham or Johnson, CC needs to have a threat at fullback. Someone who can get 8-10 tough yards right up the middle (and maybe even break a long run off). Well, the CC offense looks in good hands as junior Brett Baune has put on some weight and is running with a purpose. Several times he broke through, or carried, several would-be tacklers for those crucial extra couple of yards.
– The Cobber defense started slow but then gained momentum during the middle of the scrimmage.
– Top defensive plays were turned in by Kenyon O’Brien (pick), Robin Wisner (sack) and Josh Herzog (several tackles behind the line of scrimmage)
– The Cobber Blackshirts showed great intensity and enthusiasm the entire scrimmage. It will be interesting to see them play against a more pro-style offense like they will face for most of the MIAC.
– Cobber senior kicker Porfirio Diaz hit on a 36-yard field goal – his only attempt of the scrimmage.
Bryce Hentges blocked an extra point attempt and then Tyler Berling scooped the ball and rambled 90 yards for the defensive 2-point score. The players on the sideline were remarking about Berling’s “sprinters” form!
– One of the more heated races in camp will be for the back-up QB job. Sophomores Mark Dunham and Josh Mayo and freshman Griffin Neal had their good moments and bad moments. Neal threw a 15-yard TD strike to Todd Bergeson towards the end of the scrimmage.
– The two deepest positions for the Cobbers are at wide receiver and fullback. Back-up fullback Luke Gotta had the biggest gain of the day. He broke through to the second tier and raced for 40 yards before being brought down. Unfortunately the play was called back because of offsides.
– There were several miscues on both sides of the ball when the gold (top) units were not on the field. Most of them can be chalked up to first scrimmage jitters.
– All-in-all it was one of the better gold/maroon scrimmages of the past several years. In the end the best part of the entire scrimmage was summed up by Coach Horan “no injuries”.
– The Cobbers will have just one practice on Monday before returning to a two-a-day on Tuesday.

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Welcome, or welcome back, to the Cobber Sports Info blog. This site is dedicated to giving fans, family and friends of Cobber athletics a deeper insight into what is going on at CC.
This blog is a way to get things posted to the web on a quick, insightful basis. It will go beyond the statistics, game recaps, rosters and player profiles. If you are looking for the basics go to the Concordia Athletic Website. If you want interesting features, videos and columns keep coming back to this site.

This blog allows the Cobber SID to post different ideas and thoughts about CC sports that can’t go on the official site. Hopefully this blog will help you gain a better perspective about all the great athletes, coaches and administrators that make up Cobber sports.

The Cobber SID (SID stands for Sports Information Department not some random guy named SID who loves sports and walks around the campus wearing his Cobber hoodie) is ready for another great season of CC sports. It will be tough to repeat last year’s fall and winter sports performance where all seven teams that have a chance to make the MIAC playoffs ALL earned a spot in the conference tournament (yes folks, Concordia was the only school to accomplish that feat). However, I might go out on a limb and say that all seven might repeat that accomplishment.

So, with that being said – it’s time to get this party started. Bring on the Tommies, Johnnies, Blazers, Gusties and the rest of the MIAC pack. The Cobber fall teams are ready for the long haul and the SID is pumped to bring you all the action.

This is just like Christmas morning where you are excited to unwrap all the gifts, hang out with your family and enjoy a great time. Here’s hoping the 2011-12 sports year brings more iPads and iPhones than fuzzy bunny slippers and underwear! We are definitely looking forward to seeing the entire Cobber athletic “family” (even goofy uncle Brett!) and having an eight-month long party!

We hope you enjoy the blog and feel free to leave comments!

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