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Archive for November, 2011

Here we are back with the second day’s video recap.

Friday was the official “practice” day of the tournament. The Cobbers ate breakfast and then headed for the practice field at 11:30. They practiced from 12:30-1:30 and then went back to the hotel to change for lunch. The team ate lunch at the Shortstop Deli and then went back to the hotel to study and relax.

After the study break it was time for dinner. The CC players and staff walked half-a-mile to Joe’s Italian Restaurant for the pre-game pasta dinner. The dinner was capped by a trip to the store for some “sweet treats” for the walk home.

The players then got together in head coach Dan Weiler’s room to watch St. Ben’s play their Sweet 16 game against Wash. U.

Once the game was finished the players headed off to their rooms to get some sleep for the game on Saturday. Enjoy the video and don’t forget to listen to the game broadcast live via the Cobber athletic website:

Concordia vs. SUNY-Cortland Live Audio Broadcast     

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Here is a short video of all the highlights from day 1 of  the Cobber women’s soccer team’s trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Concordia flew right out of the Fargo charter terminal and then right into the Ithaca Regional Airport. At both airports the team only had to get off/on the bus and then walk a few steps to the 30-passenger plane. The flight time was a little over two hours and was smooth from takeoff to landing. The team flew a few snow showers heading into the Buffalo area.

Once the team landed they headed right to Ithaca College for a training session on the Bombers’ lacrosse/field hockey field which has soccer nets as well and is covered with field turf.

As soon as the team stepped on the field it begam to snow which made for a great light-hearted atmosphere at practice. After an hour on the field, the team headed back to the bus and then to the hotel. On the way they stopped to get some soup and mac and cheese at Panera Bread.

The Cobbers ate dinner in the lobby and then it was off to the rooms to study and get some sleep for Friday’s practice day.

The team will leave the hotel at 11:30 a.m. and head right to the field. They will practice on a field adjacent to the game field and then finish off by taking penalty kicks and any dead ball situations on the game field.

We hope you enjoy the video.

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Welcome to the MIAC Championship version of “5 Things We Learned on Saturday”! It’s taken us 24 hours to digest all the things that occurred on Saturday (getting in shape for the Thanksgiving Day feast!) and now we are ready to share the top 5 things we learned from a terrific day of Cobber athletics.

5 Things We Learned On Saturday, Nov. 5
1. There is nothing like a championship game/match!  
There is nothing like playing for a title. The anticipation in the days leading up to the championship game/match (pay attention and study for class – yeah right!), then waking up on Gameday and getting ready for the game, feeling the nerves in the locker room before the game and then walking out onto the field/court and taking in the crowd and atmosphere – a one in a million feeling! We wish everyone could experience that feeling once in their life. We also wish that teams, players and coaches who routinely get to the title contest would step back and realize what an experience it is to play for a championship. It is something you will always remember. Remember to cherish the moment and don’t let it pass.

2. Cobber fans are the best in the MIAC!
Whether it be packing the swimming pool for an early-season meet with St. Thomas and Macalester to traveling to St. Joseph to root on the women’s soccer team or staying at home and turning out in numbers to be boisterous for the volleyball championship match – nobody in the MIAC does it better! Sure, there are other schools in the conference that have better followings for a single sport but when it comes to supporting the teams across the board – Concordia is in a league of its own.

On Saturday the Cobber women’s team had an unbelievable following at St. Ben’s – and even outnumbered the Blazer home fans. The Kernel made an appearance over a hundred miles away from campus and the field looked more like Jake Christiansen Athletic Complex than St. Ben’s. Less than four hours later Memorial Auditorium was rocking for the volleyball team and their title win over St. Thomas. At times, the gym was as electric as we have ever seen it for a Cobber game.

The bottom line is that other schools can talk about how great their fans are for one sport or another, but when it comes to overall athletic sport – and the willingness to travel to road games – there is only one Cobber Nation! All this, plus the Cobbers fans do it with class!

3. Tim Mosser and Dan Weiler are really good coaches
There are times when coaches take too much of the blame for what the players do on the field or get too much of the credit for the success. Sometimes there are coaches that don’t get enough credit. That is the case with CC volleyball coach Tim Mosser and women’s soccer coach Dan Weiler. What Eddie Vedder is to Pearl Jam and Bono is to U2, that is what Mosser and Weiler are to the Cobber athletic department. To take the John Buccigross-based hook one step farther (and use a hugely popular cliche these days) – Mosser and Weiler are “Rock Stars”!

The two have been the leaders of the top programs in the MIAC for many years. In the past nine years, the two have combined for five MIAC regular-season championships, seven MIAC Tournament titles, 18 trips to the MIAC playoffs (yes, that is every single year in the past nine seasons) and 12 NCAA tournament appearances. There is no other school in the MIAC that can even come close to touching those achievements in volleyball and women’s soccer.

4. The MIAC Conference Office is the best in the business
What Tim Mosser and Dan Weiler are to MIAC volleyball and women’s soccer – the MIAC Conference office is to the NCAA. Executive Director Dan McKane, Assistant Exec. Director Matt Higgins and assistant Natalie Arians (one in a line of many tremendous short-term assistant hires) promote – and show support – for the conference student/athletes better than anyone in the business. They work tireless hours, put up with tons of stubborn coaches and administrators (although we don’t know of any!) and never get discouraged from the mission of showcasing the MIAC in the best possible light.

Before Dan took over as Executive Director the league office rarely showed up for all the championship games/matches/meets and was never a presence at the coaches and administrators meetings. Now, there is always a representative at every championship and the coaches/administrator meetings usually have all three office members in attendance.

On Saturday Dan took in the women’s soccer championship in St. Joseph and then drove to Moorhead to be in attendance at the volleyball championship match. They handed out the trophy to the winning team and took time to get pictures of the winners with the MIAC banner for the conference website. That simple gesture means more to the coaches and athletes then they will ever know.

Kudos to all three on a terrific job! A special “pat on the back” goes to Matt who had recaps, pictures and stats from all the championships on the web within hours of the games being finished – he is a great help to the SID’s in the conference !

5. There is nothing like beating the Yankees
No explanation needed

And that is what we learned on Saturday.

We can now look forward to the NCAA Tournaments which brings a whole new level of excitement to the teams! Plus, the men’s and women’s hockey teams start conference play and the basketball teams are one week away from the start of their seasons.

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Welcome to the second season! Tonight’s MIAC semifinal match starts the postseason run for the Cobbers. Concordia won the last 11 matches of the
regular season and did not lose in the month of October. CC’s last loss came on Sept. 21 at Bethel. The Cobbers tied for the MIAC regular-season championship with a 10-1 conference record. It is their second regular-season title in program history. They also won the championship in 2006 when they went on to also claim the conference tournament title. Concordia is currently ranked No.8 in the latest AVCA Division III national rankings. It is the highest they have been ranked all year and marks the fifth straight week they have been ranked in the top 10.

St. Ben’s enters tonight’s match after having dispatched Gustavus 3-1 in the MIAC quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Blazers are 18-11 on the season and are making their 11th straight conference tournament appearance. This year’s St. Ben’s team has a decided youthful look. CSB has 10 freshmen on the roster and two are in the top 10 of the MIAC in statistical categories.

Fans can follow the action on the web by going to the live broadcasts link at the bottom of the athletic website: Concordia vs St. Ben’s Live Video/Stats

Cobber Volleyball Matchday Links
Complete Cobber Gameday Preview (pdf)
Concordia Volleyball Page
St. Ben’s Volleyball Page
– Concordia vs. St. Ben’s 2011 Match Recaps – Sept. 2 | Oct. 29
Last Match – Cobber Match Recap vs. St. Ben’s
LastMatch – St. Ben’s Match Recap vs. Gustavus
Cobber 2011 Season Stats
St. Ben’s 2011 Season Stats
Cobber NCAA Stats Team/Individual Rankings
St. Ben’s NCAA Stats Team/Individual Rankings
AVCA Division III National Rankings
NCAA Central Region Rankings
MIAC Volleyball Standings and Stats

Cobber Head Coach Tim Mosser Video Preview


Cobber Volleyball Matchday Preview
#4 College of St. Benedict (18-11/8-3 MIAC)
at
#1 Concordia College (23-3/10-1 MIAC)
November 3, 2011

Memorial Auditorium
Moorhead, Minn.

GAME TIME: 7 p.m.

SERIES:
St. Ben’s leads 28-22-0
SERIES STARTED: 1978
SERIES SYNOPSIS: The Cobbers ended a five-match losing streak at the hands of the Blazers when they posted a 3-1 win at home last season. CC has now won three straight over CSB including a pair of wins this year. The last time that Concordia beat the Blazers before last year was in 2006 in the championship match of the MIAC Tournament…the two teams have hooked up in the playoffs in three of the last five years. In 2009 and 2007 CSB prevailed in the league semifinals and in 2008 St. Ben’s won 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament Regional Final…Concordia owns a 7-6 mark against St. Ben’s in the 13 matches played in Memorial Auditorium since 1990. CC has prevailed in seven of the past eight played in Moorhead…head coach Tim Mosser is 17-17 lifetime against St. Ben’s.          

EARLIER THIS YEAR:
The teams have played twice in the 2011 season with Concordia coming out on top in both matches. They first hooked up in the very first tournament of the year at the UW-Eau Claire Invitational. The Cobbers came away with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 25-23) win in the second match of the tournament. Concordia hit .331 for the four-game match and came up with 13 blocks. Katie Vohnoutka had a team-high 19 kills to go along with five blocks. She was one of three CC players to have five blocks in the match. Ashley Beseman and Alison Bruggeman also had five stops at the net. Jenna Green had 15 kills and 29 digs while setter Amy Sykora had 37 assists. St. Ben’s hit .209 for the match and was led by Chelsie Sobieck who had 19 kills. Chelsea Rachel had 30 digs and Taya Kockelman chipped in 24 assists.

The second match was on Saturday in the last regular-season match of the year. The Cobbers had to rally from a 2-1 deficit to scratch out a 3-2 (23-25,25-12,21-25,25-20,15-7) victory in St. Joseph.  St. Ben’s won the first set of the match 25-23 but then CC won nine of the first 12 points in the second and went on to a commanding 25-12 win.The momentum of the match turned again midway through the third set. With Concordia leading 15-9, the Blazers won six straight points and tied the score at 15-15. The teams then traded points until 20-20 when CSB won four straight and finished off the set by winning five of the final six points. The Cobbers finally grabbed firm control of the match, and the MIAC title, midway through the fourth set. Leading 14-12, Concordia went on one of their patented mid-set runs and ran off five straight points. They would never let the Blazers get to within three points and won 25-20. The energy carried into the fifth, and final, set as CC bolted to a 5-1 lead. CSB rallied and got as close as two points at 8-6 but then Concordia claimed the match by winning seven of the final eight points.

Concordia hit .235 for the match which included a .500 mark in the second set and a .389 clip when the match was on the line in the fifth set. The Cobber defense limited St. Ben’s to a .115 attack percentage for the match.

Green came away with a match-high 22 kills for the Cobbers. She also had 14 digs. Vohnoutka added 12 kills and three blocks. Beseman once again provided clutch points in a big match. She tied a career high with six blocks and added four kills. Sykora had a match-high 45 assists. It is the sixth time this season she has had at least 40 helpers in a single match. Defensive specialist Rachel Wiinanen came away with a match-high 23 digs, only the second time in her career that she has had more than 20 digs in a match. Freshman Kelly Reed had five blocks and eight kills and Danelle Loomis came away with 14 digs.

St. Ben’s had three players with more than 10 kills in the match and was led by Sobieck who had a team-high 19 winners to go along with 16 assists. Rachel had 21 digs and Kockelman added 43 assists.

Matchday Tipoff 
(What you need to know about Thursday’s Concordia/St. Ben’s match-up)

Cobber Notes
– Concordia won the last 11 matches of the regular season and did not lose in the month of October. CC’s last loss came on Sept. 21 at Bethel
– The Cobbers have enjoyed another outstanding year at home. Concordia is 8-0 at home this season and 16-1 in the past two seasons
– The Cobbers are making their 11th straight MIAC playoff appearance. They have been to every single conference tourney since the league adopted the single elimination in 2001
– CC is 10-7 in their 10 MIAC playoff appearances. That includes an 8-2 mark at home in the conference tourney. CC is 8-0 at home against any MIAC school not named St. Olaf
– The Cobbers are 3-4 in the MIAC semifinals. In those seven semifinal matches they are 3-0 at home and 0-4 on the road.
– Concordia is 3-2 against St. Ben’s in the league playoffs. The home team has won all five matches between the schools. CC beat CSB in 2002, 2004 & 2006 while the Blazers prevailed in 2002 & 2009
– The Cobbers have had 19 of their 26 matches settled in three sets. CC is 18-1 in those 19 matches
– Concordia moved up to No.8 in the latest AVCA Division III national rankings this week. It is the highest they have been ranked all season. They have now been ranked in the top 10 of the country for five straight weeks.
– Senior Jenna Green has a team-leading 358 kills and 380 digs on the year. She needs 42 kills and 20 digs to become the first player in school history to record 400 kills and 400 digs in a single season.
– Green is currently fifth on the school’s all-time kill list (1307) and continues to add to her school-record dig total (1414). She is also No.1 on the school’s all-time list of attack attempts (4,112))
– Green led the MIAC in kills during the conference regular season. She had 152 kills and averaged 4.11 per set. Green was also ninth in digs (4.14)
Katie Vohnoutka led the MIAC in hitting percentage (.379) and was third in blocks (1.22/s)
– Vohnoutka recently moved into the Cobber top 10 list for career blocks. She now has 282 total blocks and needs 16 more to move ionto ninth place. She is also ninth in block assists (191)and 10th in solo blocks (91). Vohnoutka is seventh in program history in kills (1212).
Amy Sykora continues to move closer to thye No.2 spot on the school’s all-time assist list. She has 2,942 career assists and needs 98 more to surpass Marsha Suko (1994-96). She only needs 58 to become only the third player in program history to record 3000 career assists.
– Sykora was third in the MIAC in assists per set this season (9.81)
– Junior Danelle Loomis led the MIAC in total service aces in conference matches (19)

Blazer Notes
– Like the Cobbers, St. Ben’s is making their 11th straight MIAC playoff appearance. The Blazers are 10-9 in the conference tournament, including Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Gustavus. The strange fact about CSB in the league playoffs is that all nine losses have come on the road. St. Ben’s is 3-9 away from home in the MIAC postseason. The Blazers are also 4-2 in semifinal match with two of their three road wins coming in the semifinals
– The Blazers lived up to their MIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll expectation. The conference coaches picked CSB to finish fourth. CSB technically tied for third but is the No.4 seed for the playoffs
– St. Ben’s snapped a two-match losing streak with their win over the Gusties. The Blazers are 5-5 in their last 10 matches
– CSB was 7-2 at home in 2011 and 11-9 on the road. They were also 5-1 on the road in the MIAC regular season
– St. Ben’s was 4-2 in matches that went to five sets
– St. Ben’s had a pair of players earn MIAC Player of the Week honors. Chelsea Rachel was named the MIAC Setter of the Week on Oct. 24 and Lexi Rinde earned Hitter of the Week honors on Sept. 19
– The Blazers led the league in kills (13.48/s) and assists (12.36/s) in conference matches. They were also third in hitting percentage (.204)
– Freshman Alexa Rinde was third in the MIAC in hitting percentage (.289). She was also fourth in kills per set (3.51). Rinde has had at least 10 kills in nine of the last 12 matches. She had a season-high 22 winners against St. Mary’s
Chelsie Sobieck was seventh in the MIAC in kills per set (3.28). She had at least 10 kills in 21 of their 29 matches and had a season-high 22 against UW-Eau Claire. She had 19 kills in both previous matches against the Cobbers
– The Blazers have another freshman in the top 10 of the MIAC. Setter Taya Kockelman was eighth in the MIAC in assists per set (7.84). She has 771 asists on the year and had a season-high 45 helpers against St. Kate’s

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This week’s Monday Mess topic mysteriously drifted into out brain while we were watching the many students parade by in costume on their way to the record-setting Concordia CEC Halloween Bash on Saturday night (check out pics here) and then seeing all the trick-or-treaters on Monday. We were overcome with eerie thoughts about all the strange rituals we take part in our lifetime.

Cobber pumpkin carved by Concordia Facilities Management staff member Brad Jore

This is especially true in athletics where coaches take rituals (don’t call them superstitions) to a completely different level. Put it this way, while the average person is like a simple ghost, pirate or cartoon character when it comes to Halloween, coaches are more like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Chucky or Michael Myers. Most coaches have some sort of pre-game ritual that gets them into a comfort zone or helps them prepare for the upcoming contest. Most coaches don’t like to call them superstitions. Even though they always do them and would never think of changing despite the fact that they rarely have any impact on the outcome of the game. As University of Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley said in an article, “I’m not a superstition guy, but I am a routine guy.”

Here is a short list of some of the great college coach rituals/superstitions:
UNC basketball coach Roy Williams never wears red and always writes with a blue pen
Current Alabama, and former LSU, football coach Nick Saban always has to have his daughter hand him a penny before every game
LSU football coach Les Miles eats grass from the field during games
Ohio State basketball coach Thad Motta has to chew apiece of Juicy Fruit, or Orbit, gum during each game and used to tie his shoes at the same spot on the court at exactly the same time during every practice  – regardless of whether or not his shoes needed tying!

We here at The Mess were probably the worst examples of “Rituals Gone Bad” on the Cobber staff. Back in our coaching day we were known to make players sit in the exact same spot in the van so that the “mojo” wouldn’t be disturbed. And that’s just the tip of the machete (to carry on with the Halloween theme).

Here are some of the better rituals (no, they weren’t superstitions and why do you keep asking?) that we had during our coaching days.
-The first time we beat Macalester (a big deal for soccer teams because that is the one sport they are actually very good) we had driven by a car with an Alaskan license plate on the day of the game. So, you guessed it, for the remainder of the season we had to drive around on game day until we found a car with an Alaskan license plate (nope, not too many of those puppies in the F-M area!!!).
– We also made sure we never had more than $1.00 worth of change in our pockets because one game when we were loaded down with change the team played horribly and lost to a very bad team.
– We also never shaved on game day. We did it three times in our coaching career. The first time we shaved on game day we lost the MIAC championship. The second time we lost a game against a team that was below us in the standings. A game that would have tied us for the title. The third, and final, time was when we were playing the worst team in the MIAC and wound up losing. Each subsequent time we wanted to prove that it really was more of a superstition and had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. However, each time we did, the loss slapped us in the face like Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone“. So, for the remainder of our coaching days, we would rather have the five-o’clock-shadow going and be comfortable than worry the whole day with a clean-cut face.

Those are just some of the rituals we left in our past. These days – in the age of positive thinking and taking control of your own destiny -most coaches won’t admit to having any superstitions or rituals. We did come across one Cobber coach that would feel right at home on Halloween with all the “Black Cats” and other good luck charms. CC football head coach Terry Horan is doing a great job at carrying on the Mess’ quirks. Coach Horan has the ritual of parking in the exact same spot on game day. He also always carries a pair of pennies, which were given to him during his coaching days at Breckenridge HS, in his pocket. He has also been known to take the exact same route to the stadium if that was the way he went to when the Cobbers posted a victory. Another great ritual for the CC football team is to drink Nestle Quick after the last practice before the season opener and then the MIAC opener. This is done to make sure the team will be “Quick” during the upcoming season.

So, as you see, coaches are just like everyone else when it comes to celebrating strange rituals. Whether it be hockey coach Chris Howe not watching warm ups to baseball coach Bucky Burgau having to personally hand the lineup card to the officials to women’s basketball coach Jessica Rahman not wanting to read the program before the game – coaches do all sorts of things to make sure that they are in “comfort” mode when it comes time for the game. And after seeing some strange things on Saturday and Monday, The Mess is sure that there were lots of comfortable people over the weekend.

The Mess Video of the Week
We were tipped off to this week’s Mess Video of the Week by former CC soccer player Josh Lee. It is an amazing story about a father and the love he has for his son. It is a testament of the bond between a parent and child – no matter the disability or difference in ages. It also shows what an inspiration one person can have on another. Many of you might have seen one of the videos but please take the time to view both in order.

The first video is just footage with the powerful song “My Redeemer Lives” over the top. The second video is the actual documentary that was produced by the HBO show Real Sports to tell the amazing story.

What led us to the first video was the text posted on Josh’s Facebook page which read:
A true story – One day a son asks his father: “Daddy, will you run the marathon with me?” The father answers yes and both run their first marathon together.       – One day, the son asks his father if he wants to run the marathon with him again and the father answers yes. They both run the marathon together again.
– Then one day the son asks his father: “Daddy, will you run the Ironman with me?” (the Ironman is the toughest…it requires a 4km swim, 180km biking and 42km running). The father says yes again.
– This all sounds easy…but check this video.

Now check out The Real Sports feature on Dick and Rick Hoyt which tells the whole story and the ability of one person – even with a disability – to make a huge impact on the world.

The Rest of the Mess
This past weekend was officially the start of the “Overlap” season as the fall sports teams started to wind down their regular seasons and the first of the winter sports teams kicked off their 2011-12 campaigns. All told, there were eight Cobber contests on Saturday and one more on Sunday which made for a very busy weekend.

Overall it was a very successful two days as the Cobber athletic teams posted a combined record of 4-2, clinched an MIAC Regular-Season Championship, solidified another conference playoff berth, had an All-MIAC cross country runner and got off to the best start to a season in five years. All that, plus a swimming race with a pumpkin!

The Cobber volleyball team highlighted “Judgment Saturday” as they beat St. Ben’s to clinch a share of the MIAC Regular-Season Title – their first since 2006. The win also gives CC the home court advantage throughout the conference playoffs. The women’s soccer team followed suit by beating the Blazers 2-1. The win earned Concordia the No.3 seed in the upcoming league playoffs. It will be their ninth straight conference playoff appearance – the most by any school in the conference. CC men’s cross country runner Tom Sederquist posted his second straight top 5 finish at the conference meet as he finished fifth and earned another All-MIAC award. The men’s hockey team also had a successful weekend as they started their season by recording a pair of wins at the MIAC Showcase in Blaine. They were one of only two MIAC teams to go undefeated at the event.

Finally, the Cobber swimming and diving started their season at the annual UM-Morris Halloween Relays. CC won four relays at the event including the dreaded Pumpkin Relay. The Mess is excited about this win because it shows the true multi-tasking ability of Concordia athletes. After surviving another Halloween night The Mess appreciates anyone who can do do two things at once when it comes to anything related to pumpkins, trick or treating or wearing costumes.

The Mess Weekend Media Rewind
This weekend The Mess even made the media rewind section as we were featured in the Fargo Forum for their “My Saturday” special. Special thanks to Forum reporter Eric Peterson for making us look like we actually work!
Fargo Forum “My Saturday” feature on the Cobber SID
Fargo Forum feature on men’s x-country runner Tom Sederquist
Fargo Forum feature of the Cobber football defense
Fargo Forum recap of the Cobber football game against Bethel
Video Highlights of the Cobber/Bethel football game
Video Highlights of the Cobber/Augsburg volleyball match
Volleyball Senior Night memories

The Mess Picture of the Weekend

This week’s Mess Picture of the Week comes from the MIAC Men’s Cross Country Championship Meet. It was taken by cross country/track and field photographer Nathan Lodermeier and takes place just before the start of the meet. Cobber first-year runner Ryan Sederquist is out front, warming up and trying to get CC pumped up. What makes the pic is the looks on the faces of the team members – especially the reaction of his brother, All-MIAC runner Tom Sederquist!


(You can click on the picture to see the larger version to get the full effect)

The Mess Photo Galleries of the Weekend/Week
Check out the award-winning picture galleries from the weekend. Be sure to click on the volleyball gallery from Augsburg and the shots that were taken from the Memorial Auditorium rafters.
Football vs. Bethel
Women’s Soccer vs. St. Ben’s
Men’s & Women’s X-Country at MIAC Meet
Volleyball vs. Augsburg

* Special thanks goes out to Sheldon Green who took the pictures from football, Isaac Vatnsdal for the volleyball and soccer shots and Nathan Lodermeier who is the best cross country photographer in the MIAC.

Click here to view all the galleries from the Cobber SID Flickr Page

“Now That’s A Big Mess” Stat Line of the Weekend
This week The Mess goes with a career stat line for the Big Mess Stat Line award. Cobber senior quarterback Michael Dunham now has career passing totals that look like: 421-for-689 for 4,959 yards and 29 TD’s. He holds the school record for career passing attempts, career passing completions and career passing yardage. Well done!

Social Media Mess of the Week
Each week we will honor the best Cobber Twitter Tweet or Cobber Facebook post that we come across with our Twitter account or Facebook account

This week’s winner comes from the Facebook page of Josh Lee who posted the link to this week’s Video of the Week. Thanks Josh!

The Mess Tout Video of the Week
The newest social media feature of the Cobber sports network is Tout. It is basically the same as Twitter only all the updates are in video form. It gives Cobber fans a chance to see video of Cobbers players and coaches during practice and right before the big game.

This week’s winner was taken at football practice. The CC punt returners practice concentration by catching consecutive punts without getting rid of the previous ball caught. The trick is to see how many punts in a row they can catch without dropping a ball. Here is Cobber wide receiver Bronson Shepherd catching his school-record fifth straight punt!

Tout Video of the Week – Bronson Shepherd

Queens of the Mess
We looked into giving this weekly award to someone else but we couldn’t do it. For the second straight week it was the easiest decision we made. The Cobber volleyball earned the second MIAC regular-season championship in program history on Saturday when they beat St. Ben’s 3-2. As long as we are doing The Mess we have one “set in stone” rule: If you win an  MIAC title, you earn the King/Queen of the Mess award. End of story. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

Kings of the Mess
Holy Moly what a pair of goalies! This week’s award winners opened the winter sports season on Saturday and Sunday. Sophomore men’s hockey goalies Kelly Andrew and Chris Neamonitis carried the Cobbers as they stopped 69 of the 72 shots they faced and helped CC to a 2-0 start. It marks the first time that Concordia has started the season with two straight wins since the 2006-07 season.

Andrew turned aside 35 shots in the Cobbers’ 3-2 win over Gustavus in the season opener on Saturday and then Neamonitis made 34 saves as Concordia edged St. John’s 2-1.

The Mess is impressed with the two wins because we know that two years ago Concordia would have found a way to lose both games. The Cobbers have now turned the corner and enter every game expecting to win. That is the recipe for success and should make for a very memorable season.   

The Tom Burnett Unsung Hero of the Week
This week’s Tom Burnett Unsung Hero of the Week is senior women’s soccer player Kelsey Swagger.  For three seasons Swagger was one of the mainstays for the Cobber defense (talk about a position where you very rarely get any accolades. This year she unselfishly made the move to midfield and has steadily improved week after week. Her ability to plug up the middle of the field is one of the big reasons Concordia finished the regular season by only losing once in their final 10 games. She capped her regular-season career by recording assists on both of CC’s goals in their 2-1 win over league-leading St. Ben’s on Saturday. Swagger now has six assists on the season which is a career high.

The Mess Fans of the Week
This week’s Mess Fans of the Week award goes out to all the family members of this year’s Cobber fall athletes. They have put in an enormous amount of time and energy – not to mention money – into the athletic careers of their sons/daughters/grandkids/nieces/nephews/brothers/sisters. The end of the season brings a harsh finality to all the direct family members. It is the last time they will be able to watch that athlete perform at a high level. The Mess gets to see it every season and it is “hands down” the most emotional aspect of the job. Unfortunately every career must come to an end but that last game/match/meet is always the hardest on family members.

We are using the picture below to represent the family members of the athletes on all the fall athletic teams. In the photo you have Cobber senior quarterback Michael Dunham surrounded by family members after his last game at Jake Christiansen Stadium. What makes the picture – and really gets to The Mess – is the hug he is getting from his cousin Anna. We don’t know if she understands the fact that it is Michael’s final home game but the emotion of the moment tells it all.

Once again we ask our 10’s of readers to submit Cobber fan pics! Please send your Cobber fan pictures to: cobbersportsinformation@gmail.com.  Remember – the winning entry receives a special Cobber prize!

Upcoming Mess Games of the Week
Thursday, Nov. 3 –  Volleyball at home – MIAC Semifinals – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 – Swimming & Diving at home – 1 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 – Volleyball at home – MIAC Championship – 7 p.m.

The Cobber volleyball team begins the second season when they host an MIAC semifinal match on Thursday at 7 p.m. If (when) they win that match they will host the MIAC Championship tilt on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Mess is hoping that fans will turn out en masse and give Concordia a definite home court advantage as they try and claim the MIAC Championship Double!!! The one bad thing about the MIAC playoffs is that fans have to pay for tickets because it is a league sponsored event. So instead of getting in free, you have to fork over $7 for adults and $3 for students. The Mess is working on trying to get a group of students into the semifinal match free of charge – if we can come up with a sponsor.

Saturday is also the first home meet for the Cobber swimming and diving team. If you have never been to a swimming and diving meet, here is your chance to root for the Cobbers in the warmest venue on campus. Plus, Saturday will also be another chance to cheer against St. Thomas (did we just type that?). CC takes on the Tommies and Macalester at 1 p.m. Feel free to pull that Halloween costume out one last time, or dress up in your best beach attire, and come cheer on the Cobber swimmer and divers.

That’s the end of this week’s Mess – or is it? Like Michael Myers – the Mess and all the strange athletic rituals – will always keep coming back. You can’t get rid of us. Your only hope is to join us and bask in their comfort.

Good luck to the Cobber volleyball and women’s soccer teams this week as they participate in the MIAC playoffs!

As for The Mess, we will be in our office listening to DMB with the Alaska license plate hanging from the wall, exactly 57-cents in our pockets and having not shaved in days. And we will be very comfortable – thank you very much!

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