NCAA Division III Identity Initiative

For Kean, Citizenship is an Everyday Activity

By Gabe Gilson

If being a vested member in one's community is what qualifies a person as a good citizen, then Sarah Kean of Adrian College has done an excellent job of doing just that. The senior tennis captain from Wixom, Mich. works hard at balancing being a student-athlete with a variety of clubs and volunteering outside of the community.

Kean is no stranger to the younger children in the town of Adrian. During the last four years, she has taken part in the Trick or Treat Patrol, Be a Hero Day, and YMCA Day, all activities that work with elementary aged children.

"My favorite was the Trick or Treat Patrol," Kean said. "We make sure the kids are safe while crossing the streets of Adrian. I thought it was fun because you got to see all the little kids' costumes."

As well as being involved in the community, Kean is involved in a vast array of clubs and activities on campus. These include the Biology Club, Choir, Pre-Health Profession Society, Mortar Board, The Catholic Student Association, and Students for life.

"I love being on the team and keeping busy helps me do better in school and it motivates me to get things done in advance and stay ahead with my school-work," Kean said.

First-year Tennis Head Coach Adam Albertsen has seen the impact that Kean has made not only on the team, but also in the community.

"Since day one of taking over, Sarah has bought in to my vision of rebuilding the program and been a leader on and off the court," Albertsen said. "She is exactly what a student athlete should be, in the classroom and in the community. She's helped to build the program up and take it to higher levels and has been motivated to help reach the teams goals."

After graduation this spring, Kean plans on attending pharmacy school next fall, with the hopes of becoming a Pharmacist.

 

An Il-Luma-nating Future
by Nathan LaRiccia

Focused. Determined. Well-Rounded. Goal-Oriented. These are the characteristics that any college freshman would love to possess. Let me introduce to you Hudson, Michigan native and Adrian College freshman Sarah Luma.

Luma graduated valedictorian and was a standout student-athlete at Hudson High School. Luma earned a 3.98 GPA, while playing on the softball, volleyball, basketball, cross country, and track and field teams for the Tigers. Luma was recognized as one of the top Lenawee County Athletic Association (LCAA) scholar-athletes her senior year. This prestigious honor is only given to 10 athletes in the area who excel in the classroom and community. Luma earned All-League and All-State honors in track and field and was also tabbed All-League and All-County in basketball. For her efforts, she was selected for the LCAA Sportsmanship Award.

This past spring, Luma decided to take her talents 19 miles east to Adrian where she will join fifth-year head coach James Larson and the track and field team as a high jumper.

"Sarah Luma is one of those student-athletes that we call a 'coach's dream'," said Larson. "She is an intelligent, friendly, hard-working, disciplined and dedicated person to what she does in the classroom and on the track. Sarah leads by example, encourages others to do the same and has already become a major asset to our program."

In high school, Luma twice broke the high jump school record. Her best leap was 5'4" which is about one inch off a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) provisional mark.

Actions away from the track are just as important to Luma. In high school, she volunteered at Red Cross Blood Drives, numerous can drives for the food pantry of Hudson and has helped with a fundraiser for the Lenawee Community's Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter Project.

As you can imagine, there were plenty of schools that wanted Luma to be a part of their program. "I received my financial letter from Adrian on Christmas Eve and I felt like it was a message from God," said Luma. "Another school matched the financial package, but at Adrian, it felt more inviting and so much livelier than anywhere else that I visited. It also came down to academics and the academic opportunities were greater here."

Many student-athletes can attest that the biggest challenge of being a student-athlete is balancing everything. "I have a lot of notebooks that I try to keep track of everything," said Luma.  "I believe time management is important."

Luma has not wasted anytime in setting her collegiate goals both as a student and as an athlete. "In high jump, I want to top my PR (personal record) of 5'4" by earning a mark of 5'5" or 5'6"," stated a confident but humble Luma. "I know it's a national mark, but it's obtainable.  As for academics, my goal is to graduate on time in the Athletic Training Master's program and eventually obtain my doctorate. I want to continue to improve personally and to be a good, supportive teammate."

"I look forward to her academic and athletic career over the next four years here at Adrian College," said Larson. "I know upon graduation, Sarah will continue to make an impact in the pursuits she sets for herself and will make all of us here at Adrian College proud."


Men’s Lacrosse Give Back While on Spring Break
by Brian Alden (Assistant SID) 

 It only takes a moment to inspire someone for the rest of their lives. On February 27, that is exactly what the Adrian College men's lacrosse team did for one group of young lacrosse players.

While on their spring break trip in Warrenton, Virginia, the lacrosse team happened to notice a group of 4th and 5th graders from a local school practicing. Adrian Assistant Coach Jay Farrell noticed the group of young players and suggested the team go over to say hello. That simple gestured turned into a 30-minute impromptu practice with the team.

"Our guys are very involved in the summer with youth camps and their personalities mesh well with young kids," Adrian Head Coach Brendan Hayes said. "It was a good opportunity for our team to work with youth players because our players don't get that opportunity during the school year. The look on our player's faces, the way they interacted with the kids, you could tell they enjoyed working with them and teaching the game."

It was an opportunity for the Adrian players to do something out of the ordinary and to interact with an age group they would not normally have the opportunity to. It was a chance for the Adrian team to take a break from the schedule of traveling and practicing to give back to a community organization.

Each Adrian player teamed up with one of the youth players to throw the ball around before coach Hayes stepped in to introduce the young players to a new fast break drill.

"This was a good chance for me as a coach to see what kind of impact our players can have on young lacrosse players," Hayes said. "We don't have the opportunity in Michigan to do something like this very often, because it is a growing sport here, but when we do, we really take pride in having the opportunity to do so."

It wasn't just a chance for the players to interact, but an opportunity for the coaches as well. Both coaching staffs knew how fortunate they were to have the opportunity to work with one another.

"I'm happy with the positives that have come from this opportunity we had to work with these players from the Highlands area," Hayes stated. "It is nice to be recognized for not just what our team does on the field, but the positive things our team does off the field as well."

"I grew up being a ball boy for the Cornell Lacrosse team and played four years at Duke University and I do not ever remember such a selfless engagement of college kids interacting with young boys," Jon Bierman, the coach of the youth team said. "What an amazing group of young men, and what great diplomats to have representing Adrian College. There are at least 20 new Bulldogs fans here now."

 

Playing Through
by Ryan Thompson (SID)

John Weishar maintains his love for the sport of golf after many uphill challenges

The game of golf is filled with bad breaks. Even if you are on top of the leaderboard, odds are you are going to have to overcome an obstacle during your round. How you deal with it however will determine whether you succeed or fail. The same can be said in life. Things happen that you cannot control, but how you respond determines your future.

That brings us to the story of John Weishar. John is a freshman at Adrian College and a member of the men’s golf team. The events surrounding an accident nine years ago could have been the end of John’s life; instead, it saved his life.John Weishar

John thought that playing a game of basketball with his sister would be a fun way to pass the time during Memorial Day weekend in 2002. He really liked to play sports and be active and beating his sister would be icing on the cake. The two went out to the driveway and after a few minutes things were going great. The mood changed moments later when John’s sister knocked the ball out of his hands. The ball bounced against the concrete and struck John in the left eye.

After a few days, his eye began to swell and his parents finally decided that it was time to go see the family doctor. She sent them to a well-known optometrist near his hometown of Westlake, Ohio. John was then instructed to set up an MRI with the Cleveland Clinic and that is where he found out about a tumor growing behind his eye. John was born with cancerous cells and the accident basically jump started the tumor to grow. He had rhabdomyosarchoma which is defined as a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. The tumor was described to John as being the size of a golf ball.

He had two surgeries the next week and missed the rest of the school year. A biopsy was conducted to see how serious the tumor was and the analogy of having bubble gum in your hair because of the placement of the tumor concerned the family. John underwent weeks of chemotherapy and during July 2002 had 25 radiation treatments to his left eye. Not only did he worry about his life, but if he did survive, would he be able to play golf and other sports again?

The game of golf had become John’s passion during his middle school years. He went out as often as possible and enjoyed all facets of the experience. Would he be able to see the fairways, trees and sand traps again? As time passed, John started to recover from the chemotherapy and surgeries and began to get back out on the course. He took private lessons for a while and set his sights on making the high school golf team at Westlake.

The lingering fear of cancer was in the back of his mind over the next few years, but great news was coming as John found out he had a clean bill of health in the summer of 2009. He still to this day feels long-term effects of the past, but says that his left eye has better vision now than his right eye. John made his high school golf team as a sophomore and excelled in the sport he loves. Last fall he joined the Bulldogs and realized another dream of playing in college. Vision is not only meant for sight but also for spirit.


If You Build It...
by Ryan Thompson (SID)

The Adrian College baseball team has seen its program ascend to new heights over the past six seasons under the guidance of head coach Craig Rainey. The line “If you build it, they will come” from Field of Dreams can also be used in the translation of “If you build a firm foundation, the wins will come.”

The Bulldogs have won or shared four of the last six MIAA championships and finished a close second in the other two seasons. They have compiled an overall record of 176-86 (.672) since the beginning of the 2005 season and have been dominant in the MIAA with a league record of 127-34 (.789). The team has compiled three straight 30-win seasons for the first time in school history, and has won 20 or more conference games for the past five seasons.2008 Regional Champs

Adrian has also tasted success in the postseason as they have made five trips to the NCAA Mideast Regional in the past six years and also won the 2008 Mideast Regional title in Terre Haute, Indiana. That year the Bulldogs traveled to Appleton, Wisconsin and finished fourth at nationals picking up wins over Linfield and Kean. The fourth place finish is the best showing by a MIAA team to date. Adrian has won nine regional games during their current run and have won at least one game in each regional appearance.

How do you build a program? That question has many different answers and coaches across the nation ask themselves that question daily. While talent is the most important attribute for building a program, Coach Rainey mentions something else that is sometimes forgotten.

“The number one thing we look for are kids with good academic backgrounds,” said Rainey. “I don’t want to worry during the season that someone can’t make the grade. The intelligence of a player is something that can’t be taught. Baseball is a very mental game and you must think before each pitch as to what am I going to do if the ball is hit to me.”

You can’t win without great players and the Bulldogs have been blessed with several over the past couple of years. Adrian has had the MIAA Position Player of the Year four times in the last six seasons with the likes of Tony Vennekotter, Bobby Rickstad, Todd Meyers and Alex Cowart. They also have had the MIAA Pitcher of the Year three times with the honor going to Jeff Nokovich, Ryan Domschot and Josh Lancaster. But in order to be a top-notch program, it is those guys who develop into stars that keep a program thriving year after year.

“The one thing our staff looks for is potential in a player,” said Rainey. “You can evaluate your superstar and know he will perform, but to get a player from a good high school and summer program that will work hard and strive for more than he thought was possible, that is something special. We have recruited guys that have exceeded expectations and our job as coaches is to teach them and encourage them to be the best they can be.”

The addition of Nicolay Field for the start of the 2008 season has been instrumental in the success of the program. It is one of the finest facilities in Division III baseball and also hosted the 2009 Mideast Regional. The addition of an indoor practice facility dedicated in the fall of 2010 has also ensured that the Bulldogs will continue to attract the best recruits at the Division III level.

“We are very fortunate to have the support of the College and community,” said Rainey. “Nicolay Field has been great not only for our program but the city of Adrian. The community can use this field and it has made my job a lot easier in terms of recruiting. Our players have pride in the facility and want to thank everyone who made this into a reality.”

With success comes expectation and the Bulldogs know that each opponent coming to Adrian wants to knock them off the mountain. But through hard work, dedication and passion for baseball, don’t expect to leave Nicolay Field with a win – if the Bulldogs have anything to say about it.

 

Kelly Shows True Sportsmanship On and Off the Course
by Brian Alden (Assistant SID)

Golf is a sport that is considered a gentleman's game, despite what you see professional golfers doing on television by slamming clubs.  Adrian College senior Jordan Kelly prefers to leave the antics to the pros. Kelly exemplifies what the word sportsmanship means.

A local product, Kelly attended Adrian High School before moving on to Adrian College where he has been one of the Bulldogs top golfers during his four seasons. At the conclusion of the fall 2010 golf season, Kelly was rewarded by being honored with the MIAA Sportsmanship Award.

"It was an honor to have received the sportsmanship award because it speaks volumes to my parents and family who raised me," Kelly stated. "Being awarded the MIAA sportsmanship award is the most meaningful award I've received in my life. It means so much because it speaks about someone's character. Good character requires a positive attitude even in times of turmoil. It also includes respect being shown to everyone else and that's one of the things that I pride myself on doing, being positive and being respectful. I'm just incredibly thankful and blessed to be acknowledged by my peers and coaches around the conference."

This past season Kelly tied the MIAA record for lowest 18-hole score with a 65. Instead of celebrating in grand fashion, Kelly was overwhelmed with people congratulating him on an outstanding feat. "You always know what you are getting from Jordan," Head Coach Troy Martin stated. "He is friendly to competitors, coaches and spectators. He is a great role model for our younger players on how to carry yourself on the course. His personality on and off the course is great. Other players in the conference would constantly request to play with him during jamborees."

Steve Tyler, the men's golf coach at Kalamazoo College, was one of the people to nominate Kelly for the award. "We believe that Jordan possesses the qualities of this award," Tyler's nomination form stated. "His spirit represents the character of an MIAA athlete. Jordan is a pleasure to be around on and off the golf course. He also conducts himself as a gentleman to other MIAA teams."

Besides playing golf, Kelly also spends time giving back to younger generations as the freshman boy's basketball coach at Adrian High School. In the past, Kelly has also given his time as a volunteer at the Susan G. Komen "Rally for The Cure" golf tournament.

 

Sky's The Limit
Kelly Eberhardt - Junior pitcher

When you want an example of the ideal NCAA Division III student-athlete, all you need to do is look inside a circle during the spring at Adrian College. This is where you will find junior pitcher Kelly Eberhardt, who not only excels on the diamond for the Bulldog softball team, but also in the classroom as a biology major with a minor in chemistry. This past season, Eberhardt helped lead the Bulldogs to an overall record of 29-11 and a second place finish in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Eberhardt won 20 of those games in the circle for the Bulldogs with an ERA of 2.06 in 190.1 innings. She was named First Team All-MIAA and Third Team All-Region under head coach Kristina Schweikert and also set the single-season school record with 195 strikeouts.NASA Story

Eberhardt hopes to be a neo-natal nurse practitioner once she graduates from Adrian College and she had a unique opportunity this past summer working with NASA in the Lewis’ Educational and Research Collaborative Internship Project (LERCIP). LERCIP was based out of the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Eberhardt is a native of Wellington, Ohio which is approximately 50 minutes southwest of Cleveland. After a long application process, she was accepted into the coveted internship program and worked extensively with ceramics that would work in jet engines. The ceramics are a better resource for jet engines because it can get to higher temperature without melting and is more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

“This was a completely new experience for me than a traditional biology lab,” said Eberhardt. “I got the chance to work with something completely foreign to me. It was a bit intimidating at first, but athletics has given me confidence to try new things and know that I can succeed in difficult circumstances.”

LERCIP is a 10-week, 40 hours a week paid internship in which the person must maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale at a college or university pursuing degrees in engineering, science, mathematics and other aerospace-related disciplines. These mentor-guided internships provide hands-on, real-life, career-related experiences that challenge, inspire, and provide practical application that compliments and expands upon students’ academic education. The internships are a collaborative undertaking by the Educational Programs Office at the Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI).

Eberhardt will use the research she collected in hopes that the findings will be featured in a research paper that is eventually published in a professional journal or magazine. She also is involved on campus with Chi Omega as a treasurer and in religious life.

 

Cross Country Bonds Together at Preseason Camp
Responsibility Article

by Brian Alden (Assistant SID)

 Cross Country Four years ago when Adrian College hired James Larson to be their Head Cross Country and Track & Field coach, Larson knew the first item he wanted to implement into the program was to create the opportunity for his student-athletes to grow not only as a team, but as individuals. Each season in the week before school starts in August, the cross country team packs up and travels to Myers Lake Campground, a Methodist run camp, in Byron, Michigan for two days of team bonding and individual reflection. Most of all Coach Larson enjoys Myers Lake for the opportunity to get the kids away from the distractions that come with a typical campground.

These student-athletes have spent the entire summer training by themselves, but during the two day retreat, they are thrown into a situation where they must bond right away. At the retreat, student-athletes participate in the Bulldog Games, where they are split into teams and they create their own team names. Student-athletes participate in activities such as water balloon volleyball, greased water football, relay and canoe races. There is also time for them to have individual meetings with Coach Larson to make a strategic plan to be successful in the upcoming season. They discuss how their summer went, set individual goals for the season and implement their fall mileage. Most importantly, every student-athlete learns that when they leave Adrian College, they do so a leader and not a follower.

“When you’re together for 48 hours straight, you’re kind of forced to gel together,” Larson said. “Since most of our student-athletes have been away all summer and haven’t seen one another, it gets them back in the loop. It helps to cement the relationships by having groups run together. It gets everyone excited at having the group back together. It brings an exciting atmosphere for everyone having a good time rather than running alone.”

Throughout high school and college, Larson had been a part of teams that went to a camp retreat the week before school started. In a sport where athletes usually compete on an individual basis, it does not allow the time to bond as a team and build chemistry. However, Larson felt that it was important for students to enjoy the college experience. The camping experience allows the student-athletes to throw some fun into a competitive atmosphere and see a lighter side to Coach Larson and the rest of his staff.

Student Assistant Coach Jay Yockey has been around the program as an athlete and knows that when camp comes around, it’s time to get serious. “The camp is a great experience. It not only allows for great team bonding lessons, but most importantly we build team and individual goals for the upcoming season,” Yockey explains.

Every athlete has the responsibility to not only contribute to the team, but to also push one another to excel as student-athletes. “Aside from playing games, swimming in the lake and catching up with old friends, we spend time running together and helping one another reach the next level of competitiveness,” Yockey says. “It’s a vital part of the season as we are able to tune each other up for what is expected of us from Coach Larson and our fellow teammates. I’ve had some of my best memories and times at camp with my teammates as friendships are strengthened and it is at camp where we are reminded of our love and passion for the sport of cross country. It was always something that I looked forward to during the summer and is consistently a topic of conversation among the team.”

The program has been such a success with the cross country team that Coach Larson has now begun doing a similar project with the track and field team.

 

Time’s Up! - Propotion Article
Student Athlete vs. Time Management
by Lindsay Chitwood

According to the U.S. News, fewer than five percent of college athletes ever make it into the professional ranks.  This is a statistic that I would be willing to bet almost all incoming college student athletes are familiar with.  It’s a harsh reality, but the main point of going to college is to get an education.  The following are some tips from a recent graduate of Adrian College, who played three sports in her four years, double majored, and managed to stay above a 3.0 GPA.  I’m not saying that I used each and every one of these guidelines, but after being through four years I feel they are the bare essentials to staying on top of your academics.

  1. Have a plan and make a schedule.  Keeping a planner, writing on a wall calendar, putting reminders in your phone…whatever helps you keep your schedule straight.  When you think of something that you need to do, write it down.  Know when and where you have to be each day is the key to balancing your schedule.  The better you manage your time during the day, the more personal time you will have to relax at night.
  2. Set due dates and priorities.  Make a list of items or events in order of dates or importance and check them off one by one.  This allows for more focus on the task at hand instead of worrying about remembering what needs to be done next.
  3. Procrastination is the worst word in a college student’s vocabulary.  You must stay on top of assignments and schedules or you will regret not being able to hang out with your friends when you have homework to do.  Set goals to work towards and then when free time comes around your mind will be able to relax.
  4. Cramming before a test does NOT help you.  Even if you think you won’t remember one bit of information if you read two days before a test, I promise you will.  Also, when you see something more than once you are more likely to retain the information.
  5. Communication with your professor is key.  Be proactive in letting your professors know when you are going to miss class.  You must let them know early and you must ask them for the work you missed or be able to turn the assignment in early.  Most professors give a syllabus for the class; therefore there should be no excuse for not knowing what is happening in class on the day you miss.  You must rely on yourself and no one else to keep you caught up on your assignments.
  6. Be punctual and responsible.  This helps to establish credibility and reliability with your professors.  That way when you make a mistake (notice I say “when” not “if”), your mistake will most likely be accepted a little easier than if you are late numerous times and unaccountable.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  More than likely you know someone whether they are a teammate or classmate that is going through or has gone through the same situation you are.  If you are having trouble in a class, ask around for help.  By being on a team you have at least 10 other people that can be used as a source of useful information.  Don’t let yourself slip so far behind that your grades suffer.  You will only have yourself to blame.
  8. Know your resources.  Be knowledgeable on how to use the library and internet.  Build a relationship with your professors so they know you by name and you can feel comfortable asking questions.  Realize there are tons of other people in the same boat you are in being new to the college scene, make study groups.  Time is also a valuable resource; use it wisely and take advantage of it during the day.  This allows for the mind to relax at practice or hanging out with friends at night.
  9. Reduce stress.  Take advantage of opportunities to meet new people, try new things, and go new places.  I promise if your assignment is completed during the day when no one is doing anything anyway, you will be able to capitalize on “me” time. 
  10. Being productive gives you a sense of accomplishment.  If you realize early, that during the day you should be working in order to play at night, you have overcome a tough mental challenge that numerous college students have trouble with.  If you are not being lazy during the day, you will be able to enjoy yourself at night and on the weekends.