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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Fall into sports 2017

Simo Bambi ’20 is a key returner to a women’s soccer team with high expectations. Contributed photo.

Women’s soccer

The Grinnell women’s soccer team is entering fall 2017 with elevated expectations following their spectacular run in the 2016 Conference Tournament. The team has a balanced mix of returning players spanning every position on the field. It seems likely that they will continue to compete for a top spot in the Midwest Conference in 2017.

Last season the Pioneers lost a heartbreaker in the Midwest Conference final, after making a dark horse run into the title game. With returners at nearly every position, it seems likely that they should put together another solid season.

Despite losing All-MWC first teamers in Carolyn Silverman ‘17 and Nora Sahel ‘17, the returners are ambitious and the first-years are expected to step up.

“Our opponents were familiar with [last year’s seniors’] tendencies,” said coach Kirsten Coester.

Furthermore, returning second year Valencia Alvarez ’20 praised her first-year teammates for showing up “mentally, physically, emotionally.”

“I think that they will … make our team better than we were last year,” Alvarez said.

Catch the women’s soccer team at their home game against Simpson College on Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. on Springer Field.

Men’s soccer

By Quan Tran

For the past two weeks, the men’s soccer team has practiced twice a day in preparation for their upcoming season. On the team this year, along with returning players, are several new faces. Joining the Pioneers are eight key additions spread across all positions, adding more depth and versatility to the team. According to head men’s soccer coach Brian Jaworski, some new players have already made an impact on and off the field.

“Michael Spicer, a goalkeeper from South Carolina, shows he can really play at the college level. We have Jasper Yang, [who is] athletic, quick and he picks things up really quickly in practice and seems to fit in well with the other players,” Jaworski said.

Additionally, assistant coach Jake O’Polka is joining the coaching staff this year, bringing a new dynamic to the team’s leadership. Jaworski praises O’Polka for being “a good communicator who just needs to trust himself to speak up and grow as a coach.”

“Jake is somebody that I have a good relationship with … so there’s a lot of trust there.”

The first game of the season is at home this Friday against Coe College, and Jaworski has clear expectations and objectives.

”[Our goal is to] not let 15 minutes go by before we start playing well,” Jaworski said.

Jarowski knows that communication is one area in which the team can always improve, especially considering the diversity of the College.

“We get our kids from everywhere, and so it makes the communication part even more important.”

Nevertheless, with the season’s opening match coming quickly, Jaworski and the whole roster feel ready to take on every challenge. 

Women’s cross country

By Kate Irwin

The women’s cross country team is ready for another strong season. Last year the women placed third at the Midwest Conference Championships. Coach Evelyn Freeman has her sights set on another strong season for the team.

“A big goal for our team is to continue to learn and progress with their training, and just their overall growth, whether that’s athletic growth, leadership, time management,” Freeman said. “We want to continue a growth mindset, we want to keep progressing.”

The top runners from last year are back for another season. Key athletes include Emma Luhmann ’18, Emma Zimmerman ’18, Whitney Teagle ’18, Anna Ahrens ’19, Tori LaVerdiere ’20 and Mikayla Fujiwara ’20.

There are nine first-years on the team. Athletes to watch include Ally Cottrell ’21, Cara Keleher ’21 and Rebecca Villa ’21.

The women were predicted to come in second at Conference, but Freeman views this ranking as an opportunity for success.

“Right now we’re picked to be a close second, but we kind of like being the underdog,” Freeman said.

Freeman sees the bond the women have as a team as the key to their success. “The team culture and how supportive and caring they are of each other. They help each other achieve great things, athletically, academically, personally.”

The women have their first home meet Sept. 9.

Men’s cross country

By Kate Irwin

Last year the men’s cross country team won their 19th Midwest Conference title in the last 20 years, and Coach Will Freeman anticipates another Conference title this season.

“Our primary focus is always the Conference meet. We’ve had a lot of success there, and we’d like to see that continue,” Freeman said.

Improvement is one of Freeman’s primary goals for the team this season. “It’s all about improvement, getting better, both collectively and individually.”

The top returners are a handful of All-Conference runners from last season. Key athletes include John Lennon ’19, Gray Krewson ’19, Pieter Hansen ’19 and Jackson Schulte ’20.

There are seven new first-years on the team. Newcomers to watch include Matt Lieberman ’21 and Lucas Chamberland ’21.

“I think we’ve got potential for depth and really high quality up top,” Freeman said.

Freeman notes the men’s dedication as the key to their success.

“They’re all engaged fully in this process, they all want to see how good they can be and they’re all really committed to each other and the team.”

The men have their first home meet Sept. 9 on the Grinnell College Golf Course.

Editor’s Note: Jackson Schulte is sports editor for The S&B.

Women’s volleyball players attacking the net last season. Contributed photo.


By Mayo Sueta

Last season, the College’s volleyball team finished third in their conference with a record of 14-11, the best finish they had in five years. The team is determined to keep up the momentum of their success and have been training hard for the new season.

Despite losing several great players from the Class of 2017, the team is ready to tackle the competition with their new set up, especially the returning players.

“Returners are stepping up and taking on new roles,” wrote Coach Ragan in an email to The S&B.

The team has gained five new first-years this year. According to Coach Ragan, they seem to be a good fit for the team.

“[They] are fitting right in with our culture by working hard and being great teammates,” he wrote.

The first years are not the only new faces on the volleyball team. It is also Ragan’s first time coaching at Grinnell.

Madison Smith ’20, defensive specialist, admitted that the team would have to adapt to the new leadership.

“It’s really important for the team to all come together and bond under our new coach, so I’d say our goals are to play our best and adapt as needed,” Smith wrote in an email to The S&B.

When asked about the goals for the season, Ragan expressed his hope to qualify for the conference tournament again.

“The goals for this season are to be competitive within the conference and qualify for the conference tournament again,” he wrote. “Our team has been working hard the last two weeks to improve and are playing at a high level — our goal is to continue this trend as the season continues.”

Tony Bergida ’18 watching Erik Henderson ’19 haul in a catch during a game last season. Contributed photo.


By William Telingator

The football team is looking to rebound from a tough season last year, when they failed to win a game. Head coach Jeff Pedersen thinks that this year’s team has a chance to establish themselves as conference contenders and prove how far they have come.

“The returning players put in a lot of great work in the off-season, and we bolstered the roster through our recruiting. We’ve got a bigger roster this year, with significantly more depth in a few key positions, so we’re counting on that translating to improved play on the field,” Pedersen wrote in an email to The S&B.

The team is hoping that a strong recruiting class will lead to more wins this season. The new players have been working hard in pre-season practices to learn the system, and they will continue to improve as the season progresses.

Some key offensive players are quarterback Tony Bergida ’18, running back Carson Dunn ’18 and wide receiver David Taylor ’20. Meanwhile, some standout players on the defensive side of the ball are lineman Jeff Keele ’19, linebackers Hassan Thompson ’19 and Ryan Slager ’19. Slager led NCAA Division III in tackles last season and was an All-Midwest Conference second-team selection. This year, he was named a HERO Sports Preseason All-America First-Team selection.

The football team opens their season on Sept. 2 at St. Olaf College. Their first home game is on Sept. 23 against St. Norbert College.

Sydney Banach ’18 and the other fourth-year women’s tennis players are ready to show first-years the ropes on a team that is a consistent force in the Midwest Conference. Contributed photo.

By Jessica Kunzman

The women’s tennis team returns this year to defend their Midwest Conference title and continue the momentum of last year’s phenomenal season. Last year, the team went 15-7 overall and 9-0 in the regular season conference play.

This year’s team has seven returning letter winners as well as three first-year players. The team consists of players from every class year.

“[New players have been] challenging the returning players,” wrote Paige Madara, head coach of men’s and women’s tennis, in an email to The S&B.

One key player, Amelia Cogan ’19, is a Midwest Conference individual champion and set the College’s doubles record last season with a total of 27 doubles wins. Despite the previous year’s success, the team is focused on growth.

“We have a lot of room for growth and are focusing on improving each day in practices and matches to be our best at the end of season,” Madara said.

The tennis season has already begun, with the Pioneers sitting at 1-1. The first home match for the tennis team is on Sept. 8 and 9 at the Grinnell High School tennis courts.



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