CUW Wrestling Season Preview:

With the 2017-18 Wrestling Season officially underway, there is a lot of speculation as to how the Concordia Wrestling team will fare amidst a major transitional period. Here’s what you can expect this season from your CUW Falcons:

The Falcons return eight wrestlers from last season’s team. Led by seniors Mack Braylock and Mitchell Slatton, the team is looking to rebuild after two of the most successful wrestlers in school history, Mason Bumgardner and Mason Mergener graduated last year. Both Bumgardner and Mergener qualified for the NCAA National Tournament last season and helped to elevate the Falcons overall team performance.

“Obviously it’s hard to replace guys like that. They don’t come around all that often and it’s been really fun to have gotten a chance to be teammates with those guys. But we’ve got a lot of hardworking, tough guys on the team right now and those are the guys we’re focused on going forward with.” said senior Mack Braylock. “We’ve got a lot of room for improvement but I won’t be shocked when we’re performing really well down the stretch with the group of guys we have right now.”

The team is also transitioning between coaches replacing, head coach Corey Van Groll. New head coach Kevin Koch has spent most of his time with the team getting them to buy in to his philosophy and coaching style.

“I think a lot of our guys have responded really well to Coach Koch. It is a little different than what we’re used to but at the same time the game doesn’t drastically change. We’re still being taught the same things, just in a slightly different method. And I think our guys are doing a really good job of buying in. And I think it’s going to pay off for us in the long run.” Braylock said.

The Falcons will continue their season on December 2nd taking part in the 13th Annual MSOE Invitational.

A Day To Reflect

For some students, Wednesday, October 25, 2017 was simply a day off from classes on the campus of Concordia University Wisconsin. But for some students, like senior Max Fischer, the day offered a rare opportunity to participate in the school’s Reformation 500 Symposium.

“I attended the keynote speech by Dr. Benne and the sectional on nursing during the Reformation by Dr. Mobley.” said Fischer “I found the nursing sectional even more interesting because I wasn’t aware of just how impactful the role the Reformation played on the healthcare field.”

In addition to the nursing sectional, the Symposium offered presentations on other subjects such as, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health Professions, and Pharmacy. Each individual section offered its own take on the events of the Reformation and how it impacted each individual field.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Robert Benne and was titled “On Vocation”.
“Dr. Benne’s keynote really gave us a lot of insight into the different vocations that God calls us to do each and every day.” said Fischer. “It really opened my eyes to the idea that God doesn’t simply call us to live out one singular vocation, but instead take on many roles each and every day in order to best fulfill the plan God has laid out for us.”

The events of October 25 may have been different for each Concordia student, but the opportunities to learn about the impact of the Reformation on multiple industries was a chance that few people will have again.

Fundraising for a Cause

CUW Football Helps Fundraise for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With more than 100 players on roster, the CUW Football program is by far the largest team on campus. As a result, their impact and decisions are felt by a large majority of the school’s students and staff. As Head football coach Greg Etter explains “We preach to our guys that we’re the biggest and best program on campus, so we try to do things that reflect that.”

So far in the month of October, the Falcons are doing just that. While October may be largely about carving pumpkins and dressing up in Halloween costumes, it is also a month of ribbons; the symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness. Across the country people and organizations such as Crucial Catch, who partner with the NFL, are rallying around raising awareness and funds to help in the fight against breast cancer. The Falcon football team, is one of these groups.

“Obviously it’s a really important cause as some of our players and coaches have been personally affected by it with family members,” said Etter. “But I think the most important thing for our guys is to understand that everything we do is for a reason and every dollar we help to raise is another dollar closer to helping find a cure and helping so many people who are affected by this disease.”

The team has been raising money since the start of the month by selling Breast Cancer Awareness wristbands for $5 each. Last year, the team raised over $1,400 selling wristbands and t-shirts to those in attendance at football games. This year the team has had a slightly different approach.

Rather than sell only to people in attendance at games, players have sold to the people they know in the community in an effort to help build community while helping a great cause. So far the team has raised over $1,000 and will continue to sell the wristbands until the end of the month when all proceeds from the fundraising will be sent to Breast Cancer Awareness.

Growing Pains

New faces on campus share their tips on how to adapt to life on campus.

Moving away from home marks an important milestone in life. With the new change of scenery comes a new set of responsibilities, benefits and challenges. Whether forcing yourself not to hit the snooze button on your 8 a.m. alarm, or relying on friends to keep their minds off of home, the students new to Concordia’s campus have each found their own ways to adapt to life on campus.

For freshman Austin Evers life on campus can literally feel like a maze at times.

“The tunnel system was really confusing at first, there’s so many different routes you can take or little shortcuts that you just don’t know about during your first few days on campus,” he said “But after a couple weeks and with a little help from some of the older students on campus you start to pick up on where everything is and how to get there the quickest way possible.”

Although some students may be focused on finding their way to class, struggle with dealing with homesickness. Freshman Christian Mesa came to Concordia from La Quinta, Calif. Living over 2,000 miles away from home can have its drawbacks.

“I think the hardest part about being away from home is not seeing my brother all the time. He and I are really close so it’s hard to go from seeing him all the time to hardly ever seeing him,” said Mesa. “I think the thing that’s helped me the most is making a lot of close friends fairly quickly. One of my friends in particular, Adam Taylor, is an out of state student and we’ve become really close so it helps to have someone else who’s going through the same things that I am. It’s almost like he’s become my second brother.”

Although some students fill time with friends, others invest that time into being a part of a sports team. Freshman Nathan Hunt is involved in the football program.

“For me, like a lot of kids, the hardest thing about moving away is missing all the friends and the people you have back home. But being involved with football has let me keep my mind off of that because of how busy our schedule is and how much my teammates have really embraced me as part of their family. We’ve got a lot of guys on the team who have gone through the same things that us younger guys are going through right now and having them around really helps because we act as a support system for each other,” said Hunt.

As the semester continues, the new faces on campus will continue to grow, manage, and adapt to their new lives of Concordia students in different ways.

 

Writing History One Spike at a Time

It took only a few words for junior captain Lauren Nevinski to sum up the 2016-17 Concordia Volleyball season. For the first time in school history the Falcons clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA National Championship Tournament.

“It’s an unreal feeling,” Nevinski said.

The Falcons finished with the best record in school history, with a record of 22 wins, 8 losses. Nevinski, a middle hitter, led the team in solo blocks with 9.

“I’d say the best part of the season for me was beating Aurora to win the conference. No other team in Concordia history has done that so it was incredibly special to be a part of,” Nevinski said.

After winning the NACC conference championship 3-1 over Aurora, the Falcons left for Saint Paul, Minn., where they would eventually lose to No. 2 ranked Cal Lutheran, the reigning national champions.

“I think being able to go and compete against one of the best teams in the country was huge for us as far as mentality goes. This season proved to everyone involved in the program that we have the potential to go further into the NCAA tournament and play at an extremely high level,” Nevinski said.

And as the spring semester ends, the volleyball program continues to take steps forward to improve for next season.

“I think winning conference was really an eye opener for a lot of us. I’ve never been on a team that has made it to a big tournament like that so I think it’s just made us raise the bar on our expectations and our preparation,” said Nevinski. “We’re trying to keep making history.”

Coming Home for Homecoming

November began the start of festivities for Concordia as the school kicked off homecoming week.

“Homecoming is always a really festive time on campus,” said student Maddie Stressler. “Everybody really goes all out. The football game’s crowd is always huge and there’s always events going on somewhere on campus.”

Food, lawn games, and free t-shirts included the start of Freddy Fest.  With Concordia’s student-run radio station WCUW “The Talon” providing music for the event, students flocked to the Regents Courtyard to tailgate before the Falcon football team took to the field.

After an exciting first half, the homecoming court crowned their king and queen.  Seniors Erin Kline and Jonathon received the crown in front of the crowd. Halftime festivities continued as the 2006 Falcon Football team took center stage as they were honored for their accomplishments on the field.

“Seeing those guys get honored at halftime was really cool,” said Allison Neuberger. “Not only was it really awesome to see that alumni still appreciate Concordia, but it was also amazing to see one of the guys propose to his girlfriend. To be a part of that is pretty special.”

After the festivities of halftime ended, the Falcon football team took the field once more to battle against Rockford. Ultimately they won 49-46 in thrilling fashion after scoring a touchdown to take the lead with under a minute left to play.

To end homecoming weekend, Concordia students danced the night away at the River Club.

“The venue was really nice, as was the music,” said Tyler Martinkus. “To top it all off, the decorations really fit the theme of Once Upon a Time. Overall the whole thing was just an amazing time.”

As the night drew to an end, so did the week of festivities. And as the last guests strolled on out into the night, students anticipated next years’ activities.

A Club For Everyone

At the beginning of the 2016 fall semester, Concordia University announced the addition of its newest student organization: the Black Student Union (BSU).  The driving force behind its addition is to help raise awareness.

Despite what the name may imply, the BSU is a place for individuals from every race, gender, and ethnicity. It mission is to act as a “safety net” for students, providing them with a culturally responsive atmosphere in which students can thrive.

“The entire purpose of the club is to make people of all backgrounds feel welcome, as well as educate people on many different types of cultures,” member William Turner said. “Many clubs have a small mission, project, or event that is centered on making students feel welcome, but the entire core of the BSU is centered on making students here at Concordia as well as community members feel welcomed into our community.”

A key point in BSU’s purpose is its emphasis on community involvement.  This focus is evident through BSU’s recent campaign: “Project CHANGE”.

According to BSU member Kristina Aguilera, Project CHANGE was established to give words of encouragement to K-8 and high school students, discuss college readiness, and share the benefits of Concordia University.

“It’s a collaborative project between the Athletic Department, School of Education, and the BSU in which an athlete, a student from the education program, and a professor will visit and speak to the students about the importance of giving your best effort in everything you do in life,” Aguilera said.

Although raising cultural awareness and ensuring academic success for students and future generations are important to the club, what truly sets it apart is its open door policy.

“Our members come from all different backgrounds and walks of life, but when we’re together, everyone kind of forgets all that, and you’re able to focus more on who that person is,” said Turner.  “It’s not important what color your skin is, or what you talk like, or ever where you came from.  It’s come as you are.  No one is going to try to change you or make you participate in something you feel uncomfortable in.  That’s what I think makes the BSU so special.  It’s for everyone.”