Football kicks off 2011 season in style with 21-19 winBy ANDY RUSSELL Sports Editor
As the third week of the fall semester comes to a close, there are several things that are just beginning to start up; the volleyball team has evened their record at 6-6, the tennis team has begun their grueling season and the football team is off to a good start with a 21-19 win over Ottawa University.
At the end of the 2010 season, the GC football team was the talk of the NAIA with their stellar record in conference play and their proli c offense. With the offense returning in-tact and ready to go, everyone assumed the Tigers would blow Ottawa out of the water. However, even with all of the talk continuing through the offseason about the offense, defense ruled the day last Saturday.
The defense only allowed 86 yards on the ground and forced four fumbles on Saturday. Couple both of the those things with two goal line stands in the second half and a blocked eld goal after a GC fumble and stellar doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the defense’s day.
However you can’t overlook the offense: 171 yards on the ground and 208 yards through the air to get 21 points en route to the win. If there was an Achilles heel in the game, one that could have cost them the game, it was the turnovers and penalties: GC committed eight penalties that cost them 61 yards and turned the ball over twice, once by interception and once by fumble (they fumbled twice, but only lost one of them).
The closest the game got was in the second half after GC was up 21-13 and the Braves went on a 10-play drive.
However, GC blocked the extra point to put the score at 21-19.
After that, GC fumbled the ball and the Braves were at the GC one-yard line when the defense stood them up. The Braves tried three times to get the ball in the end zone but GC stood strong. The defense, with the same gusto as the previous goal line stand, performed to the same level throughout the second half and carried GC to the win.
This was a great way to start the season for the Tigers and this will carry them into their next game against the University of the Cumberlands.
This was another big win for Coach Cronin who, before the season started, was named as the fth best coach in wins among active coaches.
During his tenure at GC, Coach Cronin has amassed 133 wins with only 34 losses. The Tigers have averaged 9.5 wins during his tenure and he has two national titles along with 10 Mid-South Conference championships.
Cronin has an active winning percentage of .796, which is second among active coaches. Based on what aspired last Saturday in Kansas, I would say that Coach Cronin is going to get a few more wins added to that list this season as the Tigers take to the gridiron to try again for the postseason and a national title.
The Tigers will play this weekend and next at home against University of the Cumberlands and Shorter University. The game against Shorter is the Homecoming game for 2011. Everyone go out and support the Tigers as they march to the championship. Coach Cronin is looking to tack on more wins this season as head coach. However, he isn’t doing it for him, but for his players.
Fall sports, and classes too, usher in a new year at GCBy ANDY RUSSELL
Fall is the season of change and, as we delve deeper into the season, we begin to think about all of the change: change of Athletic Director, change in the basketball program (both men’s and women’s) and (possibly) a change from NAIA to NCAA Division III.
With all of this change going on, one wonders what all of these new faces and new ideas will bring. However, fall is still fall and, with that, comes many other sports. Stay tuned for news on all of the changes in the athletic department but, for now, here is your GC sports update.
GC volleyball starts rough, grinds to .500
Although the GC volleyball team didn’t get off to the perfect start they imagined, they have righted the ship and have evened the record at 6-6 after a ve game win streak against some good teams. The team started out with some tough losses against Ashford University, Missouri Baptist and Saint Ambrose University.
They were able to put the wheels back on, however, en route to some dening wins against St. Catharine, Montreat College, Concordia University and Shorter College. This team has been very resilient so far and hasn’t let the expectations get to them. This is a very young team with only four seniors on the roster and they haven’t had a lot of experience. Traditionally, this program is a national contender and just a couple years ago were on the national stage.
After the start of the season, at 1-6, it looked as if things were going to go the wrong way. However they were able to grind it out and scrap back into it and now are right in the thick of things in the MSC race. They have a game tomorrow against Lindsey Wilson at 7 p.m.
Men’s soccer seeking first win of 2011 campaign
The GC men’s soccer team is off to a rough start this season and is still in search of their rst win as they hit the road for a four game trip against some tough opponents.
They have only scored three goals through ve games and lost both games this past weekend in the Georgetown Classic Tournament.
Derek Willis is entering his fourth season with the team and is looking to build the program for the future. This is evident in the underclassmen talent he has on the team: nine freshmen and six sophomores.
This team also features eight seniors that have been through it all and they are prepared to bring this team back into the MSC race. Their next home game is on Sept. 27 against Tennessee Wesleyan at 3 p.m.