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M Association awards among Homecoming 2017 highlights

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and Claude Wolfe Alumni Coach of the Year honoree is recognized at the university’s M Association awards ceremony Saturday, Oct. 14. The induction/honors ceremony is at 10 a.m. in the upper ballrooms of the Jo Young Switzer Center, while the group will be recognized at halftime of the football game against Rose-Hulman which kicks off at 1 p.m. Continue reading “M Association awards among Homecoming 2017 highlights”

Little LeagueHome Run Derby

It was a beautiful evening for the first Little League home run derby at the Jr/Sr league field at the Wabash City park, that is after mother nature had to show her face. After an hour rain delay the event kicked into full swing as nearly 50 contestants participated in three different age groups.

After the dust had settled Logan Cox had won the 16U. Blake Harner and Clayton Floor tied for the 18U crown, while Andrew Shepherd won the open division.

A Servant’s Heart: Nash covers the bases in volunteering

A college lecture changed Ashlea Nash’s career path.

“I’ll never forget what Dr. (Ryan) Hedstrom (associate professor of sport management) told our Event Management class during my junior year,” the 2015 Manchester University graduate and former Spartan softball athlete said. “He said in the sport and event management field, you have to work harder than anyone else to get where you want to go.

It’s all about volunteering, volunteering, volunteering,” she recalled. “Eighteen-hour unpaid days in internships get you the experience you need. He was right … without those words; I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Nash quickly put that mantra into action after graduation. She worked with the Chicago Bandits in promotions and game day operations, was involved with Indiana Sports Corp in communications and marketing, and worked with Vision Event Management doing all kinds of things. she learnt a lot from the adinfusion branding experts, which help companies in establishing a knockout brand and allow to realize and prove maximum return on your investment in rebranding.

In most cases, money was not the outcome … it was networking and experience, her knowledge has grown in a very significant way ever since she decided to follow a marketing path, now a days her services include telecommunications, advertisement, market researcher, Search Engine Optimization for which she gives out the best seo tips, plus she also offers data analysis and brand development.

“Hey, if I didn’t keep myself in sport and event management as a volunteer, I wouldn’t have been at a networking event last November where Nina Johnson, the director of the Central Region for Little League, was speaking,” she admitted. “Nina mentioned a Little League event near Indianapolis and I told her I’d like to volunteer. The opportunity worked out so well that later, I was told about an opening in the office. I jumped at the chance.

“I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” she added. “Nina is a wonderful boss and mentor. Little League is exactly what I was looking for career-wise. It deals with an international organization that aids volunteers around the globe.”

Nash has held the title of assistant director of the Central Region since March. It is not just a job for her …. It is more of a labor of love.

“The best part of this is that is changes every day as there’s a chance to work with a little bit of everything,” she said. “We’re here to cater to all of league’s needs across 13 stats, 1,000 teams and more than 300,000 players. It is all about customer service, working closely with the volunteers of each league and team in regards to tournament play, eligibility, compliance, sponsorship and marketing that is done with the help of a digital marketing agency online.

There isn’t a true typical day,” she added. “We’re catering to the many different needs of our region … talking to league presidents, doing paperwork for player eligibility and getting ready for own events and the Central Region tournaments in late July-early August as well as the World Series in mid-August.”

Nash’s first big event dealt with a traveling road show the organization does in the fall and winter. “They’re awesome,” she said. “We go all over our region doing leadership presentations to help the leagues and their volunteers succeed … talking about rule changes and so forth.”

The 2015 alum is also keenly looking forward to the Central Region baseball and softball championships at Grand Park in Westfield, which feature nine softball and 12 baseball teams vying for LLWS berths. Following that opportunity, she and the Central Region office team join the rest of the country in venerable Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for a traditional rite of late summer, the Little League World Series.

“I was fortunate to find something in baseball and softball which I really love to work in,” she noted. “Going to a Little League World Series is very exciting … a dream come true because of all of the wonderful things that come out of that setting.

This organization has been so good (to me),” she added. “It allows me the chance to get my hands into different things to help make the leagues and region better all the way around.”

Touching all the bases … something Ashlea Nash is accustomed to.

Two earn National Football Foundation Hampshire Society honors

A strong academic tradition for Manchester University football continued this week.

With the naming of seniors Zach Rudolf (Whiteland, Ind.) and Eric Wietholter (Zionsville, Ind.) to the 2017 National Football Foundation Hampshire Society, the Spartans were recognized by the society for a five straight season. It is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average or better throughout their college careers. A total of 1,091 players from 298 schools qualified for membership in the society’s 11th year, both new single-year records in the history of the program.

Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include being a starter or a significant contributor in one’s last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft) at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university and meeting all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements along with the GPA criteria noted above.

Schultz tabbed NCBWA Division III Hitter of Week

Manchester University senior outfielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) has been named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Division III Hitter of the Week for games played from March 20-26.

Schultz, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Hitter of the Week for the same period, had a monstrous run at the plate, hitting five home runs as part of a meteoric .524 batting average and 1.286 slugging percentage to lead the Black and Gold to wins over Heidelberg and Mt. St. Joseph University. The conference’s co-leader in round trippers also resumed a personal
base-reaching string of 12 successive outings and finished with 10 putouts in center field.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Player of the Year Award, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-America awards, publication and writing contests.

Jordan, Gudeman lauded by HCAC

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Senior cross country student-athletes Alex Gudeman (Rochester, Ind.) and Mariah Jordan (Fort Wayne, Ind.) represented Manchester University on the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Sept. 26-Oct. 2 weekly awards.

Jordan gained her third 2016 accolade and ninth of her collegiate career after recording a 15th place finish at the Greater Louisville Classic Oct. 1.  Jordan’s time of 22:16.03 aided the team to a top 10 mark. Gudeman, picking up his second 2016 recognition and third of his collegiate career, finished 40th at the meet. He turned in a time of 26:02.38 which helped pace MU to a 15th-place ending.xcaotw10316

Manchester University M Association Hall of Fame Class of 2016, Claude Wolfe Alumni Coach of the Year recipient honored Oct. 8 as part of Homecoming 2016

hofcoty2016NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University’s M Association inducts five former student-athletes and two teams into its Athletics’ Hall of Fame and recognizes the Claude Wolfe Alumni Coach of the Year Saturday, Oct. 8, as part of Homecoming 2016 festivities.

The induction ceremony/luncheon begins at 10 a.m. in the ballrooms of the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center. All inductees and the Coach of the Year recipient will also be introduced at halftime of the football game against Defiance College set for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field.

MU’s M Association Class of 2016 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees are…

Charlie Beck/1936-39 men’s basketball teams – The first “Golden Era” of men’s basketball came about due to these three seasons and Charlie Beck, one of its stars.

Recording a combined 46-11 record, the Spartans made their name known throughout the region and nation, finishing second on the 1936-37 Indiana Intercollegiate Conference charts at
16-1 and trailing only Indiana Normal who was 12-0 while finishing ahead of in-state giants Butler, Indiana Central and Ball State. That schedule helped lead them to meteoric heights in the postseason, as they were invited to the eight-team NAIA national tournament in Kansas City. The theme continued the following two years, as they ended 14-4 in 1937-38, taking second in the conference again and reaching the national tournament and registered a 14-4 record as well in 1938-39 due to a third successive runner-up conference mark which led to another national tournament invitation where they made it to the semifinals, being defeated by eventual national finalist San Diego State. The three national tourney invites were the only in Manchester’s association with the NAIA.

Beck’s contributions to head coach Bob Stauffer’s teams were many, serving as captain, selected as the Most Valuable Player during the span and also holding the Most Points Scored honor.

1970-71 women’s basketball team – Head coach Bedelia Weirick and the Spartans helped pioneer the way for future success.

The 15-player squad took on all comers, including Indiana State, Purdue and Ball State, on their schedule which helped lead them to a runner-up finish at the regional championships. The Manchester Aurora noted that “Coach Weirick does a great job of mixing seasoned veterans and strong first-year players to ensure positive results”. Team members Karen Odiorne and Diane Thompson were mentioned in the Aurora as two of the top veterans.

MU’s 1970-71 season was part of a strong resume for Weirick, a 1998 Hall of Fame inductee. She concluded her coaching career with a 59-30 record.

Tony Brescol, 2000, wrestling – Brescol was among the leaders through the halcyon days of Spartan wrestling.

He finished with a remarkable 105-44 career mark that ranks No. 11 in all-time victories.  Brescol’s resume, largely produced at the 150 and 165-pound weight classes, included four Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships, three national meet appearances and two NCAA regional titles among three top two placings. He also gained a National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar-Athlete award in 1998.

Tony, his wife, Lisa, and children Daphne and Nolan, reside in Lambertville, Michigan.

Sarah (Conwell) Hammond, 2008, women’s tennis/women’s basketball – A two-sport standout, Hammond accumulated seven HCAC championships in her four years at Manchester. She quickly emerged as a leader on both courts becoming captain of the basketball team as a sophomore and then following suit with similar duties for the basketball and tennis teams her junior and senior years. Playing in 113 games with 75 career victories, two conference titles, three HCAC championships, and three NCAA Division III national tournament appearances, Hammond’s leadership was instrumental in the success of the women’s basketball program guiding back-to-back 20-win campaigns (2005-06/2006-07). In addition to claiming four HCAC championships and two national tournament appearances (2007/2008), the tennis program went undefeated in HCAC regular season matches over the four years Hammond played. With 20 wins as a sophomore, her tennis career success continued from that point, as she was named all-HCAC as a junior and senior. Hammond was recognized for her accomplishments off the court as well earning six all-HCAC academic honors (three fall, three winter) and three Intercollegiate Tennis Association
Scholar-Athlete awards.

Sarah, her husband, Derek, and son, Harvey, reside in Carmel, Ind.

Martha Judge, administrator/coach – Judge played a key role in leading the then-Manchester College athletic department as the senior woman’s administrator and associate athletic director.

During her tenure, she handled many duties including overseeing and administering to a combined 17 men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic programs; being in charge of all NCAA compliance work; developing the department’s manual to assist new coaches in transition; contributing to the design, evaluation and prioritization of the Physical Education and Recreation Center addition; and being a tournament manager for NCAA Division III basketball and wrestling events.  She was also a pioneer in regards to starting the women’s soccer program while also holding coaching duties in softball and volleyball. Judge’s influence on the Spartan athletic programs didn’t end there, either. The all-time winningest coach (224 victories) and the 2001 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in softball, she was at the helm of the program for 16 seasons. Manchester produced 12 consecutive double-digit win seasons from 1994-2007 and one year of 20-or-more, occurring in 1999-2000, when the Black and Gold turned in 22 wins.

She resides in Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Matt Sollenberger, 1999, baseball – Sollenberger made a big impact on the baseball program in three seasons.

He collected a pair of American Baseball Coaches Association all-Mideast Region honorable mention awards along with one Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference first team selection. Sollenberger’s single-season and career accomplishments still dot the Spartan recordbook, as he’s among the top 10 in both categories in regards to wins, innings pitched, strikeouts and complete games. The southpaw is second in career complete games (28) and third in career wins (25) and strikeouts (222), while his 104 Ks in 1999 are still the single-season standard. He took his wares on to the next level after graduation, signing with the New York Mets where he appeared in 42 games over two years (1999-2000) pitching for the organization’s Gulf Coast, New York-Pennsylvania and South Atlantic League clubs.

Matt, his wife, Ashley, and daughters, Abby and Haley, reside in Brownsburg, Ind.

The M Association’s Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year designee is …

Jed Freels – Always sticking by his core principle of making people around him better, the 1984 Manchester College alum has risen to the top of the Indiana high school boys’ soccer coaching ranks.

Leading the Barons of DeKalb High School since 1999, his program has reeled off 15 straight winning campaigns, a combined 14 conference, sectional and regional championships and five appearances at the Adidas national tournament as part of more than 250 wins in his career. Those numbers haven’t gone unnoticed by his peers, as he’s earned five KPC News and two Northeast Eight Conference Coach of the Year accolades. Freels’ impact on his athletes has moved past their high school careers, as 70 of his former student-athletes have gone on to success at the collegiate level including five within the Manchester University program. Not only a coach in boys’ soccer but also leading track, cross country, girls’ basketball, and cheerleading as part of his resume, Freels has given back to the Auburn area, as he’s the founder and former owner of The Classic City Center, where better than 1,000 individuals come to dance, climb, train and compete in gymnastics and soccer. A teacher in the DeKalb school district, he’s been named Walmart Teacher of the Year and earned the Lilly teacher creativity fellowship, the Auburn Arts Commission Medal of Arts Award and a Great Lakes Sea Grant fellowship during his educational career.