CLU athletics, a year in review

This has been a year to remember for CLU athletics.

The Kingsmen football team won their fourth straight SCIAC Championship, hosted their first NCAA playoff game and amassed ten All-SCIAC players, including senior All-American wide receiver Eric Rogers.  Rogers signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, while senior quarterback Kevin Ramay signed with the Berlin Adler of Germany.

“Last season was a great season for the Kingsmen individually and as a team,” said senior linebacker Dontaie Ferguson.  “We had strong defensive leadership from the seniors and even from lower classmen who have a bright future at CLU.  The Kingsmen are going to come out hungrier this season and pick up where last year’s team left off.”

The Regals’ volleyball team also captured a SCIAC Championship and was one win away from advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight in the postseason.  Sophomore Kylie McLogan and senior Shannon Pearson were named All-Americans.

Duplicating Regals volleyball’s success was the SCIAC Champion Regals soccer team, who made it to the second round of the NCAA playoffs.  Six Regals earned All-SCIAC honors and sophomore forward Taylor Will was named an All-American.

“I could not be more proud to be a part of a successful group of student athletes,” said Will.  “This year was successful in so many ways due to the dedication our team had this season.  Even at some of the rocky points in our season, our success came from never giving up the fight to come out on top.”

The Regals’ basketball team was right behind them, winning a SCIAC Championship and earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.  Three seniors were named to the All-SCIAC team, including senior forward Channing Fleischmann.

“Winning not only the SCIAC tournament, but the SCIAC conference this year was something remarkable,” said Fleischmann.
Following that, the Regals cross-country team placed sixth in SCIAC with two All-SCIAC honorees, including senior All-American Melissa Skiba.

The Kingsmen basketball, cross country and soccer teams battled their way through injuries and trials and each finished seventh in SCIAC.

“The team showed improvement from last year, but finished poorly, which we don’t want to happen again,” said sophomore soccer mid-fielder David Lee.  “Next year, the team will be more competitive. The team chemistry is better than my previous two years because the core of the team has grown up together. The team’s putting in the work, so the results will show.”

Capping off the fall was the Kingsmen water polo team, who earned a third place finish in SCIAC, with three All-SCIAC and six All-Academic players honored for their excellence.

The Kingsmen swim and dive team placed fifth in SCIAC, set a school record in the 400-meter freestyle relay and saw sophomore diver Ryan Brem named to the All-SCIAC team.

As for the Regals’ swim and dive team, they finished sixth in SCIAC while senior Cortney Jordan set a Paralympic American S7 record in the 200 backstroke and was named to the U.S. 2013 IPC World Championship team.

Jordan was also honored as the senior Scholar Athlete of the Year along with Chad Kimmelshue.

Altogether, the fall and winter sports brought in four SCIAC Championships, garnered five All-Americans and over 20 All-SCAIC selections.

“As a unit, we become more and more successful with each new year, and I think it’s because sports is something that we all take pride in being a part of,” said Will.  “Every athlete puts the work into their sport, not for themselves, but for the school.”

Spring saw CLU milestones and records surpassed.

Continuing the record-breaking trend was junior Lauren Rohach, who set a school record in the long jump, as the rest of the Regals’ track and field team jumped to a second place finish in SCIAC.   The Kingsmen track and field and golf teams both finished their seasons placing fourth in SCIAC.

The Regals’ golf team saw tremendous play out of their freshmen as they shot their way to a third-place SCIAC finish.

The Regals’ water polo team sent their senior leaders out on a winning note, beating Chapman to take fifth place in SCIAC.

After a slow start, the Regals’ softball team rallied to finish sixth in SCIAC, tallying 12 SCIAC wins, the most wins the program has seen in 10 years, and sending two players to the All-SCIAC team.

Coming off a successful tournament in Ojai, the No. 4 Kingsmen tennis team entered this weekend’s SCIAC Tournament as the second seed and came up short, losing to Claremont in the finals. The Regals’ tennis team entered this weekend’s SCIAC tournament as the seventh seed.

Finally, the Kingsmen baseball team, ranked No. 8, entered the SCIAC tournament this weekend as the No. 1 seed.  The Kingsmen rode a 14-game winning streak led by eight seniors including Nick Boggan, the Division III leader in RBIs.

“We’ve had a lot of success offensively and defensively.  We have just really played as a team and if hitting doesn’t step up, our pitching does.  It’s really nice,” said Boggan.

The Kingsmen captured the SCIAC Championship, propelling them into the NCAA tournament.

“As far as baseball, we just need to continue to play our game and the same with the other sports,” said Boggan.  “We have done something right to get to this point so if we continue to play our game and execute like we know how, we will be fine.”

A year as successful as this will be hard to top, but the CLU athletes believe they can.

“I think CLU has become recognized as a DIII powerhouse. We’ve made a stance in multiple sports and it doesn’t take just a SCIAC Championship to show that division three schools around the nation know Cal Lutheran,” said Fleischmann.  “I think CLU fans and supporters can expect continued success in all sports. We appreciate all their support and wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we have without them.”

Jase Magarifuji
Staff Writer
Published May 8, 2013