Category: Sports

Back on the Track – By Jonathan Wais

ingoldsby-rachaelThe pistol cracked on the afternoon of April 28, signaling Rachael Ingoldsby and the six other women to begin the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2016 GSAC Championships. Ingoldsby raced into the wind, clearing each hurdle as it came. Then she felt her right knee slam into a hurdle. It hurt, but she kept running.

A few laps from the finish line, an opposing runner pulled even with Ingoldsby. Both girls ran stride for stride approaching the eight-foot water jump. They leaped and pushed off the hurdle. The other girl face planted in the water but Ingoldsby landed on her feet kept and running—leaving the past behind and focusing on what lay ahead.

Ingoldsby ran her first 3000m Steeplechase for The Master’s College at Occidental Distance Carnival on March 11, 2015. She clocked 11:40.15 and came eight seconds short of the “B” standard she needed to qualify for the 2015 NAIA National Championships.

Continue reading “Back on the Track – By Jonathan Wais”

Croft plays pro soccer in Sweden – By Zach Klindworth

sweeden

“It was all in God’s timing. I think he will fit right in to the European atmosphere. He always dreamed of this chance and now that it’s here, I’m sure he will take it all in” said Paulette Croft, mother of Brett Croft.

Sitting 30,000 feet high in the sky, Brett Croft sat silently aboard a Norwegian Airliner. He was leaving his friends, family and the comfort of his home in pursuit of a dream held close to his heart from an early age, to be a professional soccer player.

His journey overseas wasn’t simple, but it was profitable. Through adversity, the adventure would shape him into a stronger man than he thought possible.

“I’ve never put so much trust in God than I did while in the Stockholm International Airport for the first 24 hours of my journey,” Croft says.

Continue reading “Croft plays pro soccer in Sweden – By Zach Klindworth”

Chasing the best season – a commentary by Elijah Paniagua

soccer

In a competitive game like soccer, every season can be the best season. For The Master’s College men’s soccer team, the mustangs, my team, the fall of 2015 saw a group full of potential looking forward to their own best season. With an 8-1-1 record in preseason and a fierce desire to win, we entered into the Golden State Athletic Conference, or GSAC, with an almost crazed hunger. This season was ours.

September 23, 2015

Kicking off the GSAC with an away game at defending champions Vanguard (who beat us in the final last year to secure the GSAC trophy) was an invitation to come onto the scene in earnest. If we wanted everyone to fear us we had to win this game. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Defensive lapses and a lack of fire in the front led to a 2-0 defeat. 0-1-0 in GSAC

October 1, 2015 Continue reading “Chasing the best season – a commentary by Elijah Paniagua”

A TMC tradition: Summer soccer camps — By Kinley Kane

SoccerEach summer the TMC men’s soccer coach Jim Rickard and about 10 to 12 selected players from the men’s and women’s soccer teams come together to run two five-day soccer camps for kids 14 and younger. Campers arrive each day at 8 a.m. and then spend seven hours doing soccer drills, tactics, lessons and scrimmages. Aside from the sport components, they receive Bible time, a lunch meal in the cafeteria and an hour of swimming at the Hotchkiss dorm pool.

“Our camps started in 1987, my sophomore year of college,” Rickard said, “Why do we do camps? One reason is to get the community kids on campus. I would say 30% are Christian kids from the local churches and about 70% are unchurched kids. It’s a way to expose the community to The Master’s College and who we are. That’s why we take time each day of camp to have Bible time where we talk about the gospel with them.”

In addition to the ministry opportunities, summer camps such as the soccer camp give the college players a way to earn money during the summer in a coaching position.

“What is unique about our camp is that we have our college players training the kids and so not only do the kids have the chance to talk about soccer knowledge and skills but they are getting to interact with our players and seeing the college level athlete in a Christian,” Rickard said.

Natatsha Coyle, a senior on the women’s team, has experienced coaching at four camps with Rickard. She started working even before her freshman year.

“It was so neat. I got to meet a ton of people from the guys and girls programs and get familiar with the school before I came in,” Coyle said, “After working the first camp I definitely looked forward to each summer because of the camps. It was a lot of hard work dealing with so many kids but it’s really rewarding in a lot of senses. The younger girls who come to participate really look up to us as older athlete’s and women. It’s really fun for them to see and meet us college girls as well as provide examples for them with what they could be and what they can do in the aspects of improving their skills but also just having an absolute blast with the sport.”

Rickard has seen college players grow as they coach. They learn valuable lessons by having a plan each day for training and teaching tactics and technicalities.

“The best part is just seeing the college players interacting with young people and sharing their enthusiasm for the game of soccer,” Rickard said. “The camp provides our college players with a professional interaction to a coaching level. It’s fun and I hope to see most of them at one point coaching after college.”

As there is a coach-to-college-player interaction there is also a college-player-to-camper interaction.

“My favorite memory from the camps was seeing how quickly the kids grew close to each of us,”Coyle said, “By the end of the week at pool time they would start to chant each of our names getting us to jump in the freezing cold pool…It’s so cool how something like that can be the highlight of their week.”

Rickard was a coach for the summer soccer camps when he played for the men’s team. Sitting on one of the shelves in his office is a soccer ball that was given back to him from a former camper at the time, who had received the “player of the camp week” award. This ball is covered with faded autographs by Rickard and his college teammates.

“It was super cool that he had kept it and gave it back to me 17 years later.” Rickard said.

By Kinley Kane

Anatomy of a perfect game — By Kinley Kane

KarkennyIn 150 years, only 23 pitchers in Major League Baseball and 18 in the NAIA conference have thrown a perfect game. On Feb. 6 at Poway High School, sophomore Jason Karkenny from The Master’s College became apart of that family.

The day of his perfect game was like any other. After Friday morning chapel, Karkenny went with teammate Ty Galloway to Jimmy Deans to purchase a breakfast burrito with his favorite soda, Cactus Cooler. From there he prepared for the bus ride at 2 p.m. and headed down to San Diego Christian University to play the first night game of the season.

Warm-up for Jason began with a normal stretching routine and the usual attempt at “perfect catch” with teammate Hunter Totemeier. However, for the very first time, Karkenny and Totemeier played a perfect catch, not overthrowing one another or allowing the ball to bounce.

Karkenny struck out the first three hitters he faced. It was a pattern that would continue for eight more innings.

“I did the same thing between each inning. I would get three outs, high five teammates then proceed to my water bottle,” Karkenny said.

From there Karkenny would walk a couple steps off to the side of the dugout to be by himself, returning to cheer on his team. He put his jacket around his throwing arm to keep it warm. Walking back and forth, he refused to stand still.

Karkenny had accomplished getting out the entire opposing lineup by the end of the third inning. He was so determined to have a consistent routine that when the fourth inning started, so did his need to use the restroom; but because he was doing so well, he refused to make any adjustment.

“At this point I was just happy that I was doing this well for my team. I was not even thinking towards throwing a perfect game,” Karkenny said.

If someone is throwing a no-hitter or a perfect game, most teammates do not talk to the pitcher. During the game, teammate Justin Tilton quietly questioned Pearson Good if he had seen anything interesting about the scoreboard. When Good looked over, the scoreboard for the San Diego Hawks read nothing but zeros.

“When we reached the sixth inning and no one had given up a hit I thought to myself: I might as well throw a perfect game. I was never really nervous. The best I could describe it to myself was like when you’re a basketball player and you are just making all your shots. You don’t feel like you could miss…” Karkenny said.

By the seventh inning all Karkenny wanted to do was throw strikes and make pitches.

“The only time I got nervous was in the seventh inning when there was a 3-1 count … so I needed two fast balls,” Karkenny said. “I sent the ball perfectly down the middle and the guy swung at both, missing.”

The last inning was the climax as San Diego had three guys who weren’t seen all game step up to the plate. The first opponent struck out, the second grounded out and the last hitter of the game went swinging twice.

Karkenny just had one more pitch but threw two balls instead. The San Diego hitter battled the next three pitches, launching three foul balls.

“All I could think was just get out already! The anticipation got to me. So the last pitch I threw a cutter, the guy swung and missed! In that moment all I could think was ‘Wow, that actually just happened,” Karkenny said.

The fans went crazy. First to embrace Karkenny was sophomore catcher, David Sheaffer. Sheaffer later informed Karkenny, “You were squeezing me so tight!”

TMC Mustang’s swarmed the history-making star jumping up and down with shouts.

“One of the coolest things about the team coming onto the field to celebrate was how I saw my brother Steven running from the outfield,” Karkenny said (who was finally able to use the restroom).

The biggest praise for Karkenny was hearing his father, Dave Karkenny. “That was the most magnificent thing I have ever seen,” he said.

The post-game talk in the dugout began with head coach Monte Brooks humorously saying, “As of right now, I know two people who are perfect, Jason, and Jesus Christ!”

From there the team packed up and went to a teammate’s house close by. When they arrived, Karkenny was eager to recharge his phone and see all the commotion to the news about the perfect game. For the next couple of days many texts and social media notifications were buzzing his pocket.

“I still cannot believe throwing a perfect game actually happened. There has been only two times where it has felt so real. The first was when I watched the video my dad was able to get. The second happened while I researched statistics on who had thrown a perfect game,” Karkenny said.

The following Monday, Karkenny’s statistics professor challenged the class to figure out the probability of someone throwing a perfect game.

“The answer came to be something like .00009 percent,” Karkenny said, “Now at that moment, what I had done became so real to me because of how rare it really was. It’s insane!”

By Kinley Kane

TMC to host Special Olympics athletes — By Jonathan Wais

special20olympicsThis summer, The Master’s College will be hosting athlete delegations from The Faroe Islands, Malaysia, the Philippines and El Salvador, that will be competing in the 2015 Summer Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles.

The Special Olympics are an international program designed for people with mental or physical disabilities to compete in athletics. The World Games are returning to L.A. for the first time since 1972 and will be the largest humanitarian sports event in the world this year.

Over 100 host towns surrounding L.A., including Santa Clarita, have been selected by the Special Olympics to host over 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries to help acclimate them to life in the United States.

The Master’s College was originally contacted by the Special Olympics host town program to see if it was available to house athletes. After processing the information and working out their schedule, the college committed to opening campus housing to athletes from the four countries.

TMC Director of Global Outreach, Dr. Lisa LaGeorge, is handling most of the logistics involved in hosting the athletes. She formed a Global Outreach (GO) team composed of students to serve before and during the World Games.

“Because we’ve sent a disability team the last several years it seemed like a good year for us to work with Special Olympics here,” LaGeorge says. “This was one way we could not only reach into a disability community but we could also reach into our community.”

GO leaders Chris Sue and Annie Ownbey, as well as the rest of the team, are raising funds to help cover the cost of housing the athletes. Before they arrive, the team will prepare housing for the athletes, who will stay in Hotchkiss Hall. The GO team will also do everything from packing gift bags to interacting with the athletes.

Ownbey is among those looking forward to volunteering.

“People don’t really want to volunteer because they’re afraid of working with them or how they are going to interact with them,” Ownbey says. “That’s why I love it, because it’s a way for me to love on and show them that people actually care for them and ultimately God cares for them.”

Along with other activities prepared by the City of Santa Clarita, The Master’s College will organize and host a two-hour, carnival-type event for the athletes consisting of a series of stations with a game at each one. Volunteers from the college and community will help with the stations, which will feature various activities, from a shuttle run to agility games.

The 14th edition of the Summer World Games begins on July 25 and continues through Aug. 2. During this time, the GO team will do whatever the Special Olympics staff needs help with and witness some of the competitions first hand.

“There’s no doubt there’s some good athletes and pretty competitive individuals and it really is a joy to watch them enjoy what they’re doing.” says The Master’s College Athletic Director Steve Waldeck.

Waldeck, whose youngest son plays on a local Special Olympics team, was one of the earliest supporters of the college’s involvement with the World Games athletes. His belief regarding interacting with people who have disabilities is to treat them as uniquely designed individuals.

“If we look through it with the lens that God doesn’t make mistakes and He’s created each and every one of us, He’s formed us exactly how He wanted us to be.” Waldeck says. “To treat someone with that kind of focus, [that] this person was uniquely made by God and to treat them with that love and dignity and respect is paramount to go into that situation without fear of the unknown.”

By Jonathan Wais

Anderson’s pursuit of success extends beyond basketball — By Stacey Schuett

As a young boy, Korey Anderson chased success. A basketball player for The Master’s College, Anderson was recently named Capital One All-American Athlete signifying recognition of his hard work. But for Anderson the pursuit of success never ends. It continues to define him, halfway through his senior year.

Receiving the Capital One All-American Athlete honor means that Anderson is one of 816 distinguished student-athletes in their prospective leagues. To Anderson, it means something more. It is about having his potential realized and maximizing what he knows he can achieve.

Both basketball and school have been at the forefront of Anderson’s mind for the past three-and-a-half years. Finding the balance between sports, academics and social life is something he has learned.

“I had two priorities since I am a student-athlete. I am a student first. So whenever I wasn’t in practice I was probably doing homework.” Anderson said. “Academically, my parents didn’t push it on me to have good grades. They just said ‘do your best’ and I took that as, ‘Ok well my parents expect me to do this.’ and I just did. It was more self-willed than anything.”

That same self-will has helped Anderson through some difficult times. It has not been an easy road. For the past four years he has been battled a severe foot injury that has kept him from the court.

“I know he has battled through a lot of injuries, and he battled through injuries a lot more this year.” said Chris Patureau, a friend and teammate of Anderson. “It was his senior year and he wanted to be out there with the team and fight. So his willingness to fight for the team has really shown and people see that.”

Anderson’s drive for success doesn’t end on the court, and though he plays with tenacity and perseverance he also has a reputation on and off the court as genuine and easy-going.

“He is never up and down with his emotions, that’s an awesome thing to see in a friend, in a teammate, at that.” Patureau said. “If anyone has a serious issue they know they can go to him out of anyone on the team, he is a very sincere person. That translates to his relationship with the Lord, school, and basketball.”

Patureau’s view is shared by many of Anderson’s classmates and peers. Kayla Curtis, a sophomore at TMC, has only been in marketing with Anderson for half the semester and already recognizes his diligence and character-

“He is really focused and organized. He has been taking details very seriously and is willing to lead the group. That means doing the grunt work in order for us to have a successful project,” Curtis said, “He takes his academics very seriously. He has been more than willing to put in the time and effort to make things happen.”

Although Anderson’s first priority is his grades, there are things he would change and lessons he is thankful for.

“It took a lot of sacrifice, I even had to sacrifice relationships sometimes. I know that the lord still used the relationships I have and shapes who I am today,” Anderson said. “Looking back I wish I lessened my grip on school.”

One relationship in particular is about to become a life long commitment. His fiancé, Jacquelyn Marshall, has been a large part of Anderson’s college years.

“It’s a huge blessing, sometimes it can be a distraction like ‘Aw, I don’t want to do homework I just want to hang out’ but since she is in school as well,” Anderson said “We have helped each other be motivated. She is a great encourager.”

Anderson strives to continue honoring the Lord while he prepares for graduation. His perseverance and diligence has granted him success in many areas of his life, and he doesn’t plan for it to end here.

“I know that whatever I am going to do it will be to the best of my ability, so it’s not really ‘Oh I wanna be recognized I want fame’ I don’t really care about that.” Anderson said. “It’s a gift and ultimately I need to trust the Lord in that whatever comes my way He’ll bring about for my good.”

By Stacey Schuett

New turf protects players, highlights advances in engineering — By Kelsey Kukaua

The Master’s College Athletics Department launched construction on the new turf of Reese Field on Dec. 10. Its biggest concern was the safety of the programs’ players as the turf had begun to deteriorate under the scorching UV rays of the Southern California sun.

“The turf was just on the front end of a safety issue as the athletes would lose their footing and aesthetically we knew it was breaking down,” said TMC Athletic Director, Steve Waldeck.

The need for a new field arose as the quality of the aged surface began degenerating. With the imitation grass fibers unable to hold the rubber infill, this became an issue for the athletes whose cleats are meant to dig into those surfaces.

The main roles of the Athletic Department included gathering bids from different turf vendors, searching for a local contracting team and overseeing the desired outcome once production was set in motion, all within an aggressive timeline.

The previous turf addition took place nine years ago when the natural grass field was excavated of dirt, supplemented with two draining systems, and leveled with crushed rock. Because of the work done in 2006, the majority of this revival project was based on removing the broken down turf and infill, then installing the new carpet.

This first generation turf technology has drastically changed since then with the type of weave, blend and webbing options available for use.

“The first time seemed a little more systematic … this has been more of working on the areas available,” said TMC Assistant Athletic Director and men’s soccer coach, Jim Rickard, who also headed the original turf installment. He later added, “It wasn’t as smooth of a process as it was last time, but the new turf quality should wear better for longer.”

While majority of the work took place over winter break, the crew came into contact with a few minor delays. The removal company was shocked by the magnitude of the job, especially when workers had to manually remove the extra sand; the job also required more rubber supply that expected.

High winds and rain set back the team at least a week. Other modifications in fencing and walkways extended the process to about nine weeks overall, ambitious for the size of this space, as the task should have taken 3-6 months.

Baseball was able to reclaim its territory in time for its Jan. 30-31 series against Biola.

“It was tough not being able to have that home field advantage on our own turf starting off season,” said sophomore pitcher, Conner Menez. “But we still did alright considering that disadvantage.”

There was also a noticeable difference in how the new turf felt for the athletes.

“I don’t slip as much as when I did with the old turf because it was almost like sliding on just the rubber, not even the carpet,” Menez said.

Along with baseball, women’s soccer kicked off its first practice on Feb. 2 while part of the turf was still being redone.

“It’s hard getting used to because of the thickness of it, which makes the speed of play a lot slower,” said sophomore forward, Stephanie Albright.

The field is still not completely finished as the crew is redoing certain sections.

“It’s a little frustrating because it’s not 100 percent done yet, But it plays nice,” Rickard said.

The Athletic Department expects the project to be fully concluded by the end of the 12-week mark, allowing enough time to even out the remaining infill.

By Kelsey Kukaua

Karkenny hits two homers; Mustangs hold serve in race to GSAC title – By Stacey Schuett

20150327_163834Steve Karkenny hit a pair of solo home runs – one in the first inning and one in the second – to jumpstart the Mustang offense as The Master’s College defeated San Diego Christian Friday, 6-1 at Reese Field.

Karkenny was 2-for-4 with a two RBI. Teammate Collin Nyenhuis, whose solo shot in the seventh closed out the scoring, went 3-for-4 and also knocked in two runs.

Pitcher Jason Karkenny, facing San Diego Christian for the first time since tossing a perfect game against the Hawks on Feb. 6, allowed just five hits and one earned run in eight innings, walking one batter and striking out three

With the win, TMC (29-7, 22-6) maintained its one-game lead over rival Westmont atop the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). The Mustangs will play San Diego Christian in a double-header tomorrow to close out the season series.

With the GSAC tournament on the horizon and Westmont nipping at their heels, the Mustangs are looking to finish strong against San Diego Christian this weekend. TMC will face Westmont in a pivotal three-game series on the road April 17-18.

For now, though, the Mustangs are keeping their eyes fixed on the next game on the schedule.

“We can’t control the future, or worry about the past,” said TMC head coach Monte Brooks.

The players share Brooks’ mindset.

“The thing about baseball and the thing about our conference is that anybody can beat anybody on any given day.” Jason Karkenny said. “We just have to focus on playing hard in our game of baseball and not overthink things.”

Brooks says his players are looking forward to the the next few weekends of baseball, which features home games against Arizona Christian on April 1-2 and William Jessup on April 10-11.

“We are really excited and enthusiastic about this opportunity. We are thankful to the Lord.” Brooks said.

Friday’s game also marked the return of Mustang shortstop Jonathan Popadics, who is recovering from an injury that has sidelined him all season. Popadics must decide this weekend whether to play the remainder of his senior season or take a medical redshirt exemption, which would spell the end of the season but allow him to return play a full season next year.

“We want to see how his hand handled the surgery. So we will assess … then make a decision if it is too painful,” Brooks said. “There’s no losing here. It is a win-win whether he medical redshirts or comes back. We want to make sure he is healthy.”

Along with Popadics, Mustang Tyler Beets is coming off of a broken hand and has started practicing, and teammate David Carpenter is also recovering from an injury and “doing a little better,” Brooks said.

By Stacey Schuett