Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mural celebrating Joplin's baseball history to be unveiled

(From Southern News Service)

Chalk it up to a bit of artistic serendipity – the “J” on Mickey Mantle’s Joplin Miners baseball cap lines up with the “B” on Joe Becker’s Brooklyn Dodgers cap at the opposite end of the mural.

While not intended, says Burt Bucher, the J and B could easily stand for the Joplin Blasters, or maybe Joe Becker Stadium, where the mural created by a group of art students at Missouri Southern State University will be unveiled before the Blasters’ final game of the season at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.

The idea for the three-panel, 8-by-16-foot mural originated with Leadership Joplin, a program of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. Missouri Southern’s Focal Point student art organization was asked to create it.

“The idea was to represent the history of Joe Becker Stadium and the history of Joplin as well,” said Bucher, associate professor of art. “The students designed it. They went through six or seven design ideas and Leadership Joplin voted for the one they liked.”

“The idea kept evolving over a period of several weeks,” said Lydia Humphreys, a sophomore art major who served as one of the lead designers. “Leadership Joplin liked this one, but they wanted to incorporate Route 66 and we also added the Joplin skyline.

“We projected the image onto the (panels), sketched it out again and started painting it last week.”
The depictions of Becker and Mantle are an homage to Joplin’s baseball history. Becker was a professional umpire and scout who served as business manager for the Joplin Miners minor league baseball team from 1936-42, and later as a pitching coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Mantle played for the Miners in 1950 on his way up to Major League Baseball and a successful 17 years with the New York Yankees.

Throughout this week, the students spent long evenings completing the mural and adding in small details and textures that will make it stand out for stadium visitors.

“With big projects like this, it’s a bit different (than other mediums),” said senior art major Jenny Journeycake. “You have to put all these little details into it, then you have to back up across the room to look at it.”

The stadium mural isn’t the only large-scale work that art students from the university have created. Last fall, the “Downtown Gateway Mural” at Main and B streets was unveiled. The work commemorates downtown Joplin through images from the 1920s to the present.

“I think people are starting to see the quality of work that we can do,” said Bucher. “It’s a great partnership between the Art Department and the city.”
Shelby Moe, a junior art major, said she’s proud to see artwork that she’s helped with featured prominently in Joplin.

“It’s cool to make something that the whole town can enjoy,” she said. “It’s nice to see people appreciate art, even if it’s not what some people consider to be ‘high art.’ There’s common ground for everyone to enjoy it.”

The mural project was a natural way for Leadership Joplin to collaborate with the university to add some artistic enhancement to the new home of the independent baseball team.

“Leadership Joplin is a cooperative effort to share experiences, knowledge and insight into the dynamic community of the Joplin area, while expanding opportunities to enhance their community involvement skills while also gaining leadership training,” said Ginger LaMar, director of members services and development for the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. “We really appreciate the partnership with Missouri Southern, the city of Joplin and the Joplin Blasters.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Watch Webb City-Rockhurst football at this link

Watch Seneca-Lamar football live at this link

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Third place finish predicted for MSSU men's cross country

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern men's cross country program has been picked to finish third in the 2015 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll, the league announced today. 
The Lions are the defending MIAA Champions and return four runners from last year's team that won all but one regular-season Division II meet it entered in 2014. 
Jacob CoffmanNathan HenryTyler Rush and Ben Southwick all return and head coach Bryan Schiding brings in an exciting group of newcomers to help the Lions defend their title. 
Southern opens up the season on September 5 at the Southwest Baptist Invitational. The Lions play host to the Southern Stampede on September 19. Missouri Southern will host the 2015 NCAA Central Regional Championships on November 7, as well as the NCAA Division II National Championship on November 21. 
2015 MIAA Preseason Men's Coaches Poll
1. Nebraska-Kearney (6)    58
2. Pittsburg State                52
3. Missouri Southern (1)     47
4. Fort Hays State (1)         45
5. Northwest Missouri         37
6. Central Missouri             36
7. Southwest Baptist          28
8. Lindenwood                   12
9. Emporia State                11

MSSU picked to repeat as women's cross country champs

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern women's cross country program has been picked to repeat as MIAA Champs as the conference office released the 2015 Preseason Coaches Poll today. 
The Lions, who won all but one regular season Division II meet they entered in 2014 and went on to finish third at the Regional meet, return seven runners from last year's Championship team incluing All-Region performer Emily Harris. Head coach Patty Vavra also brings in veteran runner Amber White from the track and field team, as well as a host of talented newcomers. 
The Lions were picked, along with Southwest Baptist, to win the league, while Pittsburg State, Fort Hays State and Northwest Missouri round out the top five. Nebraska-Kearney, Central Oklahoma, Central Missouri, Lincoln, Emporia State and Lindenwood round out the poll. 
Southern opens up the season on September 5 at the Southwest Baptist Invitational. The Lions play host to the Southern Stampede on September 19. Missouri Southern will host the 2015 NCAA Central Regional Championships on November 7, as well as the NCAA Division II National Championship on November 21. 
2015 MIAA Preseason Women's Coaches Poll
T1. Missouri Southern (6)     94
T1. Southwest Baptist (5)     94
3. Pittsburg State                  79
4. Fort Hays State                 73
5. Northwest Missouri           60
6. Nebraska-Kearney            54
7. Central Oklahoma             48
8. Central Missouri                44
9. Lincoln                              22
10. Emporia State                21
11. Lindenwood                    16 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MSSU golf picked to finish seventh

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The MIAA office has released virtual media day and the pre-season coaches' poll today.

The Missouri Southern men's golf team was picked to finish seventh this season, following their seventh place finish last season with 23 points. The Lions were just seven points back of sixth place Missouri Western, who was also picked to finish sixth this season. Central Missouri once again is picked to repeat as conference champions as they picked up eight of the 11 first place votes, while Central Oklahoma gathered the other three and is picked second. Rounding out the top five is Northeastern State at three, Washburn in fourth, and Lindenwood at fifth. Then comes Western and Southern, Nebraska-Kearney follows at eighth, Lincoln in ninth, Fort Hays State comes in at tenth, and Southwest Baptist rounds out the poll at eleventh.

The Lions will return six from last season's squad, five of whom qualified for tournaments. Senior Ethan Hutcheson will lead the way for the Lions, as Coach Mike Wheeler says "Anything short of a regional tournament berth is not acceptable this season. That is our ultimate goal this year." Other returners include junior Trae Fairchild who competed in six tournaments and finished with a scoring average of 79.4, 8-over, in 15 rounds of play; junior Taylor Lansford who played in all ten tournaments last season and finished with a scoring average of 78.5, 7-over, in 26 rounds; sophomore Connor Neil who qualified for five tournaments with a scoring average of 79.5, 8-over, in 12 rounds; sophomore Aaron Shoemaker who played in three tournaments last fall with a scoring average of 79.0, 8-over, in eight rounds, and sophomore Grant Seifried who did not compete at a tournament last season.

Joining this years squad will be five incoming freshmen in Jake BadovinacBrandon CoaleTristan Haltom,Tripper Jenson, and Nate Neel and junior transfers Ignacio Dopererio Lopez, Cameron Hamilton, and sophomoreBradley Jumper. ,

Badovinac,was a four year letter winner at Harrison (Ark.) HS. During his four years he helped the Goblins extended their dominance in the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) Class 5A West District to 10 straight,titles. During that time Badovinac and the Goblins won the AAA Class 5A team title in 2012, a third place finish in 2013, and a runner-up finish this fall. In 2013, Jake placed his personal best at the state tournament finishing tied for seventh with a round of 79.,Jake was a three time All-District and All-State performer with a scoring average of 75.

Coale,was a four year starter and letter winner at the number one position for the Siloam Springs HS in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. In 2014, Coale helped lead SSHS to a third place finish in the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) Class 6A. Coale finished fourth place individually with a 148 (76-72), one stroke off the individual championship. In his sophomore season he became the only person in history of SSHS to hold the Springdale Invitational title. Coale was selected by First Tee to play in the Heinz Mentorship program at Shadow Valley Country Club in 2013 and 2014. In 2012, he was selected by First Tee to play in a celebrity fundraiser tournament at the Blessings golf course.

Haltom was a two sport stand out for the Ava High School Bears earning eight letters between golf and football. He won 14 tournaments as a member of the AHS Bears while earning All-Conference and All-District honors all four years. Haltom was also a four time state qualifier for the MSHSAA Class 2. In 2015, Haltom earned one Ozone Player of the Week honors as he finished third in the MSHSAAClass 2 District 5 tournament at 3-over, one stroke behind his brother Taylor. At the Class 2 Sectional 3 tournament Tristan finished tied for third at 3-over, two strokes behind the winner. At the Class 2 State Championships in Springfield at the Rivercut Golf Course, Haltom finished tied for tenth at 8-over. Haltom also helped the Bears to three straight South Central Conference and MSHSAA Class 2 District 5 titles. On the gridiron Haltom earned All-State honors at offensive line in 2013-14 and was named lineman of the year for the South Central Conference.

Jenson was a four year letter winner for Coach Dave Soetaert and the Mt. Vernon HS Mountaineers. As a freshman he earned first team All-District honors and repeated that selection during his sophomore campaign while adding first team All-Big 8 and Conference Player of the year, and All-State honors. During his junior year Jensen repeated as first team All-Big 8 and All-District. As a team MVHS finished third at the MSHSAA Class 2 state meet in 2012 and tied for sixth in 2013. As an individual Jensen's highest finish at the MSHSAA State tournament was tied for 11th his sophomore season with a two round total of 158. He also won the Big 8 Conference tournament that season. Jenson was also a guard for the Mt. Vernon boy's basketball team.

Neel is a native of Miami, Oklahoma and a 2015 graduate of Miami HS.  Neel earned four letters in golf for the Wardogs and coach Rusty Mercer while helping MHS to the 2014 Regional Golf Runner-up finish and a 2015 conference title. During his freshman season, Neel earned All-Metro and All-Conference honors. In 2013, Neel finished fourth in the 4A Regional Golf Tournament while earning All-Conference honors again in 2014. He won the Gary Williams Golf Tournament during his senior season while qualifying for the 4A state tournament in three straight years. Neel also competed in basketball for the Wardogs and Coach Mercer earning two letters, while starting one year at point guard.

Dopererio Lopez is a native of Lagrono, Spain, comes to the Lions after playing two years at Division II Clayton State in Morrow, Georgia. Lopez helped the Lakers finish fourth in the Peach Belt Conference tournament last season.

Hamilton comes to the Lions from Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma where he finished the 2013-14 season ranked 22nd in the NJCAA D2 with a 74 stroke average. He finished sixth in the NJCAA D2 Region 2 tournament with a two round 157.  A native of Broken Arrow, Okla., Cameron was a four year letter winner for the Tigers of Broken Arrow HS and Coach Bo Belcher. Hamilton was a part of two team regional championships as the Tigers took the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) Class 6A regional titles during his sophomore and senior seasons. In 2012, Cameron won the Union Invitational and the BA Maxwell. He earned 6A All-Conference and Frontier Valley Academic All-Conference honors both his junior and senior seasons. While at BAHS Cameron also started four years at center for the hockey team where he was the leader in points, goals, assists, and penalty minutes during his senior campaign while serving at team captain.

Jumper was a two sport athlete for the Seneca HS Indians lettering in both golf and basketball...was a three time All-Big 8 selection, three time All-District selection and a three year MSHSAA state qualifier...earned All-State honors in 2013-14 and was the Big 8 Conference champion in 2013-14...Jumper also played two years on the hardwood for the Indians helping SHS to a MSHSAA Class 3 District 12 title.

The Lions will begin their fall portion of the season as they host the MSSU Men's Fall Invitational, an MIAA Points Event, at the Shagria-La Country Club in Monkey Island, Oklahoma September 14-15.

2015 MIAA Preseason Men's Coaches Poll

1. Central Missouri (8)                            98

2. Central Oklahoma (3)          93

3. Northeastern State                               75

4. Washburn                                                            67 

5. Lindenwood                                        60 

6. Missouri Western                                58 

7. Missouri Southern                              52

8. Nebraska-Kearney                               42

9. Lincoln                                                                23

10. Fort Hays State                 19

11. Southwest Baptist                             18  

MSSU track coach Schiding coaching in China

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern men's track and field coach Bryan Schiding is making another appearance on the international coaching scene as he is coaching a former athlete at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in China.

Schiding is coaching a former student-athlete of his, Tyrone Smith, who was a long jumper for him when Schiding coached at Missouri S&T. Smith, a Bermuda native, is on his country's national team and currently holds the Bermuda national record in the long jump at 8.22 meters.

Entering his seventh year at Southern and third as head coach, Schiding has been working with Smith for 12 years as his coach. Smith is a two-time Olympian, competing in the 2008 an 2012 games and he was a finalist in the games in London in 2012.

Smith entered into the finals of the event in Beijing with the tenth-best jump (8.03m) and finished in tenth place with a leap of 7.79 meters in the finals.

MSSU track programs earn academic praise

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern men's and women's track and field programs earned national academic praise as the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced its academic awards.

The women's track and field team, led by head coach Patty Vavra, had eight individuals earn honors, as well as taking home the Team Academic Award. To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have reached a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships in either indoor or outdoor seasons.

Kaitlyn Belisle, Victoria Foley, Emily Harris, Ashleigh McFarland, Brittani Reagan, Dana Roberson, Katie Skelton and Allie Webb all earned individual honors for the team. To earn team honors, a team must post a cumulative 3.00 grade point average. The women's program carries a 3.33 GPA.

MSSU volleyball wins Team Academic Award

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern volleyball team has earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award, the organization announced.

To earn the award, a team must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30. The Lions carried a 3.38 GPA as eight individuals carried GPAs of 3.3 or higher and one had a perfect 4.00 mark.

Southern is coached by John Napier in his second season at the school. The Lions were one of just six MIAA schools to earn the honor.

MSSU to charge parking fees for football games (unless you're a top level Lion Backer)

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern Department of Athletics has announced new policies and exciting entertainment opportunities for this upcoming MSSU football season.

With the first home football game on Sept. 3, all fans 12 and under, with an accompanying adult ticket, will now be admitted free to all Missouri Southern regular season athletic events.

"This is a really exciting time for Missouri Southern Athletics," said Director of Ticketing/Event Management Nathan Bramwell. "With all of our new elements, we want to make our pre-game atmosphere one of the best in the nation. We live in the heart of tailgate-nation, so we really believe people will embrace the opportunity to do so with the new encouragement."

Also new to game day operations will be a parking fee. All fans that aren't members of the Lion Backer Booster Club will be assessed a $5 fee for parking in the south lot at Hughes Stadium. All parking directly in front of the stadium, or across the street in the Julio S. Leon Health Sciences Parking lot is reserved for Lion Backer levels of $300 and up. Proceeds collected from parking will go back into directly enhancing the game-day atmosphere.

Fans should be reminded there are multiple areas were parking is free on campus, including directly behind the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. A complete parking map detailing where each lot is can be viewed or downloaded by clicking the link at the top of the story.

Along with the new kids pricing, the flagship radio network for all MSSU football and basketball games, AMI Radio, has announced a tailgate concert series that will run from one and a half hours prior to each football game and will wrap up 15 minutes prior to kickoff.

"For more than 40 years Missouri Southern Athletics have put on athletic events that are family friendly and entertaining for this region," said Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales, Randon Coffey. "We are excited about hosting families, that may have never been able to attend in the past, the opportunity to come and enjoy spending time together and not breaking the bank to do so."

The Kendall James Band will kick things off on Sept. 3 when the Lions play host to Emporia State. The Chad Emmert Band will entertain the crowds on Sept. 19, while the following bands will also be playing: Keltic Knot (Oct. 10), Kinsey Sadler (Oct. 24), and Plymouth Junction on Nov. 7.

The Athletic Department will also be showcasing local school districts at each home football game. The Joplin School District will be highlighted on Sept. 3, while Webb City will be on Sept. 19, Neosho on Oct. 10, Carl Junction on Oct. 24 and Carthage on Nov. 7. Promotion codes for discounted tickets will be distributed by the individual school districts leading up to the games.

One final promotion fans can look forward to this season is the Brandon Williams Day on Nov. 7 when the first 750 fans entering Fred G. Hughes Stadium will receive a commemorative Brandon Williams bobblehead.

Monday, August 24, 2015

MSSU soccer falls to Tulsa in exhibition

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane knocked of the Missouri Southern Women's Soccer team 3-1 Sunday evening in an exhibition match at Hurricane Stadium.

The Golden Hurricane got things started off in the 30th minute as Caitlin Jancuska put a header past Southern's senior goalie Shawnee Phillips off the assist from Rachel Thun. The Lions first shot of the match would come in the 36th minute as sophomore midfielder Taylor Beck sent the shot wide left. Phillips would come up with a save at the end of the half as the Lions trailed NCAA D-1 Tulsa 1-0 at the break.

In the second stanza the Golden Hurricane made it 2-0 in the 66th minute as Thun tapped in the goal from five yards out on a cross from Roman Edwards. Just four minutes later, TU made it 3-0 as Madison Smith beat Phillips on a penalty kick.

Southern would get on the board in the 83rd minute as senior forward Karley Thomas scored from three yards out on the left side with assists to fellow seniors Kayla Gajewski and Kimmy Hulse.

In her debut Phillips recorded ten saves for the Green & Gold while Thomas, Beck, and senior Michaela Altvater recorded the three shots for the Lions.

Southern will open its regular season on Thursday September 3 as they travel to Springfield to take on the Drury Panthers at the Cooper Soccer Complex at 5 pm.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

MSSU soccer picked 11th in preseason poll

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The MidAmerica Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) released the 2015 Virtual Media Day and Coaches' Pre-season poll today.
Missouri Southern's head coach Alese Woolard will begin her sixth season at the helm, with 13 returners from last season, as the Lions look to improve on last year's 5-11-2 mark. Coach Woolard returns all three All-MIAA selections from last season in sophomore defender Ronise Miller and honorable mention selections junior Carly Cecil and senior Karly Thomas. Thomas leads the six seniors that return from last season while the Lions added four to the roster, including senior goalkeeper Shawnee Phillips.
Phillips looks to fill the void in the net for Southern as the Lions graduated one of top five keepers in program history last season in Beth Hammons, who finished top five in career shutouts, minutes played, saves, and goals agaisnt average. "Shawnee is tough. She adds a big frame in the net, she has a good reach, and is good in the air," said Coach Woolard. Phillips joins the Lions soccer program following two years as a starting guard on the basketball court.
Joining Phillips as newcomers to the pitch are freshmen Addison Kingrey (Wichita, Kan./Maize HS) and Bailey North (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North HS). "Both Kingrey and North have had extensive post-season experience at the high school level and have come in and transitioned seamlessly into the collegiate game," added Woolard. Bailey is a two time All-Academic selection, while earning second team All-Conference in 2013, and first team honors in 2014. Also in 2014, Bailey earned All-State Honorable Mention and All-St. Louis honors. Addison earned honorable mention AVCTL Division I during her freshman season, while she earned second team AVCTL Division I and second team 6A All-Region honors during her sophomore and junior seasons.
Also joining the Lions is junior college transfer Kelly Sutton (Topeka, Kan./Butler Community College). "Kelly is physical and she hasn't missed a beat in her transition to Southern," said Woolard. During her sophomore season at Butler Sutton played in all 24 matches with 18 starts and tallied four assists and during her freshman season she played in 24 games and started 13 while scoring nine goals and had 12 assists and finishing with 30 points.
The additions do not stop on the pitch for Southern as the Lions add Stephanie Kirvan this season as assistant coach. "Stephanie adds a lot to our program, she's energetic, hard core and the girls knows it and the fitness side of it she loves. Adds a new perspective to our program coming off a two year GA spot at Piedmont College in Georgia. She's from Lake of the Ozarks so she is familiar with the recruiting side," added Woolard.
The Lions were picked to finish 11th this season with 28 total points. Defending MIAA Champion, Central Missouri, was picked to repeat this year as they gathered 11 of the 12 first place votes. Southwest Baptist, under first year coach Megan Link, got the other first place vote and is expected to finish second. Rounding out the top five are Central Oklahoma, Fort Hays State, and Lindenwood. Missouri Western comes in at sixth with 70 points, they are followed by Northeastern State at seventh, Emporia State at eighth, Northwest Missouri at ninth, and Nebraska-Kearney rounds out the top 10. Southern is at 11th and Washburn is picked 12th with 15 points.
The Lions will play their lone exhibition this Sunday, August 23rd as they travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on the University of Tulsa in a match scheduled for 5pm. Live stats and pay-per-view video will be available for that match. Southern will start their regular season Thursday, September 3rd as they travel to Springfield to take on the Drury University Panthers at 5pm from the Cooper Soccer Complex.
2015 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll 
1. Central Missouri (11)                          121
2. Southwest Baptist (1)                         104
3. Central Oklahoma                               103
4. Fort Hays State                                   95
5. Lindenwood                                         71
6. Missouri Western                                  70 
7. Northeastern State                              63
8. Emporia State                                     56
9. Northwest Missouri                              36
10. Nebraska-Kearney                             30 
11. Missouri Southern                              28 
12 . Washburn                                         15

Friday, August 14, 2015

MSSU-Pitt State Miner's Bowl game to be carried live on ESPN3

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

This year's Miner's Bowl between the Missouri Southern Lions and Pittsburg State Gorillas, slated for OctTober 31, has been tabbed as the NCAA Division II Football National Game of the Week and will be distributed live on ESPN3.
The match-up between the Lions and Gorillas at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium will kick off at 2 pm.
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
The network is currently available to more than 99 million homes at no additional cost to fans that receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

The game marks the first time ESPN has delivered an MSSU event since the network televised the One State, One Spirit exhibition game between the University of Missouri and Missouri Southern in October of 2011. That game saw the Lions battle the Tigers in a sold out Leggett & Platt Athletic Center that helped raise funds for the May 2011 tornado.

"This is an awesome opportunity for Missouri Southern to be highlighted on a national scene like it will be as part of the NCAA Division II National Game of the Week," said MSSU Athletic Director Jared Bruggeman. "This game will highlight one of the longest-running rivalry games in Division II and will help showcase the quality athletic and academic programs we have at Missouri Southern."
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

MSSU Volleyball picked to finish 11th

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

The Missouri Southern Volleyball team has been picked to finish 11th in the 2015 MIAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll as announced by the league office today.

The Lions, under second-year coach John Napier, return seven players off a squad that went 8-22 last season. The Lions are coming off a season where they set the school team record in blocks per set and finished ranked sixth in the NCAA D-2 in that category. Southern is also returning All-MIAA performer Callie Whetstone who led the nation on both block assists and was second in total blocks.

Defending league co-champion Central Missouri was picked to finish at the top, earning nine of the 12 first-place votes. Washburn was picked second, followed by Nebraska-Kearney, Central Oklahoma and Missouri Western to round out the top five. Northwest Missouri State was sixth, followed by Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State, Southwest Baptist, Southern and Lindenwood.

Southern starts the season on September 4th and 5th at the Washburn Invitational presented by Capital Plaza Hotel and Convention Center.

2015 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Central Missouri (9) 119
2. Washburn (2) 108
3. Nebraska-Kearney (1) 98
4. Central Oklahoma 95
5. Missouri Western 84
6. Northwest Missouri 66
7. Emporia State 64
8. Fort Hays State 46
9. Pittsburg State 39
10. Southwest Baptist 27
11. Missouri Southern 25
12. Lindenwood 21

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Date announced for MSSU Men's Basketball Golf Tournament fundraiser

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern Men's Basketball coach Jeff Boschee announced the date of the annual Men's Basketball Golf Tournament fundraiser.

The tournament will be held at Twin Hills Country Club on Thursday, August 27 with lunch being served at noon with a 1:30 pm shotgun start. Entry fees are $250 per individual or a team of four for $1,000, with all entry fees include lunch and drinks, a Nike polo, and four mulligans per team. There are also sponsorship opportunities still left that can be found along with the entry form by clicking HERE.

For more information contact MSSU Men's Basketball at 471.818.5505

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Corn, Hubbard to coach all-stars at tournament in Brazil

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Current Missouri Southern women's basketball coach Ronda Hubbard, as well as former men's coach and MSSU Hall of Famer Robert Corn will be coaches for a pair of collegiate all-star teams that are touring Brazil in international competition this week. 
The tour is part of the USA D-2 Men's and Women's Basketball Teams put together by USA Sports Tours and Events. While in Brazil the teams will experience educational, cultural and social aspects of Brazilian life through city, school and sports club visits.  While in Rio the team will be staying on the famous Copacabana Beach and touring the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain, two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
Hubbard, along with Lincoln University head coach Nicole Collier and former Mizzou star and sister of current Lion Sharese Jones, Shak Jones will coach the women's team, while Corn will lead the men's team. Corn will have Manchester University assistant coach Mason Wood as his assistant. 
The women's team features Jones, Camila Lacerda and Tami Morice, while the men are represented by Austin Wright and Vince Fritz. Below you can find complete game schedules, as well as rosters for both teams. will be updating you with results as they become available. 
Game Schedule
Tuesday, August 4th
USA D-2 Women vs. Divino
USA D-2 Men vs. Jundiai
Wednesday, August 5th  
USA D-2 Women vs. Rio Claro
USA D-2 Men vs. Rio Claro
Saturday, August 6th  
USA D-2 Women vs. Club XV de Piracicaba
USA D-2 Men vs. Club XV de Piracicaba
Monday, August 7th
USA D-2 Women vs. Botafogo
USA D-2 Men vs. Botafogo
2015 USA D-2 Women’s Basketball Team - Brazil Tour
Cathy Brugman – (Pitt State)                                 6’1”                 F
Kathryn Flott – (Emporia State)                             6’1”                 F
Kylie Gafford – (Pitt State)                                      6’3”                 C
Dilonna Johnson – (Southwest Baptist)              5’7”                 G
Sharese Jones – (Missouri Southern)                 5’8”                 F
Camila Lacerda – (Missouri Southern)               5’9”                 G
Tami Morice – (Missouri Southern)                      5’11”               G
Kelsey Williams – (Lincoln)                                               5’6”                 G
Hunter Yoakum – (Lincoln)                                               5’6”                 G
USA D-2 Women’s Head Coach – Ronda Hubbard (Head Coach, Missouri Southern State)
USA D-2 Women’s Assistant Coach – Nicole Collier (Head Coach,Lincoln University)
USA D-2 Women’s Assistant Coach – Shakara Jones (Pro Player / University of Missouri)
2015 USA D-2 Men’s Basketball Team - Brazil Tour
Connor Beranek – (Nebraska-Kearney)             6’7”                 F
Ethan Brozek – (Nebraska-Kearney)                  6’7”                 F
Javis Flynn – (Pitt State)                                         5’10”               G
Vince Fritz – (Missouri Southern)                         6’3”                 G
Denton Hays – (Pitt State)                                     6’7”                 F
Jordan Loyd – (Indianapolis)                                6’3”                 G
D’Vante Mosby – (Northwest Missouri)               6’6”                 F
Brad Woodson – (Central Missouri)                    6’5”                 G
Austin Wright – (Missouri Southern)                    6’2”                 G
USA D-2 Men’s Head Coach – Robert Corn (Head Coach (retired), Missouri Southern State)
USA D-2 Men’s Assistant Coach – Mason Wood (Assistant Coach, Manchester University)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Former Mizzou wide receiver signs with Chiefs

MSSU's Michael Nelson moves from running back to wide receiver

MSSU linebacker Justin Tomlinson at MIAA Media Day

Salvador Perez powers Royals to win

Chiefs' Will Shields ready for Hall of Fame induction

Chiefs Tuesday training camp update

MSSU Football picked to finish 10th

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

- The Missouri Southern football team was picked to finish 10th by the media and 11th by the coaches as the MIAA announced its Preseason Poll today at Media Day inside Sporting Park. 
The Lions return 13 starters (five offense, four defense, five specialists) from last season's 4-7 team, but Southern brings in a new coach, a new offense and plenty of new faces. 
Denver Johnson was hired as the new head football coach on April 1 and he hit the ground running establishing a coaching staff and quickly arranging spring practice just two weeks after he was hired. 
The Lions return four All-MIAA athletes to help anchor this year's squad. Ty'Quan Hayes was a second-team All-MIAA return specialist in 2014, while Giresse Forchu was a third-team running back. Johnquavious McBride was a third team defensive back and Brock Renken was an honorable mention pick at place kicker. 
Northwest Missouri was the pick by both the coaches and the media to repeat as league champions. The coaches picked Pittsburg State number two, while Central Missouri was third, followed by Central Oklahoma, Missouri Western, Fort Hays, Emporia State, Washburn, Nebraska-Kearney, Lindenwood, Missouri Southern and Northeastern State. 
The media had both Northwest and Pitt 1-2 in its poll, as well, while Central Oklahoma, Missouri Western and Central Missouri round out the top five. Fort Hays was sixth, followed by Emporia State, Washburn, Nebraska-Kearney, Missouri Southern, Lindenwood and Northeastern State. 
The Lions report to campus this Saturday and the first practice will be Monday, August 10. Southern's first game is September 3 as the Lions play host to Emporia State at 7 pm inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium. 
2015 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Northwest Missouri (8)        118
2. Pittsburg State (4)               114
3. Central Missouri                    92
4. Central Oklahoma                 91
5. Missouri Western                  82
6. Fort Hays State                     71
T7. Emporia State                     59
T7. Washburn                            59
9. Nebraska-Kearney                39
10. Lindenwood                        34
11. Missouri Southern               17
12. Northeastern State              16

2015 MIAA Preseason Media Poll
1. Northwest Missouri (28)        478
2.  Pittsburg State (13)              455
3. Central Oklahoma                 382
4. Missouri Western                  350
5. Central Missouri                    344
6. Fort Hays State                     284
7. Emporia State                       226
8. Washburn                              213
9. Nebraska-Kearney               153
10. Missouri Southern              144
11. Lindenwood                        122
12. Northeastern State               47

Monday, August 3, 2015

MSSU adds two golfers

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern Head Men's Golf Coach, Mike Wheeler, has announced the addition of Ignacio Dopererio Lopez and Nate Neel to the 2015-16 squad.

Lopez, a native of Lagrono, Spain, comes to the Lions after playing two years at Division II Clayton State in Morrow, Georgia. Lopez helped the Lakers finish fourth in the Peach Belt Conference tournament last season. He is the son of Dr. Roberto Dopererio Gomez and Margarita Lopez deValdcuiedso and has two cousins who play professional soccer in Europe.

Neel is a native of Miami, Oklahoma and a 2015 graduate of Miami HS. Neel earned four letters in golf for the Wardogs and coach Rusty Mercer while helping MHS to the 2014 Regional Golf Runner-up finish and a 2015 conference title. During his freshman season, Neel earned All-Metro and All-Conference honors. In 2013, Neel finished fourth in the 4A Regional Golf Tournament while earning All-Conference honors again in 2014. He won the Gary Williams Golf Tournament during his senior season while qualifying for the 4A state tournament in three straight years.

Neel also competed in basketball for the Wardogs and Coach Mercer earning two letters, while starting one year at point guard. He is the son of Keith and Cindy Neel and is the youngest of three, while his brother Nick played baseball at NEO in 2008 and 09.

The Lions will start their season Sept. 14-15 as they host the MSSU Men's Fall Invitational at Shangri-La Golf Course in Monkey Island, Oklahoma.

MSSU assistant basketball coach takes job at Benedictine

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

Missouri Southern head basketball coach Jeff Boschee has announced that Todd Johnston has left the program to take a position as a graduate assistant coach with Benedictine College.

Johnston spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach for Boschee, helping the Lions to a 20-win season and the team's second-straight appearance in the MIAA Tournament finale.

"I would like to thank Todd for his contribution to our program," Boschee said. "Benedictine College is getting a great individual who works his tail off and has a bright future in this business. It's hard to see him go, but this is a great move for his career. Coach (Ryan) Moody is getting a good one!"

Johnston played collegiately at Cloud Community College for a season, before transferring to Baker University where he was a three-year letter winner. He helped Baker to the NAIA Division I National Tournament in his first season when the team finishing 21-12 overall. His senior season, Johnston was a team captain and averaged ten points per game, while shooting 92 percent from the free-throw line.

Benedictine is an NAIA institution located in Atchinson, Kan. that competes in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

"I want to thank Coach Boschee for allowing me to start my coaching career at Missouri Southern," Johnston said. "I couldn't have asked for a better coaching staff to learn and grow under. I look forward to applying the experiences I had at Southern to my next job. I'm excited to continue coaching at Benedictine College with Coach (Ryan) Moody and pursue my master's degree. I'm very thankful for the opportunity and hope to continue the success the program has had over the past several years."

MIAA Football Media Day to be streamed live

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

MIAA Football Media Day will be streamed live for the second straight year on the MIAA Digital Network. The broadcast will be available free of charge and will begin at 8:45am on Tuesday, August 4th.

The event can be accessed by clicking on the Game Central by Stretch Internet button on the home page of the MIAA website or through the following link,

The event will begin with opening comments from MIAA Commissioner, Dr. Bob Borigter which will include the release of the preseason coaches and media polls. The complete schedule including times for each school is listed below.

Press Conference Room Schedule*
9 a.m. Dr. Bob Boerigter (MIAA Commissioner)
9:15 a.m. Phil Laurie (Supervisor of Football Officials)
9:30 a.m. Washburn Coach Craig Schurig, OL Michael Miller and LB Cody Heiman
9:45 a.m. Emporia State Coach Garin Higgins, QB Brent Wilson and LB Jason Tetuan
10 a.m. Missouri Western Coach Jerry Partridge, QB Skyler Windmiller and DL Arbanas Elliot
10:15 a.m. Missouri Southern Coach Denver Johnson, RB Giresse Forchu and LB Justin Tomlinson
10:30 a.m. Fort Hays State Coach Chris Brown, TE Zack Gaughan and LB Alex Schmidtberger
10:45 a.m. Lindenwood Coach Patrick Ross, LB Connor Harris and WR Greg Coble
11 a.m. Northeastern State Coach Rob Robinson
11:15 a.m. Nebraska-Kearney Coach Josh Lamberson, QB Bronson Marsh and DB Dillon Loschen
11:30 a.m. Central Missouri Coach Jim Svboda, OL Brian Berzanski and DE Jason Venckus
11:45 a.m. Central Oklahoma Coach Nick Bobeck, RB Jake Gandara and DL Kenny Allen
12 p.m. Northwest Missouri Coach Adam Dorrel and players
12:15 p.m. Pittsburg State Coach Tim Beck, TE Kyle Schwartz and DB Deron Washington

*Players appearing are subject to change

Sunday update on Chiefs training camp

Royals' Volquez rips Josh Donaldson after Sunday game

Chiefs CEO talks about return of Eric Berry from cancer

A talk with new Cardinal Brandon Moss

MSSU names new assistant softball coach

(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)

MSSU Softball Interim head coach Melissa Chmielewski has named Chelsea Erickson as her assistant coach for the 2016 season.

Before coming to Joplin, Erickson spent two seasons as the assistant coach at Upper Iowa University in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. While at UIU Erickson coached the outfield and pitchers. Before UIU, Erickson was the outfield and pitching coach for the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

Erickson will coach the outfield and the pitchers this Spring for the Lions.

Erickson enjoyed a very illustrious playing career at Minnesota State Mankato, playing in a total of 220 games and earning four consecutive trips to the NCAA Regional Tournament. As a junior, Erickson and the Mavericks finished fourth in the nation after dropping their final two games in the 2011 NCAA Softball Championships.

During that season, Erickson set the single-season record for games played with 70, while recording a .286 batting average, 46 runs batted in, 9 home runs, 10 doubles and she scored 39 times. The Mavericks played in the NCAA Regional, the Super Regional and the NCAA Championships before falling to fifth-seeded Midwestern State in their final game of the season. MSU posted a school-record 54 wins that year, losing only 16 times all season.

In her final year in the purple and gold, the Mavericks were primed for another deep postseason run. Yet the Golden Bears of Concordia University had other plans; MSU lost to CU, 3-1, in game six of the NCAA Regional Tournament failing to advance to the Super Regional.

As a senior, Erickson was named an All-NSIC First Team performer and an NFCA First Team All-Central Region selection after tying for the team-high in home runs (11) and leading the Mavericks with 47 runs scored, 50 runs batted in, 36 walks and 16 stolen bases. Erickson also finished second on the team in batting average (.333), slugging percentage (.594), on base percentage (.459), hits (55), total bases (98) and she posted a clutch .600 batting average with the bases loaded.

At the time of her graduation, she led all active Mavericks in home runs (29) and RBI (132) while recording 32 doubles. The 29 homers and 132 career RBI ranks second all-time on the MSU charts. Rounding out her senior season, Erickson was named to the NSIC All-Tournament Team as the Mavericks hosted the NCAA Regional Tournament in Mankato.

In High School, Erickson was a three-sport athlete as she competed in softball, volleyball and basketball. As a junior and senior, she earned All-State honors and was named a four-time All-Mississippi 8 selection. Erickson made appearances in the state tournament three years in a row finishing as a senior and fourth as a junior.