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SIUE - News - TheOArchive - 030105


March 1, 2005

School Of Pharmacy Granted Pre-Candidate Status By The ACPE


The SIUE School of Pharmacy, poised to open its doors in August as the only Pharmacy doctorate program offered in downstate Illinois, has been granted pre-candidate accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

SIUE Pharmacy Dean Philip Medon said the ACPE accreditation is a tribute to the advanced planning and strong commitment by the University in opening a Pharmacy program. "This also is a strong endorsement of the preliminary work being done by the faculty and staff in preparing for the August opening," Medon said.

"ACPE accreditation is a rigorous process, involving three steps," Medon said. He pointed out the ACPE evaluation team will return in spring 2006 for the second phase of the accreditation process-Candidate Status, which will consider elements of continued progress by the School.

"The final part of the process comes when the ACPE considers us for full accreditation," Medon said. "That occurs when the program is found to have met all ACPE standards for accreditation and has graduated its first class.

"The pre-candidate status is an important milestone in the history of the SIUE School of Pharmacy and granting this status reflects the ACPE's understanding of our plans and progress," the dean said. Medon praised former SIUE Chancellor David Werner and SIUE Provost Sharon Hahs and her staff for their efforts in laying the groundwork for the new school.

"They saw to it that preliminary planning for the Pharmacy program took place in the context of the University's mission of providing health-care related curricula," Medon said.

"ACPE evaluators were impressed with how the Pharmacy program fits with our other health care programs-the School of Nursing and the School of Dental Medicine," he said. "And, we continue to receive exceptional support from the current administration under Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift, who believes strongly in the University's commitment to serving the citizens of Southern Illinois."

Medon said the pre-candidate status indicates that SIUE's planning has followed stringent ACPE guidelines in creating a Pharmacy doctorate program and also indicates that the School continues to follow ACPE guidelines in continued program development. "Pre-candidate status is not granted lightly by the ACPE," Medon pointed out. "Not all schools that apply are given such status by the ACPE."

The granting of pre-candidate status was based on several criteria, including the School's application addressing ACPE's 30 standards for accreditation, findings from a visit by an ACPE evaluation team, discussions with the faculty and staff, and discussions with Provost Hahs and Dean Medon. ACPE evaluators considered the School's planning papers, with an eye to such areas as faculty and staff recruiting, faculty development plans, student recruiting, and facilities available.

Local Students Win Awards At East St. Louis Center Science Fair

By Patricia Merritt
Director, Public Relations
East St. Louis Center

When he heard his name called, third-grader Kevin Harris Jr. let out a shout and took off running. With head back, fists clenched and arms pumping back and forth, Kevin made it to the front of the room in seconds to seize his plaque from the presenter.

Kevin won both a special recognition and an outstanding award recently at the East St. Louis Center's TRIO Programs' 21st Annual District-wide Science Fair at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville. Kevin was one of 403 students who entered an exhibit in the science fair.

Students and teachers clapped, cheered and squealed as winners were called to the front of the room during the Science Fair Awards Ceremony. Ribbons were given to outstanding, first, second and third place winners.

Only four students were named as regional representatives. They will go to the Annual Illinois Junior Academy of Science Region 12 Science Fair in early March on the SIUE campus.

Regional representatives, who also won $50 each, include: Kevin, of Judge Billy Jones School, East St. Louis; Cathryn C. McIntosh, eighth-grader at AM Jackson Middle School, East St. Louis; Sharmanelle Stephens, 10th grader at East St. Louis Senior High School and part of the ESLC's Upward Bound Math & Science program; and Carlos Brown Jr., fifth-grader at Judge Billy Jones School.

The ESLC Will Take A Sentimental Journey

The East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts along with the East St. Louis Charter School will present the annual black history performance, "Sentimental Journey," at 7 p.m. Friday, March 4, in Building D at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus.

"Sentimental Journey" provides a panoramic view of black history. Performers will take the audience through African-American cultural and artistic history in the U.S., using rhythm and blues, gospel, hip-hop and poetry.

Gregory S. Carr, fine arts instructor at the East St. Louis Charter School, is director of the performance, a joint effort of the Charter School and the Center for Performing Arts.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, call LaKisha Perkins-Mosley, (618) 482-6908.

The program is made possible in part by the St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Theodore H. Jamison is the program director of the East St. Louis Center for Performing Arts. Anthony Neal is the program director of the East St. Louis Charter School.



March Ushers In Women's History Month At SIUE

March may come in like a lion, but if the animal is a harbinger of Women's History Month, it's probably a lioness.

Event sponsors for SIU's Women's History Month include: the SIUE Women's Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Black Studies Program, the Office of the Provost for Cultural and Social Diversity, the Office of Continuing Education, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Excellence in Learning and Teaching program, Making Waves, the SIUE Campus Activities Board, SOTA, Phi Kappa Psi, the Raise Your Voice Campaign, SafeZone Delta Lambda Phi, and Project Dirty Laundry.

For further information, call Professor Martha Bailey, director of SIUE's Women's Studies Program, (618) 650-2744, or visit the Web site: www.siue.edu/WS

This year's Women's History Month activities provide a wide range of interesting events to enrich campus life. Below is a calendar of events; those that have already occurred, are dimmed; (all events are free unless noted):

• Throughout the month: Women's History Month exhibit, Lovejoy Library. Also, the Campus Bookstore is offering Women's Studies books at 20 percent off during March (excluding textbooks and sale items).

• Wed, March 2, 1-3 pm-The International Influence of Jane Addams, Illinois' Favorite Daughter; Connie D. Frey, MUC, Mississippi/Illinois Room. There is a $2 admission.

• Tues, March 15, 12:30-1:45-Iron Jawed Angels; film & discussion, with Kimberly Voss; Dunham Hall, Rm. 2039

• Wed, March 16, 1-3 pm-Family Treasures: Missionary Women's Textile Collecting in China, 1921-1952; Cory Willmott MUC, Mississippi Room. There is a $2 admission fee.

• Fri, March 18, 12-1 pm-Que Viva la Mujer: Young Chicanas and Third-Wave Feminism, Florence Maatita; MUC, Willow Room.

• Tues, March 22, 12:30-1:45 pm-Newspapers' Women's Pages of the '70's-Don Corrigan; Dunham Hall, Rm. 2039

• Wed, March 23, 3-4:15 pm-How to Raise a Non-Heterosexist Child-workshop with Laurie Puchner and Linda Markowitz; Founders Hall, Room 0111

• Thurs, March 24, 8-9:30 pm-21 Secrets to Celebrate Diversity, with comedian Gail Hand; MUC, Hickory Room.

• Mon, March 28, 3-4:15 pm-Relationship and Sexual Violence Response-workshop with SIUE Counseling Services; Founders Hall, Room 0111.

• March 28-April 1, ongoing-Project Dirty Laundry, a series of campus-wide events and exhibitions that "air the dirty laundry of communities, emphasizing local and global clean-up strategies."

Includes ongoing tours of student-sponsored exhibits throughout the week. For tour schedules and information, contact scarpen@siue.edu, or visit www.siue.edu/~scarpen

• Tues, March 29 12:30-1:30 pm-Panel Discussion: Making Social Change Happen, with Jane Roberts, Laura Perkins, Rudy Wilson; Illinois Room, second floor of the Morris Center

• Tues, March 29 5-6:30 pm-34 Million Friends of the Women of the World, with Jane Roberts; Illinois Room, Morris Center.

• Wed, March 30, 3-4:15 pm-Chisholm, '72, Remembering Shirley Chisholm, first black woman elected to US Congress-film and discussion with Kimberly Voss, Founders Hall, Room 0111.

• Wed, March 30, 6:30-8 pm-Sex Signals; Conference Center, second floor of the MC; reception following.

• Thurs, March 31, 7-8 pm-Gender Equity, Population and Environmental Sustainability: Opportunities and Challenges of Maintaining Traditional Culture in the 21st Century, with Kakenya Ntaiya; Mississippi Room, second floor of Morris Center; reception following.

NCERC Receives A Second Grant In Three Weeks For A Total Of More Than $1.6M

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Laven was on campus yesterday to announce a $995,000 grant awarded by the state to SIUE's National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC).

It was the second, six-figure grant awarded to the NCERC in less than a month. The center was notified in early February that it was among eight awardees of funding from The State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) as part of STAC's Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Science Solicitation through the U.S. Department of Energy.

That award was for $633,000, part of a total $6.4 million awarded for various energy research projects throughout the country. The STAC award and the DCEO award from Illinois totaled $1,628,000.

"The first grant was for a specific research project, focusing on Distiller's Dried Grain with Solubles, or DDGS, which is a co-product of dry-grind fuel ethanol production. The NCERC will use the newest Illinois grant for upgrades to insure that the center will continue to adapt its facilities to the technical needs of the bio-refinery industry," Schlicher explained.

"There are technical innovations in ethanol production that need validating and demonstration," she said. "This grant from DCEO grant will allow us to make improvements at the research center that will help us explore these innovations."

The DCEO grant will complete critical modifications and upgrades to its pilot plant facility, including safety features, better data monitoring and plant control systems, wastewater handling and treatment, boiler system modifications, and upgrades to corn pretreatment and fiber handling systems.

The NCERC was constructed with state of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and USDA Agricultural Research Services funds secured with the help of Congressman John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

The mission of NCERC's research is to assist in the long-term growth and sustainability of fuel ethanol production from corn by accelerating the commercialization of new technologies.

DeShasier Named GLVC Co-Player Of The Week

Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton) has been named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Co-Player of the Week. DeShasier is batting .432 with two doubles, four triples, three home runs, 21 runs batted in, 23 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases to lead the Cougars to a 14-6 start.

The Civil Engineering major holds a .694 slugging percentage and is SIUE's top pitcher with a 7-2 record. The Cougars won seven straight games during its trip to Florida and were 10-2 at the Division II Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla.

DeShasier shares the honor with Northern Kentucky's Ricki Rothbauer.

SIUE Softball Success Builds Confidence

SIUE softball may have left for Florida with a .500 record, but they return having won 10 of 12 contests during spring break. The Cougars, 14-6 overall, will head to South Carolina-Upstate for a tournament in Spartanburg, S.C. this weekend with a renewed sense of confidence.

"It was a great trip," said SIUE softball coach Sandy Montgomery of the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. "We keep coming at teams. Hopefully, we will keep getting better and better."

The Cougars notched a seven-game winning streak on the trip mostly because of solid pitching performances from Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton), Casey Wantland (Fisher), and Lindsey Laas (Frankfort). DeShasier had four wins. Laas and Wantland picked up three wins each. "I am very happy with them," said Montgomery. "We still have a long way to go, but they are working hard. If they can keep us in ball games, we can win a lot of games."

DeShasier has 7-2 record while leading the club in hitting with a .431 average. She smacked her first career grand slam in a win over Nebraska-Omaha.

Veronica Schmidt (Westmont) ranks second on the team with a .393 average after notching 15 hits for the Cougars in Florida.

Holly Neuerburg (Orion) collected 14 hits and 13 RBIs to raise her batting average to .383. Neuerburg belted two home runs in the win over Merrimack. "VJ came up with some big hits for us," said Montgomery. "Holly is hitting very well right now. We are getting hits all through the lineup."

The Cougars take on UNC-Pembroke and West Virginia Wesleyan on Friday (3/18) at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. SIUE takes on North Greenville and Columbus State on Saturday (3/19) at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Track And Field Honors All-Americans

The SIUE men's indoor track team garnered six All-Americans, finishing in 19th place at the NCAA Championships in Boston over the weekend.

"Looking at our results, I think it's safe to say that this is the most successful indoor season for the track teams in school history," said SIUE track coach Ben Beyers.

Kyle Rose (Plano, Texas) finished sixth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.92. "Kyle found the right attitude when he realized that he had nothing to lose at this meet," said Beyers. "Nobody outside our team was really looking for him to make finals or possibly earn All-American honors. He was one of two freshman who even qualified for the national meet, so that just speaks volumes as to what potential Kyle has."

Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) led the charge in the weight throw with a toss of 59 feet, 1.5 inches (18.02 meters) for seventh place. "Coming into the season, Lee set a goal for himself, he wanted to be a Division II All-American," said SIUE track coach David Astrauskas. "It is always nice to see an athlete reach their goals. We've practiced for this event for a long time, having practiced the weight throw during the summer months in preparation for Boston."

The 1,600-meter relay team, comprised of Rose, Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas), Ryan Nowakowski (Rochester) and Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis), set the school record by nearly two seconds with a fourth place time of 3:14.78. "The men's team ran a tremendous race," said Beyers. "I think the thing that stands out to everyone is that the team was just a hair over a second away from winning the entire event. We're looking to some exciting outdoor season performances by this team."

The outdoor season will begin for the Cougars on Apr. 2 with the Southeast Missouri State Gatorade Classic in Cape Girardeau, Mo. "Hopefully, all of the success we had indoors will roll right in to outdoors," said Astrauskas. "We will have even more athletes competing at the outdoor championships."

GLVC Champions Post Six All-Americans

After winning the Great Lakes Valley Conference championships two weeks before, the SIUE women's indoor track team finished 18th with six All-Americans at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Boston over the weekend.

"When you go from a previous high of one All-American set last year at the indoor national meet, said SIUE track coach Ben Beyers, "to six at this year's meet, that is definitely a statement about the program in general and where it's headed."

Christine Butler (Matteson) placed fourth in the triple jump. Her leap of 38 feet, 9.5 inches (11.82 meters), set a new school record for the Cougars, breaking the old mark of 11.75 meters. "Christine has surprised herself I think with her performances this year in the triple jump," said Beyers. "She's always been more of a long jumper, and I think she has proven a lot to herself by picking up some finer technical points in the triple jump."

Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) finished seventh in the 200-meter dash breaking the school record with a time of 24.63. "The main difference this year as opposed to last year was her focus and experience," said Beyers. "She went to nationals last year and was just happy to make the trip. This year, she had some specific goals in mind and was not going to be content with just participating."

The SIUE 1,600-meter relay also team earned All-American status with a sixth-place finish. Jessica Levy (Des Plaines), Sawyer, Valerie Simmons (St. Louis), and Kimetha Williams (Bellevue, Neb.) ran a time of 3:47.40, breaking the school record by nearly three seconds.

"The women ran a great race from start to finish," said Beyers. "This truly was a team effort. Jessica, Tai and Valerie all ran tremendous legs, and Kimetha ran a blistering anchor leg (55.0 split)."

SIUE's outdoor season starts on Apr. 2 at the Southeast Missouri State Gatorade Classic in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

SIUE Baseball Will Move Home Games

The SIUE baseball Cougars will be on the road for the entire 2005 season.

Because of the $1.02 million construction upgrade announced at last week's SIU Board of Trustees meeting, the team will play its home schedule at either T.R. Hughes Park in O'Fallon, Mo., the site of the 2005 Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in May, or the Gordon Moore Park in Alton.

SIUE Coach Gary Collins and his 2005 Cougars have their first "home" games this weekend against GLVC rival Northern Kentucky. The doubleheaders on Saturday (3/19) and Sunday (3/20) begin at noon at T.R. Hughes Park.

The upgrades to the SimmonsCooper Complex include renovation to the grandstand and press box, new field lighting, a new building for public restrooms and concessions, and a brick plaza.

Baseball Eye Start Of Conference Season

After a successful trip to Florida, SIUE baseball coach Gary Collins looks for his team to continue its high level of play heading into the start of the Great Lakes Valley Conference season this weekend. "We needed some wins and some confidence," said Collins.

The Cougars notched a 5-1 mark, sweeping a four-game series from Assumption while in the Sunshine State, to improve their record to 5-6 on the year. SIUE opens up conference play with league favorite Northern Kentucky in doubleheaders on Saturday (3/19) and Sunday (3/20) at T.R. Hughes Park in O'Fallon, Mo.

"Northern (Kentucky) is a good club," said Collins. "We will find out how good we are. They will throw some good pitching at us."

The Cougars had some outstanding pitching performances on the trip. Adam Tallman (Gillespie) pitched the ninth no-hitter in SIUE history against Concordia (N.Y.) by striking out nine and walking just three. Kyle Jones (New Baden) and Cameron Cheek (Atlanta) each picked up two victories. "Our pitchers threw well," said Collins. "Kyle and Cam pitched well, and Adam was real good."

Cheek and Tallman both have an earned run average less than 2.00 ERA.

The Cougar hitters also caught fire down in Florida as catcher Jake Smith (East Peoria) batted .500 in the six games. Smith leads the club with a .432 batting average, and is tied for the team lead with nine RBIs. "Jake continues to hit the ball well," said Collins.

Second basemen Jerry Bond (Alton) collected 10 hits during the six games to improve his batting average to .344 on the season.

Jeff Darnall (Atlanta) and Robert Rahn (Wood River) each lead the team with two home runs. Rahn has eight RBIs with Darnall just one behind with eight. "This will kind of tell us where we are right now," said Collins. "I think this team will continue to get better. Our pitching and defense will be solid all year."

Harrison Leads Women's Golf To A Solid Start

SIUE women's golfer Kallie Harrison (Decatur) placed third over the weekend at the Northern Illinois Springlake Invitational in Sebring, Fla. The tournament was comprised of mostly NCAA Division I programs including Illinois, Creighton, Gonzaga, and Bowling Green, just to name a few.

Harrison shot an opening-round 77 before battling back in the second day for a 74 for a total of 151, just five shots behind the leader. "I don't think I have ever seen a young player with such a work ethic as hers," said SIUE golf coach Mark Marcuzzo. "It was a great accomplishment."

SIUE ended the tournament 16th out of 20 schools, scoring 665. "For coming out of the winter, the girls did terrific," said Marcuzzo. "For as little as we have been outside, they did very well."

Brittany Hood (Coulterville) turned a strong performance. After a first day round of 86, she shot an 81 on the second day to finish at 167. "These kids are hard workers," said Marcuzzo. "This tournament kind of gives us some momentum heading into the rest of the schedule."

The Cougars will next be in action at the Northern Kentucky Spring Invitational on Mar. 26-27 in Perry Park, Ky.

Men's Tennis PreFares for Conference Season

SIUE men's tennis may have only gone 1-2 during a recent spring break trip to Oklahoma, but men's tennis coach Bill Logan believes that the trip was just what the Cougars needed. "We went to Oklahoma to get ready for the conference season," said Logan. "We knew we would face tough competition, but that is what we wanted."

The Cougars, 3-4, defeated Oklahoma Baptist 7-2 before falling to Central Oklahoma and East Central each 8-1. "It was just a trip to prepare us for the conference season," said Logan.

Andrew Reznack (Edwardsville) has a record of 6-3 this season at No. 5 singles. Reznack and No. 3 doubles partner Andy Renner (Belleville) have notched a 6-3 mark on the season.

The Cougars will look to get back to the .500 mark as they travel to St. Francis in Joliet for a match on Friday at 3 p.m.

Men's Basketball Ends Remarkable Ride

It was a remarkable ride.

The men's basketball season may be over after falling to Wayne State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but the Cougars set numerous records and many first time accomplishments during the 2004-05 campaign.

The Cougars finished the year back in the NCAA's for the first time in 16 years, tying the school record for wins in a season with 23. SIUE had a school-record 14-game winning streak to go along with the Cougars' most Great Lakes Valley Conference wins (15) since joining the league 10 years ago.

Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year Marty Simmons led the team to the school's highest ranking in the NABC Division II national poll on Jan. 18 when the Cougars checked in at No. 5. SIUE recorded a string of nine weeks ranked in the Top 25.

To Simmons, getting the team back in the NCAA tournament was the driving force. "We had our goal set to get to the NCAA tournament. I just have to give the five seniors the credit. They established a benchmark last year with 16 wins. That was a big step for us. They made a commitment in the summer and in the preseason to do even better.

"They are all great ambassadors for the program. They are a joy to be around, and they are the ones that deserve the credit because they have laid the foundation for this program," said Simmons.

One of those seniors is center Dan Heimos (Waterloo), who set the school record for blocks in an NCAA tournament game with five, during the loss to Wayne State. In just two years since transferring from Nebraska, Heimos leaves SIUE as career- (134) and single-season (87) leader in blocks. "Hopefully this is just the start, and hopefully we can keep building on this," said Heimos.

Fellow senior Tim Bauersachs (Pinckneyville) ends his career as a Cougar with a school record 113 games played while finishing in the top five in rebounding with 585.

Joel Jaye (Chicago) finishes a solid two years at SIUE ranking third all-time in three-point field goal percentage at 44.8 (78-174).

The Cougars notched several school records on the defensive end, holding their opponents to 61.0 points per game and a field goal percentage of 39.9.

Men's Basketball - NCAA-Bound

SIUE will face Wayne State (Mich.) University in the opening round on Saturday (3/12) at 8:30 p.m. (EST) of the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Great Lakes Region Championships in Findlay, Ohio.

Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year Marty Simmons and his Cougars, 23-8 overall, garnered the No. 4 seed in the Division II version of the "Big Dance" and faces the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference (GLIAC) runner-up in the first round.

"It's an exciting time right now," said Simmons. "This is a very rewarding for the guys. This is why you work so hard to accomplish a goal like this, and I know they are excited about the opportunity."

Wayne State, the No. 5 seed, enters the game with a 19-11 record. "They have an outstanding program, an outstanding coach, they play extremely hard," said Simmons. We will have our hands full."

This is SIUE's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1989. The Cougars won their last NCAA game 102-92 over Ferris State on March 17, 1989, when the NCAA had a consolation game at the regional championships. Back then, the tournament featured just four teams per region. Sixteen years later, the bracket is now 64 teams, consisting of eight teams in each of the eight regions.

The other first-round games are top-seeded and regional tournament host Findlay (27-3) vs. No. 8-seeded Quincy (18-10), second-seeded Southern Indiana (26-4) vs. No. 7-seeded Gannon (18-10), and No. 3-seeded Ferris State (22-6) vs. No. 6-seeded Indianapolis (19-9). All four games feature a GLVC vs. GLIAC matchup.

SIUE, ranked No. 21 in the last NCAA national poll, has had two previous meetings with Wayne State, splitting the contests. The Cougars defeated Wayne State 67-60 in the 2001-2002 season and lost 81-68 at Wayne State during the 2000-2001 season.

"Just take a look at their success in last year's tournament, said Simmons. "They were an No. 8 seed. They beat Lewis on their home court. They lost to Southern Indiana in the (Great Lakes Regional) championship. They have tournament experience and have been here before."

The Cougars need just one win to break the school record for victories. That mark was set in the previous seasons SIUE earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. SIUE, which had a 14-game winning streak at one point in the season, ranks among the nation's top defense, allowing a stingy 61.2 points per game.

"Our guys are excited," said Simmons. "We have a week here to get better, get fresher and heal up a little bit. I think they are fired up and ready to go."

SIUE senior Tim Bauersachs (Pinckneyville), a first team All-GLVC selection, leads the Cougars in scoring at 12.0 points per game. Senior Dan Heimos (Waterloo), a second team All-GLVC pick, averages 10.2 points and 2.6 blocks per game. GLVC Freshman of the Year J.B. Jones (Belleville) is averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 assists per contest.

Tip off is set for 8:30 p.m. EST and can be heard on WSIE 88.7 FM and SIUE's WebRadio at www.siue.edu/WEBRADIO.

Scholle, Rujawitz Set For Nationals

Eric Scholle (Waukegan) and Joe Rujawitz (Belleville) will make their NCAA Championships debut on Friday (3/11) in the first round of the national tournament in Omaha, Neb.

Scholle, a freshman, picked up a second-place finish at the NCAA Regionals and was tabbed No. 6 in the nation in the 174-pound weight class NCAA rankings. Scholle's first-round opponent will be Ryan Wasser, of Kutztown University. Scholle enters the national championships with a 12-5 record.

"It's nice that Eric is being recognized. He has knocked off a number of the top wrestlers," said SIUE Coach Khris Whelan.

Rujawitz, a sophomore, will face R.J. Paterniti, of Gannon University, in the first round at 149 pounds. Paterniti is the fifth-ranked wrestler in the country in the final NCAA Coaches Poll. Rujawitz enters the match with a 19-13 record overall. "Joe is finally opening up and not holding back," said Whelan. "He has started to wrestle like he has nothing to protect and everything to gain."

The field in each weight class is 16 wrestlers. The top eight finishers will be honored as All-Americans. "Both of them are capable of placing. If they wrestle to their capabilities, they should both come back as All-Americans," said Whelan.

Cougars Up For Regional Awards

Three SIUE track and field student-athletes and a coach are among the nominees as the USTCA (United States Track Coaches Association) Athlete and Coach of the Year.

Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) is among the nominees on the women's side. The Great Lakes Valley Conference Athlete of the Year qualified for this week's NCAA Indoor Championships, including the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 4X400-meter relay.

The NCAA meet begins Friday in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. "Tai has worked very hard to earn the honors being given to her now," said Coach Ben Beyers. "She's only a sophomore, so as long as she stays focused and dedicated, her future will continue to be extremely bright."

Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) and Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) were nominated on the men's side. Both will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Coach Ben Beyers also has been nominated as the region's top coach. "Honestly I'm a little embarrassed to be receiving all this individual attention. But as I've said in the past, these awards are based more on the accomplishments, dedication, and hard work of the entire coaching staff, the success of the teams, and the support of the administration as a whole.

"Without my fellow coaches Dave Astrauskas and Eileen McAllister, as well as Kevin Koller our graduate assistant and Camee' Williams our volunteer assistant, none of the success which has led to this recognition would be possible. I'm just happy to be a part of such a wonderful group of people," said Beyers.

SIUE Track And Field To Send Large Contingent To NCAAs

The SIUE women's and men's track and field teams will send 12 individuals to the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston on March 11-12.

Five men and five women have been accepted into the championships field and one more person on both the men's and women's side will serve as an alternate for relays. The field for the 2005 championships was announced today.

"Half of our national contingent this year are freshmen. This obviously reflects positively on our recruiting efforts and bodes well for the future of our programs," said Coach Ben Beyers. "We've set that as a goal to become more of a national presence, and this is a very big step in that direction."

Great Lakes Valley Conference Athlete of the Year Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) leads the way with three events. She will be running the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and a leg of the 4X400-meter relay. Her individual times were among the top 10 accepted nationally. "After a slower start than she expected, she simply stuck to her training and her efforts have certainly been rewarded," said Beyers.

Sawyer qualified last year at 60 meters and placed 12th, missing the finals by .07 seconds.

Jessica Levy (Des Plaines) qualified for the 400 as an individual. She is No. 16 among 19 runners in the field. The GLVC Freshman of the Year is one of two freshmen who qualified for this event.

Christine Butler (Matteson), a freshman, was the last student-athlete selected to compete in the triple jump. Her leap of 38 feet, 6 inches was 15th on the list.

Sophomore Valerie Simmons (St. Louis) and freshman Kimetha Williams (Bellevue, Neb.) will join Sawyer and Levy on the 4X400-meter relay. Jenny Jaquez (Aurora), a senior, will be SIUE's alternate. SIUE posted the eighth fastest qualifying time at 3:49.13 among the 10 teams which will compete in the event.

On the men's side, Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) will be tossing the weight throw at nationals. His consistency throughout the year may help him take his game to another level. "Even though Lee is a senior, the national meet will mark only the 12th time he has competed in the weight throw in his career," noted Coach David Austrauskas. "I'm looking forward to watching the competition because Lee seems to always have big throws in key situations."

All eyes will be on the 400-meter dash as SIUE has three competitors in the race. Senior Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis), sophomore Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) and freshman Kyle Rose (Kankakee) all qualified for SIUE. "We take pride in that event," said Beyers. "We've put ourselves on the map as one of the nation's elite programs in this area. And with our youth in that event, we're only going to continue to improve and get better."

The trio will be joined by freshman Ryan Nowakowski (Rochester) in the 4X400-meter relay. Wes Smith (Bloomington), also a freshman, will serve as an alternate for the Cougars. SIUE holds the sixth fastest time in the nation going into the meet at 3:15.40.

Cougars Plan For Selection Sunday

SIUE Men's Basketball Coach Marty Simmons announced the Cougars are scheduled to be at Krieger's this Sunday (3/5) in Edwardsville for the NCAA Men's Basketball Selection Show.

The men's basketball selection show begins at 9:30 p.m. and can be seen on DirectTV channel 644 or Dish Network channel 410.

Fans are encouraged to come by and join the Cougars as the brackets are revealed for the 64-team NCAA Division II Tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday, March 10.

SIUE's "Second Season" Begins Thursday

SIUE enters the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind., in unchartered territory.

As the No. 2 seed, SIUE begins that league championship tournament at noon Thursday (3/3) with its best-ever seed and the first time above the No. 5 seed.

Coach Marty Simmons said the regular season, which the Cougars finished 22-7 overall and 15-5 in league play, has made him and his coaching staff proud. "We are proud of them. They have invested a lot in it," he said. "They are being rewarded for all their hard work and effort to this point."

Simmons said anybody who is in the tournament can win it all. His immediate goal is to make sure the Cougars are focused on their first opponent-UW-Parkside. "We have been real fortunate to beat Parkside twice," said Simmons. "They take great shots. They shoot the three really well. They can beat you off the dribble. They are a good passing team."

SIUE enters the tournament as the top scoring defense, allowing just 61.2 points per game this season. The SIUE school record for opponents scoring average in a season is 66.8 in 1982-83.

While defense has certainly been a mainstay this season, three-pointers also carry a level of importance. "We have players who have good discipline and take good shots for the most part," said Simmons. "It helps a lot when you can knock down three-point shots. It stretches the defense. It opens up the inside for Dan Heimos (Waterloo) and Tim Bauersachs (Pinckneyville)."

SIUE is second behind Southern Indiana in three-point field percentage at 39.6 percent. Anthony Jones (Centralia) leads the team with 56 three-points and Joel Jaye (Chicago) is next with 47.

Jaye's play of late also has caught Simmons' notice. "He seems to be playing much more aggressive the last couple of weeks. Not only shooting the ball well from the perimeter, but he is driving the ball and becoming a lot more active in the offense. He has been a big part of our success," said Simmons.

The next SIUE victory would give the 2004-2005 Cougars a share of the record for victories in a season. SIUE won 23 games previously in 1985-86, 1986-87, and 1988-89. "Now the second season begins and we have to get ready to go," said Simmons.

Women's Basketball Prepares For GLVC Tournament

SIUE Women's Basketball Coach Wendy Hedberg and her Cougars have just a few days to get ready for top-seeded Quincy in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Evansville, Ind.

The Cougars, the No. 8 seed, play Quincy at 2:30 p.m. Friday (3/4) at Roberts Stadium. "We are going to have our hands full with Quincy," said Hedberg. "We are going to go in there and give it our best shot. They are going to be a tough team to beat."

SIUE moved into this position with a 67-62 road victory at Saint Joseph's on Saturday (3/5). "I am real happy with our players and how they responded. We hit some big free throws at the end," Hedberg said.

The Cougars picked up 15 points off the bench from Lindy Carey (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) in the win. "Hopefully, her performance will build her confidence. She has been struggling for a big part of the season. It was really good to see her stroke a couple three-pointers," said Hedberg.

SIUE also has seen a surge of scoring from junior Alisa Carillo (Santa Ana, Calif.). "She is very capable of scoring and does a great job on the boards for us," said Hedberg.

As SIUE returns all five starters next season, Hedberg hopes to make this an opportunity. "The experience of being at the GLVC Tournament and being at Roberts Stadium is a neat thing. It's kind of a great finish to a season, and, if nothing else, they get a good experience down there."

Women's Track And Field Captures GLVC Title

SIUE celebrated is second straight Great Lakes Valley Conference women's indoor crown on Saturday (2/26) in Crawfordsville, Ind.. SIUE had six champions, six runners-up and two winners in the relays.

SIUE won the title with 189 points followed by Indianapolis with 162. Lewis was third with 78 points. "This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication by a lot of people," said Coach Ben Beyers. "Obviously, the athletes are the ones who actually go out and perform, but the great coaching staff with coaches David Astrauskas, Eileen McAllister and graduate assistant Kevin Koller, and the entire SIUE administration, all played a large part in the victory today."

Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) was named the Outstanding Athlete of the Year after winning both the 55-meter dash and 200-meter dash, setting school records in both events. "She's still only scratching the surface of her enormous talents. The best is yet to come if she continues to work hard," said Beyers.

Jessica Levy (Des Plaines) walked away with hardware of her own as the GLVC's Freshman of the Year. Levy won at 400 meters and set an SIUE record with a time of 57.30. And that was done while battling a cold in the week leading up to the championships, according to Beyers. "Her grit and determination came through, and she was able to lift our team with her efforts. To say that her future is bright would be an understatement," said Beyers.

The Cougars swept the 4X200-meter and 4X400-meter relays. "Our team certainly takes pride in the relays so it was great to for them win," said Beyers.

SIUE had a 1-2-3 showing in the 55-meter hurdles. Valerie Simmons (St. Louis) ran away with the GLVC title with a finals run of 8.40 seconds. Brittany Reeves (Hanover Park) placed second after running the fastest preliminary time of 8.39. Asaki Carr (St. Louis) took third.

Christine Butler (Matteson) won the triple jump with a leap of 38 feet, 4 inches. It was more than two feet past second-place Lori Vissing, of Indianapolis.

Callie Glover (Bartlett) improved her national ranking and set a new school record in the weight throw, winning the GLVC title with a 54-10.75. "The women's weight throw was an exciting victory for us," said Coach Austrauskas. "Almost all of the SIUE women threw personal bests with Callie winning the meet on her very last throw."

SIUE is awaiting word on who will advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Boston on March 11-12. The Cougars expect to have as many as four individuals and a relay team advance.

Men's Track Takes GLVC Runner-Up

Four individual champions and two relays walked away with gold at the men's 2005 Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships in Crawfordsville, Ind.

SIUE now awaits word on which Cougars have qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in Boston on March 11-12. The Cougars expect to have as many as five competitors plus a relay qualify based on the national qualifying list.

Brian Taghon (East Moline) pulled off a double-victory day with wins in the mile (4 minutes, 13.05 seconds) and at 3,000 meters (8:32.94). "Taghon looked very impressive," said Coach Eileen McAllister. "He dominated both the mile and the 3,000. He led both races from start to finish and ran very respectable times."

Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) had two All-Conference performances. Weeden won the shot put for the second straight year with a toss of 51-7.25. SIUE was 1-2-3 in the shot put as Ben Willard (Manito) and Steve Landers (Auburn) followed Weeden.

The 60-foot barrier was broken for the third time this season by Weeden in the weight throw. However, Weeden fell to Indianapolis' Cory Young by a throw of seven inches. "Lee always comes to compete at the GLVC Championships," said Coach David Austrauskas."

Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) also led another 1-2-3 finish for the Cougars at 400 meters. He edged teammates Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis) and Kyle Rose (Kankakee) with a winning time of 49.15. "Jonathan really went out and took charge of the race right from the start," said Coach Ben Beyers. "This is his first season of indoor track since he's originally from Texas. To be able to achieve what he has to this point is truly impressive."

Cougar Baseball Waiting To Put It All Together

Cougar Baseball heads south for its annual spring break trip to Bradenton, Fla., looking for its first win.

The team lost a pair of one-run games and 6-0 to No. 3-ranked Central Missouri State. SIUE fell to Winona State 12-11 in 11 innings and 3-2 to Nebraska-Omaha. "We fell behind about four different times (against Winona State), and we kept coming back. We gave ourselves a chance to win it, but we couldn't quite finish the deal." said Coach Gary Collins.

Collins said Adam Tallman (Gillespie) and Jarad Rettberg (Divernon) have both pitched well. "But no one has pitched well enough to get us a win," added Collins.

SIUE is batting .199 after its first five games. "We're going to have to pick up the pace. Those teams we are playing in Florida are good teams," Collins said.

SIUE has six games scheduled in Florida from March 6-12. The Cougars have three games against Assumption, one against Nebraska-Omaha, one against Concordia, and one against Ashland.

Softball Readies For Rebel Spring Games

After a 14-13, 3 hour, 20 minute, marathon with McKendree College in the championship game of the Cougar Softball Tournament on Sunday (2/27), SIUE might be looking for a breather.

Perhaps a trip to Florida would be in order.

SIUE heads to the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando for a 12-game schedule which begins Sunday (3/6) and runs through March 12. "We are looking forward to it. I am glad we ended the tournament with a two-win day," said Coach Sandy Montgomery.

The Cougars' offense exploded for 23 runs on Sunday with a 9-0, five inning win over Illinois-Springfield and the nine-inning win over McKendree. "We played good defense. We hit the ball well, and the pitchers are going to continue to work hard and improve. That is all I can ask out of them," said Montgomery.

"I am real proud of how they responded and there are a lot of positives coming out of the weekend. We are happy to be at .500 and going south."

Senior shortstop Veronica Schmidt (Westmont) is the team's leading hitter at .421. Samantha Easterley (Belleville) responded with two doubles in the win over McKendree.

Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton) picked up both wins on Sunday, improving her record to 3-2. She also had four hits against the Bearcats.

Wrestling Sends Two To Nationals

SIUE's wrestling team will send two participants to the NCAA Championships in Omaha, Neb., on Mar. 11-12.

Freshman Eric Scholle (Waukegan) and sophomore Joe Rujawitz (Belleville) finished in the top four in the weight classes at the NCAA Regional in Kenosha, Wis., to qualify for the championships.

Scholle placed second at 174 pounds, winning his first two matches before falling in the championship. He has recorded a mark of 12-5 on the year.

Rujawitz came in at fourth place at 149 pounds. After winning his first match, Rujawitz lost his second. He battled through the wrestlebacks to reach the third place match before falling to Dugan Bentley of Ashland 7-1.

Bill Breheny (Burbank) and John Ficht (Burbank) both turned in fifth-place finishes at the regionals. Breheny ends his season with a record of 12-10 at 141 pounds. Ficht notched a mark of 22-19 on the year.

Men's Tennis Places Second At Principia Tourney

SIUE men's tennis team finished second at The Principia Tournament last weekend. The Cougars will head to Oklahoma for three matches starting Sunday (3/6).

Andrew Reznack (Edwardsville) had a great weekend going 3-0 at No. 5 singles in the tournament as he moves his mark to 5-1. Reznack won all three matches in two sets and won 37 of 44 games he played.

Justin Free (Danville) had a solid performance going 2-1 at No. 2 singles improving his record to 3-3.

At No. 3 doubles Reznack and partner Andy Renner (Belleville) went 2-1 running their record to 5-1 this season. No. 1 doubles Matt Warner (Arlington Hts.) and Free and No. 2 doubles Matt Kuban (Pekin) and Dan Glon (Mt. Prospect) both finished with 2-1 marks during the tournament.

"Andrew is doing quite well," said Coach Bill Logan. "He is becoming a major player on the team."

The Cougars will face Oklahoma Baptist on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Central Oklahoma on Monday (3/7) at 2 p.m. "We're going down there to toughen things up to get ready for the Great Lakes Valley Conference season," said Logan.

Jazz Saxophonist, Educator To Teach Master Classes, Perform With Students, Faculty

Jazz tenor saxophonist Houston Person-a legendary recording artist who has played with jazz and soul greats such as Etta Jones, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Dakota Staton, and Horace Silver-will visit SIUE from March 2-5 to teach master classes in the Jazz Studies Program and to perform with faculty and students.

An internationally acclaimed jazz performer, Persons has recorded more than 75 albums under his own name for the Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse recording labels. He currently records for HighNote Records, including Dialogues, with bassist Ron Carter, and his latest, Social Call. Earlier recordings for HighNote made the No. 1 spot on jazz charts each year from 1998-2001.

Two of Person's recordings that he also produced-My Buddy: Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson and Etta Jones Sings Lady Day-were finalists for a Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal category in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

Pianist Phillip Dunlap, a student in the SIU! E Jazz Studies Program and president of the SIUE chapter of the International Society of Jazz Educators, was responsible for bringing Persons to campus. "Houston came here once before in 2000 as a replacement for Stanley Turrentine, who had become ill," Dunlap said, "but he was only here for one concert. It occurred to me that having Houston teach and perform here over two or three days would be very beneficial for the jazz students."

With the help of Bob Burnett, an SIUE alum and operator of Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis, Dunlap was able to bring about the 70-year-old Persons' return to SIUE. "It's going to be great having an important jazz performer on campus," Dunlap said.

"He's going to play in a student combo and in a faculty combo. It will be a great experience."

29th Annual Probst Lecture Set For March 21 At SIUE, Features Nobel Laureate

The 29th Annual William J. Probst Memorial Lecture will be presented by Nobel Prize-winner Robert F. Curl-the Kenneth S. Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Natural Sciences, University Professor, and Professor of Chemistry at Rice University-at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in Meridian Ballroom.

The annual lecture is sponsored by the SIUE Department of Chemistry and the SIUE Chemistry Club. Curl will speak about "The Discovery of the Fullerenes and the New World of Carbon Chemistry," regarding the 1986 discovery of a new form of carbon, leading to an entirely new field of materials development research.

Among the proposed applications for fullerenes include pharmaceutical-related uses. "Nanotubes, which are stretched fullerenes, are incredibly strong and can be both insulators and conductors," said Assistant Professor Susan Wiediger, a member of the SIUE Chemistry faculty, coordinator of the Probst Lecture, and advisor to the SIUE Chemistry Club.

"Curl's discovery has led to new uses for nanotubes as sensors and biomarkers," Wiediger said, "particularly in molecular detection using infrared light, providing greater tissue penetration."

As a result of his research, Curl was a recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Richard Smalley and Sir Harry Kroto. "We are excited by the prospect of our students interacting with an internationally recognized scientist," Wiediger said.

In addition to his lecture the evening of March 21, Curl will attend a student research symposium at 3:30 that afternoon, also in Meridian Ballroom. He also will speak that day to Chemistry faculty about "Trace gas monitoring with infrared lasers" at 2 p.m. in Room 1105 of the Science Building.

Born in Texas, Curl completed a bachelor's at Rice in 1954 and went on to earn a doctorate in Chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley three years later. After a year as a research fellow at Harvard, Curl joined the Chemistry faculty at Rice. He was named a University Professor in 2003, a position held previously there by only five faculty members .

Curl has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Clayton Prize from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1957, the Alexander Von Humboldt Senior U.S. Scientist Award in 1984, the Johannes Marcus Marci Award in Spectroscopy in 1998, and the University of Bochum Research Prize in 2004. The Nobel Prize was awarded in 1996 for his discovery of fullerenes in 1986 along with Smalley and Kroto.

The lecture series is funded in part by: the Sigma-Aldrich Corp., the SIUE Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences, the SIUE School of Graduate Studies and Research, and the SIUE Department of Chemistry.

The Probst Lecture was established to honor the late Professor William Probst who taught organic chemistry at SIUE for nearly 20 years before his death in 1975. The lectures and seminars are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Department of Chemistry. (618) 650-2042.

Kids, Smiles? Of Course ...

Kids and smiles go together like ... well ... kids and smiles. And, the SIUE School of Dental Medicine in Alton recently gave more than 320 children reason to flash those pearly whites after providing them oral health treatment during the SDM's Second Annual Give Kids A Smile Day for the Metro East region.

The number of children served was nearly double the number served the previous year, according to Dr. Randy Parmlee, the 2005 Give Kids A Smile Day regional chairperson. "An estimated $69,000 in dental care was administered before the end of that day," Parmlee said. "We are excited by the increase in turnout from the community. It really shows the need for Give Kids A Smile Day."

Additional children were able to attend the event, Parmlee said, in part because of support from The Meridian Society, a philanthropic group of women at the University. The society awarded a $3,400 grant for bus transportation from nine area school systems.

The care given at the event was administered by some 300 dental professionals of the Madison and St. Clair District Dental Societies, as well as faculty, students and staff from both the dental school and the Lewis and Clark Community College dental hygiene and dental assisting program. Other volunteers included many from various local service organizations, participating as escorts for children through registration, through X-ray and screenings, and, finally, to treatment.

Give Kids A Smile Day is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free dental treatment for underserved children. Free dental care-including examinations, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and fillings and extractions-was provided to children who attended the event and who may not otherwise have received it.

Give Kids A Smile is meant to focus attention on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children and deliver the message that dentists alone cannot solve this problem without a solid commitment from government and society. It is a way to show that dentists care and are willing to do their part. This program also helps to communicate the dental profession's perspective that it is going to take a commitment on the part of the public and elected leaders to reach a true solution.

Dr. Ann Boyle, dean of the SIUE School of Dental Medicine, noted that the issue of providing better access to dental care is a pressing health concern. "Children with oral health problems can have severe infections and be in chronic pain," Boyle said. "They can have difficulty eating, sleeping, and paying attention in school.

"The result is that more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to kids' dental illness," said Boyle. "Give Kids A Smile Day is a significant step toward addressing the issue.

"However, there is only so much that we can do in one day. Access to dental care is an issue that state and local government officials genuinely need to review."

Club Hockey Does It Again

For the second time in as many years, the SIUE Cougar Hockey Club won the Mid-American Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) Division II Gold Tier Championship after defeating Robert Morris College 4-3 in sudden death overtime recently in Springfield, Mo..

The club won the Silver Division in 2003 and the Gold Division in 2004.

Coach Larry Thatcher said he is pleased with the growth of the club program. "="From roughly 11 guys in the first season to 44 this past year speaks highly of the organization," Thatcher said "As you know, not only did the varsity team just win its second MACHA Gold Division Title in as many years, but the team also won the Silver Division Title three years ago.

"I think another big story may be that the junior varsity team finished at .500 this season," Thatcher said. "They achieved the .500 mark in the last game of the season when they defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 7-0. Northwestern finished in 2nd place in the Silver Division for the season.

"All in all, great work by a great bunch of kids."

Chad Rodgers, assistant director of Recreational Programs for the SIUE Office of Campus Recreation, said SIUE club hockey is quickly becoming one of the most recognized club programs in the nation. "The team continued their incredible success last season by winning the 2003-2004 Regular Season and Playoff MACHA Championships for the first time in school history," Rodgers said.

"The club's success in winning the '01-'02 MACHA Regular Season title, '02-'03 MACHA Silver Tier Championship, the 2003 Big Muddy Tournament title and '03-'04 MACHA titles resulted in development of two teams.

"Last year, we gained national attention by participating in an invitation-only premier showcase tournament against some of the top Division II teams in the nation as well as being asked to play in Division I tournaments this year," Rodgers pointed out.

Rodgers also praised the loyal fans who made the four-hour drive to Springfield for the recent weekend tournament. "We were supported by a great crowd."

           
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