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March 24, 2011



The latest news and information, as well as feature stories by NCU journalists and writers

The dynamic NCU student community engages the culture and entertainment of the Cities

Columnists share points of view on todays issues from within the NCU community and beyond

The latest on NCU Ram sports, from the coaches, teams and athletes competing

O u r T o w n , 2

The Alumni Experience, 5

Baseball Rights the Ship,11


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Actors practice their table manners during a rehearsal of the upcoming North Central production of Our Town


Our Town
By JESSICA WARD The award winning production of Our Town will make its debut at North Central on Friday, March 25. This Pulitzer Prize winning play was written by Thornton Wilder and first produced in 1938. It won eight Emmy nominations for its 1970s television version. This story contains three acts that are meant to help viewers take a fresh look at living and the precious time they have been given to do it. The setting is in a small New Hampshire town called Grovers Corners, where the story focuses on the lives and families of two characters. Sophomore theatre major Hayden Loven acts as George Gibbs and the character Emily Webb is played by freshman theatre major Hannah Johnston. Twenty three other cast members, including extras, accompany Loven and Johnston in this production. I love this play because it depicts life in a away I would have never imagined, said Loven. The cast is wonderful and the director and crew are amazing. This play displays love, hate, fear, perseverance, pain, happiness, and a plethora of other emotions, which are commonly found in our everyday lives. Acting in this play, I have made so many friends, all of whom I love working with. Through experiences in youth, adulthood and finally death, the story takes a deeper look at some of lifes important issues about time, people, and the things which are eternal. It poses the question: what lasts and what doesnt? One of the chief moral lessons of the play comes toward the end, mentioned by the following quote: There are some things that we all know but we dont take them out and look at them very often. We all know that something is eternal, and it aint houses and it aint names, and it aint earth, and it aint even the starseverybody knows in their bones that something is eternal and that something is human beings. Wayne Matthews is the director of this production and is assisted by sophomore theatre major Rebekah Word. The spring production will take place in the chapel on the weekends of March 25-27 and April 1-3. The Friday and Saturday productions begin at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday productions are at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are available through the fine arts department and are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children 12 years of age or younger. North Central students, staff, and faculty need only pay $8. Group tickets are also available at $10 for each member of a group of 10 or more. Matthews suggests that the play will be most enjoyed by ages 12 and up.


College Days
By DAVID RISDALL On March 24-25, the North Central campus will swarm with prospective students during College Days. This annual event gives high school students the opportunity to visit and tour the campus, and allows them to meet other potential and current students and faculty. This year, North Central will provide the prospective students with a chance to experience a chapel service with One Accord and Jeff Kennedy. There will also be an evening service with Jeff Deyo and Eric Samuel Timm. Visitors may also enjoy a concert with Nicole Serrano, a late night showing of the movie Imposter, and a dodge ball tournament. This tournament is a staple of College Days. Informational sessions about North Central, including financial aid advice and other pertinent topics, will also be available. The visiting students will come from all over the country to experience North Centrals college life by staying in the dorms and eating in the cafeteria. Students interested in studying in the fine arts department will also have the chance to audition for a music scholarship during their visit. North Central students may interact with potential students by involving themselves in different events and allowing visitors the chance to spend a night in their dorm. College Days is a time for prospective students to meet their possible futures.


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Love within the four walls

By KAYLA GRELL Coming soon on April 12-14, North Central will host its annual three-day relationship seminar. In years past, the seminar has primarily focused on dating relationships and friendships, but this year it will turn to loving fellow Christians. This focus came out of a sermon series on 1 John by Kenny Stokes, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, who will speak in chapel on Tuesday and Wednesday during the seminar. The relationship seminar planning committee is directed by Dean of Community Life Jolene Erlacher and includes various staff and faculty members, as well as student representatives. In preparation for the seminar, the committee discussed that Christians get into habits of extending an abundance of grace and love toward non-Christians, but have a hard time doing so for those within the church. Beth Nelson, senior youth ministries major, is a student representative in the planning committee and has experienced four relationship seminars. Since being a part of the committee, I have the opportunity to share my views as a student [about] what students need and want from a week like this, said Nelson. On Thursday, April 14, the seminar committee will lead the chapel service. Beyond special chapel services, many activities will happen over the course of these three days, including lunches with Stokes and an art show. There will also be an opportunity for students to sign up for dinner at a staff members home on Thursday night. The art show will be held Tuesday evening, April 12, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Those wanting to submit videos and digital photos for the gallery can do so on The Northerners website, ncunortherner.com, as well as in the student life office. In addition, Nelson mentioned there will be a community blog run through The Northerners website. This blog will give students a chance to anonymously post stories about the love and grace they have not received from the Christians on our campus. The purpose of this blog will be to shed light on the truth of what students have experienced at North Central, and it will be discussed in chapel on Friday, April 14.

The exodus of DCF Program
By JACOB VON ARX On February 14, North Central announced that the Carlstrom deaf studies program will be dropped following the Spring 2012 semester. While North Central appreciates and recognizes the deaf community, there are pressing financial needs that need to be addressed as well. Academic Dean Thomas Burkman addresses the issue: All of the bigger programs have sustained [the Carlstrom deaf studies] for years. How long can you keep that up in expense of other programs? The news has made a lasting impact around the school, beginning with a student led silent protest in chapel on the day Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, visited North Central. Multiple petitions have also been created to try and resurrect the program from being dropped. I thought the timing [of the protest] was just right. It showed George Wood how united our campus is and how our deaf students arent alone, said sophomore American Sign Language major Melissa Genca. When asked about the lack of time the interpreting program was given, Burkman said, Its never been about previous numbers, but looking to the future. We felt that there was growth for a number of years, but it never materialized. If we had 30-40 students, we wouldnt be having this discussion, but were talking about five, said President Gordon Anderson. Anderson called the loss of the program an awful tragedy, and recognized the value of having a deaf community on campus. This is not the first time Anderson has dealt with phasing out a major. Urban ministries was not producing, said Anderson. We looked at phasing [urban ministries] out, but ended up merging them with evangelism. This is not ideal. We had to take risks, said JoAnn Smith, department chair for deaf culture. We talked to the deaf students for about a year about the move. Although the program will be phased out over the next year, with the final deaf-only courses being offered the Spring semester of 2012, the students have not lost faith in their future. God is faithful and He is watching over our CDS students and has a plan for them and the deaf community, said Genca.

North Central loses its Coconut (Dr. Shaka)

By JACLYN TRIEB Dr. Richard Shaka recently announced that this spring semester is his last at North Central after teaching in the Bible and theology department for 14 years. He came to North Central in Aug. 1996, making this his first full-time job in the U.S. after receiving his doctoral degree in Sierra Leone. His wife, Farella Shaka, professor in the arts and sciences department, came in 1998. Dr. Shaka taught several courses during his time at North Central, including hermeneutics, systematic theology I, II, III, and IV, New Testament theology, contemporary theology, and cross-cultural preaching and theology. He has also led many students on mission trips to South Africa, England, Uganda, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. I love my discipline, said Shaka. God gave me the right job at the right place. Approximately 3,500 students have been impacted by his teaching, at about 250 students per year for 14 years. He has always thanked God for his time spent at North Central and the chance to share his life and testimony with the students. I thank God for the opportunity to better their lives by instilling in them spirituality and theological knowledge that God has given me, said Dr. Shaka. I realize the longer I stay at North Central the funnier I am becoming. In 2006 Dr. Shaka created a non-profit organization called No Greater Love International. No Greater Love International places its focus on building orphanages and youth centers, church planting, and evangelizing across African nations wherever there is a need for pastoral training. Im going to be traveling quite a bit from place to place, including Sierra Leone and America. In the next five years I really want to go about building ten churches, said Dr. Shaka. The students, faculty, and staff at North Central will miss Dr. Shaka. His humor and love for God will be remembered. Students can be assured Dr. Shaka will keep praying for them, and he asks that they pray for his health. I want students, faculty, and staff to know that I am going to miss them. I will always miss North Central, said Dr. Shaka.

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Students desire hire

By Curtis Ward The jobs are out there. Students just have to look hard. Jobs can be found all over the city and North Central students can find employment opportunities on campus, too. Payment would only be a few steps from the dormitories. Some, like Hope Sevlie, junior business administration major, would rather work off campus. Sevlie is a sales associate for T-Mobile. She sells phones, sets up plans, and does customer service as well. I work five days a week, and the best times to work, Ive found, are weekdays from 4:00p.m.9:00 p.m. and anytime on the weekends, she said. Senior youth ministries major Sean Masopust prefers to work late afternoons. That way youre done and back at or around dinner time, he said. Since Masopust is a part-time teacher at a daycare center and an intern at his church, he is also busy on Sundays. Jason Hodges, senior youth ministries major, also works part time at his church. I work with the youth group program as well as preach to the youth. Some nights I help out with worship, too, said Hodges. He has found from experience that noon to six in the evening is the best time for him to work, so he can sleep in and still have a night life. Junior psychology major Ian McGuire needs only to travel down the hall for his employment at North Central cafeteria. I like working Saturday mornings because then you are free the rest of the day, said McGuire. Rachel Lojovich, senior youth development studies major, shares her thoughts on working while in school. Not only does a job give you money if you need to pay bills, but you also learn about responsibility, and a little bit of how its going to be once you graduate, she said. Having a job before entering the big world will be a great experience for students preparing for graduation. Developing good work habits now will only benefit you for your career in the future. The little disciplines you learn now will carry on through the rest of your life, Lojovich said.

Joshua Olson

Alumni lives impacted by NCU experiences

By Bailey Schott Websters Dictionary defines alumnus as a person who has attended or graduated from a particular school, college, or university. North Central considers its alumni the very same, yet is considering a revision of the term to include only those who have graduated. With future projects such as renovating dorm rooms in Carlson Hall and Miller Hall, North Central is hoping its alumni will help fund these projects. Five thousand dollars given by each graduating class is a step forward with renovations. North Central gave me a strong education, a great spiritual foundation, and provided me with solid personal leadership growth and development. I would be more than willing to invest in a place that continues to do those things for others, said Anna Hoyt, a 2010 North Central graduate. Another curiosity is whether new graduates would be financially secure enough to give back to the university. Currently I am broke so giving back is hard to do, but when you look back and realize all that you gained from being at [North Central] you cant help but want to [give], said AJ Radford of the 2010 North Central graduating class. Text donations may provide an easy way for alumni to donate. With each text sent to a specific number, a standard amount (usually around $10) is given. The donation is then billed to the donors cell phone bill. Freitag mentioned that text donations are a simple way to connect financially with North Central. You cant buy character and that is one thing [North Central] gave me, so the least I can do is give back in whatever way I can, said Radford.

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In-state, out-of-state fiasco
By Kyle Morgan North Central, like any university, educates both in-state and out-of-state students. Both have their upsides and downsides, as related by current students from various residence halls, classes, and majors. I love having my laundry done for free! Its nice to go home, chillax, and go to my home church then drive right on back to school the next day, said Hayden Loven, sophomore theatre major. The words free money will turn nearly every head within earshot, which is why universities offer it to in-state students. North Central is able to give native Minnesota residents extra financial aid. Elsa Aos, senior social work major, loves that Minnesota offers financial support, like loans and grants, to in-state students. Some students, like Alex Geselle, junior elementary education major, find that being close to home is a comfort. Going to school only two hours from home, I can pretty much head home whenever I want. I dont really have to deal with the emotions of living a great distance away from my family, said Geselle. A big difference between in- and out-of-state students is the latter have a better grasp on both the pros and cons of living away from home. Mitch Chamberlin, senior business major from Wisconsin, believes that living out of state has taught him how to be a better long-distance family member. Since I dont have the convenience of being able to leave school for a night and spend the night with my parents, I have to be intentional about calling them and keeping them aware of whats going on in my life, said Chamberlin. Rachel Brown, senior drug and alcohol counseling major from Illinois, thinks one positive aspect of living out of state while attending college is that it really helps her establish a solid sense of independence, more than if she was to live at home. Some cons of living out-of-state are having to pay for laundry [and] not having regular access to a homemade meal, as well as travel expenses and complications if you want to go home for even a weekend, said Brown. David Kamp, sophomore sports management major from Michigan, shared his opinion about independence and family. The opportunity to mature is somewhat forced upon you. There are new friends to make and different cultures to experience while living downtown. A major con with living away from home is you miss things in your familys life that cant be re-experienced, as well as a general lack of family and pre-college friends, he said. The immediate difference between in-state and out-of-state students is that the former dont seem to understand the con side of out-of-state living since they live in Minnesota. Life in their home state is all they know, with all they need surrounding them. Every out-of-state student has left something behind.

Kayla Grell

Kayla Grell

Facebook vs. reality

By Kayla Grell How much time do you spend on Facebook? The popular networking site has become more than just a trend, but a place to make connections and to communicate with people from the past or recently added friends. Accomplishing simple fifteen-minute task for Zach Mueller, Junior Youth Ministry major can end up taking longer because facebook can become a distraction. There are times when being on facebook can completely shake up my priorities when it comes to completing homework, said Mueller. Although Facebook takes up Muellers time, he has seen a positive outcome of being able to branch out more in making connections with people and keeping in contact with people that he does not have the luxury to talk to as much. Speaking from experience, he has dealt with miscommunication issues from different posts on walls that have caused people to jump to conclusions, which in the end it has changed his view on how he feels about people. It is hard to explain things over facebook chat, real life interaction is so much more personal because you get to see their personality and not just an icon of their picture, said Mueller. Teya Burgau, freshman undeclared major, will not add a friend on facebook if she has never talked to them in person. I like to see what is going on with my friends and family. I will admit, I do creep on people, said Burgau. When it comes to being comfortable with talking to people, Burgau thinks that a vast majority of people would rather talk to people over facebook than face-to-face communication. It is easy to type something to someone, but it probably means a lot more if it what you were typing online was said to their face, said Burgau. According to Devon Inman, sophomore youth studies major there are better ways to stay connected and talk with other people like by using the phone. Coming from a Christian perspective, Inman believes that people spend ten times as much of their time on facebook than spending time with God. I know that I am guilty of filling my time online rather than with God, said Inman. Inman points out that on facebook people can be who ever they want to be by creating a fake life through their profile. No one really knows what is going on through your statuss and pictures how your life is really like, it is not reality on facebook, said Inman.


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The great american spring fever

By BAILEY SCHOTT Come springtime something special begins all around the country. Anticipation and curiosity take over the hearts/minds of many and big decisions are made. No, I am not talking about spring break; Im talking about SPRING TRAINING! For those of who have absolutely no idea what that is, get with it. Im talking about the great American pastime baseball. Being from South Dakota, where there are no professional sports teams whatsoever, I have been given the freedom to be a fan of whichever team I want. Turns out I have good judgment because I picked a real baseball team to be a fan of, the Minnesota Twins! Over the years the Twins, and Joe Mauer, have earned a very special place in my heart. The Twins may not be a big money team, but they have earned the respect they deserve. Unlike those pinstripedoverpaid-cheatin athletes, they play for the love of the game not to collect a paycheck. The Twins have sometimes earned the reputation for being a farm team for the big markets; however, they are not a team to be overlooked. But Id like to pause and take the time to congratulate the Twins very own Bert Blyleven for FINALLY being recognized for his contribution to baseball and being inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. You go Bert! Okay, back to what I was saying. The Twins are not a team to be downplayed. With this seasons roster I have high hopes. Coming off of the DL (not Discipleship Leader but the Disabled List) Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan are expected for great things. We also have a new member, Tsuyoshi Nishioka (say that ten times fast), who also has high expectations. All in all, Im thinking a World Series title is in order for my boys this season after they take another American League Central Division title. Amen? AMEN! Tune in on April 1 when Pavano and the boys take on Toronto!

Allergic to the cold
By STEPHEN KRIST Most people dont believe me when I reveal this part of my life, mostly because its ridiculous on the face of it, but its true nonethelessIm allergic to the cold. The technical term for it is cold urticaria and its a real thing no matter what my friends say. Of course, the way Im describing it makes me sound like the kid from Little Giants that came to practice in foam padding and blew bubbles with his snot. Its not that serious. It has to be a fairly extreme circumstance and it usually just makes me itchy. However, the doctor who discovered it after I passed out on the shore of nippy Lake Michigan recommended that I carry an EpiPen just in casebut what does he know? I can use WebMD.com too. Sometimes, when Im feeling extra crazy, I wont even wear a sweatshirt under my coat, just to stick it to him and everyone else who looks at me like a medical reject. However, as spring arrives, I shed my medical mysteries and focus on what lies aheadmore snow. Is it just me or is the Midwest the most inconsistent geographic region on the planet? Its like our climate is a dad whos coaching his sons baseball team and hes trying his best to give the crappy one as much playing time as the good one. The crappy one had his three strikes. He ruined our lives, making us walk out at 6 AM to move our cars back after we spent eight hours shoveling them out the night before. Doesnt that inconsiderate jerk know that I have cold urticaria? Strange, meaningless analogies aside, Im finding myself more excited for spring and summer than I have been in previous years. Maybe its the prospect of my last summer break or maybe its the thought of getting to wear my Toms again without losing another toe. Either way I wish everyone a very happy Spring and I pray none of us lose sight of what the ensuing time of year is all about: that Jesus came to give life and life more abundantthats why the bunny brings us candy.


Personal bubble
By CONNIE ZIMMERMAN Sometimes, I absolutely HATE walking through Phillipps hall. I loathe it. Why? Because walking through the hall can sometimes be a painful task. If Im in a hurry, it never ever fails that there are two people walking side-by-side taking their time to go down the hallway. This sometimes drives me crazy, Ill try to pass them when we get to a doorway, but of course that never actually works. Another thing that constantly happens are three people walk side-by-side down the hallway, and none of them take the initiative to move over so I can pass by. How rude! I have to attempt to flatten myself against the wall so that they can get by, or I have to duck into one of the classroom doorways, which can be awkward if there is a class in session at the time. My ultimate favorite though is later in the evening as Im walking to my apartment I now have to be careful that I do not TRIP over couples watching a movie in a doorway of an empty classroom. That is just ridiculous. Hallways are for walking, holding a quick casual conversation, but not for movie watching with your significant other. That is what the atrium is for. This rant about the hallways is more than that. Its a message to North Central students that manners are a good thing. And its time that we all learned some of them. The next time you are in the Phillipps hallway and one of these things happens to you; just know that you are not alone in this frustration. Editor-in-Chief RUBEN PRIETO Assistant Editor ERICA FULGHUM News Editor FAITH HARSHBARGER Lifestyle Editor KAYLA GRELL Opinion Editor AIMEE CORNELIUS Sports Editor REBEKAH JACKOBSON Online Editor DALE HOUGHTON Online Media Editor JOSH HARSHBARGER Director of Design DANIEL PETERSON Director of Photography MARY BETH OAKS Business Manager BRIANNA ARNESON

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Spring is in the air

By CURTIS WORD AhThe smell of the freshly cut grass and people barbequing just soothes my nostrils. Springtime is upon us. The scent of life with flowers and trees blossoming, and the sounds of children playing gives me a boost of energy to be a new person. Weve all been cooped up in the houses and apartments all winter long and now its time to run, bike and enjoy life once again. It is time to loose all of that winter-weight and go for a run around town. Being able to go for walks with friends, camping, fishing, being outdoors is what makes this time of the year great. Life could not get any better. Spring is my favorite season of the year. Springtime puts an extra spring in my step. I cannot wait to be out on the course playing golf, while being exposed to Gods beauty. Getting to experience the sights, the sounds, and have all of my senses becomes a bit of a surreal experience because I get to enjoy all the vast creation again. This part of the year teases you that summer is just around the corner. Have no fear; spring will make your spirits brighter. The warm sunny days with the cool evening breezes are just around the corner. Hold firm and think of your past spring memories because new ones are a few weeks away.

Advisor REUBEN DAVID Online Advisor TODD WOLD Writers DAVID RISDALL BAILEY SCHOTT JACOB VON ARX JESSICA WARD CURTIS WARD STEPHEN KRIST KYLE MORGAN JACLYN TRIEB MITCHELL CHAMBERLIN North Centrals Student Newspaper Since 1960 910 Elliot Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55404 E-mail: ruben.prieto@mail.northcentral.edu Advisor phone: (612)-343-4727

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Retraction: The article Charlie Mac is back in the Feb. 17 issue of The Northerner mistakingly stated that Charlie McElveen has taken a full-time position with North Central. Although McElveen has been rehired by North Central, it as a part-time professor. The Northerner would like to apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.


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Righting the ship

By JACOB VON ARX Building onto a season that marks one of the greatest improvements in North Central Rams history is never easy. Considering that the baseball team made the NCCAA Div. II National Tournament in Cincinnati and had two All-American infielders, all after a miserable losing season prior, expectations seem insurmountable. Losing four starters, including an NCCAA World Series All-Tournament pitcher, have only encouraged the current players to step up and fill the gaps left behind. Head Coach Tim Beasley heads the ship as they try to build off of a colossal year. Beasley is in his fourth year as head coach, and has made strides in expanding the program. When asked about the upcoming season, Beasley said, I have very big expectations if things go right, and by going right I mean staying healthy and getting our games in. One of the additions made is the partnership with Mizuno and The Game. Thanks to the partnership, two new sets of uniforms, along with team pullovers, and bags were provided. They allow our guys the opportunity to get to get top notch apparel and equipment at a very affordable price, Beasley said. Two Ram pitchers also have high expectations for the season. Junior youth ministries major Jon Tolbert and sophomore media communications major Devin Lehnhoff both expect a return to Prasco Park for the 2011 NCCAA Div. II World Series. The incoming players only strengthen the team, and they expect to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. I would be very disappointed if we, as a team, finish under .500, Lehnhoff said. We should have a good


shot. We should be amongst the top four teams in NCCAA Div. II. The infield features potentially three new starters: freshman pastoral studies major Isaac Gross and undeclared freshman Ian Andrews will compete for corner infield spots, and junior sports management major Matt Farland will compete for second base. Much of the excitement for the upcoming year stems from these fresh faces, along with junior media communications major Josh Bellers looking to get time catching. The team hopes to improve defensively in areas where they lacked last year. I expect everyone who came in as a freshman or a transfer to make big improvements, said Lehnhoff. With the dome collapse, theres a lot of time to improve our cannons, and we want to put as many cannons on that ship as we can and bring it home.


Softball strives for improvement
By JACOB VON ARX After finishing with an 11-14 record in 2010, the North Central Rams softball season finished with something left to be desired for the players. Second year Head Coach Allison Murphy looks forward to definite all-around improvement, claiming a growth in abilities and a hunger to progress as a team as key factors for their improvement. We have a good talent base, but there was a need for some reorganization, said Murphy. Last year wasnt necessarily a rebuilding year, but more of a reorganizing year. It was my first year as head coach, and we had had four head coaches in the past four years. Junior business administration major and utility player Bethany Bostron also claims high expectations for the season.

Small numbers, great dedication

By REBEKAH JACOBSON Just as the sun begins to rise, running shoes round the corners of Elliot Park. It is a typical 5 a.m. practice for the track and field team consisting of sprints and intervals. The track and field team began its season this year with a smaller roster than previous seasons. Several former members did not return, and only a few new faces stepped up to fill in their shoes. Despite the drop in numbers on the team, Head Track and Field Coach Trey Meadows explained that, we do have some solid returners and good new talent including freshman biblical studies major Josiah Miller and junior youth ministries major Joshua Rouser. The biggest challenge will be overcoming the drop in numbers while keeping a consistent performance all the way across the board. This year will be a year where we have to evaluate who we are as a team, said Meadows. Athletes will be competing in several events that might be out of their usual range, and the larger workload can cause fatigue quickly. In order to maintain energy and focus, the team will rely on their support and encouragement from one another. in their sport and their teammates, said junior youth ministries major Jeffrey Winkelman. One of the ways the team bonds is through the 5 a.m. practices during the week. Something about sharing that hatred of getting up so early and working so hard gives us something much more than physical strength, but also mental strength and a sense of pride in our accomplishments, said Winkelman. This dedication drives the team to grow stronger both physically and relationally. Each member is part of something bigger than their individual events and goals, and this is reflected through the tight-knit community they have developed. Even though there is a lack in numbers, the team is determined to give their best performance. At the 2011 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, senior intercultural studies major Catherine Mead gave a strong performance in the 1600m relay by capturing the conference title. I hadnt expected to do so well, said Mead. These races removed a lot of the limits I had on myself. Ive done what I didnt think was possibly, so why not keep going for the impossible and seeing what happens?

I expect the team to compete at a higher level than last year and pick up wins against tough competition from Martin Luther College, Northwestern College, and Mount Mary College, said Bostron. A challenging schedule could hamper the Rams chances to make the post-season. Murphy said, Id say our schedule is pretty balanced. We start by hosting a six game tournament in two days, and though that may not be the most difficult tournament, it tests our abilities because it is so long. Although the supplemented season will help the Rams chances for post-season play, there is only one problem. Theres no NCCAA Div. II national tournament, but you have the opportunity to gain in at large bid for the NCCAA Div. I tournament, said Murphy. The Div. I tournament would give the players a competitive edge in the long run, but it will not be easy to make. A successful season turnaround capped with a national tournament bid will test the athletes. While something is lost by being unable to play against division rivals, the chance to play at a higher level could inspire players to improve from last years mediocrity.

I want to see the guys and girls teams grow and really become a big family and take pride

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Honoring God with hoops
By JACLYN TRIEB Levi Kooistra, senior pastoral studies major, plays as a forward on North Central mens basketball team. This is Kooistras second year on the basketball team after transferring from Oral Roberts University. Kooistra has been playing basketball since 4th grade, when he played in his backyard. I probably played more in the backyard with my mom than my dad, said Kooistra. Throughout junior high and high school, Kooistra kept up his basketball career by playing on his schools teams. In the summer, Kooistra works with an organization called News Release Basketball. The organization runs kids camps during the day, semi-pro games at night, and missions trips to Europe to play basketball. During the games halftime, one of the basketball players shares a testimony to the crowds. The organization is a great way to connect kids and families, said Kooistra. Last summer, Kooistra was on one of the basketball teams in Europe. This summer he will coach a team of high school boys. For the past two summers, Kooistra also put on basketball camps for kids ages 12 to 16 at his church in Chicago. It was amazing to see God use sports as a tool to impact kids lives, said Kooistra. At North Central, Kooistra helped reinvent and reconstruct intramural basketball. He assisted in enforcing rule changes, elongating the season, adding mid-week games, and getting more money to pay for staff, referees, and equipment. He contributed in the efforts made to make intramurals more appealing to the student body. Besides playing basketball, Kooistra has plenty of other hobbies. He enjoys spending time with girlfriend Morgan Valley, North Central alumna, and hanging out with roommate John Benson, senior biblical studies major. Hes also found playing guitar or enjoying a lot of reading. In the future, Kooistra wants to coach either basketball or football while pastoring a church. I want to be a pastor. Ill do anything the church wants me to do, said Kooistra. Kooistras willingness to honor God in all that he does and his competitive spirit keeps him passionate about basketball. Im a very competitive person, said Kooistra. I love to win. And I try to play in a way that brings worship to God. I want to honor God in the way I play basketball.


Pastoring a team
By REBEKAH JACOBSON Head Cross-Country and Track And Field Coach Trey Meadows has been part of the North Central family since his freshman year of college. He has become the person he is today because of the way his coaches molded him as an athlete. As a child, Meadows was a pastors kid and moved 12 times. Eventually, his family settled in Hudson, Mich., where he began to run for his high school. Meadows continued his running career at North Central. When I came to NCU, there was no crosscountry or track programs until Athletics Director Greg Hayton started a program in the fall of 2000, said Meadows. I fell in love with cross-country, and it motivated me to work harder than I ever had. Meadows topped off his running career with an All-Conference award his senior year in track and field. The following year, Meadows remained a student at North Central but was unable to compete as an athlete because his four years of eligibility had expired. However, this limitation only launched the beginning of his coaching career. Coach Hayton asked me to stick around and be a student assistant and I totally fell in love with coaching, said Meadows. After two years of taking on the role of assistant coach, Coach Hayton asked Meadows if he was interesting in transitioning into the head coach position. I was excited and nervous to take over, but God was faithful and things seem to have gone well five years later, said Meadows. As the head coach for both the cross-country and track and field teams, Meadows strives to build personal relationships with each of his athletes. We are a family and I really love working to create an environment where each member is known and loved for who they are as individuals away from running, said Meadows. He describes his position as being similar to that of a pastors. Not only does he help his players improve as runners, but he also encourages them to work hard as people so they can receive from God what they are intended to while at North Central. You cant just sit by and watch people like them [his athletes] train so hard, work so much, love so much, give so much an bless one another so faithfully the way they do and not be moved and challenged, said Meadows. Meadows future plans include continuing to coach at North Central, while finishing his masters degree at the University of Minnesota.