Hello Mustang Fans!
Today marks the last day of finals on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State. The students will be heading home to spend time with their families over the winter break. SMSU campus life will quiet down until Monday, Jan. 10, when classes start up for the spring semester, and the Mustangs will have eight sports in full swing.
Wrestling, women's basketball, men's basketball and wheelchair basketball will be completing the final leg of their winter seasons, while softball, tennis, baseball and women's golf all begin preparing for their spring seasons. Scheduling of facilities gets a little crazy in the months of January, February and March.
As many of you may remember from last spring, the NCAA put forth legislation, the "Life in Balance" package, that reduced contests and practice hours for specific sports, pushed back the start dates of the fall sports seasons and also implemented a dead period for winter sports teams over the December winter break.
Mustang women's basketball, men's basketball, wheelchair basketball and wrestling are not allowed to practice or compete this year from Dec. 20-26 as part of the Winter Break Dead Period.
At this year's NCAA Convention, Division II Leadership will put forth Phase II of the "Life in Balance" legislation that the membership will vote on during the business session on Jan. 15, 2011. This package contains legislation that will address team, individual and weight-lifting and conditioning workouts in the offseason for specific sports, providing the student-athletes four days of no activity at the beginning of the fall semester for offseason sports. There is legislation that will change the parameters of the Winter Break Dead Period and address practice and competition start dates for winter and spring sports. It will be another intense NCAA Convention this year, with many pieces of legislation that are aimed at bringing the lives of our student-athletes back in balance.
The 2011 Mustang Gold Rush Raffle is right around the corner (Feb. 25) and raffle tickets will be available to purchase as early as the end of this week. Who was the top seller of Mustang Gold Rush Raffle Tickets last year for the Mustang Booster Club?
The first person to email me at MustangHoofPrints@SMSU.edu with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt. The winner will be announced on The Saturday Morning Mustang Show between 9-10 a.m. on 1400 AM each week.
The SMSU wrestling team had 10 wrestlers place at the Buena Vista Open last weekend in Storm Lake, Iowa. Zach Coates and Trent Molacek led the Mustangs. Coates was 3-0 on the day as the champion at 174 pounds. Molacek followed that performance going 4-0 at 165 pounds and winning that weight class.
Nine Mustangs wrestlers placed sixth or higher at the Buena Vista Open. Travis Borchert finished second place at 125 pounds and Justin Reinsma picked up second-place honors at 133 pounds. Brian Beilke also came in fourth at 133 pounds for SMSU. Ethan Hildebrandt lost his second bout of the night before reeling off four straight wins to take third place at 141 pounds.
Casey Field finished the day 2-1 at 157 pounds while finishing in second place. Billy Fate went 3-1 and finished third at 174 pounds. Brian Rodas and Andrew Rodas made their first appearances of the season after spending the fall with the SMSU football team. Andrew Rodas picked up a second-place finish at 197 pounds, while Brian Rodas went 1-2 and finished sixth at 285 pounds.
The Mustangs will pick up action on Jan. 19 when they head to Mitchell, S.D., to take on Dakota Wesleyan and Northwestern (Iowa) in a triangular starting at 4:30 p.m.
The Mustang men's basketball team (5-3, 2-2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) will be on the road for the second-straight weekend, completing a four-game NSIC road trip. The Mustangs first head to Winona State (6-1, 2-1 NSIC) on Friday, before traveling to Fayette, Iowa, on Saturday to meet Upper Iowa (2-5, 1-2 NSIC). Both games are set for an 8 p.m. tip-off. SMSU is coming off two heartbreaking losses by one point last weekend to Saint Cloud State and Concordia-St. Paul.
The SMSU women's basketball team (2-6, 1-3 NSIC) will also be on the road for the final stretch of a four-game road trip, ending this weekend. The Mustangs will begin the two-game set at Winona State (6-1, 2-1 NSIC) on Friday at McCown Gymnasium. The Mustangs will then travel to Fayette on Saturday to take on Upper Iowa (0-7, 0-3 NSIC). Both games are set to tip-off at 6 p.m. The SMSU women's basketball team also lost two games last weekend, with last Friday's loss coming on a last-second shot by SCSU.
The Mustang wheelchair basketball team (6-1 overall) will return to action Jan.15-16, as the Mustangs play host to the Timberwolves for three games, with the starts set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 and 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 16. The following weekend, the Mustangs will head to Champagne, Ill., for the College Conference Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.
Good luck to all of our Mustang teams this week. Go Mustangs!
g Congratulations to Rick Haberman, of Tracy, who provided the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprints Trivia Question: How many SMSU wheelchair basketball players have scored 1,000 or more points in their career? The Mustangs have had 12 players who have reached the 1,000-point mark at SMSU, with Nathan Carruth becoming No. 12 during the 2009-10 season.