SMSU Briefs for Jan. 15

Mustang Ice Classic Feb. 15 on Lake Sarah

The second annual Mustang Ice Classic will be Saturday, Feb. 15, on Lake Sarah.

The contest will feature over $10,000 in prizes, according to Mike VanDrehle, alumni director and event organizer.

“We had our inaugural tournament in 2019 and it drew a good crowd of ice fishing enthusiasts. It’s a popular winter activity in southwest Minnesota, and we’re looking forward to our second tournament, which will raise scholarship dollars for SMSU students,” said VanDrehle.

Registration is from 8:30-10:30 a.m., followed by a mandatory rules meeting. Fishing runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and an awards ceremony will follow.

Registration cost for the event is $35 through Jan. 31, and $40 after that. Children 15-and-under pay $10. Tickets are available by phone, online or on the day of the event. Each participant may fish two holes per ticket. A commemorative lure is included in the ticket price.

There will be prizes for many categories, including first fish, largest fish, smallest fish, and random fish throughout the contest.

“The categories will not just reward the biggest fish,” said VanDrehle. “We want all participants to have an equal opportunity to win something during the day, even if you don’t catch anything.”

The first 200 to register receive a complimentary Runnings 5-gallon pail at the event.

A raffle will also be a part of the Mustang Ice Classic. Raffle tickets are $20, and are available through the SMSU Alumni/Foundation offices, and at Runnings and Action Sports.

The raffle grand prize is a Polaris Sportsman 450 four-wheeler.

Title sponsors include Runnings, Vexilar and Action Sports. Other sponsors include CE Signs and Designs, Enviro Pump Plus, Precision Marketing Concepts, Glacier Ice Houses/Pleasureland RV, SMSU Alumni Association, SMSU Foundation, Bloemendaal Guide Service, Southwest Insurance, Wood Lake Lumber, Jonti-Craft, Marshall Truss Systems, Park & Sell, Bend Rite Fabrication, The Gambler, Hy-Vee, Escape Spa, Woodstock Communications, Fuzzy’s, Borch’s Sporting Goods, Crystal Eyes, Northern Lights Rattle Wheels, Skalak Outdoors, Brads Market, Coca-Cola, Heaven on Earth, Rebel Campers, and Mr. Heater.

For further information, go to www.smsualumni.com/MustangIceClassic, or contact the SMSU Alumni/Foundation office at 507-537-6266.

Club hockey coming to Southwest Minnesota State University

Southwest Minnesota state University will field a men’s club hockey team beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.

The Mustangs will join the ranks of approximately 450 collegiate club hockey teams that comprise the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).

Mike Deschneau, special education professor, is the faculty adviser for the club. He is also the director of football operations as a member of the Mustang football coaching staff.

The ACHA, a partner with USA Hockey, sanctions three levels of play, and SMSU’s club team will play in Division II, said Deschneau.

The club hockey team will also seek membership in the Western Collegiate Club Hockey Association (WCCHA), which is comprised of 14 member teams split into two divisions.

The team will play its games at the Red Baron Arena in Marshall, the hockey facility in southwest Minnesota.

It’s anticipated that about 17 players will be on the roster for the inaugural season, and will play about 15 games. The roster will include approximately 32 players for the 2021-22 season, and the team will play about 25 games.

In his role as faculty adviser, Deschneau will assist the student club leaders in organizing the club and helping it get started.

Deschneau is a former assistant women’s and men’s hockey coach at Gustavus Adolphus. At the high school level, he was an assistant at New Prague and Mankato West, and the head coach at North Branch.

Deschneau said the team will play newer club programs in its inaugural season, such as UM-Crookston, Dordt and Jamestown, to name a few.

The first-year roster will be comprised of former hockey players who are current SMSU students, “and high school students and junior hockey players who want to continue their careers in college,” said Deschneau. “I expect with the (Red Baron Arena), the interest that’s out there for hockey in the area, and the amount of junior hockey in this part of the state, it will draw a lot of interest, and presents a great opportunity for students to continue to play at the collegiate level.”

SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya welcomes the addition of club hockey.

“Minnesota is known as the hockey state. There is a lot of interest in the sport, and having a club hockey team at SMSU will allow students to continue to play in college,” he said.

For further information, contact Deschneau at: Mike.Deschneau@smsu.edu.

MLK commemoration program Jan. 20 at SMSU

Southwest Minnesota State University will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20 with an event titled “Now is the Needed Time,” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Charter Hall 201 on campus.

The event will feature the Twin Cities Gospel Choir, keynote speaker Leslie-Burl McLemore and a local children’s choir.

The multi-cultural group Twin Cities Gospel Choir started in 1990 with its first-place win at the Minnesota State Fair. The following year, the choir presented 13 concerts at the Minnesota State Fair and had its first professional studio recording. They now travel to serve and uplift communities by using gospel music to inspire audiences with a message of hope, joy, and harmony.

McLemore is professor emeritus of political science at Jackson State University and a veteran of the southern Civil Rights movement. As a Rust College student, he was the founding president of the College chapter of the NAACP. In 1997, McLemore and several colleagues formed the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and democracy. Its mission is to engage primary and secondary schools in the exploration of the Civil Right Movement. It has also sponsored 11 successful summer institutes for teachers and students on the Southern Civil Rights Movement.

The local children’s choir will be comprised of youth from the area ages 6-12. They will perform uplifting music and create a mural to share the legacy of Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. For more information about the children’s choir, contact Darwin Dyce at 507-476-2042.

For more information please contact the SMSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 507- 537-7382 or by emailing Michele.Sterner@SMSU.edu.