|Volume 31, Issue 14
||April 15, 2005
Seykora just keeps working to improve
Logos photo by Jenna Jensen|
Sophomore baseball player Jesse Seykora warms up in the gym before practice.
According to his coach Todd Rima, Seykora just keeps working to improve.
See him in the Activity Center, he's smiling. Catch a glimpse of him strolling the sidewalks around campus and he's still sporting that big grin. These days, it's hard to wipe the smile off the face of NIACC third baseman Jesse Seykora.
With his signed letter of intent to play baseball for Division I Northern Illinois a mere afterthought, it's no wonder that Seykora has a lot on his plate to be happy about. Yet, don't ever expect him to be happily satisfied with any of his accolades.
The Owatonna native enters his sophomore season after a stellar freshman campaign that featured a blistering .359 batting average. Throw in six home runs and his 39 runs batted in, and it's easy to figure out why Northern Illinois came calling. Yet, with all of Seykora's success, head baseball coach Todd Rima insists that complacency with Seykora has never existed.
"He's in here (Rima's office) asking me, 'Coach, what can I do to get better, what should I be doing,'" Rima said. "He just always wants to learn."
Seykora is not only an in-season worker, but he also puts his time in during the off-season. "I've lifted weights a lot," Seykora said. "Just have to keep working." Snow, rain, sleet, or hail, Rima said he sees Seykora keep working regardless of the month or time.
"There would be days when I would come in at night," Rima said. "Jesse would be hitting off the tee all by himself. I see that drive in him in the weight room and I just know he's going to give his best every day."
One quality of Seykora's that can be seen daily is his leadership. "I enjoy it (being a leader)," Seykora said. "I try to lead by example, but if a guy isn't being responsible, I'm going to be on them."
His teammates agree.
"He's always doing the extra things," freshman shortstop Tommy Mousel said. "He just really sets an example for all of us."
Hard work in the off-season generally equates to great numbers during the season, much like Seykora's freshman year. But how does one top a season worthy of a Division I scholarship in his sophomore campaign?
Rima doesn't see it being too difficult of a task for Seykora. Simply put, because he is a better player than all of his freshman numbers, Rima said.
"Everything's better, his fielding, his swing," Rima said. "He gets his best swing more often, he drives to all parts of the field."
A better and improved Jesse Seykora? The numbers will tell the story of his sophomore campaign, but Rima sees it as a definite possibility thanks to Seykora's never-satisfied work ethic. "If he were to have a better season than last season," Rima said. "It would be an unbelievable season for him."
Culham hopes to reach nationals
For the Logos
When it is a nice day out, most students are outside playing footbal1, riding their bikes or going for a run. But if you were to look for NIACC sophomore Phil Culham, look no farther than the golf course.
Culham, a sophomore from Nora Springs, said that golf has always been his favorite sport.
"My dad took me out golfing when I was little," Culham said. "After that I loved it, and it became my favorite sport.
And Culham's love for the sport shows.
Culham, who played on the golf team last year, averaged 77 strokes on 18 holes.
Cuham said that he was inspired to play the game even more when he was younger.
"I just watched the pros on TV, I would watch it whenever I could," Culham said. "My favorite golfer has always been Phil Mickelson and of course, Tiger Woods."
Culham said his goal for the team this season was to make it to nationals.
"I want to shoot under 80 every day and I want to make it to nationals," Culham said. "If not as a team, then as an individual."
NIACC golf coach Jennifer Currier said she is looking forward to the season and Culham's play.
"Phil brings excellent leadership skills and he brings the desire to compete every day," Currier said.
So what is in store for Phil next, as the PGA commercial on Phil Mickelson asks.
"It all depends on what happens this year, but I would like to continue my golf career," Culham said. "It's just something that I love to do."
Currier hopes Reese will lead team to nationals
Coming off a great season last year, the NIACC Trojans men's golf team is locked and fully loaded to make another run at a national championship.
Last season the Trojans finished 17-4 and produced a national qualifier in sophomore David Reese.
"David is a key component to our success this year," head coach Jennifer Currier said about Reese and the role the sophomore will play.
Reese will lead the team to face some tough opponents.
According to Currier, in some tournaments the team will face Division II and Division III teams.
"This is great training for us," Currier said about the competition in the upcoming season.
This gives them a taste of playing at a higher level. The experience will be key as they make a run at a national championship.
The Trojans will have a tough schedule, being in one of the toughest conferences in the nation.
With the added help of some solid freshmen which should give the team depth and national qualifier David Reese coming back, all signs are pointing in the right direction as the Trojans head into this season. The team's next schedule meet is April 18 at Cedar Rapids.
Shields looks for banner season
Logos photo by Jenna Jensen|
Sophomore co-captain Morgan Shields puts in some time behind the plate during preseason workouts in the NIACC gym. Shields hopes to have a banner season this year. The softball team's next games will be April 16, a doubleheader, at Kirkwood Community.
Softball captain Morgan Shields has a lot of motivation behind her this season besides personal goals and honors.
Shields, a returning sophomore, comes back with second team all-region honors and the dedication of the season to her brother.
Her brother died in January. "He's someone I think about everyday and I am going to be the best I can because of that," Shields said about her inspiration.
Between coaches and players there are two words that describe Shields - motivated and dedicated.
Co-captain Angela Brodersen noted her teammate's ability to get people fired up.
"She's the team firecracker, and she's got lots of spunk that keeps us all on our toes," Brodersen said.
Besides keeping her grades at A's, she also has many team and individual goals.
Shields and the Trojans hope to be in the top half of the conference this year and give all they have, all the time.
The coaches also hope to see Shields set an example with her work ethic and see the dividends for all her hard work.
"Morgan is one of the team's hardest workers and hopefully again this season all her hard work and dedication will pay off for her," assistant coach Randy Ward said about Shield's season.
"It's really hard fitting everything in," Shields said about all the time she spends preparing for the season. "But I have my priorities straight and that makes a huge difference."
Shields will graduate in May from NIACC and plans to go on to play at Southwest Minnesota State University or Dana College.
The Bottom Line
With the school year running down there is already talk about next year's athletic teams. Even though I won't be around next semester, I will still follow the Trojans athletic teams and how well they do.
I really believe that soon we will see a national champion on campus.
Recently, University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams won a national championship after coaching for over 20 years.
With the NIACC baseball team ranking 13th in the nation, we could possibly have one this year.
The NIACC football team looked strong last season, finishing with a 5-4 record. Even though they have lost some key players, they bring back a good sophomore group with a lot of potential.
The men and women's soccer squads will again be tough in the upcoming year.
I know the coaches will recruit some good talent for the team, which will help build the program up for the future.
The men's basketball team may have had an off year but knowing Coach K, he will bring in more recruits and get the basketball team back on track.
With a good season last year, the women's team will look to be strong and continue winning. The women will only be losing four sophomores, who helped the team to success, but the freshmen will have to pick it up to continue the winning ways.
The women and men's cross country teams were able to make it to nationals during this year and I would look for them to continue the success for many years to come, especially since there is going to be a track team next year.
I would also look for the volleyball team to bounce back from this past season. With a new coach, Ted Bieth, the team will look to become a strength in the conference.
The last championship that NIACC saw was in 1995 and I think that it is time for us to bring a championship home. Having been here for two years, I feel that there is nothing a loyal Trojan fan would want to see more than to participate in the champion celebrations.
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