Volume 31 , Issue 2 September 18, 2004

Sellers looks for strong sophomore season

Logos photo by Jason Benson
Sophomore linebacker Clint Sellers (#44) and teammate Josh Laack (#50) get ready to hit during the game against Grand Rapids on Saturday, September 4.

Jeremy Koenigs
Staff Reporter

Intensity, a high running motor and field director represent three of the more important qualities for a linebacker. So there would seem to be little question that Clint Sellers is in fact just that, a linebacker.

Sellers, who hails from Chariton, Iowa, was a first-team all state defensive end, the Iowa Shrine Bowl MVP, and a state champion wrestler for the Chariton Chargers back in high school. Arriving at NIACC, where more pure athletes and a higher level of competition than what he saw playing in high school was evident, Sellers continued his success.

His first season, Sellers received recognition as the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Honorable Mention NJCAA All-American. Sellers, who had over 130 tackles including 33 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks during a stellar freshman season, looks to lead the Trojans this year.

His new coach Dave Gillespie said that should not be a problem."Clint is a competitive player with a willing desire to get better and make his team better," Gillespie said. "He plays with high intensity and a motor that does not stop and shows leadership through examples on the field and in practice."

Sellers picked up where he left off in the season opener. In a 14-12 loss to Grand Rapids Community College, Sellers excelled.

Sellers played a role in the Trojans two touchdowns. In the first quarter he stripped the quarterback of the ball before teammate Demarco Butts recovered a fumble in the end zone. In the fourth quarter, Sellers intercepted a pass and returned it 28 yards for the team's second touchdown in the game.

Sellers has already provided the Trojans with outstanding numbers on the field, but he knows that his team comes before any of his own accomplishments.

"We have a great group of athletes coming back from last season, and great recruits looking to get in on the action," Sellers said. "Hopefully all the hard work we do as a team pays dividends for us in the end."

As for Sellers, individually, he looks to raise his game to play Division I football in the future. "I would like to think that it is a realistic chance to play Division I football if I follow up my freshman season with a strong sophomore season," Sellers said.

Sellers isn't the only one seeing the potential for him to reach the next level. Former position coach Ryan Behr and Gillespie both shared Sellers' goal.

"Clint had a tremendous first year," Behr said. "If he is able to put two solid years together and stays healthy, then I can definitely see him playing Division I football in his future." Gillespie has already seen interest in Sellers from Division I schools. "Clint has been shown a lot of interest from Division I programs," Gillespie said. "Any team looking for a team player who gives an all-out effort every play and can move sideline-to-sideline would be a great fit for Clint."

'SpitFire' helps Stanley prepare for this season

Logos photo by Jason Benson
NIACC men's soccer player Eric Stanley warms up during practice on the NIACC field. This past summer Stanley played in a developmental league in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to enhance his skills.

Jason Benson
Sports/Photo Editor

With only a few players returning from last year's squad, this year's team will look for new scoring.

Two players off last year's squad combined to score 30 goals and 14 assists last year. Both are gone.

According to coach Colin Murphy, the team will turn to sophomore Eric Stanley for scoring punch this season.

Last year, Stanley scored four goals and got three assists in 16 games.

This season Murphy said he feels that Stanley will need to "step up" and produce more offense for the Trojans.

"He is a good, strong player with good ball handling skills," Murphy said. "He knows he needs to step up and knows when there is an opportunity to score."

Last year, Murphy said that he felt Stanley had an up and down season but played his best ball at the end of the season.

"I expect good things from him this season," Murphy said. "It was difficult last year for him to see time at striker but created a good number of scoring opportunities for his teammates." To get himself ready for this upcoming season, Stanley tried out and was named to the Sioux Falls SpitFire. The SpitFire is a developmental program.

"The development program will help him this season," Murphy said. "This was a great opportunity for him to compare his talent with others and get better."

Stanley said that he feels that the developmental league was time well spent.

"The developmental league was fun," Stanley said. "There were some D-1 schools there, where I got to meet with some coaches."

Stanley not only played in games but also got to fine-tune his skills on the soccer field. "On the offensive side, I learned how to move better without the ball," Stanley said. "Defensively, I learned how to get into postition better to stop the defender when going one-on-one."

With the experience that Stanley is getting from this off-season with the developmental team, Murphy said he expects Stanley to be the leader of the team.

"With him returning this season he gives us experience that we will need," Murphy said. "We look for him to lead the offense and put players around him for the team to succeed."

NIACC joins new conference for football

The Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) football schools will merge with the N4C, a conference of schools in Illinois and Michigan, beginning in the Fall of 2005. The new conference will be comprised of the following schools from the ICCAC: NIACC, Ellsworth, Iowa Central, and North Dakota State College of Science; along with the following N4C schools: Rock Valley College, College of DuPage, Joliet Junior College, William Rainey Harper College and Grand Rapids (MI) Community College.

The league schedule will pit each team against the other once during the season in a 9-team round robin.

Schools will have the option to add non-conference games during the two scheduled bye weeks.

At the end of the season, the top four schools from the Illinois side will compete in a tournament to determine their top two qualifiers for The Graphic Edge Bowl.

The Iowa side will pit the top two schools in a "championship game" to determine the top two qualifiers for the bowl game.

The Bottom Line

Jason Benson
Sports Editor

NIACC athletics have a long tradition of excellence. The athletes work hard in the off-season and even harder at practices. But what would happen if one of our athletes got hurt?

At the last football game against Grand Rapids, not only were the NIACC football team and fans concentrating on the game but so were the athletic trainers.

The trainers pay close attention not only to the game but also to each play. At any moment a player could go down, then the trainers are called upon to assess the injury and help the player.

Contrary to what some might think, the trainers are not just there to disperse water bottles but to make sure that each player is healthy enough to compete in the contest.

The trainers spend countless hours not only in the classroom but also putting what they have learned into action. The trainers are at the site of the game hours before the contest gets underway to tape ankles and bandage what needs to be bandaged.

They also get the equipment that they will need just in case an injury does occur.

When a player is recovering from a more serious injury, the training staff has to decide on what steps need to be taken to help the student athlete get back into action. There are certain stretches that the trainers assign a player to help loosen up a sore muscle or an exercise to help a twisted ankle or a sore knee.

Trainers take the precautionary steps to get the athlete on the road to recovery and prevent any further injury that could impact the athlete later in life.

The trainers know that when the situation arises that they will be looked upon to help the team get the player ready to be back on the field or court.

When one of the student-athletes go down with an injury, the coaches understand how important it is for them to have a dedicated training staff at the practices and games.

When we go to a game, the last thing that we want to see is an injury to one of our athletes. But when such an injury does occur, the NIACC training staff works hard behind the scenes to get the player back into the game.

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