Concordian Sports
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The Concordian  - October 13, 2000 

Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
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Christopherson Retires
Eric Morrow, The Concordian

As the old cliche goes, all good things must come to an end. For Concordia College, that old saying rang true this week.

Jim Christopherson, head football coach of the Cobbers, announced at a press conference Tuesday morning, that he will retire at the end of the season.

Christopherson has been the head man for the Cobbers for 32 years. He took over for legendary coach Jake Christiansen in 1969 and has since then amassed an overall record of 216-98-7.  He has won 11 MIAC championships, and two national championships; in 1978 and 1981.  He is currently third on the list of wins among active coaches at the Division III level.

"This is the time to make the decision," Chistopherson said. "Our football program is in good shape here at Concordia. I think we have one of the high profile Division three programs."

The success of Christopherson's program has not been lost on others. "Under his leadership, the Cobbers have achieved unusual success and earned great respect throughout this country," said athletic director Dr. Armin Pipho. "No matter where I've been, people know about the tradition of Concordia."

Christopherson decided before the season that this would be his last. Originally, he was going to keep the decision quiet until the end of the season. But after careful consideration, he decided to make the
annoucement so that the school could began the process of looking for a replacement.  Chistopherson told the players at a team meeting on Monday, and everyone else at Tuesday's press conference.

"I don't want this announcement to be a distraction for our players and staff," Christopherson said. "We have important business at Bethel this Saturday, and the subsequent four games after.  These games are very important to all of us."

While the announcement may not be a distraction, it did come as a shock to the players.
"He said that he was having a press conference at eleven on Tuesday and that he was going to announce his retirement," said senior Dan Tollefson. "A hush fell over the room and the place went dead quiet."

The coaches knew that this would be Christopherson's last season, but even for them, it was stunning to actually hear him call it quits. "You know it's coming," said defensive coordinator Dave Klug. "But
it's one of those things that when it does come, your not sure how to respond."

While Christopherson will be remembered for his actions on the field, it's his character off the field that will stick in the minds of many.

"What Jim Christopherson means to Concordia College goes well beyond the national and conference titles his teams have amassed over the last thirty-two years," said President Thomsen in a statement. "Most important, he has served as a championship caliber mentor and role model for scores of young people who have had the honor and privilege of playing for him."

According to Dr. Pipho, Concordia will conduct a nationwide search, with hopes of naming a new coach by the end of the year.  He also said that their is a chance of an assistant within the program taking over.

"We probably have the best Division three football staff in the country, I honestly believe that," said Dr. Pipho. "We obviously have quality people among our assistand coaches. So if some of them are
candidates, they will definitely be given the consideration that they should."

Regardless of who takes over, they will have quite an act to follow.

| 2000 Cobber Football
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top

Football rolls to Homecoming victory
Eric Morrow, The Concordian

Homecoming weekend saw the return of many Concordia alums to the campus.It also saw the return of two seniors to the Cobber football team. Andwhat a return it was.

Cornerback Dan Tollefson, who had missed the last two games due toinjury, came up with two big interceptions, and running back Jason Braaten, who had been quiet all year, erupted for a career day rushing as the Cobbers came away with an impressive 26-9 victory over Hamline. “I'm really glad to be back,” Tollefson said. “It was killing me watching practices and games.”

The Concordia defense was happy to have Tollefson back too, who had been out with broken ribs. With the Cobbers up only 19-9 at the start of the fourth quarter, Tollefson erased any chances of a Hamline comeback. Tollefson picked off a pass by the Pipers’ Andy Kunzmann, and then raced
36 yards down the sideline for the touchdown to help seal the victory.

“The ribs are kind of sore,” Tollefson said. “But it was worth it.”

Offensively, the Cobbers turned to the running game, most noteably Braaten. With the team often falling behind early this season, Braaten had had few chances to carry the ball. But this game, Braaten got his chance, and took full advantage as he carried the ball 20 times for a career-high 181 yards.
“I'm just going to come out here and do whatever I can to help the team out,” Braaten said.

The Cobbers came out and took control of the game on their first drive.The offense took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards in nine plays,capping the drive with a three-yard touchdown run from Len Crouse.

Later in the first quarter, after an interception by Eric Wold, Cobber quarterback Jeff Hertel hooked up with Adam Strainer for an 18-yard touchdown pass, and a 12-0 lead. Concordia would score one more time late in the first half, as Hertel hooked up with Jake Olson over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown, as the Cobbers took a 19-0 lead.

Hamline did show some life, though, as the Pipers’ Brandon Swenson returned the opening kickoff of the second half 85-yards for the touchdown, to cut the Cobber lead to 10 points. But from that point, the Cobber defense shut down the Pipers. The defense, which had given up the big play all year, made some big plays of their own. The defense had four second half interceptions, including the big touchdown from Tollefson. For the game, the defense finished
with six interceptions, a fumble recovery and four sacks.

“We got off to a good start and we kept our confidence,” Tollefson said. “We stopped the big play and we just rolled from there.” With the win, the Cobbers improve to 2-2 in the MIAC, and 2-3 overall.

Next up for the Cobbers is a road game at Bethel. The Royals are 5-0, and tied for first in the conference.

“We know what we’ve got to do,” Braaten said. “Now it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

| 2000 Cobber Men's Soccer
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top |

There is no article this week.

| 2000 Cobber Women's Soccer
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top

Women's soccer welcomes win, deja' vu
Nate De Cock, Sports Editor

The women’s soccer team stopped their three game losing streak on Saturday with their first conference win, 2-1 at St. Mary’s. In a strange case of deja’ vu, the game played out almost exactly as it did last season, with the Cobbers winning by an identical score of 2-1.

It was the second straight match-up between Concordia and St. Mary’s in which the Cobbers tied the game late (this year on a penalty kick by junior Jessica Spaulding) and senior Jordi Kortan kicked the winner in overtime.

“We expected to see Michael J. Fox stepping out of his ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorian,” said head coach Jim Cella. “Everything was the same. . . It was eerie.” 

Cella was pleased with his team’s performance, and hoped that this was a sign of better things to come. “This is the best the women have played all year,” said Cella. “We’ve got some of the tougher teams out of the way, and now that our luck has changed hopefully we can reel of a winning streak.”

Concordia now is tied for eighth in the MIAC, 1-3 in conference play. They are 6-4 overall.
 

| 2000 Cobber Volleyball
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top

Volleyball beats Bethel
Kara Murray, The Concordian

The Concordia volleyball team recieved a big boost with last Tuesday’s win over previously unbeaten Bethel College. "This was a huge win for us," said Sarah Russell. "It will give all the other teams a look to see that we are tough."

The Concordia netters grappled with Bethel early on, both teams wanting to show dominance. The first match went far beyond the 15-point mark, but it was Bethel who came out with the 21-19 win. 
"The first match was tough," Russel said. "But it gave us the momentum we needed."

The Cobbers refocused and came out strong in the following match. Again tight, the two teams struggled to stay on top, but it was Concordia who was victorious in the second match 16-15. 
It kept getting better for the Cobbers, as they won the last two matches 15-10 and 15-9. 
"Our defense was phenomenal," Russell noted. "We didn’t let anything hit the floor without a fight.”

Senior Sam Scariano led the Cobber attack with 24 kills. Stacy Davis was also a big contributor to, adding 16 kills and 19 digs. “Sometimes we surprised ourselves,” Russel said. “We eliminated the
little mistakes.”

The Cobbers travel to Gustavus tonight and Carlton tomorrow. “From now on it is up to us,” Russell said. “If we win, it is because we work hard. If we lose it is because we make mistakes.”  The Cobbers improve to 3-4 in the MIAC and 11-9 overall. 
 

| 2000 Cobber Women's Golf
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top

There is no article this week.

| 2000 Cobber Men's Golf
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
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Golf teams compete in conference tourneys
Kim Thronson, The Concordian

The Concordia women’s and men’s golf teams recently played in their respective conference tournaments, with the women finishing first and the men finishing fifth.

The women’s team claimed the title by a whopping 24 strokes, marking their sixth consecutive MIAC championship title.

“It was a good weekend for us,” head coach Duane Siverson said. “To win the conference by such a large margin was a real surprise. We’ve established that we’re the team to beat in our conference.”

The Cobbers finished ahead of St. Thomas, a team who beat the Cobbers earlier this season.
“St. Thomas had the advantage coming in because they beat us last week,” Siverson said.

The Cobbers performed strong the first day, leading the pack by 28 strokes. “The first day we played extremely well,” Siverson said. “We blew everyone away, which was an indication of how well we prepared.”

The Cobbers had five of their six golfers finish in the top 10, led by first-year player Liz Meschke who captured first place with a two-day score of 164. Senior Jenni Kovash finished fourth, sophomore Tanya Ulvin finished fifth, first-year player Jill Conrad finished sixth and senior
Maria Amlen finished seventh. All five players received all-conference honors. “We’re six players deep,” Siverson said. “That’s always been our strength, and that’s why we’ve done so well.”
Siverson said he is pleased by his team’s play during the fall season, and looks forward to the spring season and the national tournament. His team will be traveling to South Carolina next week to play in a tournament that features most of the top teams in the country. 

“This tournament will be a good indication of where our strengths will be in the national tournament,” Siverson said. “We just have to continue to practice and be more consistent.”

The men’s team also had their conference tournament last weekend, finishing in a tie for fifth place along with Bethel. The Cobbers fell behind the first day by finishing in sixth place, but performed well the second day to move up to fifth. “The guys really played hard the second day, but it was tough to catch up,” head coach Peter Hovde said. “We have to work on not digging ourselves into a hole.”
The Cobbers were led by junior Mike Hagen who shot a two-day total of 157 and sophomore Adam Hanson who shot a 159. St. John’s won the conference title for the second year while Gustavus finished in second place.

“It doesn’t show in the stats, but we’re building confidence, skills and teamwork,” Hovde said. “These guys don’t every quit. They’re always trying to shave off that last stroke.”

Hovde said the strength of his team is that everyone plays a solid role and knows how to perform.
“Everyone contributes in his own way,” he said. Hovde was pleased with his team’s performance in the fall season, and hopes to make some improvements before next spring. He said his team needs to work on the mental side of the game, as well as how to communicate with each other.

“We’re steadily building our confidence,” he said. “Gustavus and St. John’s better watch out because we’re coming.”

| 2000 Cobber Men's Cross Country
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports |
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top

There is no article this week.

| 2000 Cobber Women's Cross Country
 Oct. 13, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Football | VolleyballMen's Soccer | Women's Soccer | Men's Cross Country | Women's Cross Country | Women's Golf | Men's Golf | Top

There is no article this week.