Monday, March 10, 2008

Big Announcement at MBBC

Many at Maranatha have know about this for some time, but last Friday the official announcement was made: Jeff Pill is named as the new soccer coach at Maranatha! You can read the story here. Ironically, I have been "stealing" Pill's Drills for a long time and a couple of years ago I learned that Jeff was a member of Dr. Phelp's church in New Hampshire. In fact, when Dr. Phelps became the new president of Maranatha, I had hoped to get Coach Pill to instruct at the Maranatha Soccer Camp. This is a great hire for soccer at Maranatha. I have been privileged to spend some time with Coach Pill and believe that he and I are in lock-step when it comes to coaching philosophy - the difference between us is that he just might be a little bit better coach.

I have shared this on a number of occasions, but I believe that both the men's and women's teams are poised for outstanding seasons. Anyone who watched us play late in the season last year will know that both teams have the talent and now the experience to win on both the D3 and NCCAA levels. I also believe that with the addition of a coach the stature of Coach Pill, there may be some recruits who who will chose Maranatha and put the teams "over the top".

In the meantime, I have taken a new position at Colorado Christian University. The announcement was made a couple of weeks ago and I am looking forward to a new challenge as their head men's soccer coach. Things have moved very quickly and we will be moving at the end of March so that I can be a part of the spring season at CCU and start recruiting for the fall.

Please keep Coach C and Coach P in your prayers as we make transitions to our new places of ministry. - C

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Another Mission's Trip

Many of you remember the men's and women's soccer team trips to Germany in the spring of 2006. That is when this blog began. This summer several members of our soccer rosters will be joining Maranatha's project: Global Encounters and taking the Gospel to other cultures.

A mission's trip is a great encouragement to missionaries already on the field and a way to further train our own students for further service. The teams are preparing for their respective trips through meetings and language study. They are also in the fundraising stage of the trip - a great exercise in faith for the young people.

I want to encourage some of you to consider a gift toward this effort - either a general gift to Global Encounters or a gift to a specific individual. Here are the soccer players who are going:

Mexico: Sarah Berry

Argentina: Emily Dow, Matt Huggins, Chris Jochum

China: Elise Jones, Rebecca Manion

If you cannot give, please keep Global Encounters in your prayers.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Maranatha Choirs

I am going to interrupt the series of memories with a post about the choirs at Maranatha. Last night, my church was privileged to host the Maranatha Chamber Singers, a group of which I am an alumnus. I was able to travel on five choir tours in three years. Chambers used to travel once in the fall and once in the spring. I have often said that choir tour was the best thing that I did in college. I was involved in sports and plays and other events, but nothing beat choir tour for sheer enjoyment.

I enjoyed the bus trips. Hanging out with college friends, walking up an down the aisles, trading jokes, endless games of Rook or looking out the windows at the new terrain that we were always passing through. I always tried to do my homework before tour. I knew that I would do very little (if any) on the trip itself, so I usually just left my books in my dorm. Visiting the homes of church members was also a memorable experience. Folks were always very kind.

Last night's Chamber's Concert was one of the best that I have heard in my 15 years around MBBC. Hand's down. Mr. Ledgerwood always does such a good job with harmony and over half of the package was acapella - kind of appropriate since I always remember him trying to get the pianists to play more softly when I was in choir. Looks like he just decided to go without the accompaniment altogether. Other new things included:

  • Formal dresses on the ladies
  • Tuxes on the men
  • Larger choir (40 vs 36 when I sang)
  • Mr. Ledgerwood's hair seems to be under better control than it was back in the 90's

Things that are still the same include:

  • Mr. Ledgerwood's hand gestures - minimalist but effective
  • The emphasis on harmony over volume
  • Singing in "the round"

I missed "O Thou, In Whose Presence" and "Jesus Paid It All", but the current selections were outstanding as usual. I also enjoyed seeing several soccer kids in choir. There seemed to have been more of them in the fall, but the spring '08 Chambers include Joel Smith, Kat Alley, Jarid Lawson, and Laura Kennedy. The Chamber Singers leave for their tour on March 7th. If you can make it to a concert, I highly recommend it.

The Madrigal choir just returned from their tour. Soccer/Madrigal members include James Collard, Chris Jochum, and Hillary Lockhart.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Soccer Memories Part II

Today's post is a continuation of this announcement and this article. It is a list of events and opportunities that I remember when I reflect on the last 11 years that the Lord allowed me to be a part of the soccer program at Maranatha. If you think I missed one, feel free to share it in the comment thread.
  • Our trip to UW Stout when Coach Carrie locked the keys in a running van.

  • Our trip to Benedictine when Coach Jen locked the keys in our van and Kristen pulled the window open just enough for Elise to reach her arm in an unlock it. No one else had arms that were skinny enough.
  • Our return trip from Lakeland in 1998, when I missed Hwy 26 and took Hwy 23. It was the first of many "missed turns" - usually because I was having a fascinating conversation with one of the players. . .

  • Running out of gas on Main St. in Watertown.

  • Our trip to Camp Chetek to help with fall clean-up and Monica (our goalkeeper) broke her finger and then broke her leg a week later. . .

  • Our trip to Camp Chetek in late September - the men's team had to help to get the docks out of the water. One of the coldest swims that I have ever had.

  • Our trip to Finlandia when Eloe played the whole match and missed a point-blank goal.

  • Our 7 hour drive, play a match and drive 7 hours back in the same day to play GLCC.

  • O'Morrow's flip throw assist to Spencer v Edgewood.

  • O'Morrow's own goal on Swifty v CUC.

  • Stueb's playing a whole match with a separated shoulder.

  • Roby's goal with his left from 35 yds v Marian to cost them the conference championship.

  • All of the four-year players.

  • The adidas jacket that the 2005 team gave me - still wear it.

  • The framed verse (Job 23:10) signed by the 1998 team.
  • Autumn's height.

  • Shasta's goal against Alverno.

More to come. . .

Friday, February 08, 2008

Women's Team Memories Part 1

After the annoucement of my resignation, I will be writing a series of posts that include many events that stick in my mind from the last 11 years. There is no way that I will get them all written down, but I will post as many as I can think off and maybe some of you can add a couple in the comment thread.

  • The first pair of team shorts that we bought for the women. The length was fine, but the material did not respond well to washing and drying. If you ever wore a pair, you will never forget them. The next pair were far better soccer shorts, until someone (not me this time) washed them with something red and the white adidas stripes turned pink. We still wore them for another three years.

  • Kelly Smith's accidential "rainbow" that led to our first goal ever against Mt. Mary.

  • Tsunami's do' rag.

  • That game against Concordia University -Wisconsin in 1998. We had only one girl who had played high school soccer on our team - Colleen (Schultz) Keppley. On Saturday, we played CUW in our last regular season match and lost 14-0 (might have been worse, I can't remember). Unfortunately we were matched up against CUW for the first round of the playoffs on the following Monday. We ended up losing 1-0 in the 82nd minute. One of the greatest displays of hustle that I have ever witnessed as a coach. I think I can just about name that entire starting line-up off the top of my head: Jacqui, Kelly, Melissa, Michelle, Jaime, Colleen, Vianne, Andrea, Carrie, Jessica, Angela.

  • KJ (Kowalcyk) McCuistion (still not sure if I am spelling her new name correctly). There are a million stories about KJ and I think she continues to add to her stack of unforgettable moments. . . there was that time she fell down and everyone stopped playing, her incessant talk about penguins, her toughness . . . and off course, who could forget that van ride back from Lakeland her freshman year? But I won't embarrass her.

  • When the freshman class that included Jen and Sommer beat all the returners plus me during a preseason scrimmage. That's when we knew they were good.

  • 2003: We won 13 games and had one of our greatest years ever.

  • Fenster and the post.

  • Beardslee's goal in OT against MSOE.

  • Endless games of "kill the coach". I don't think I ever lost. . . :)

  • Lindsey's goal in the 97th minute of Parent's Day in her senior year.

  • Mrs. Skrade at Parent's Day.

  • Steph (Ujvary) Johnson's 23 goals in 2003.

  • Frazee's moves, Gavitt's wit, Sommer's gallop, Julie's temper, Shasta's lack of talent, Melissa's free kicks, Sandy's volunteering.

  • Our first soccer camp when only three girls showed up. KJ, Jen and I were the staff - we had the same number of staff as campers.

  • Our second soccer camp when six girls attended. I think that 4 out of the 6 ended up enrolling at MBBC.

  • Lenny's nickname, Skrade's ankle, Kel Mel and Smel, Susies' durability, Christine's perfection, Lisa's knee.

  • Eating at Chi-Chi's after our last game.

More to come. . .