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Mustang Hoofprints: Dec. 1

December 1, 2011
By Chris Hmielewski , Marshall Independent

Hello Mustang Fans!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. It was a full house at the Hmielewski residence last Thursday, and no one was lacking for food either in the selection or the quantity for the day-long festivities.

Speaking of festivities, the SMSU Mustang Booster Club will be hosting the annual "Believe in Brown Bash" at Skewes Jewelry in Marshall on Dec. 15. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and is open to all Mustang Booster Club members and corporate sponsors. The event will take place following the SMSU women's and men's basketball home doubleheader versus Upper Iowa.

The "Believe in Brown Bash" is an event to thank individuals and corporate sponsors for their support of SMSU athletics. Complimentary beverages and hors d'oeuvres will be provided. While socializing with fellow Mustang fans, you will be able to view all of the fine items that Skewes Jewelry has to offer just in time for the holiday season.

The "Believe in Brown Bash" is limited to the first 50 registrants, as there is limited space available. To sign up for the event, log onto:

We welcomed our newest member of the SMSU department of athletics staff on Monday, as Missy Bruggeman joined the Mustang family for her first day at the helm of the SMSU softball program. She has already brought great energy and a passion to the team in this short time. She jumped right in Monday with weightlifting starting at 6 a.m. and individual workouts following the team's work in the weight room.

Fact Box


What SMSU male student-athlete was chosen by the NSIC as the Britton Scholar-Athlete Award for two consecutive years?

The first person to email me at with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt.

I truly enjoyed the opportunity to coach our Mustang softball team for the last three months. I had great help in assistant coach Jessica Anderson and pitching coach Amanda Johnson. I could not have provided our student-athletes with the type of softball experience we were able to give them this fall without the help of these two passionate members of our coaching staff. A big thank you to AJ for sending me an e-mail offering her pitching expertise this year, and Coach Anderson for keeping me organized in every aspect all fall. Both Coach Anderson and Coach Johnson will continue in their coaching roles assisting Coach Bruggeman with the Mustang softball program.

This year's softball team is comprised of 15 freshmen and sophomores, one junior and four seniors. Our student-athletes did a great job of allowing me to earn their respect as interim head coach. I would like to thank them for being receptive to my coaching philosophy and coming to practice each day focused and ready to improve as individuals and as a team. They were a joy to work with and I hope our student-athletes valued their softball experience this fall as much as I did. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach such a wonderful group of young ladies and look forward to watching their hard work pay off in the spring. Thank you ladies for a great softball coaching experience!

For all your news and information on SMSU Athletics, go to

Believe in Brown!

This Week in Mustang Athletics:

The SMSU men's basketball team opens Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play on Friday when the Mustangs (1-2) take on No. 18 Augustana College (3-1) at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. SMSU will then face Wayne State College (1-3) on Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. at Rice Auditorium in Wayne, Neb. The Mustangs are coming off a 1-1 performance at the Innkeepers Beaver Classic last weekend, with a loss to Michigan Tech in the opening game of the classic and a victory over future NSIC foe Minot State.

The SMSU women's basketball team (1-3) is coming off losses to Palm Beach Atlantic and Nova Southeastern while participating in the Nova Southeastern Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Mustangs will open their NSIC schedule on the road together with the men's team at Augustana (3-1) on Friday with a 6 p.m. start time, then travel to Wayne State (6-0) on Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Southwest Minnesota State Alumni Association, along with D & G Excavating and KHC Construction, is sponsoring a fan bus for the SMSU women's and men's Basketball games at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Friday. The bus will leave at 3:30 p.m. from Founders Hall on the campus of SMSU. The bus will then stop for a pre-game social at Champps Sports Bar & Grill in Sioux Falls. The cost to ride the bus is $10 and does not include the game ticket. The fan bus is available for all SMSU students, alumni, boosters and friends. Space is limited, so please sign up early. Individuals must register online at For more information, contact Brandon in the SMSU Alumni Office at 507-537-6149 or at

Following this weekend's games, the Mustang women's and men's Basketball teams will have their first two doubleheader home games of the season on Dec. 9-10, taking on St. Cloud State and Concordia-St. Paul in the R/A Facility.

The SMSU wheelchair basketball team (4-3) will be on the road again this weekend on the University of Missouri campus. The Mustangs will be taking on Texas-Arlington and the University of Illinois on Friday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. On Saturday, the Mustangs will meet up with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at 10:30 a.m. before their final game of the day against the University of Missouri. It is a crazy stretch of road games for head coach Lew Shaver and our Mustang wheelchair basketball team.

The SMSU wrestling team has had an impressive start to its 2011-12 season, placing multiple wrestlers at the two open tournament they have competed in to this point. The Mustangs opened their dual portion of the schedule Wednesday night, playing host to St. Olaf College in the PE Gym.

SMSU wrestling will travel north on Saturday to Moorhead to continue action in open play at the Dragon Open, hosted by Minnesota State-Moorhead. Saturday's open tournament will begin at 10 a.m.

Good luck to all of our teams this week!

n No one was able to provide the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprints Question: How many times has the SMSU department of athletics received the NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award of Excellence in the five-year history of the honor? The SMSU athletics department has been a three-time recipient of the NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award of Excellence, being honored twice for the Ag Bowl in 2007-08 and 2008-09, and in 2010-11 the Smokefest was recognized as the top civic engagement event in the NSIC by the committee.



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