Hello Mustang Fans!
The Southwest Minnesota State University Department of Athletics has two very special events this Friday and Saturday for Mustang fans to attend.
On Friday, the SMSU volleyball program will host its third annual "Red Out," presented by the Minnesota National Guard. Fans are encouraged to wear red in an effort to raise awareness of heart disease. The first 500 fans will receive a free "Red Out" T-shirt.
On Saturday, the Mustangs men's basketball team will host an exhibition game versus the SMSU Alumni team at 5 p.m. at the R/A Facility. The game is part of the fourth annual "Andy Wiersma Day" at SMSU.
Tickets for the game are $5 for adults, while kids 13-and-under will be admitted free. SMSU students will be admitted free with valid SMSU ID.
Proceeds from the game will go towards the Andy Wiersma "AW" Memorial Scholarship fund, as well as a donation to the SMSU Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The game will also be the first "Mini-Mustang Kickoff," as all 2013-14 Mini-Mustangs are encouraged to attend the game to get autographs and take photos - with both current and former SMSU players. Information on Mini-Mustangs and registration for this year's session will be available at the game.
The SMSU Alumni team consists of some of the best players in school history. Players expected to play include Ryan Krome, DeAnthony Zanders, Undre Ellis, Andy Beilke, Trent Carlson, Jordan Miller, Jon DeRock, Andrew Peschong, Kevin Andrews, Nick Dale, Jeremy VanKlompenburg, Casey Sussenguth, Tyler Peschong and Jordan Buddenhagen.
Andy Wiersma died in an auto accident on July 27, 2008. He was a four-year letterwinner at SMSU from 2002-06, playing in 112 career games with 36 starts. Wiersma scored 418 points while grabbing 237 rebounds in his career. He shot 42.6 percent from the field (135 of 317) including 37.7 percent from 3-point range (69 of- 83).
Following his playing career in 2006, the SMSU men's basketball program honored Wiersma by renaming its "Mustang Award" in Wiersma's honor. The award is given each year to an SMSU men's basketball player who exemplifies the qualities of being a great student-athlete.
I invite you to come out to the R/A Facility this Saturday to join us in celebrating Andy Wiersma Day at SMSU as we begin the 2013-14 Mustang men's basketball season.
For all the latest information on the SMSU Department of Athletics go to SMSUmustangs.com.
in SMSU Athletics
The SMSU women's soccer team (13-1 overall, 9-1 NSIC) collected two NSIC road victories last week, winning at MSU-Moorhead and Northern State.
With those two wins, Southwest returned to the NSCAA/Continental Tire top 25 national rankings earning the 25th spot in the poll. The Mustangs are in second place in the NSIC, only underneath Minnesota State, which is undefeated in conference play.
On Wednesday, the NCAA Division II Central Region rankings for women's soccer were released with SMSU making its first appearance in program history, ranking third.
MSU is ranked first in the Central Region, followed by Central Missouri, SMSU, Minnesota-Duluth, Winona State, Upper Iowa, Southwestern Oklahoma State and Lindenwood, Mo.
On Saturday, SMSU travels to play at Concordia-St. Paul (4-10, NSIC 3-8) to take on the Golden Bears before traveling to play NCAA Division II second-ranked Minnesota State (13-1, NSIC 11-0) on Sunday. Both weekend matches begin at 1 p.m. Sunday's match pins two of the top three teams in the NSIC and Central Region against each other in what could be a very offensive contest.
The No. 6-ranked SMSU volleyball team (15-5, 10-2 NSIC) went 1-2 last week, beating Minnesota State on Friday, before losing to Concordia on Saturday and USF on Tuesday.
The Mustangs are home this weekend, hosting Bemidji State (5-15, NSIC 1-11) at 7 p.m. Friday during the third annual "Red Out" at P.E. Gym. On Saturday, SMSU welcomes Minnesota-Crookston (11-9, NSIC 6-6) to Marshall with the match starting at 3 p.m.
The SMSU football team (3-4 NSIC, 1-2 NSIC South) is coming off a home loss to No. 1-ranked MSU Mankato last Saturday.
The Mustangs travel to Upper Iowa (4-3 NSIC, 1-2 NSIC South) on Saturday with a 6 p.m. kickoff at Harms-Eischeid Stadium in Fayette, Iowa. This matchup features two of the top offenses in the NSIC. SMSU has won the last five contests versus the Peacocks with two of those victories coming at Fayette.
The SMSU women's and men's cross country teams compete Saturday at the NSIC Championships in Sioux Falls, S.D., hosted by Augustana College.
The races will take place at Yankton Trails Park with the women's 6,000-meter race starting at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 11:30 a.m.
The women's race will feature 15 teams competing, while 13 teams will run in the men's race. Last year, the SMSU men finished 14th out of fourteen teams, and the Mustang women finished 13th out of thirteen teams.
I would like to wish all of our teams the best of luck this weekend!
Congratulations to Karen VanKeulen, who provided the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprint's Trivia Question: Who was the last ranked opponent the SMSU football team beat, and in what year?
In 1994, SMSU defeated MSU-Moorhead, which at the time was the No. 2-ranked NAIA team in the nation.