The Herald | Friday, April 25, 2014 | Page 5
Y O U R s p or t s
Visit The Herald online at herald.cornerstone.edu
Argentine sparks team This article was written for a Sports Writing course at CU. — editor
By Jill Louisignau GRAND RAPIDS – Santiago Mackrey’s aggressive left arm has swung into the wings of the Golden Eagles. On Tuesday, April 8, Cornerstone University hosted a tennis match at Davenport University in Grand Rapids against Davenport. Davenport won the match overall 9-0 and the odds were not in Santiago’s favor either. He and teammate Andrew Son lost their double match 8-3 and Santiago lost 6-3 in his single match. “I did not play a good first set. But in the second one I believe that I played well,” Mackrey said. “I think that being sick was an important factor because I could not give my best. I fought as much as I could, so I am disappointed for losing but happy for my attitude during the match despite the difficulties.” Because this was a conference match, there was intense competition as the guys tore up the courts. Davenport is a top 15-ranked team in the nation, no match for CU’s receiving votes team. However, the CU Golden Eagles have come a long way for being a fairly new program. In two years they have come from 2 wins and 24 losses to 10 wins and 8 losses. Mackrey, who is a sophomore from Argentina, has brought his spunk to the team and is third in their team ranking. “Santi is a new addition to the team this year and he has been on fire since he got here,” teammate Chris Selva said. “He’s only lost a couple times and pulled some huge wins. I think he is a great addition to the team and is always ready to leave it all out on the court.” Santiago started playing tennis when he was five years old after watching his parents play. He was eventually invited to join in on a game with them and some friends. He loved it immediately and started taking lessons and is thankful to the sport for the opportunities it has brought him. For example, he has had the opportunity to compete in different countries while experiencing education and competition in the U.S Being an aggressive and passionate player, “Santi” is very driven to do well in every match. When playing doubles, Mackrey plays alongside teammate Son, also a sophomore who is fourth in the team rankings. The two battled Davenport’s second and third ranked teammates and put up a great fight but were unable to beat them. “I think that being sick was an important factor because I could not give my best,” Mackrey said. “I fought as much as I could, so I am disappointed for losing but happy for my attitude during the match, despite the difficulties.” Mackery played a single with Davenport’s third and was unsuccessful in winning that match as well. Although Davenport is a much higher ranked team and clearly more experienced being a much older team, Mackery kept right up with the Panthers and never let them off without making them work for it. “It was a special match, because I was sick the last couple of days so I did not feel well.” Mackrey said. “I tried to be focus into the match, but it was hard because of the fever, the headaches and the body pain. Every time I have difficulties into a match I try to think in my family, I love them and everything is easier when they are in my mind. When my mind was focused on them and not on how bad I felt, I started to play better.” After the big loss, the boys have remained hopeful. In addition to Mackery’s single match losses of 6-1, 7-6, (7-4), Elijah Yi (number one ranking) lost 6-3, 6-3. Austin Hunt (number two ranking) lost 6-1, 6-3. Andrew Son (number four ranking) lost 6-0, 6-0. John Andrew (number five ranking) lost 6-2, 7-5. And Alex Tarnow (number six ranking).
Golden Eagles swept by Aquinas Saints This article was written for a Sports Writing course at CU. — editor
By Matt Schwarck GRAND RAPIDS – The Cornerstone University Golden Eagles lone run came from second baseman, Nick Covello, in the top of the sixth when he sent a shot over the rightfield fence for a solo homerun against the Aquinas Saints in the twin losses 7-1 and 6-4 at DeWitt Field on April 9. CU split with Aquinas earlier in the year winning the first game 7-2 but losing the second 4-5. CU was hitting well going into the game after their 14-5 win over Calvin College only the night before. They put up 14 runs with 16 hits in the game. Nine of their 14 runs came in the second inning. The team’s good batting and the homerun by Covello was not enough, however, to overcome the early lead that Aquinas put up after scoring four runs in the first inning. “We hit the ball really well, we just had balls either hit right at the other team or they just made good plays on the balls that we hit. Something that we have been struggling with as of late is hitting with runners in scoring position, the stat that sticks out to me is 5 hits in the last inning of the second game with us only scoring two runs and leaving three guys on base. Once we fix that we will be
Amanda Vasicek/The Herald
Baseball: Evan Wagner bunts the ball against Davenport University during a game on April 16. golden,” Austin Brunk, Cornerstone utility player, said. Starting pitcher for game one, Jon Knapp, took the loss for CU, giving up six runs in six innings. Knapp allowed 11 hits with no walks and three strikeouts to bring his record to 3-2 for the year.
CU had six hits on the game with two errors. Aquinas continued to add to its lead throughout the game coming away with 13 hits and seven runs. The Saints were lead by Kyle Orlowski, Brendan Penny, and Taylor Pawlanta who each had
three hits. Orlowski also contributed three RBIs (runs batted in) while Pawlanta had two. In the second game of the night, Luke Heller took the loss for the Golden Eagles after giving up five runs in five innings with eight hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Travis Gordon and Austin Brunk led CU on offense with two hits apiece. Covello was able to help out in game two with two more RBIs. “I think that it was an aggressive approach that we had late in the game, we came into the inning with mind frame of if it is our pitch then go after it, attack it with a good solid swing make that pitcher regret throwing that pitch,” said Brunk. At the beginning of the seventh inning of the first game, some attention was distracted from the field as an older woman fell and injured her hip after trying to climb over the back of the chairs. Campus safety was called and took care of the incident, but not before it provided some distraction from the game. CU students readily jumped to the aid of the woman, covering her with blankets and making sure she was comfortable. CU President Joe Stowell even made an appearance inquiring what had happened. The losses for the Golden Eagles puts their record at 14-16 overall and 3-10 in the WHAC (Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference). The Saints rose to 14-11 on the season with a 6-5 record in the WHAC. The Golden Eagles will play on the road Saturday April 26 at Indiana Institute of Technology against the Warriors who maintain an 18-17 record with a 10-6 record in conference.
GR home to new semi-pro soccer club By Reagan Hoezee
occer fans in Grand Rapids will soon have a new team to cheer for.
Grand Rapids Football Club is a semi-professional soccer team and is looking to join the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth division behind the highest level of U.S. professional soccer, the MLS. The team is set to play in 2015, as organizers are still in the early stages of development. The unique thing about the team is they are only the second solely communitysupported team in the NPSL.
The team receives most of its support from fans, but also has three sponsors. Grand Rapids FC will also be dependent on volunteers to help keep costs down. The first NPSL club to depend entirely on community support was Nashville FC, which makes their debut May 10. The team’s goal is to reach 200 founding members, each pledging $100 each, by its launch party set for May 3. The $20,000 would be used mainly to pay for the $16,500 NPSL registration fee. As of April 18, the club has 150 members. As the club is communityowned, members receive one vote for all major club decisions. Matt Roberts, one of the principal organizers of the club, believes this unique fan experience, along with the increase in
popularity of West Michigan youth soccer over the years, will assist in raising support. “I think if it’s communityowned, everyone will jump on board and take to it quicker, as opposed to it being owned by a single club or just a big money owner,” he said. Richard Moylan, a senior who played four years of soccer for Cornerstone University, said having a team in Grand Rapids will benefit younger players. “In West Michigan we have plenty of talented players who love the game,” he said. “Whether they can make tryouts for the team or not, having a team will only bring up the level of play and encourage the next generation to become greater.” Moylan also said the popularity of youth soccer in West Michigan is increasing. He said he has been active with
Golden Eagles Baseball
and played against many youth soccer clubs in high school, and found that it has only become more popular. The increase in youth soccer teams, he said, will in turn create more support for Grand Rapids FC. Randy Strawser, the head women’s soccer coach at CU, said the team’s plan for community support might not be such a good idea. “I’m not sure if their idea to have it fan-supported will pan out,” he said. “They will need someone to pay the bills and I don’t see the fan base doing that.” Though the team has earned nearly all the money needed to register for the NPSL, they still have to pay $60,000 for the first season. For the first few seasons, the team will not pay its players or coaches as they try to
get off the ground, but paying the coaches will be the first priority, Roberts said. Some of the players might not be eligible to be paid, anyway. The NPSL consists mainly of current college players and former professionals. College players can either maintain their collegiate eligibility and play in the NPSL by refusing pay, or can forfeit their amateur status by accepting a small salary. The team is currently looking to play their home games at Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Houseman Field, which holds 10,000 fans. The NPSL began in 2003 with six teams. This year, 78 teams will compete in 13 countrywide divisions. If GRFC raises enough support by 2015, they will play in the Midwest Region’s Great Lakes Conference.
Coltan Smith/Courtesy Photo
SOFTBALL: Megan Oberst heads home to her Cornerstone teammates.
sports calendar Friday, April 25 Men’s track & field @ Hillsdale Gina Relays Women’s track & field @ Hillsdale Gina Relays Baseball doubleheader @ Indiana Institute of Technology, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26 Men’s track & field @ Hillsdale Gina Relays Women’s track & field @ Hillsdale Gina Relays Baseball doubleheader @ Indiana Institute of Technology, 1 p.m. Softball doubleheader @ University of Northwestern Ohio, 1p.m. Sunday, April 27 Softbalo doubleheader @ Lourdes University, 11 a.m.
Amanda Vasicek/The Herald
Baseball: Travis Gordon waits on third base during a baseball game vs. Davenport University.
Thursday, May 1 Men’s track & field WHAC Outdoor Championships Women’s track & field WHAC Outdoor Championships Baseball vs. Madonna University, TBA See more Cornerstone University athletic events at CUGoldenEagles.com.