Cross Country Teams Finish Season at Nationals
The 2012 Cornerstone University Cross Country season was remarkable for both the men's and women's teams. Both teams ended their seasons with a top 20 finish at the NAIA National Cross Country meet in Vancouver, Wash., with the women coming in at 15 and the men at 19.
In the women's meet, Cornerstone sophomore Julie Oosterhouse (pictured) finished 16th to earn NAIA All-America honors. After her final collegiate cross country race, senior Julia Contreras said, "I'm proud to be part of the first CU women's team to make it to Cross Country Nationals and there's nobody I'd rather step to the line with in this race than these girls."
The women's team finished at the NAIA national meet in the following order: Julie Oosterhouse, Julia Contreras, Callyanne Wyma, Jill Louisignau, Audrey Tremaine, and Sydney Tremaine. Contreras was also named an NAIA Scholar Athlete.
Cornerstone University women's cross country coach Rod Wortley was also named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Coach of the Year.
In the men's national meet, Travis Mabe was the first Golden Eagle to cross the finish line in 41st place. Cornerstone University men's cross country coach Nate Van Holten said, "We finished 19, which is our third best at nationals. It's been a season of ups and downs, bumps and bruises and this week has been like that as well. We handled that well."
The men's team finished at the NAIA national meet in the following order: Travis Mabe, Cody Risch, Thomas Bambach, Louis Falland, Jared Courtright, and Zach Bourdon. Senior Zach Bourdon was named as an NAIA Scholar Athlete.
Congratulations go out to both the women's and men's Cornerstone University cross country teams on their outstanding seasons. They represented Cornerstone well during the regular season and then continued to do so on the national stage.
Men's and Women's Basketball Update
The Cornerstone University Men's and Women's Basketball teams are both off and running in their respective Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) seasons. The men's team is currently 5-2 in conference play and is tied for 2nd place in the WHAC (out of 12 teams). Overall the Golden Eagle's sport a 9-3 record and are ranked 24th in the latest NAIA national coach's poll.
Junior guard Wes Hudson is currently sixth in the WHAC in scoring, averaging 15 points per game. Junior forward Jake Plite is 5th in the WHAC in rebounding averaging 6.3 rebounds per game and has already been named WHAC Player of the Week in the second week of the season.
The Cornerstone University women's basketball team is currently in 6th place in the WHAC with a 4-3 conference record. Overall, the women are 7-5 on the season. Senior guard Robyn Veltkamp is 2nd in the WHAC in scoring, averaging 18.4 points per game. Sophomore Ashley Niedermayer, freshman Jill Hendrickson (pictured), and Veltkamp are all averaging 7 rebounds per game and are ranked 11th, 12th, and 13th in the WHAC respectively.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams have approximately two-thirds of their conference seasons remaining and will be competing for conference championships. Both teams also still have games against the WHAC teams that are currently ahead of them in the standings.
Be sure to check cugoldeneagles.com for the most up-to-date schedules for both the Cornerstone University men's and women's basketball teams. Cheer on the Golden Eagles as they compete for WHAC supremacy.
Leading by Example
Derek Kingshott is a senior captain of the Cornerstone University Men's Basketball team and one of the most respected student-athletes at Cornerstone. He is far more than an award-winning basketball player: he made the 2012 WHAC All-Academic Team, he has been named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete, and he is a great example of what it means to be a Cornerstone University student-athlete.
Derek's off-the-court manner is like Clark Kent to his on-the-court, Superman persona. Quiet, reserved, and contemplative, Kingshott can be seen sporting a pair of glasses while attending classes and meetings on campus, yet he is a ferocious post player and rebounder who plays with passion, strength, and skill.
According to men's basketball head coach Kim Elders, "[Derek] is a great person who has tremendous character. He loves the Lord and wants to follow his leading. He is exactly the kind of kid you want in your program."
Kingshott was a decorated football player in high school and actually began his college career at Hillsdale College to play football before transferring to Cornerstone to play basketball. He followed his older brother, Matt, to Cornerstone. When this school year ends, Derek intends to teach elementary school and will probably coach either basketball, football, or track.
"I love kids," Derek said, "my mom runs a daycare and teaches Sunday School so I've been around kids my whole life. I've had many teachers suggest to me that I should go into teaching and I took their advice."
When asked about what it means to be a captain, Kingshott said, "Wes [Hudson] is the vocal leader and I try to lead by example. I check in with my teammates and do my best to encourage them in any way that is needed."
Derek has been out with a thigh injury recently and is hoping to get back soon. The Golden Eagles really missed his presence as a rebounder in a recent loss to Madonna where they were outrebounded by a significant margin. Derek averages 14 points and 6 rebounds per game so far this year while shooting 64 percent from the field. While Cornerstone hopes to get him back on the floor shortly in order to be at full strength during the meat of the conference schedule, no one wants to be back in action more than Kingshott himself.
"[The doctor] told me I'd be out for 4-6 weeks," said Kingshott, "but I'm hoping to be at least practicing in three weeks."
True to his word, Derek has recently been spotted at practice.
Cornerstone University Athletic Director Dave Grube said, "Derek is a great example of a student-athlete. He has his priorities straight, works hard in the classroom, and has also been a great leader. The thing I like most about Derek is that he leads by example. It's great for our underclassmen to see that modeled each and every day."
Derek begins to light up when talking about the National Championship run of 2011, saying, "It was surreal-the whole experience. Everything clicked in an amazing way. It was the closest team I've been on and it was crazy how everything came together. We had a team with great character that was very unselfish. Those are the reasons we won the whole thing."
The Cornerstone University men's basketball team will surely miss Derek after he graduates this spring, but how does he want to be remembered? "I want to be remembered as a player who looks out for the best interest of the guys. I want people to think of me as a great teammate and someone who cares about the TEAM first," Kingshott said.
No one who watches Derek Kingshott play will forget about him anytime soon. His passion for his team and his teammates shines through every night and so does his passion for winning. Derek embodies what it means to be a Cornerstone University student-athlete and models that on a daily basis for all of the other student-athletes daily.
Introducing the Voice of CU Sports Radio
For those who don't know, the voice that can be heard during broadcasts of Cornerstone University basketball games is that of Andy Smith, Associate Professor of Bible specializing in the New Testament. Professor Smith has a unique perspective on all things Cornerstone as he graduated from CU in 1977 (when it was known as Grand Rapids Baptist College) and from the Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary in 1981 (now Grand Rapids Theological Seminary). Cornerstone reached out to Andy in 1985 when a position opened as a Bible professor and he was officially hired later that year. He is in his 28th year teaching courses at Cornerstone and currently teaches Old and New Testament Survey classes, New Testament Greek, Hermeneutics, and Pauline Literature.
When asked about his passion for basketball, Andy said, "I started playing at a young age in my drive way. I wanted to play basketball in the worst way and as time went on I realized that I played basketball in the worst way." Upon realizing that he did not have the talent to play high-level basketball, Andy still spent hours shooting in the driveway and honing his shot, but gave up on playing competitively. He went on to officiate basketball games, doing that for thirty-three years.
Professor Smith talks often about two of his favorite things: Cornerstone University and basketball. His involvement in the combination of the two came as quite a surprise in 2002. Former Cornerstone Athletic Director Bob Fortosis came to Andy one afternoon and said, "I've got a job for you." He went on to tell Andy that some of the Cornerstone men's basketball games were going to be broadcast on a local radio station. While the station would provide the play-by-play announcer, the institution needed provide someone to do color commentary. Before Bob could even finish explaining what the job would entail, Andy had already accepted.
What Bob didn't know is that Andy had two dreams that he wanted to accomplish: one was to broadcast live sporting events (preferably basketball); the other was to appear on Jeopardy. The Jeopardy thing still hasn't happened, but Andy is working on it. The most surprising thing is that Andy had never told Bob that he wanted to broadcast or shared his dream with anyone in Cornerstone Athletics. Andy dove in head-first and worked for a few years alongside Steve Lloyd-Jones and a few years with Rick Berkey (both local broadcasting legends). In 2007 he became the play-by-play man and has done that ever since.
His dream within a dream came true in the spring of 2011 when the Cornerstone Men's Basketball team went to Branson, Mo., and won the NAIA National Championship. Calling a National Championship would be remarkable for any broadcaster, but it was even more special for Andy due to his deep ties to the institution as a whole.
As for Andy's most embarrassing moment, it occurred in a game against Sienna Heights in a close match-up. After some rapid fire back and forth scoring late in the game, Wes Hudson knocked down a three and Andy was so excited that he leapt from his seat and his head set flew off. "It came close to landing on the court which could have been a major problem," Andy said, "but I was able to quickly retrieve it and continue with the broadcast."
When speaking to Andy about Cornerstone University and about the men's basketball team, it is easy to see the passion that he has for both. His eyes light up when telling stories and he grins ear to ear when sharing. Watching and listening to someone share about the things he is most passionate about is a reward in itself. As a fan of Cornerstone athletics, be sure to reach out to Professor Andy Smith and find out what makes him tick.
Cornerstone Tied for Fourth in WHAC All-Sports Title Race
The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) gives out an All-Sports trophy at the end of each school year. According to the official WHAC web site, the All-Sports trophy is computed using the highest finish in 12 conference sports (six women and six men) for each school. Cornerstone University is currently tied for 4th place in the standings with Aquinas. They trail Davenport, who is leading the WHAC, by 8 points. The All-Sports trophy standings will be updated again at the completion of the winter sports seasons. Cornerstone University last won the All-Sports trophy in the 2006-7 season and looks to be in the mix again this year.
Save the Date: Cornerstone University Homecoming
Don't forget to add the Cornerstone University Homecoming dates to your calendar. The 2013 Cornerstone Homecoming events run Jan. 31-Feb. 2. Saturday, Feb. 2 holds the most events, including:
- Women's Alumni Basketball Game at 9:30 a.m.
- Men's Over 30 Alumni Game at 10:15 a.m.
- Men's U-30 Alumni Game at 11 a.m.
- Rocky's Tailgate in Dining Commons at 12 noon; Cost: $6.50 adults, $3.50 children 5-12, under 5 Free
- Women's Basketball vs. UM-Dearborn at 1 p.m.
- Men's Basketball vs. UM-Dearborn at 3 p.m.
For more information and to register for events visit www.cornerstone.edu/homecoming
Merry Christmas from Cornerstone Athletics
For many, Christmas is the best holiday of the year. As people are out in droves shopping for the "perfect gift" for each of their loved ones, they often miss the little things that the season has to offer. Here are a few suggestions to try in the next few days before Christmas:
- Walk through your neighborhood and look at the lights
- Ask a child what he wants for Christmas
- Bake some cookies and deliver them to your neighbors
- Volunteer at a local organization
- Thank God for everything he has blessed you with this year
- Ask some people in your life to name the best Christmas gift they have ever received
This last question was presented to many of the Cornerstone University coaches. Here are their answers:
Ryan Campbell, Volleyball Head Coach: "I got a He-Man sword when I was 5-years-old. It was awesome. Anything that lights up is sweet."
Mike Riemersma, Camp Director and Champions of Character Representative: "I got a Shogun Warrior when I was a kid. It shot out rockets and missiles and was thirty inches high. It was a huge toy for a kid my age and it was the coolest thing ever."
Paul Koutz, Women's Track Head Coach and Men's Track Assistant Coach: "The best Christmas present I received was Super Mario Brothers 3 for the original Nintendo. It was the best video game ever."
Aimee Luurtsema, Women's Soccer Assistant Coach and Assistant Sports Information Director: "I got my first snowboard when I was ten years old at Christmas. It was the best Christmas gift ever because I absolutely love to snowboard."
Randy Strawser, Women's Soccer Head Coach and Sports Information Director: "I got a puppy named Holly when I was seven for Christmas and I love dogs. My wife and I kept that tradition when we gave a puppy named Nutmeg to our kids 7-8 years ago. "
Rod Wortley, Men's Track Head Coach and Director of Cross Country: "What I enjoyed the most is a huge orange and a huge Red Delicious apple in my stocking every year. I also received a guitar amp from my wife a few years ago."
Nate Van Holten, Men's Cross Country Head Coach: "I got a jar of Grape Jelly every year and a bag of bubble gum from the Dollar Store."
Layne Kreh, Athletic Facilities Director: "I got a bike when I was ten years old. I had to go on a scavenger hunt with clues from Santa."
Katie Mattera, Women's Basketball Head Coach: "I got a Mickey Mouse watch when I was 12 for Christmas. It was the one with the hands that move and I had wanted it for three years."
David Mitroff, Baseball Head Coach: "I desperately wanted a 5-speed Stingray Bike when I was eight just like my brothers had. Unfortunately, I broke it one day after I got it."
Pete Rusticus, Corporate Sales: "I got a pair of tennis shoes when I was ten years old. It was the nicest pair of shoes I had ever owned. They were white Chuck Taylor Converse shoes."
Phil Keith, Athletic Trainer: "My daughter Morgan was born on Dec. 23 and my daughter Kacie was born on Dec. 29. Those were the two best Christmas gifts I've ever received."
Kim Elders, Men's Basketball Head Coach and Cornerstone Coaching Legend: "I received a brand new suit when I was a senior in college. I never had a suit before and it made me feel like I was important."
Dave Grube, Cornerstone Athletics Director: "I received a new slalom ski. I loved going skiing and never had my own slalom ski before."
While all of our favorite gifts hold different levels of meaning, as Christians, the greatest Christmas gift is the birth of Jesus. God's son was sent to the world for each of us and that is what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas!