Tabor’s dream football season caps year of solid achievements

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
The best season in Tabor College football history highlighted a year of significant accomplishments in local and area sports during 2005.

January

The Marion boys team won its first league basketball game as members of the Mid-Central Activities Association Jan. 7 with a 53-43 victory over Hoisington.

The Tabor College women broke a 28-game losing streak against Sterling with a 67-58 win over the Warriors at Sterling.

Hillsboro won its eighth Trojan Classic title in 11 years with a 38-31 win over Hesston in the finals. The Hillsboro girls, meanwhile, placed third in the first year the tournament has provided a bracket for girls’ teams.

February

After an 0-5 start, the Marion girls’ basketball team won its first game as a member of the MCAA with a 52-47 win over Nickerson Feb. 4.

Hillsboro wrestlers placed second and Marion wrestlers sixth at the MCAA league tournament in Hoisington. The hometown Cardinals placed first. Marion’s Casey Nelson was the only wrestler from either school to win a weight-class title.

Tabor’s women’s and men’s basketball teams each clinched regular-season Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference titles with big wins against their second-place challengers from Sterling. The men nailed down their title outright with a win against Ottawa in their next outing. The titles assured the two teams of a berth in their respective national tournaments.

Thrust into one of the toughest regionals in recent years, the Hillsboro and Marion wrestling teams qualified a combined three athletes for the state tournament. Hillsboro’s Ric Johnson and Matt Brown will represent the Trojans will Adam Depler will be the lone Warrior at Hays.

At the state tournament, Depler became only the second wrestler in MHS history to win a medal when he placed sixth in Class 3-2-1A at 189 pounds. Johnson (1-2) and Brown (0-2) competed for Hillsboro at 125 and 152 pounds, respectively.

The Tabor women’s 19-game winning streak ended with a 54-47 loss to Bethany in the quarterfinals of the post-season conference tournament. The men lost in the first round of their tournament.

March

Hillsboro High basketball teams ended their seasons with losses to Hesston in the finals of their respective sub-state tournaments. The boys (21-2) lost 54-40 while the girls (15-8) dropped a 63-41 decision to the state-ranked Swathers.

Four Tabor athletes competed at the National NAIA Indoor Track and Field Meet in Tennessee. Ashley Scherrer placed 14th in the triple jump, Matt Rorabaugh was ninth in the high jump and Caleb Stanton and Merle Johnson competed in the 55-meter dash.

The Tabor women’s basketball team went 1-1 at the NAIA Division II national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, while the Bluejay men lost in the opening round of their tournament. The women defeated Daemen College from New York, 59-57, then lost to the defending champions from Morningside College of Sioux City, 68-57. The men lost to Walsh University of Ohio, 68-62.

Thanks to recent upgrades, the weight room at Hillsboro High now houses some of the most advanced and safely engineered weight-training equipment in central Kansas. The $9,000 needed to fund the project came from the district and the Trojan Booster Club.

Erica Hemmert and Grant Brubacher each received honorable mention as All-Americans for their performances on the basketball court and in the classroom.

Dennis Boldt received a plaque naming him the National Federation of High School Coaches Association “Boys’ Track Coach of the Year.” He is only the 17th coach from Kansas to be selected among the 460 or so coaches nationwide who have received a similar award from the organization over the past 23 years.

Herb Wiebe, a 2002 graduate of Tabor College, was named head coach of its women’s soccer program.

April

Todd Lehman, youth pastor at Hillsboro’s First Mennonite and Trinity Mennonite churches, competed in the 109th Boston Marathon April 18.

Led by Amy Duerksen’s state record in the clean lift, Hillsboro’s three-member girls’ team placed third at the 2005 Class 3A Powerlifting Championships at Marion. The other two members of the team were Katie Baltzer and Emily Ratzlaff.

May

The Hillsboro girls won their second consecutive MCAA league track title by a 42-point margin over Smoky Valley.

The HHS girls’ softball season was ended by Southeast of Saline for the sixth time in six meetings at regionals. The maroon Trojans lost in the semifinals to the purple Trojans 10-0 to finish with a 15-6 record.

Marion’s Travis Hett and Hillsboro’s Andrew Bina qualified for the state golf tournament in regional play at Cheney.

Kyle Kroeker of Hillsboro placed sixth at the Class 3-2-1A state tennis tournament.

June

The Hillsboro girls won the Class 3A state track-and-field title at Wichita’s Cessna Stadium. They claimed the title by winning the last event of the two-day meet: 4×400-meter relay. JuliAnne Chisholm successfully defended her state championships in the high jump and 300-meter hurdles while Hannah Marsh did the same in the long jump. For the boys, David Funk won the team’s only gold medal by clearing 14 feet, 8 inches-and breaking his brother’s school record by 1 inch in the process.

Becky Carlson announced she was ending 21 years as head coach of Hillsboro girls’ basketball to accept a position at Iola High School. The Trojan coach compiled a 333-149 record and 10 trips to the state tournament during her tenure. She said a chance to live close to family was the reason for the change.

July

Melissa Stenfors was hired to teach elementary physical education and coach Hillsboro girls’ basketball. Stenfors has 10 years experience as an assistant basketball coach at the high school and college levels, but this will be her first head-coaching position.

August

For the first time in the 38-year history of the Tabor College football program, the Bluejays were picked in preseason polls by both the media and conference coaches to win the KCAC title.

James Moore, head athletic trainer at Tabor College received the 2005 College/University Athletic Training Award from the National Athletic Trainers Association.

October

The Hillsboro doubles team of Lora Andrews and Amanda Faber won the title at the regional tournament held in Hillsboro and went on to place fourth at the Class 3-2-1A tournament in Wichita the following weekend.

The HHS volleyball team nailed down it first MCAA divisional championship under coach Sandy Arnold with a 9-1 record. Hillsboro’s season ended with a 25-8 record after a loss to Lyons in the sub-state finals.

Sterling broke Hillsboro’s streak of five MCAA cross-country titles. The Trojans placed second by 15 points. The following week, illness contributed to Hillsboro’s inability to qualify its No 1-ranked team for the state meet. Daniel Bookless did qualify as an individual runner and placed 14th there.

Andrew Topham of Peabody won the Class 2A boys’ race by more than 18 seconds at Wamego.

November

The Tabor football team won its second consecutive KCAC title with a win against Friends University. The Bluejays went on to finish the regular season with an undefeated record for the time in school history and won its first NAIA playoff game before losing in the second round.

The Tabor volleyball, KCAC regular-season co-champs, team earned a berth in the Region 4 tournament in Omaha, Neb., by beating McPherson in the championship match of the KCAC post-season tournament. The Bluejays lost their opening match at Omaha.

The Tabor College women’s basketball began the 2005-06 season with a No. 4 ranking in the NAIA Division II polls.

Former Tabor football coach Tim McCarty was named to the staff of new head coach Ron Prince at Kansas State. McCarty, a longtime acquaintance of Prince, had been head coach at East Central University in Oklahoma the past two seasons.

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