McKendree’s Baar named pre-season All-American by Lindy’s
McKendree University junior defensive lineman Lucky Baar has collected second-team pre-season NCAA Division II All-America honors from Lindy’s Magazine, a noted college football preview publication.
Baar, who will be entering his third season as a starter along the defensive front for the Bearcats, is coming off a stellar sophomore campaign in 2014. Baar led all NCAA Division II players with 18 quarterback sacks and a 1.64 sack-per-game average last season. He established new season records for both sacks and tackles for loss (26 ½) for both McKendree and the Great Lakes Valley Conference a year ago. Baar finished the season with 65 total tackles, which was good for third on the McKendree squad. He also led the Bearcats with three forced fumbles while adding a fumble recovery and one interception in 2014.
In a 53-43 McKendree victory last October at Southwest Baptist University, Baar set new team and conference records by recording 5 ½ sacks. He closed the season with multi-sack games in four of the Bearcats’ final five games, which all resulted in victories for McKendree. He was named the 2014 GLVC Defensive Player of the Year and was a three-time GLVC Defensive Player of the Week honoree. Following the 2014 season, Baar was named to the Associated Press Little All-America Team. He also garnered first-team All-America honors from the Beyond Sports Network
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The McKendree University football team closed the 2014 season a 5-6 overall record. The Bearcats were 5-3 in GLVC play and finished in a tie for second place in the final league standings. McKendree is set to kick off its 2015 season at 6 p.m. at home on Sept. 5 against the College of Faith at Leemon Field. Game time will be at 6 p.m.
Iowa State’s Bell tranfers to joins SIUE women’s basketball
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s basketball head coach Paula Buscher announced that Nakiah Bell, of St. Louis, will join the Cougars this season.
Bell, a 5-foot, 5-inch guard, played one season at Iowa State after an outstanding prep career at Incarnate Word Academy. She will reunite with former high school teammate Gwen Adams, a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week this past season.
“We are excited that Nakiah is coming back home to join our Cougar family,” said Buscher. “She is an outstanding player but more importantly a high-character person.”
Bell appeared in 28 games last season for the Cyclones and earned one starting assignment. She averaged 1.2 points and 1.3 assists per game while recording a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. She scored a season-high eight points and seven assists against Howard.
As a prep standout, Bell was ranked a top 100 prospect by ProspectsNation.com after averaging double figures in three out of four seasons at Incarnate Word. She scored 1,200 career points and helped Incarnate Word to three state championships and a third-place finish with a combined 114-11 record.
A first team All-State selection as a junior and a senior, she was named an honorable mention All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as a senior. During her senior season, she led Incarnate Word to a perfect 31-0 season.
“Nakiah is a winner,” said Buscher. “She loves to play the game, and she loves to compete. She will bring that to our team on a daily basis.”
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Bell will sit out the 2015-16 season. She will have three seasons of eligibility for the Cougars starting with the 2016-17 season. She is the daughter of Gerald and Shatonia Bell.
LU-Belleville swim, dive team does well in classroom
In their first year in the pool, the Lindenwood University-Belleville men’s and women’s swimming and diving team had seven swimmers honored as College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-Americans. Both teams did their part in a record setting year for the CSCAA, being a part of 406 schools and joining more than 600 teams that were recognized as a Scholar All-America Team. In order to be named a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, the program must have achieved a grade point average of a 3.0 or higher during the spring semester.
The Lady Lynx were one of 12 NAIA institutions to garner the honor, as the team achieved a 3.04 GPA for the semester. Freshmen Michal Talley, Danielle Signaigo, and Katelyn Hilmes were each named CSCAA Scholar All-Americans. All three Lady Lynx swimmers to achieve the status were freshman, as they set a high standard for the program in their first year in the pool.
Talley, of Troy, Mo., competed in the freestyle and fly in her first year of collegiate competition. Signaigo, of Florissant, Mo., finished her freshman season in which she competed in the freestyle and fly. Hilmes, who competed in both the mid-distance and sprint freestyle, is originally from Carlyle, Ill..
The men’s team was one of five NAIA teams to be named a Scholar All-America Team as they accumulated a team grade point average of 3.05. Dmitry Suhushin, Lucas Dengler-Harles, Sebastian Wegner and Theodor Hansson each earned CSCAA Scholar All-America honors.
Dengler-Harles had an impressive first season with the Lynx as the freshman from Mainz, Germany was not only a Scholar All-American, but also earned All-America status in the pool in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Suhushin, a junior from Riga, Latvia, anchored the 800 freestyle relay and was also a member of the 200 and 400 medleys. Wegner and Hansson, who were both freshman, competed as part of the 800 free style relay, as well as the 200 and 400 medleys.
Three thinclads added to Cougar track and field teams
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville head coach Eileen McAllister announced the addition of three members to the SIUE track and field and cross country teams.
Catherine Jakich, Rachel Althage, and Nick Matthews have been added to the 2015-16 roster. They will join Nichyria Byrd, who was added in April.
Jakich, a Granite City High School graduate, competes in the throws. She placed third at the Illinois State finals in the shot put, throwing a personal best 41 feet, 8.75 inches. During basketball season, she was selected to the second team All-Southwest Conference.
“The day I took my tour at SIUE I knew it was the place for me,” Jakich said. “The facilities are amazing. The coaching staff was very welcoming, as were the athletes I met. SIUE is a track program that has been successful as a whole as well as their throwers, and I want to be a part of a team that strives to be the best every day.”
Althage, at Fort Zumwalt West graduate from St. Charles, Mo., competes in distance and mid-distance races and cross country.
She broke the Ft. Zumwalt West record in the 800 meters, finishing in 2 minutes, 21.88 seconds, placing fourth at the Class 5 Section 2 championship. She finished 10th in the 800 meters in the state championship and was the anchor of the state-qualifying 4x800 meter relay team.
“I am excited to work with Rachel,” McCallister said. “She is very young in training terms. Last year was her first year running year-round and she had tremendous improvement. She is passionate about track and field and eager to continue to train and compete.”
Matthews graduated from Cisne high in Cisne, Illinois. His events is the throws. Although not contested in the Illinois high schools, he has had experience in both the javelin and hammer throw events. He has a personal best of 51-0 in the shot put and 166-7 in the discus. He also was a successful hurdler in high school, placing fourth in the Class A IHSA state finals in the 110m-hurdles with a time of 14.80.
LU-Belleville adds bowler from Oak Lawn to men’s team
The Lindenwood University– Belleville men’s bowling team and head coach Kim Williams have announced the signing of Ryan Kirby for the 2015-16 season.
Kirby is a native of Oak Lawn, and is set to graduate from Oak Lawn Community High School this spring. During the 2015 season, Kirby led his team to a regional championship and a 12th place finish at the IHSA Finals. In 2014, Oak Lawn finished 13th at the IHSA Finals. Kirby averaged a 220 with Oak Lawn and a 233 in league play. His high game is a 299, with a high series of 762.
Kirby finished in third place at the Spartan Invitational and Tinley Park Invitational. He also finished in fourth place in the SSC Red Conference and sixth in the Brother Rice Invitational.
Nine SIUE wrestlers honored by Southern Conference
The Southern Conference released its academic honor roll for the 2014-15 academic year, and nine Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wrestlers were among those honored.
Nathan Day, Trevor Feagans, Chris Johnson, Derek Nagel, John Petrov, Jake Residori, Angelo Silvestro, Jake Tindle, and Karsten Van Velsor were named to the honor roll. The academic honor roll consists of student-athletes who participated in varsity sports at member institutions and posted a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher while passing at least 24 hours in two semesters of classes.
SIUE, an associate member of the SoCon, was eligible for the first time during the 2014-15 academic year.
Of the 1,822 SoCon student-athletes who were named to the honor roll, nearly half earned the Commissioner’s Medal, awarded annually to student-athletes with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Day, Johnson, Petrov, Residori, and Tindle were SIUE’s honorees.
Petrov also was among a group of 115 student-athletes in the SoCon who boasted a perfect 4.0 GPA in 2014-15.
Lady Lynx sign Standifer for 2015-16 bowling season
The Lindenwood University– Belleville women’s bowling team and head coach Kim Williams have announced the signing of Dene Standifer for the 2015-16 season.
Standifer is a native of Cheyenne, Wyo. and is set to graduate from Cheyenne East High School this spring. During the 2014 season, Standifer was named the Wyoming Youth Bowler of the Year. She was also named to the Wyoming Youth All–State Team four years straight. Standifer maintained a 199 average in league play. Her career high game is a 296 and her high series is 719.
Standifer is a two time Junior Gold qualifier, with her highest finish being 133rd in 2013. In 2015 she won the Pepsi Wyoming State Championship. During the 2013 season, Standifer was a Junior’s Queen Champion. She was a Colorado Mile High Champion in 2011 and 2013.
She plans on studying psychology at LU–Belleville.