Athletics Sat, 30 Aug 2014 02:46:46 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb No. 8 Baker at No. 3 Lindsey Wilson Tabbed NAIA Game of the Week Amer Didic and the 'Cats will take on No. 3 Lindsey Wilson in the NAIA Game of the Week on Saturday

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – No. 8 ranked Baker University will take on No. 3 Lindsey Wilson College in the NAIA Game of the Week this Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in Columbia, Ky.

The 'Cats come in 0-1-1 on the year, while the Blue Raiders enter the match 0-0-0, as this marks the season opener for LWC.

Here are some highlights to look forward to in the highly anticipated match:

• The Blue Raiders hold a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series with Baker. Both previous contests have occurred on neutral soil with Lindsey Wilson taking 2-0 decisions. The last meeting was Dec. 2, 2011 when Lindsey Wilson won 2-0 in the national semifinals from Orange Beach, Ala.
• The first meeting occurred Oct. 22, 1999 that resulted in a 2-0 Blue Raider win.
• Baker is seeking its first win of the year after a 1-1 tie against Missouri Baptist Aug. 22 and a 3-0 loss to No. 4 Ashford (Iowa) the following day. Both contests were part of a tournament hosted by Baker.
• Lindsey Wilson was scheduled to open its campaign Aug. 23 hosting Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), but that match was cancelled. Saturday's match marks the first contest of the 2014 season.
• In home contests last season, Lindsey Wilson went 8-2-1. To break that down further, the Blue Raiders went 7-0-0 at home when scoring two-or-more goals. Baker recorded a 9-3-0 mark (.750) on the road, which was a better win percentage than at home, 6-3-2 (.636).
• Last season, the Blue Raiders advanced to their third-straight national championship semifinal before bowing out to Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) in overtime. That event was a culmination of a 17-4-2 overall record and a Mid-South Conference regular-season championship.
• Senior goalkeeper and three-time All-Mid-South Conference (MSC) First Team selection Yuta Nomura returns for the backbone of a nationally-ranked Lindsey Wilson defense. Last year, Nomura posted 38 saves, five shutouts and an 11-4-0 mark between the pipes. He was an integral reason for the defense to hold opponents to one goal or fewer in 18-of-23 matches last year.
• On the offensive side for the Blue Raiders, senior forward Yazeed Davids is back after leading the team in both assists (9) and points (27) and finishing third in goals (9).
• Head coach Ray Wells is beginning his 27th season with a 474-85-27 mark. His victory total is second on both the NAIA all-time and active lists. He trails coach Steve Burke of Judson (Ill.), who has 519 wins entering the 2014 season.
• The No. 3 ranking in the preseason marked the 84th-straight Top 25 mention for Lindsey Wilson, which is the longest active streak in NAIA men's soccer. The Blue Raiders also own the all-time mark with 47 all-time No. 1 rankings.
• Under the leadership of coach Nate Houser, Baker will have to fill the void of two NSCAA NAIA All-Americans and will rely on youth to improve upon a 15-6-2 overall record. Senior forward Preston Phillips is a leading candidate to help the cause after earning Honorable Mention All-Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) honors.
• After winning both the HAAC regular-season and tournament championships last year, the Wildcats lost to Ashford, 3-2, in two overtimes in the 2013 NAIA National Championship Second Round.
• Coach Houser enters his seventh year with a 78-29-14 career record of the Baker men's program.
• With the No. 8 ranking in the preseason, Baker has now been nationally recognized for 11-straight weeks, including six-consecutive top-10 mentions.

Fans can catch the match via live video by clicking here.

Fans can also catch the match via live stats by clicking here.


]]> (Tyler Price) M Soccer Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Volleyball Opens Season 2-2 at OBU Tournament Kallie Fischer and the Wildcats went 2-2 at the Oklahoma Baptist Tournament over the weekend

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The (RV) Baker University women's volleyball team opened the 2014 season over the weekend with a 2-2 record at the Oklahoma Baptist Invitational.

Thye began the weekend with a 2-0 start on Friday with a three set win over Friends University (25-21, 25-10, 25-16) then followed that up with a four set win against Texas Wesleyan (25-15, 25-18, 29-31, 25-17).

On Saturday, the 'Cats took on two of the top teams in the country facing No. 1 ranked and defending NAIA National Champion Texas at Brownsville falling to the Scorpions in three sets (19-25, 16-25, 19-25) and then fell in three to host school and No. 14 ranked Oklahoma Baptist (22-25, 12-25, 18-25).

In the first match, Baker hit .284 as a team and middle hitters Danielle French and Shannon Bond led the way with seven kills apiece.

2013 HAAC Freshman of the Year Hannah Bettge dished out 28 assists and Sara Slater led the way with 29 digs.

In the Wildcats other victory against Texas Wesleyan. French again led Baker with 10 kills and newcomer Natalie Minchow added nine kills, as did Bettge and Bond.

Baker impressively hit .310 as a team in that match and Slater had 37 more digs. Baker also had nine service aces compared to just two by TWU. Kaysha Green had two and Bettge had three.

Against the defending champs, the Wildcats could only muster a .030 hitting percentage and Minchow had a team high seven kills. The Baker defense did hold UT-Brownsville to just a .118 hitting percentage and forced 20 attack errors and collected 42 digs.

In the final match on the weekend, Minchow stepped up and led the way with 13 assists, with Bettge playing just one set and 11 assists.

OBU hit .272 as a team and landed eight service aces, while Baker had just one service ace.

The 'Cats will compete in four more matches this weekend at the Bellevue Tournament in Bellevue, Neb.

Baker 3 – Friends 0

Baker 3 – Texas Wesleyan 1

Baker 0 – UT Brownsville 3

Baker 0 – Oklahoma Baptist 3


]]> (Tyler Price) Women's Volleyball Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
No. 4 Ashford Shuts Out No. 8 Baker, 3-0 No. 4 Ashford Shuts Out No. 8 Baker, 3-0

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – No. 4 ranked Ashford captured its second-straight victory over No. 8 Baker University on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 win over the Wildcats at Liston Stadium.

The Saints ended Baker's season in double overtime last year 3-2 in the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Round of 16.

With the loss, Baker falls to 0-1-1, while Ashford improved to 1-0, as this was the season opener for the Saints.

Baker outshot Ashford 12-10, with Julian Sansano and Blake Levine leading the way with two shots apiece.

Ashford picked up a goal in the first half and two in the second, with Adam Wood scoring in the 23rd minute, Luiz Mota scoring in the 51st and Casey Culver in the 67th.

Baker had a game high five corner kicks, compared to just one for Ashford and keeper Ryan Emme had five saves, including two impressive ones in the final 10 minutes.

Baker will return home on Sept. 10 to take on Park University at 7:30 p.m. But before that they will take on former NAIA national champions Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Saturday, Aug. 30 and former champ Bethel (Tenn.) on Aug. 31.



]]> (Tyler Price) M Soccer Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Baker Wins Home Opener 2-1 over No. 20 Ashford Hailey Seibel and the 'Cats won its season opener 2-1 on Saturday

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The Baker University women's soccer team opened up the 2014 season with a 2-1 win over No. 20 ranked Ashford on Saturday afternoon inside Liston Stadium.

The 'Cats moved to 1-0, while the Saints fell to 0-2. They fell to MidAmerica Nazarene the day before also 2-1.

The game went into halftime tied up 0-0, but Baker went up 1-0 with a goal by Keeley Atkin to finally break the tie in the 52nd minute.

It didn't take long for Ashford to tie things up, when forward Alicia Tamburro slammed one home past keeper Rachel Theobald.

But in the 87th minute, senior Hilary Yoder received a long ball from senior Shelby Schiraldi and with some nifty footwork Yoder made her way in the box and sent the ball into the back of the net for the game winner.

Baker attempted just six shots on the day compared to 12 by Ashford. Schiraldi led the way for Baker with three shots.

The 'Cats have two games on the road up next, as they travel to California to take on nationally ranked Westmont on Saturday, Aug. 30 and nationally ranked Concordia-Irvine on Sept. 1.

They will return home on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. to take on Manhattan Christian at Liston Stadium.


]]> (Tyler Price) W Soccer Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
No. 8 ‘Cats Begin Season with 1-1 Tie Keaton Anchors supplied Baker with the equalizing goal with just 18 seconds left in the match

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The No. 8 ranked Baker University men's soccer team began the 2014 season with a 1-1 tie at home against unranked Missouri Baptist inside Liston Stadium on a hot Friday evening.

Despite the end result, the Wildcats dominated the match offensively with 20 shots taken and 14 on goal, compared to five shots and three on goal for the Spartans.

MBU's goalkeeper John Schnurbusch had an impressive 13 saves on the night, while Ryan Emme had two for BU.

The Spartans got on the board first with a goal by Jamie Skillen in the 53rd minute. Skillen's goal was one of the most difficult and spectacular goals you will see all season, as he lifted the ball from 50 yards out at midfield and sent it right over the finger tips of Emme for a goal.

Keaton Anchors led all players with five shots and tied things up for BU with 18 seconds to go in the second half to send the game into OT. Sophomore Spencer Atkin earned the assist.

Six players had two shots for the 'Cats including Amer Didic, Chris Tuso, Spencer Atkin, Robert Hoeven, Blake Levine and Jordan Thacker.

The Wildcats will next take on No. 4 ranked Ashford on Saturday afternoon also at Liston Stadium for a rematch of the NAIA Round of 16 game from a year ago.

Ashford ended Baker's season 3-2 in double overtime last year in Montgomery, Ala., in the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship final site.

The match can be found live on via live stats and live video.



]]> (Tyler Price) M Soccer Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Veteran Group Looks to Lead BU Volleyball Baker opens up its season this Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma Baptist Tournament

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Under Baker University head volleyball coach Kathy Allen the Wildcats have been a staple near the top of the HAAC standings the past five seasons and have captured 20 or more wins in four of the past five campaigns.

Along the way, Coach Allen has become the winningest head coach in all sports programs at Baker with her career mark of 354-295.

Baker will enter the 2014 season just five spots out of the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll earning 52 votes from the coaches.

"Winning all of those matches here at Baker really just means I've been here a really long time," said Allen. "But seriously it says a lot about the type of athletes we have had here at Baker and what the administration has done in my time here to put us in a situation to be successful. I am very grateful for that."

Her 2014 squad returns a strong majority of its nucleus from last season, but did part with four seniors from year ago, including All-HAAC libero Renata Dill and all-conference performers in outside hitters Jasmyn Turner and Crystal Simon.

Allen looks to lean on the last two HAAC freshman of the year award winners in junior middle hitter Danielle French, who won the HAAC freshman award in 2012 and sophomore Hannah Bettge, who won the honor last year.

Bettge was named to the 2013 All-HAAC first team as a freshman, while French earned a spot on the all-conference second team. Another all-conference returner for the 'Cats is senior right-side hitter Shannon McCarty, who received All-HAAC honorable mention.

Junior middle hitter Shannon Bond and senior outside Taryn Brees will see action on the court. Brees, McCarty and defensive specialists Kylie Pease and Sara Slater are the four seniors.

Coach Allen is very high on some newcomers entering the system this fall, especially junior outside hitter Natalie Minchow, who transfers to Baker from University of Sioux Falls and played with the 'Cats during spring workouts.

She is also looking for freshman Kallie Fischer of Silver Lake, Kan., to be an impact player on the outside. Transfers Kayla May of Coffeyville CC and Haleigh Offield, a transfer from NCAA Division II Northwest Missouri State, could see playing time at the outside and middle spots.

The Wildcats will open 2014 with three straight tournaments and will compete in four matches at each site.

Baker will host John Brown (Ark.) at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 5 and Doane College (Neb.) at 7 p.m. inside the Collins Center as part of the annual Baker Invitational. They then will take on Morningside (Iowa) at 1 p.m. at the Collins Center and Sterling (Kan.) to end the tournament at 7 p.m.

Coach Allen enjoys playing in these early-season tournaments to get her athletes playing a lot of competitive volleyball and it helps shape them into the team they want to be to carry on the rest of the season.

"This will give our team a chance to see where we fit not only within our conference, but regionally and nationally and I think that's good for us," said Allen. "It allows us to see what we need to work on and gives the girls a lot of game day experience early on."

After the Baker Invitational, the Wildcats will have eight more home dates including a home match with Ottawa on Sept. 12, they will also host Peru State on Sept. 16, Central Methodist on Sept. 23, Benedictine College on Sept. 30, Graceland on Oct. 7, Culver-Stockton on Oct. 21, Haskell on Oct. 30 and Newman University on Nov. 6.


]]> (Tyler Price) Women's Volleyball Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Women’s Soccer Eyes Successful '14 Shelby Schiraldi and the Wildcats open up 2014 at home this Saturday at 12 p.m. against No. 20 ranked Ashford

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Baker University's new head women's soccer coach Davy Phillips is no stranger to the Wildcat soccer program, so to call him the 'new' head women's soccer coach at Baker is merely a formality.

He was promoted to head women's soccer coach in March of 2014 taking over the program from Baker Athletics Hall of Famer Nate Houser. But Phillips has been the assistant coach of the BU men's soccer program from 2008 to 2013 and carried the same role with the women's team from 2009 through 2013.

Houser will now serve as solely the head men's soccer coach beginning this Fall.

Phillips played the 'Cats as well, graduating from BU in 2006 and he is ready to lead the women's program as a first-time head coach at the collegiate level. But what will a Davy Phillips led women's soccer program look like out on the pitch?

"Hopefully an energetic, organized and committed brand of soccer," said Phillips. "With confidence going forward in the attack."

His squad returns nearly all of its players from a 2013 team that went 7-5-7 and finished fifth in the HAAC standings. The lone senior from 2013 was Amber Pickering, but the 2014 Wildcats will feature eight seniors in 2014 including Shelby Schiraldi, Lesley Johnson, Rachel Theobald, Alexa Fryer, Bailey Sosa, Ashley Mauck, Hilary Yoder and Kayla Infanti.

Schiraldi is a three-time NAIA All-American defender, while Johnson and Fryer are coming off seasons where each were named to the HAAC All-Conference teams, both earning spots on the All-HAAC Third Team. Theobald is a four-year starting goalkeeper who collected 70 saves last season.

The returners are an experienced and tested group that advanced to the NAIA Final site in 2012 after defeating Bellevue (Neb.) in the NAIA Opening Round at home.

Defensively the Wildcats had a strong 2013, allowing more than two goals in a game just once, a 3-1 loss at NCAA Division II McKendree University and allowed just 18 goals in 19 games played.

"I think we have been strong defensively and we return four of our top five players on defense," said Phillips. "Shelby Schiraldi and Lesley Johnson will be key in the back along with our goalkeeper Rachel Theobald.

"I'm looking forward to playing Bailey Sosa more full-time in the midfield and Keeley Atkin will slide back in the midfield."

Speaking of Atkin, she will return as part of a stellar sophomore group consisting of three-time 2013 HAAC Player of the Week Krista Hooper along with Madison Armoneit, Katie Hibbeler, Jessica Hillebert, Kaitlyn Pritchard, Gabrielle Betsch, Caroline Susmilch, Makenzie Hanson and Taylor Baum.

Hooper led Baker in scoring with seven goals and 46 shot attempts, while Atkin added three goals and Betsch had one.

The junior class will feature just one Wildcat in Jenna Carducci, who played in 10 games in 2013.

The newcomer class consists of a mix of freshmen and a couple of transfers and coach Phillips likes what this new class can bring to the squad.

"Taylor Yates out of Shawnee Mission West high school is a very good defender and Cara Doctor who transfers to us from the University of Oklahoma are both players I'm looking forward to finding a place on the field," said Phillips. "Caroline Sismilch brings a lot of athleticism and Megan Johnson who is senior Lesley Johnson's little sister is also very athletic with lots of potential."

The 2014 squad will take on some of the top teams in the NAIA right out of the gate, as they face No. 20 ranked Ashford on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 12 p.m. inside Liston Stadium for its season opener. Live stats and live video will be available at

But the schedule gets even tougher when they travel to California to face No. 2 ranked Westmont and No. 5 Concordia-Irvine.

The Wildcats then return home for three-straight non-conference home matches with Park University (Mo.) on Sept. 10, Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Sept. 12 and Grace University (Iowa) at North Park in Baldwin City on Sept. 13.

The rest of the home dates for the 'Cats are: Sept. 24 against Ottawa (Kan.), Sept. 27 Bethany (Kan.), Oct. 11 Culver-Stockton (Mo.), Oct. 14 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Oct. 29 Missouri Valley and senior night against Central Methodist (Mo.) on Nov. 1.


]]> (Tyler Price) W Soccer Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Young, Tested Group to Lead No. 8 BU Julian Sansano and the Wildcats open up the season this Friday at 2:30 p.m. against Missouri Baptist

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Under Baker University Hall of Fame coach Nate Houser the men's soccer program has become a national power within the NAIA and has done so with a cast of players from experienced squads to teams with young leadership. The 2014 team hopes to return to national prominence.

The 2011 squad advanced to the NAIA national semifinals with a roster full of experienced juniors and seniors and the 2012 cast had 11 seniors.

In 2013 Baker graduated six players, including All-American goalkeeper Matt Bickley and All-American defender Andy Griffin along with starters Ben Coyle, Richard Klein, Cameron Zimmerman and Shemaiah Davis.

That squad captured a HAAC regular-season championship and HAAC tournament championship before appearing in the NAIA National Championship Final Site in Montgomery, Ala., finishing the year ranked No. 9 in the country.

Preston Phillips is the lone senior on the 2014 squad which comes in ranked No. 8 in the NAIA Preseason Coaches' Top 25 poll. The forward they call 'Pip' is the younger brother of Baker head women's soccer coach Davy Phillips and scored two goals last year.

Coach Houser has the experience to handle a roster with one senior.

"You have to force some guys to step up and lead when you have just one senior," said Houser. "We do some exercises and some leadership qualities come out in guys. We see who we can lean on. In the spring we have found those guys."

Sophomores Spencer Atkin and Kyle Young and juniors Andrew Miller and Amer Didic will be main contributors on the back line for the Wildcat defense. Newcomer Greg Baron, of Dublin, Ireland, also stepped up big in spring practice and returner Julian Sansano will have a large role as a defensive midfielder.

Offensively, Keaton Anchors had a great spring and Houser sees a cross between former goal scorers Odaine Sinclair and Richard Klein in the sophomore. He also likes the potential that junior Robert Hoeven has in the offensive side of the midfield.

Houser also hopes that sophomores Matt Hamm and Jordan Thacker will pull defenses apart offensively and fellow sophomore Cody Sliva will be a force in the midfield. Houser also likes what he has seen in freshman Blake Levine who he expects could be a dangerous player.

The goalkeeper's spot is an intriguing position for Baker in 2014. The starting spot will be a battle between sophomores Ryan Emme and Ryan Akin and freshmen Patrick Rydberg and Nick Riggle. All four enter 2014 with little to no collegiate experience. Emme and Akin in 2013 sat behind Bickley, who played in goal for the 'Cats the last four seasons and was a NAIA All-American in 2011.

Coach Houser will also be bringing on eight-year MLS veteran and current Sporting KC goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to serve as the teams goalkeeper's coach to help develop the four keepers on the squad.

This year will mark a change for Houser. He will be solely the head coach of the men's soccer program after serving as both the head men's and women's soccer coach since 2008.

The 1994 Baker alum has been around the Wildcat soccer program for 20 years and is excited for this new chapter in his time at his alma mater.

"I always used to sort of pace of myself through practice and on game days in the past to make sure both programs were run at the highest level," said Houser. "This will be a new challenge with just the men's team. I felt a new energy in the spring with just running practice for the men.

"I think it was refreshing. I'm going to miss the girls. Seeing them practice and play in the spring I'm going to miss it. But I see Davy's energy and I know it will be a step forward for everyone."

The Wildcats will open up 2014 with an incredible challenge of facing four of the past six NAIA men's soccer national championship teams as they take on Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), the 2009 and 2011 national champions, on Aug. 30 at Lindsey Wilson, then the next day they take on Bethel (Tenn.), the 2008 national champion, on Aug. 31 also at Lindsey Wilson. On Sept. 13 at North Park in Baldwin City, Baker will take on Hastings (Neb.), the 2010 national champion.

"We're starting off with some pretty tough teams," said Houser. "With some national champion teams on the docket, we schedule these types of teams in an effort to judge ourselves and see what we can get better at.

"If they ball bounces our way, I think we will be in a great spot. You need to go see the standard in NAIA men's soccer. Lindsey Wilson is a standard, so is Ashford and Hastings."

Other notable home matches will be a rematch of the NAIA Round of 16 from last year when they face Ashford (Iowa) on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Liston Stadium. Ashford defeated Baker 3-2 in double-overtime to end the 'Cats 2013 season in Montgomery, Ala.

They will host 2013 American Midwest Conference (AMC) champion Park University (Mo.) on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Liston Stadium and rival Ottawa (Kan.) comes to town on Sept. 24.

Baker will host HAAC opponents Culver-Stockton on Oct. 11, MidAmerica Nazarene on Oct. 14, Missouri Valley on Oct. 29 and will have senior night on Nov. 1 when they host Central Methodist.

"It's pretty incredible that we have four of the best 16 teams in the country in the HAAC year after year," said Houser. "We play those high intensity games in the non-conference just to get ready for the HAAC. We have to go to BC and Graceland this year, which are tough places to play."

Baker opens up the 2014 season this Friday, Aug. 22 at 2:30 p.m. against Missouri Baptist. Live stats and live video will be available at


]]> (Tyler Price) M Soccer Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Byers Steps into Interim Head Coach Role Byers Steps into Interim Head Coach Role

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Baker University director of athletics Theresa Yetmar announced today that assistant coach Tim Byers will now step into the role of Interim Head Cross Country and Track and Field Coach, effectively immediately after the sudden passing of former head coach Zach Kindler.

The athletic department will schedule events in the near future to honor Kindler and his family. Those events will be posted at as they become available.

Kindler hired Coach Byers in mid-July to serve as the full-time assistant coach of both programs.

"We are still grieving the loss of our friend and colleague," Yetmar said. "Zach leaves behind a legacy of excellence that will remain a cornerstone of our programs moving forward."

"Zach identified Tim as our new full-time assistant coach because he knew that Tim is a man of character, a proven winner, and someone who shared his vision for the future of our programs. Tim has gracefully accepted this role of interim head coach with the primary focus of taking care of our student-athletes."

Byers has coached at many collegiate levels, including NAIA, NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and D-III.

He has also served as the head track and field coach at Ottawa University (Kan.) and Simpson College (Iowa).

In his 19 years as a collegiate cross country and track coach, Byers has been a part of 19 conference championships, led 266 NAIA/NCAA conference players, 25 NAIA/NCAA conference champions, 87 NAIA/NCAA national qualifiers, 19 NAIA/NCAA All-Americans and one NCAA national champion in the women's javelin.

"Words cannot express the sorrow I have in my heart for Zach and his family after this tragic event," said Byers. "I have known Zach for several years through the coaching profession. He was an honored colleague and coaching friend. I was very excited when he hired me to coach with him and be a part of the Baker University Cross Country and Track & Field family.

"He has built a rich tradition here at Baker and I will do everything in my power to carry on his legacy. He will be missed by all the lives he touched on and off the track."

University President Lynne Murray and her leadership team have expressed confidence in Byers' ability to continue the upward trajectory of Baker's decorated programs.


]]> (Tyler Price) W Track & Field Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500
Football to Begin 2014 Ranked No. 5 Football to Begin 2014 Ranked No. 5

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – After a 2013 season that featured a school-record 11-2 record, a HAAC regular season championship and a NAIA-FCS Playoff victory, the Baker University football team will begin the season ranked No. 5 in the latest NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll.

The 'Cats ended 2013 ranked No. 5 and captured its first HAAC championship since the 1993 season.

Baker also posted 24 HAAC All-Conference players, nine NAIA Scholar-Athletes, three BSN-NAIA All-Americans and the HAAC Coach of the Year in Mike Grossner.

The 2014 Baker schedule will feature five games against ranked opponents, as they take on No. 14 Ottawa in the season opening 'County Line Clash' on Sept. 6, No. 15 Sterling comes to Baldwin City, Kan., on Sept. 13 for the annual HAAC/KCAC Challenge. Then on Oct. 4, Baker travels to No. 24 ranked Peru State.

The NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium will pin Baker against No. 11 ranked Benedictine on Oct. 11 and Baker ends the year at home on Senior Day against No. 7 Missouri Valley on Saturday, Nov. 15.

The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference – No. 8 Tabor (Kan.), No. 14 Ottawa (Kan.), No. 15 Sterling (Kan.) and No. 19 Friends (Kan.) – and the Heart of America Athletic Conference – Baker, No. 7 Missouri Valley, No. 11 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 24 Peru State (Neb.) – boast the most teams amongst the Top 25 with four programs each. Four other leagues – MSFAW, Frontier Conference, GPAC and the Mid-South Conference East Division – have three ranked teams.

Notes (all information dates back to 1999): Grand View (Iowa) is making its third-straight appearance at No. 1 ... Three teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2013 – Grand View, Cumberlands (Ky.) and Morningside (Iowa) ... There were 45 different programs ranked in 2013 ... Thirteen teams were ranked in all 13 polls ... Carroll (Mont.) leads all institutions with 57 all-time first-place rankings and is followed by former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) (55), Georgetown (Ky.) (25), Saint Xavier (Ill.) (14) and former member Northwestern Oklahoma State (11) ... Saint Francis boasts the longest consecutive stretch of being named in the Coaches' Top 25 Poll with 182 ... Following the Cougars in consecutive appearances are Carroll with 169, Missouri Valley with 104, Morningside with 88 and Saint Xavier with 77 ... Morningside holds the longest streak of top 10 rankings, having been ranked among the top 10 teams for 36-straight polls dating back to Sept. 19, 2011.

For a look at the entire Top 25 poll, please click here.


]]> (Tyler Price) M Football Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0500