Category Archives: Sports

After Francis, men’s team regroups

By Cassidy Thornburg

11.15.19

The words “Thunder Struck” decorated orange t-shirts worn by fans in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum last March 15. During Wheaton College’s spring break, rows of fans still managed to make it out to the “Summit City” to support the Wheaton Men’s Basketball team in the final four round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament — their first visit since the 1950’s. To get them to the final four, senior guard Aston Francis broke two records. He scored a season-high 62 points to break the Division III Tournament single game scoring record. Then, he scored a total of 1,052 points, to reach another benchmark — the Division III single season scoring record. In the end, the Thunder lost in the semi-final round to the tournament champions, UW-Oshkosh.

As the Thunder turn the page and enter a new season, they are doing so without some key players, including Francis — the 2019 winner of the Jostens Trophy and the Bevo Francis Award. But Head Coach Mike Schauer is adapting his game plan to match his roster.

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Women’s basketball looks to defend title

By Cassidy Thornburg

11.15.19

After claiming their fourth conference title in the past five years, the Wheaton Women’s Basketball team is looking to continue their streak in the 2019-20 season. Here are some storylines to keep your eye on as the season unfolds.

“Defense wins games”

Head Coach Kent Madsen emphasizes daily at practice the importance of protecting the basket. Last year the Thunder led the conference in scoring defense. The Thunder held their competitors to 32.5 field goal percentage (FG%), averaged nine blocked shots a game — another conference high — and swiped the glass more than most of the teams in their conference, averaging about 30 defensive rebounds a game. However, since last year the Thunder have lost 6’2” forward Devin Kyler, who excelled in blocking and defensive rebounds.

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No regrets: Tyler Sigler looks back on his head-spinning summer

By Cassidy Thornburg

11.9.19

This past summer, former Thunder defensive-back Tyler Sigler practiced through training camp and signed a preseason contract with the Arizona Cardinals. During his four preseason games, Sigler recorded nine total tackles and had a notable pick off against the Chargers, returning it for 52 yards. Sigler, who was cut from the Cardinals’ regular season roster, joined the Wheaton Thunder Sports Network live broadcast during a Thunder football home game for a quick interview to share about his summer with the Cardinals. Here are our five key takeaways.

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Cross country teams head into final stretch

By Amelia Sniffin

11.9.19

Women’s Race

Last Saturday, the Wheaton Women’s Cross Country team traveled to Rock Island, Ill. to compete in the 2019 CCIW Conference Championship. Despite remarkably cold temperatures, the Thunder took first place, capturing the program’s fourth straight conference title.

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Midfielder rallies after surgery

By Cassidy Thornburg

11.8.19

JOE BEAN STADIUM — On Saturday, Nov. 2, junior center-midfielder Carney Blake kick-started the Thunder’s momentum coming out of halftime with a goal from the top of the box that put the Thunder up 3-0 over North Park University. The Thunder went on to shutout the Vikings 9-0 and earn the program’s 21st CCIW Championship with an undefeated conference record (8-0). Blake’s goal Saturday night marked her fourth of the season, a feat for anyone, but especially for someone who was in a wheelchair just six months before.

“Hip arthroscopy,” women’s head soccer trainer Mark Demchak said as he stretched Blake out on the training table after a practice session. That was the name of the surgery Blake had after tearing her labrum last semester — the soft cartilage that surrounds the hip socket. “It was more of a timing thing,” Demchak said. “She tore both sides, so she would have needed to have both done eventually, they just decided to fix them at the same time — fairly typical.”

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Football, family and fortitude

Corey Kennedy comes full circle

By Cassidy Thornburg

11.1.19

This past summer at a baseball park in California some 2,000 miles from Wheaton, I met Andrew Stout, a right-handed pitcher for Concordia University Irvine. When I mentioned Wheaton College, Stout lit up. It turned out he had played high school baseball in Aurora, Ill. with Wheaton safety Corey Kennedy.

Though Stout hadn’t seen or spoken to him in years he praised Kennedy. Shaking his head, Stout told me, “He was one of the hardest workers, especially given his size, and a great person. Corey never put people down and hoped the best for everyone.” Stout’s admiration of Kennedy goes to show the determination the Wheaton football transfer and now senior captain has carried with him into the many places the Lord has led him.

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Schmidt applauds volleyball seniors

By Cassidy Thornburg

11.1.19

Cassie Swiderek

“She has risen to the occasion.”

After practice one day in October, senior captain Cassie Swiderek shared that one of the things volleyball has taught her is “how to prioritize time and people,” something Coach Stephanie Schmidt believes comes naturally to her.

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Thunder defeat Vikings in turnaround title run

By Cassidy Thornburg, Sports Editor

10.25.19

After losing to Augustana College by one point the week before, the Thunder came back and beat the Vikings by one point on Oct. 19. The victory marked the program’s 22nd conference title.

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Alum cracks top 100 at Chicago Marathon

By Grant Alexander

10.25.19

One of the busiest times of the year for the Windy City aligns with the transition to fall in mid-October — the running of the Chicago Marathon. This year on Oct. 13, one of the largest races in the world featured several Wheaton alumni who were joined downtown by current Wheaton students taking the 5:12 a.m. train to show their support. Much of the city shut down for the race, and 45,000 people from over 100 countries ran 26.2 miles. Cheering them on were 1.7 million friends, family members and fellow running enthusiasts.

The numbers may come as a surprise — who wants to run 26.2 miles early in the morning? However, this long-distance event is one of the most popular races in the world. Since 2000, the number of runners in the Chicago Marathon has increased from about 27,000 to over 45,000.

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Women’s soccer eyes conference championship

By Amelia Sniffin

10.11.19

The Wheaton Women’s Soccer team is on a four-game winning streak after beating Carroll University 2-0 on Wednesday night. The team moved up to first place in the CCIW rankings after an Illinois Wesleyan scored on themselves 29th minute of Friday night’s game. The victory ended the Titans’ fourgame winning streak and added to Wheaton’s impressive 10-1-1 overall record.

“It was a statement game for us,” said junior Captain Sarah Tomich after the match. “Last year we lost to Illinois Wesleyan in penalty kicks in the conference tournament final. We wanted to show them that we are the better team and prove that we’re the best in the conference.”

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