Category Archives: Sports

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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A brief history of Bell Week

By Cassidy Thornburg, Sports Editor

10.04.19

MCCULLY STADIUM — If you haven’t followed Wheaton football for an entire season, you may be unfamiliar with the Wheaton Thunder vs. North Central Cardinals football rivalry — a rivalry almost 170 years in the making.

It began in the early 1800s, when the cities of Wheaton and Naperville couldn’t settle on where the DuPage County Courthouse would be located. Wheaton residents raided the courthouse one night and left with important documents and a little brass bell — a symbol of revolt. Years later, the bell resurfaced on a farm located between the two cities. The farm owner passed away, and the bell was inherited by one of his sons who attended North Central. The younger and somewhat disgruntled son went to Wheaton College. Through friendly night raids and college shenanigans, the bell was passed back and forth between the two schools. Out of that sibling rivalry, the Wheaton Thunder vs. North Central Cardinals football rivalry emerged.

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Strong start for men’s soccer

By Abram Erickson

09.27.19

Following an impressive 1-0 double-overtime win over Lake Forest College on Tuesday night, the number 19-ranked Wheaton Thunder Men’s Soccer team has improved to 6-2-1 on the season and looks strong headed into their upcoming conference schedule.

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From barre to BITH

By Cassidy Thornburg, Sports Editor

09.20.19

For most students, coming to Wheaton College means graduating high school and leaving home, a major transition. For transfer Anna Edwards, the transition was even greater. It meant hanging up her ballet shoes and packing up a life she had built for herself in Dallas as a professional dancer.

Sitting in Wheaton’s Kilby House with her hair tied back, black rimmed glasses framing her brown eyes and legs crossed beneath her, Edwards explained how she ended coming to Wheaton at age 23 despite having never visited the campus and having no personal connections. “I prayed about it a lot,” she said. “I felt like the Lord just made it really clear that this is where he wanted me to be.”

Making the decision to come to Wheaton meant giving up competitive dance which had been a constant in Edward’s life for about 14 years.

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After seven years off the field, grad student returns to football

By Cassidy Thornburg, Sports Editor

09.20.19

At 5 a.m., with every intention of not waking up 10 9-year-old campers, Bert McJunkin shuffled out of a newly built wood cabin, cautiously placing his feet so the boards won’t squeak. On a weekday morning at K1, a Kanakuk Sports Kamp in Branson, Missouri, the grounds were quiet and barely lit by a peaking sun in the distance.

The 6’2” wide receiver crossed the stretch of P-gravel from his cabin to the little gym located beneath the dining hall. He opened up the equipment room and got to work. While the rest of camp slept, McJunkin was in the weight room. Why? The desire to compete that drives almost every Wheaton football player. It’s a new title for the 24-year-old Texas boy, but it’s one he’s been preparing for all summer.

After staying committed to his summer lifts and workouts despite long days at Kanakuk, McJunkin immediately jumped into training camp, mid-August. His story is different than many of the 19 to 22-year-olds who take the field in McCully Stadium beside him, still in their undergraduate years.

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