May 23, 2018 - 10:24 am - Posted in Sports

Taylor Rus, a senior at Western Christian High School, has announced her intention to attend Dordt College and join the Defender track and field program.

Rus has qualified for the state meet in all four of her seasons at Dordt and was part of a state champion 4×200 relay team. She has a career best 12.99 in the 100 meters and has earned all-conference honors from the Lakes Conference in all four of her years at Western.

“We are excited that Taylor will be joining us next year! Taylor has had a great track and field career at Western Christian, and she will be a positive addition to our sprints group. Taylor is a versatile sprinter who will be able to contribute in a variety of sprint events. She will bring enthusiasm to the team. We look forward to working with Taylor next year!” said Dordt College track and field coach Craig Heynen.

Taylor is the daughter of Howard and Janelle Rus of Sioux Center, Iowa.

May 17, 2018 - 3:36 pm - Posted in Sports

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.


Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are in the mid 60’s. Bluegill – Fair: Catch bluegill in Town Bay and near the inlet bridge. Expect shore fishing action to pick up again as water temperatures increase and bring bluegill back near shore. Walleye – Fair: Use twisters, leaches and minnows in Town Bay and from Ice House Point.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Walleye – Fair: Pick up walleye in about 8 feet of water using crawlers and crankbaits. Yellow Bass – Fair: Crankbaits and crawlers work well in about 8 feet of water.

Clear Lake
Surface water temperature is 66 degrees. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies are biting. Use a small jig or a minnow in the rush beds and areas with vegetation. Walleye – Good: Try a slip bobber and leeches fished in the rocky reefs. Yellow Bass – Fair: Yellows bass are moving into the shallow rocky areas to spawn. Use a small feather jig in the early morning. Channel Catfish – Fair: With recent rains, any spot where water is entering the lake is worth trying for catfish. Fish a dead chub or crawlers on the bottom. The best bite is late evening.

Crystal Lake
Channel Catfish – Fair: Use nightcrawlers fished from shore. Walleye – Slow. Black Bullhead – Fair: Try nightcrawlers fished from shore. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.

Rice Lake
Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in the edge of the vegetation.

Silver Lake (Worth)
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill – Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.

Center Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Report of a very early bite from the pier; expect action to improve soon as these fish move to the inshore cover.

East Okoboji Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Use traditional baits in the evening. Black Crappie – Fair: Anglers report a panfish bite of bluegill and crappie from docks; sorting is needed. Walleye – Good: Report of anglers catching fish from the south end; best bite during the evening hours.

Five Island Lake
Channel Catfish – Good: Using traditional baits during evening hours. Walleye – Fair: Action is picking up with numbers of angler acceptable size and larger being caught.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye – Good: Walleye are being caught close to shore. Try fishing from a dock or wader fishing after dark. Black Crappie – Good: Reports of crappie and yellow perch being caught. Fish shallow water areas such as the canal. Yellow Bass – Fair: Report of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs.

Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
Walleye – Fair: Report of large fish being caught during the late evening hours. Cast a white twister for the best action. Black Bullhead – Good: Good action reported of angler acceptable sized fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Some activity reported.

Spirit Lake
Marble Beach campground, including the boat ramp, is closed for the season for renovation. Smallmouth Bass – Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow in shallow rock structures. Action is best during sunny, calm days. Black Crappie – Good: Good numbers of fish continue to be harvested from the Templar Park lagoon; Buffalo Run has been “hit or miss.” Walleye – Good: Best action is during the night off the docks. Fish leeches under a bobber or cast a twister tail. Black Bullhead – Good: A good bite is reported at the north grade; fish traditional baits on the bottom

West Okoboji Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Some fish are being caught from the Triboji lagoon. Bluegill – Good: Numbers of fish are being caught from Lazy Lagoon (Triboji). Sorting is needed; persistence will result in good numbers creeled.

May 16, 2018 - 12:20 pm - Posted in Sports

The Northwestern College softball team lost to St. Francis (Ill.) 5-2 (11 innings) in an elimination game of the Southern Oregon Bracket at the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round played this afternoon in Medford, Ore. The loss ends the Red Raiders tremendous season with a 36-13 record.

St. Francis broke a 2-2 tie with three unearned runs in the top of the 13th inning off Northwestern starter Kayla Tindall (18-7). Abby Balandis hit a leadoff double and went to third on a wild pitch. Kayla Garcia drew a walk to put runners at the corners and Balandis then scored after an error on a ball hit by Jensen Tchorzynski. Ashley Galason followed with a two-run single to put the Fighting Saints up by three.

Northwestern tried to rally in the bottom of the 13th, putting two runners on base with singles by Emily Bosch and Emma Schnell and sending the tying run to the plate but St. Francis pitcher Morghan Dieringer recorded the final out on a pop-up to end it.

Tindall pitched outstanding despite the loss, giving up 10 hits and four earned runs in the full 11 innings. The senior walked three, struck out eight and finisher her brilliant career in second place all-time with 446 strikeouts.

Both teams had chances to win, putting runners on base several times over the final innings, but Tindall and Dieringer, along with their defense behind them, were able to escape without giving up a run.

Northwestern totaled nine hits, led by Madison Beaver, Jessica Sandbulte and Emily Bosch with two hits each. Sandbulte hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first giving Northwestern a 1-0 lead. Jensen Boger added an RBI single in the sixth, scoring Bosch who had hit a double, to tie the game at two. Tindall and Emma Schnell had the other hits for Head Coach Chris Nachtigall’s club.

Dieringer (24-3) matched Tindall pitch-for-pitch, giving up nine hits, two runs and striking out eight. Galason went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Garcia totaled two hits, including a solo home run in the second inning.

Earlier in the day, Northwestern lost a thriller to No.1 seed and 8th-ranked Southern Oregon 3-2 in a winner’s bracket game. Down 3-0, the Red Raiders scored two runs and had the tying run at third base in the top of the sixth before Southern Oregon reliever Morgan Jones recorded the final out on a ground ball.

Schnell (17-5) took the loss, giving up six hits and two earned runs in four-plus innings. Tindall pitched the final two innings, striking out five of the seven batters she faced.

Tindall and Bosch both went 2-for-3 and scored a run to pace the Red Raiders at the plate. Cheyenne Wilcke an Katie Elliott had an RBI in the sixth inning and Beaver and Boger had the other two hits.

This marks the final game for the seven Red Raider seniors: Amanda Everhart, Jessica Sandbulte, Kayla Tindall, Jensen Boger, Cheyenne Wilcke, Katie Elliott and Renee Choquette.

May 16, 2018 - 9:21 am - Posted in Sports

Northwestern College is tied for 18th place after the first round of the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship played today at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

The Red Raiders shot an opening round score of 299 and are tied with William Penn (Iowa) for 18th place out of 29 teams. They are one stroke in back of both South Carolina Beaufort and Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) and two shots behind 15th place University of Jamestown (N.D.)

Keiser (Fla.) holds the lead after the first 18 holes with a 279, one stroke better than Coastal Georgia and Taylor (Ind.) with a 280.

Colton Kooima and Austin Reitz both shot an opening round 73 (+2) and are tied for 43rd place overall to lead Head Coach Aaron Aberson’s squad. Evan Schuler is two strokes back with a 75 and tied for 68th while Justin Kraft is tied for 114th place at 78. Zach Riddle rounds out the Northwestern scores with a 79 and is tied for 127th place.

Keiser’s Jack Dyer opened the Championship with a five-under 66 and holds a one stroke lead over Alec Dutkowski of Taylor, who shot a 67 (-4). A trio of golfers sit two shots back, including Erik Jonasson (Keiser), Chip Thompson (Coastal Georgia) and Mitch Lamping (Taylor).

Northwestern will begin second round play on Tuesday morning around 8:20am.

All good things must come to an end and for the Northwestern Baseball team, its dream 2018 season came to a stunning conclusion with an 8-7 loss to (RV) Cumberland (Tenn.) in an elimination game in the Upland Bracket of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round. The Red Raiders end with a 30-20 overall record, tying for the fifth-most wins in program history.

With Northwestern leading 7-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Victor Mena (3-4), who had retired seven straight Cumberland batters coming into the inning, sent the first two CU batters down on a couple of harmless pop-ups. Phoenix first-baseman drew a two-out walk, went to third on a single by Caleb Kellogg and Hector Morales followed with another walk to load the bases. Cumberland shortstop and No.8 hitter then sent a 1-0 pitch over the leftfield fence for a grandslam, his fifth home run of the season, giving his team its first lead since the third inning.

Down by a run, the Red Raiders put the tying run at second with one out on a Michael Callahan single and sacrifice bunt by Matt Martin. Cumberland reliever Andy Garretson (1-0) recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end it and send the Phoenix into another elimination game on Wednesday.

Trailing 2-1 early, Northwestern scored two runs in the fourth and four more in the top of the fifth to take a 7-2 lead. Martin and Dustin Gaither led off the fourth with singles and Martin scored after a bunt by Colton Harold and error on Cumberland second baseman, advancing Gaither to third. Ben De Boer perfectly executed a safety squeeze, scoring Gaither, to compete the two-run fourth.

Now leading 3-2, the Raiders pushed across four more runs in the fifth. Reed Smith drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a single by Christian Stekl and to third after a walk to Martin. Gaither came through with an RBI single off Garretson for a 4-2 lead and Harold drew a bases loaded walk for another run. De Boer completed the scoring with a two-run double, scoring both Martin and Gaither.

Cumberland put the first two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth inning off Northwestern starter Mitchell Kresnik but then the game was delayed more than three hours due to a storm coming through.

After the delay, Mena came in and retired the first two Cumberland batters before a two-run double by Mykel Gordon put the score at 7-4.

Mena pitched well in relief, giving up three hits and four runs in four innings. Kresnik went the first four innings, allowing four hits and four runs with three strikeouts.

Martin led the Red Raiders at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in his final game. Gaither added a pair of hits and two runs score while Stekl, Callahan, De Boer and Zach Rosson all had one hit each.

Garretson earned the win for Cumberland, giving up four hits and one run over the final 4.2 innings. He walked one and struck out nine. Gordon went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Hunt added a pair of hits and four RBIs to lead the Phoenix offense.

This is the final game for the 14 seniors involved with the Red Raider program: Reed Smith, Christian Stekl, Michael Callahan, Matt Martin, Dustin Gaither, Mitchell Kresnik, Victor Mena, Nick Stimson, David Rowley, Tanner Ortlund, Robby Laughlin, John Wawro, Raphael DeHoyos and Ryan Penny.

Medford Oregon —Kayla Tindall pitched a two-hitter in leading Northwestern College to a 4-2 win over #15 St.Francis (Ill.) in the first game of the Southern Oregon Bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round played Monday afternoon in Medford, Ore.

The win propels the Red Raiders into a winner’s bracket game on Tuesday, May 15 at 11am (CST) against top-seed and No.8 Southern Oregon. Northwestern improves to 36-11 on the year, matching the 2006 team for the sixth most wins on program history.

Tindall earned her team-leading 18th win of the season, improving to 18-6, in pitching her 21st complete game of the season. She held down the high-scoring St.Francis offense to two hits and one earned run while striking out seven. Tindall has 433 strikeouts for her career, second most all-time in program history.

Northwestern totaled eight hits and pushed four runs across in the fifth inning to break up a scoreless game. Emma Schnell led off with a single and was lifted for a courtesy runner, Renee Choquette, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Elliott. Madison Beaver followed with a single, advancing Choquette to third, and both runners came around to score after a safety squeeze by Amanda Everhart and throwing error by St.Francis. Jessica Sandbulte and Emily Bosch came through with RBI doubles later in the inning to put the Red Raiders in front 4-0.

St.Francis scored a run in both the sixth and seventh innings on a solo home run by Jensen Tchorzynski and sac fly by Katelyn Rolniak.

Beaver and Sandbulte totaled two hits each for Head Coach Chris Nachtigall’s squad. Four players, Everhart, Tindall, Bosch and Schnell, had one hit each.

Morghan Dieringer (22-3) lost for just the third time in 25 decisions, giving up all eight hits and four runs while striking out eight. The Fighting Saints will play Simpson (Calif.) in an elimination game on Tuesday.

May 14, 2018 - 4:31 pm - Posted in Sports

Northwestern College gave up a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to fall to Taylor (Ind.) 2-1 in the first game of the Upland Bracket of the 2018 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round played Monday morning at Winterholter Field in Upland, Ind.

The Red Raiders, now 30-19, will now play either No.2 seed Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) or No.3 Cumberland (Tenn.) in an elimination game on Tuesday at 11 am (CST).

The Red Raiders held a 1-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, just two outs away from the win, when Taylor began its rally. Nathan Targgart reached base off an error and was lifted for pinch runner Jonathan Foster, who advanced to second on a stolen base. Tanner Watson followed with a deep fly ball to left field that was misplayed by the Red Raiders, scoring Foster from second and put Watson all the way at third with one out. Following a pitching change, Sam Wiese delivered the game-winner on a 1-2 pitch from Northwestern closer Tanner Ortlund, hitting a walkoff single to right-centerfield that scored Watson.

Noah McBride (6-3) pitched a gem despite being tagged with the loss, giving up five hits and no earned runs in 8.1 innings. The freshman walked two, struck out two and kept Taylor’s hitters off balance all game long with a mix of fastballs and off-speed pitches.

Northwestern mustered only three hits, two infield singles by A.J. Nitzschke and a solo home run by Christian Stekl, his fourth of the season.

Scoreless after five innings, Stekl produced the Red Raiders lone run with a two-out, solo home run off Taylor starter Matt Patton. Northwestern put baserunners on in each of the final three innings but was unable to plate a valuable insurance run.

Taylor had a great chance to score and tie the game in the bottom of the sixth when Josh Lane doubled and stole third on a close play with one out. Targgart then hit a fly ball that was caught by Northwestern rightfielder A.J. Nitzschke, who threw out Lane at home for the double play.

Kole Barkhaus, the third Taylor pitcher, earned the win (3-1), giving one hit and two walks in the final three innings. Patton went 5.2 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run and Rob Fox recorded the final out of the sixth inning in the only batter he faced.

Taylor improves to 44-14 and will play top-seed Oklahoma Wesleyan tonight at 7:30pm.

May 14, 2018 - 3:06 pm - Posted in Sports

Benjamin Granstra, of Sheldon, has signed a letter of intent to continue his football career at Northwestern College next fall.

Granstra is a 6’0″, 195-pound running back and linebacker who played four years for the Western Christian High School football team. Granstra finished his storied high school football career as the Wolfpack all-time leading rusher with 4,814 yards on the ground and their all-time leading scorer with 70 touchdowns. He also holds the single season rushing record with 1,809 yards. Granstra is a first-team all-state selection that led the Wolfpack to a 2016 state championship, where he was the title game MVP, and was also picked to play in the 2018 Iowa Shrine Bowl. He plans to major in Agriculture Business and is the son of Darin and Lori.

“Ben is a phenomenal athlete and competitor who can make an immediate impact on either side of the ball for us,” commented Northwestern head coach Matt McCarty. “We are thrilled that Ben will be part of our Red Raider football program and look forward to the impact he will have on our team and campus community.”

May 14, 2018 - 9:20 am - Posted in Sports

Northwestern College placed two women’s golfers on the 2018 All-Conference team as announced by the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) office Friday.

Chanda Zomermaand earned first team honors after being named honorable mention last season. Zomermaand led the Red Raiders with an 84.9 scoring average, recording one top five and three top 10 finishes. The sophomore placed ninth at the 72-hole GPAC Championship and has an 86.5 career average.

Anna Perrenoud claimed the postseason honor for the first time, earning first team accolades. The junior ranked third on the Red Raiders with an 89.7 scoring average, finishing in the top 10 in one meet. Perrenoud finished 13th at the GPAC Championship.

Northwestern, under the direction of Head Coach Catherin Van Der Weide, placed third at the GPAC Championship.

May 14, 2018 - 9:20 am - Posted in Sports

Justin Kraft headlines a list of four Red Raider players, along with Head Coach Aaron Aberson, to take home postseason honors as announced by the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) earlier today.

Kraft was named the GPAC Player of the Year for the second time (also in 2015) and earned all-conference honors for the fourth straight year. Kraft, the individual champion at the 2018 GPAC Championship, tied for the team-best scoring average (75.5) this season. The senior totaled four top five and six top 10 finishes, leading the Red Raiders to their fourth straight GPAC Championship. Kraft has a career scoring average of 75.0.

Aberson was selected as the GPAC Coach of the Year for the fourth straight and sixth time overall (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). He led the Red Raiders to their fourth conference title and fourth straight NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship appearance.

Two additional Red Raiders, seniors Evan Schuler and Colton Kooima, were also named to the 15-player first team. Schuler, now a three-time all-conference selection, tied for fifth at the 72-hole GPAC Championship, his best finish at the conference meet in four seasons. Schuler ranked third on the team with a 75.8 scoring average and turned in three top five and six top 10 finishes. Kooima posted a 76.2 scoring average this spring and earned all-conference honors for the fourth year. Now a three-time first team pick, Kooima shot a 69-68 in the final two rounds of the GPAC Championship, playing a key role in the Red Raiders come-from-behind win.

Austin Retiz was one of four players to be receive honorable mention honors. Reitz, now a two-time all-conference recipient, matched Kraft for team-best honors with a season average of 75.5. Reitz won one meet (Red Raider Cup) and recorded three top five and six top 10 finishes.

Northwestern will begin play at NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship next week (May 15) at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.