Missouri Western athletic teams have been up and down throughout the years, it looks as if football success might be here to stay
As much pride as I have in the athletic programs at this wonderful university, I have recently caught myself wondering if the â€œMâ€ in MWSU may actually stand for â€œMâ€ediocre, or â€œMâ€iddle-of the road or run of the â€œMâ€ill.Â
Missouri Western sports are like a carniÂval roller coaster.Â Occasionally they go up in the air, but they never get high enough to give you a lasting thrill.Â The majority of the ride consists of simple ups and downs.Â And when you get off, you find yourself disÂappointed, half-sick and ready to go home.
Our womenâ€™s team sports consist of softÂball, soccer, volleyball and basketball.Â The softball team could be considered one of the minor ups.Â Their 2007 record was a respectable 34-26.Â However, a simple click to the MWSU soccer home page will bring any excited fan back down to reality.Â The newly formed soccer team is still strugÂgling.Â They are currently sitting in a roller coaster dip at a disappointing 2-11.
The MWSU volleyball girls are a roller coaster ride all their own.Â They have some interesting highlights, such as Alyssa Bergâ€™s 1000 kills for her career. But their 9-16 record quickly reminds us that weâ€™re still on this ride.
Last spring we saw some hope of getting off this endless, sickening ride when our womenâ€™s basÂketball team had a nearly perfect season. They were ranked as high as second in the nation, and they finÂished with a stunning 30-4 record. Unfortunately, their season ended sadly in a second round playoff exitÂ at home in the Looney Complex on a last second lay-up to an impressive Texas A&M Commerce team.
After the most exciting hill in our ride, the Missouri Western coaster began to fall apart at the wheels.Â Womenâ€™s coach Josh Keister bolted to join a rising division 1-A program at TCU.Â Shortly after Keisterâ€™s exit, Mark Linder, the athletic director who had been working to reconstruct a bigger and betÂter Missouri Western sports roller coaster ride left as well. He took a job that was a little closer to home.Â Now the womenâ€™s basÂketball team is facing an NCAA investigaÂtion regarding posÂsible violations.
Â On the menâ€™s side of sports, our baseball team finished about like our softball team.Â They were a respectÂable, but still someÂwhat average 28-23. Again, their semi-success is negated by another disappointing season by our menâ€™s basketball team.Â The menâ€™s basketball team finished under .500 with a 12-15 record.
The only thing that is keeping me on this disappointing ride is the small glimmer of hope the MWSU football team offers.Â They have been a bit of an up and down ride on their own this year with a loss to NWMSU followed by an exciting victory over the ever-dominant Pittsburg State Gorillas.Â Coming back home, the Griffons posted a loss to Washburn, but they followed it up with another impressive win in Hays, Kan.
The key here is that this is a very young football team.Â Some inconsistency is expected.Â The Griffons are currently standing fairly impressive at 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference.Â So for now, I have hope.Â And I will continue to ride out this carnival coaster of mediocrity because off in the distance I see a young football team which appears to be building a better ride for the future.