It is a great time to be a Griffon, especially in sports. All of Missouri Western sports at this point in the season are already showing big improvements from last season.
Take football for example. They’ve basically been stepping over opponents. At this point last year they were already at a record of 2-2. This year, although no one wants to say it and jinx it, they have a legitimate shot at staying undefeated for quite some time. Yes, our toughest games will be near the end of the regular season, but it’s not crazy to think we could be going into the toughest game of the year at Pittsburg State being 7-0 on the season. Even though we’ve lost some key players to injury, (one that may or may not have been a cheap ass shot) our depth is as solid as any teams. This is the best Western football has looked in a while. This is no doubt the best time to shine if Western wants to prove something. Two players have already been shining bright. Senior defensive end David Bass will be adding onto Western’s all-time sack record for the rest of the season. After this weekend, senior running back Michael Hill will be doing the same with all-time rushing yards. Don’t forget that the Griffons are ranked No. 7 in the nation at the moment. Pittsburg State has the top spot, Washburn is currently sitting in at No. 9 and Northwest Missouri State is in No. 12. Those three teams happen to be three of our last four games. The MIAA being nicknamed the SEC of Division II is no joke.
Although volleyball has hit a rough patch as of lately, there are plenty of things to be happy about looking towards the future. First off, this team is already better at this point in the season than they were last year. They are currently 7-4, when last year they were 5-6. We lost some important players in the off season, but that didn’t seem to push us backwards any. This team is young, explosive, and when playing confident and smart they look like they could beat anybody. The problem is this team is young. Depending how you look at it, it may not be a problem at all. These young bloods, especially the freshman class, have ridiculous offensive potential. It doesn’t matter who is killing it, because they all can do it. No one wants to play a team that has multiple dynamic kill hitters to choose from. There is no one better to lead this young team of hard hitters than Stephanie Hattey, who is quietly climbing up a record board herself. Still early in her junior season, Hattie is already sitting in fourth place as the all time assist leader at Western and will likely move up before the season is over.
So much for Western soccer being picked in the preseason to finish dead last in the conference. This soccer team is doing nothing but proving people wrong. The girls are only one win away from tying their number of wins for all of last season. Currently sitting at 3-3, they look like they are going to keep on getting better. Like volleyball, there is some talented youth on this team. Combine that youth with the veteran players who are hungry for a winning season and this team could ruin some other teams season hopes. Sophomore Katie Kempf, who has four goals on the season already, has been providing the offensive fire power that has lacked in recent years. Senior goalie Kelly Voigts has been the boss she usually is, with 39 saves on the season and assisting in the Griffons two shutout wins. This team cannot be taken lightly and will continue to play with a huge chip on their shoulder.