Many students find second home with Storm athletics

by Ashley KatchStaff Writer

Simpson College athletics benefits in many different sports from Indianola native athletes.

Two Indianola High School graduates are seniors on the softball team this year. Seniors Calie Hohneke and Amanda Armstrong are both strong performers for the Storm.

Hohneke, who pitches and plays third base for the Storm, chose Simpson for many different reasons.

“I chose to go to Simpson to be close to my family and because I really liked Coach Christowski’s coaching style,” Hohneke said. “I always went to his camps when I was younger and learning how to pitch. I also wanted to be close to Simpson so that my family and friends could come and watch me play.”

Armstrong took a different approach when deciding to come to Simpson.

“Before I went to Simpson, I actually went to Buena Vista for two years,” Armstrong said. “I transferred here last year because I got a little homesick and missed being around my family.”

Freshman cross country standout Catie Ellingson is also an Indianola native. According to Ellingson, her family had a big impact on her decision to attend Simpson.

“It is nice to have my family around for advice and support,” Ellingson said. “My parents and sister know a lot about Simpson and college in general. That has been a plus for me. I decided to attend Simpson because it is a small college and my sister is here as well.”

This year the football team gained an Indianola native as well. Junior Quarterback Travis Dietz transfered from NCAA Division II Wayne State. While at Wayne State he was 96-for-230 for 1,493 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Simpson freshman Amy Schuster was second team All-Conference volleyball player and is also from Indianola.

“I chose to come to Simpson because it is close to home,” Schuster said. “In comparison to other colleges it just came out on top.”

Schuster feels that Simpson was the right fit for her.

“I feel like I know more people in the stands at our games because I am from Indianola,” Schuster said. “I felt close to the girls who I met during my times at Simpson. It is a successful program and something that I wanted to be a part of.”

Hohneke also feels a lot of encouragement from the Indianola community.

“I feel that I have a lot of support because I know a lot of people from town,” Hohneke said. “I grew up here and all of my supporters are here. I feel like we [the softball team[ get more support from Indianola, especially when you have people that are originally from here. I have also always been really close to my family and they have always enjoyed watching me play softball. So, it’s very nice to have them around.”

Armstrong agrees with Hohneke.

“I feel like I get a ton of support from my community,” Armstrong said. “It’s nice to see familiar faces out at my softball games. While I was at Buena Vista, it was a pretty far drive so my family wasn’t able to make it to a lot of games nor did I really have any fans that came since I wasn’t from around there. Now that I’m back home, my family is able to come watch me which means a lot to me.”

Armstrong sees many benefits having her family close.

“I love playing the game knowing that my friends and family are there watching and supporting me” Armstrong said. “I love working softball clinics and seeing familiar faces of young girls who know me.”

Whether it’s softball, football, volleyball, or cross country, all of these Indianola natives dedicate their time to Simpson College athletics for their families, Simpson and the local Indianola community.