Competing for the holidays

by Dustin Smothers

While most Simpson students go home after fall finals for Christmas break, many Simpson athletes travel to warmer climates to play against very unfamiliar opponents.

When a team travels a long distance, it builds stronger bonds, sees amazing places and gains a lot of experience.

During this year’s Christmas break, four teams will travel: the men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling and swimming teams.

Each season Simpson athletes are given the opportunity to travel around the country, to see places they haven’t seen and play teams they haven’t heard of.

The wrestling team will be getting quite a bit of work in at the Citrus Invitational and Citrus Duals in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. on Dec. 29 and 30. Fellow Iowa Conference foes, Central and Coe, will also be attending these meets.

Wrestling coach Ron Peterson said these meets not only help keep the team in shape over the long Christmas break, but also allow it to gain experience.

“We get to compete with people from all over the country,” Peterson said.

Peterson also said that the team enjoys the trips because they see some warmer climates and new places.

“We use [the trips] as a recruiting tool as well,” Peterson said. “They get to travel a bit and see good competition”

The swim team, like the wrestlers, will be traveling to Florida over Christmas break. The team will be traveling to Key Largo, Fla. for the Orange Bowl Classic, which takes place on Dec. 18.

While the wrestling and swimming teams are traveling to Florida, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are traveling west.

The men’s basketball team will be headed out of Indianola for Las Vegas. Once there, it will compete against the Blue Knights of Mt. St. Mary’s of New York in the Adidas D-III Shootout opener. The tournament runs from Dec. 21-22.

The Storm women’s basketball team will be taking on the California Lutheran Regals on Dec. 28 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The team will also be traveling to Claremont, Calif. to hook up with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas.

While the teams may be away from home, Peterson said traveling is an excellent opportunity for the athletes because they get to see places far away from Iowa, and gain experience by competing againt different opponents. Most importantly, the teams don’t have to miss school to play.