Not home for the holidays

by Ben Frotscher

While the weather is just plain crappy here in Iowa, some of Simpson’s sports teams will be spending the holiday season outside of Iowa.

The Simpson wrestling team will be making their annual trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete in the Citrus Invitational and Citrus Duals from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.

Wrestling coach Ron Peterson said that both tournaments will be held at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, but that another college hosts the tournament there.

“It was a tradition started by coach Darrah,” said Peterson. (Bob Darrah was wrestling coach for six years at Simpson and is currently the women’s golf coach.)

The Storm will be competing against some top Division III competition while in Florida.

Peterson said that from the time finals are done, until Dec. 26, there are no meets or practices scheduled for the Storm.

“We hope that they train in their local high school or come back here and practice together,” said Peterson.

While the wrestling team enjoys the sun, the women’s basketball team will be hitting the slopes of Colorado. The team will be playing at William Penn University on Dec. 13 and in the Embassy Suites Holiday Tournament held on Dec. 29 and 30 in Colorado Springs.

“These types of tournaments help us keep in shape and they allow us to do a little site seeing,” said women’s basketball coach Brian Niemuth.

The Storm will be playing LaGrange College in the first round the tournament and will play either John Carroll University or Colorado College in their final game.

Niemuth said the team will be going to see places around the Colorado Springs area such as the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center.

“It is a tournament that we haven’t been at before,” said Niemuth.

Niemuth also likes playing holiday tournaments because it doesn’t take away from the academic studies of his student-athletes. Last year the team went to Las Vegas and next year, Niemuth plans to go to Los Angeles.

While the wrestlers and the women’s basketball team travel outside of the Central Time zone, the men’s basketball team will be staying closer to home over the holiday season. The men’s basketball team will be traveling in the Midwest over Christmas break to the Quad Cities and the Chicago area. On Dec. 16, the Storm will be facing Augustana College, who is ranked ninth in the country.

Following this game, the team will be traveling to the Chicago area to the Press Publication Bluejay Classic on the campus of Elmhurst College on Dec. 19 and 20.

Men’s basketball coach, Bruce Wilson, said that this is the off year for their trip, but he knows that the team needs to be competitive while away from classes.

“It takes two years to fundraise,” said Wilson. “We schedule our trip every other year. You want to keep playing as often as you can.”

Last year the team traveled to Phoenix and next year, Wilson said that he is planning on going to San Diego.

Other teams on campus, like the cheerleaders, currently plan on taking the Christmas break off. Head cheerleading coach, Debra Lord, said that the team has just been so busy with the football team making the playoffs and the Drake versus Simpson men’s basketball game that they hadn’t even thought about getting together and practicing.