Missouri Southern Athletics Timeline
Missouri Southern becomes a four-year institution and joins the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Southern wins NAIA Division II Football Championship, downing
Northwestern (Iowa) College 21 - 14.
Women's athletic program developed at Southern.
Lions baseball earns first trip to NAIA World Series, finishing second.
Women's basketball wins NAIA District 16 and Area IV Tournaments, and finishes second in the nation.
Southern changes membership from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II and joins the MIAA.
Lions baseball finishes second in the NCAA Division II World Series.
Volleyball finishes the season with a 32-11 record and places
second in the MIAA Tournament.
Softball wins the NCAA Division II national championship.
Lions football wins its first MIAA Championship and advances to the NCAA Division II Playoffs
Men's basketball wins MIAA Postseason Tournament and advances
to the NCAA South Central Regional.
Women's basketball wins MIAA Postseason Tournament and advances
to the NCAA South Central Regional.
Six Southern track & field athletes qualify for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships, with three All-Americans and one national champion (Tongula Walker in the triple jump).
Men's wins a share of its first MIAA Championship.
Lions football player Justin Taylor wins a $10,000 scholarship for Missouri Southern
for being named a Burger King Scholar-Athlete.
Softball team wins its fourth MIAA championship
and finishes second in South Central Regional.
Men's Soccer wins MIAA Championship
Women's Cross Country team wins its first MIAA Championship
and finishes second in the Great Lakes Regional.
Senior Sonia Eudy goes on to place second at NCAA Championships.
Kevin Dotson wins national title in the high jump by clearing 7-1 1/4
at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Men's basketball team goes 30-3, 16-2 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Coach Robert Corn's squad wins the MIAA regular season title, the MIAA Postseason Tournament
championship and the South Central Regional crown. The Lions advance to the NCAA Division II
Final Four before bowing out to eventual national champion, Metro State of Denver. Corn is named
Coach of the Year by the Division II Bulletin.
Softball finishes the season at 52-12, setting an MIAA record for wins in a single season.
Softball claims it's fifth MIAA title and a berth in the North Central Regional before finishing the year with a loss to the eventual national champions, Nebraska-Omaha.
Men's Cross Country squad upset Central Missouri State to win its first MIAA title, and would finish second in the regional, earning its first-ever trip to the Division II national meet. Tom Rutledge was named MIAA Cross Country Coach of the Year, his first such award.
Geoff VanDeusen also took home
conference coach of the year honors for his work with the women's
Southern women's soccer improved from 1-16-1 in the program's first season while giving up 77 goals, to 5-11-0 in 2000 and cutting opponents' goals to 33.
The Lions baseball team earned its first regional berth since 1995, and completed the season with a 36-20 record. Southern finished second in the MIAA with a mark of 21-7. Of Southern's 20 losses, six came to eventual national runner-up Central Missouri State, three to World Series qualifier SIU-Edwardsville, four to NAIA World Series qualifier Dallas Baptist, and one to Division I Arkansas. The Lions did manage to snap a 21-game losing streak to Central Missouri by downing the Mules in Joplin for the first time since 1991.
Robert Corn became the winningest coach in Missouri Southern men's basketball history with a February win at Missouri Western. Corn finished the year with 184 wins in his Missouri Southern tenure.
The men's cross country team tied Truman State for their second straight MIAA Championship. Southern went on to finish third in the region, and 19th at the Division II national meet.
Junior quarterback Josh Chapman became only the fourth Division II player to eclipse 1,000 yards both rushing and passing in the same season. Chapman finished with 1,025 yards on the ground and 1,623 yards through the air.
The women's soccer team posted its first winning season. Southern finished the year 10-8-2 overall, and 8-4 in the MIAA. Just two seasons prior, the team finished 1-16-1 in their first year.
Southern volleyball notched its first winning season since the 1996 campaign, finishing 21-9 overall, and 9-7 in the MIAA.
In men's basketball, head coach Robert Corn notched his 200th career win with an 83-74 home victory against Washburn. The Lions finished 20-8 for their third straight 20-plus win season, and had 71 wins over a three-year span.
The women's basketball team finished 17-11 under first-year head coach Maryann Mitts, its first winning season since 1995-96. Southern also won its first MIAA tournament game since 1996 with a 69-65 road victory at Pittsburg State. That win was also coach Mitts' 100th of her career.
Lions baseball coach Warren Turner recorded his 750th career win with a 4-3 home victory over Truman State. The Lions finished the season 29-20, 18-9 in the MIAA which was good for second place.
Senior quarterback Josh Chapman was named MIAA Offensive Player of the Year for his outstanding season which saw him become the only D-II player ever to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in the same season. Chapman also finished his career as the only D-II player in history to rush for 3,000 yards and pass for 5,000 yards during a career.
The Lions cross country team won its third consecutive MIAA title, and Tom Rutledge was named MIAA Coach of the Year. Brian Lyons brought home the individual MIAA championship. The Lions won the Disney World Classic, went on to finish second in the region, and seventh nationally.
Sophomore forward Ashley Munnelly was named the MIAA Women's Soccer Most Valuable Player. Munnelly, who was named to the all-region team as well, totaled 19 goals to lead all MIAA players. Southern women's soccer notched its second straight winning season, finishing 15-11-2, and 7-3-2 in the MIAA.
For the first time ever, the MIAA moved its basketball postseason tournaments to a neutral site. The Sonic/MIAA Championships were played at Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium, a building that has hosted more basketball national championships than any in America. The women's basketball team bowed out in a first-round game with Emporia State. The Lions lost in the semifinals for the third consecutive year. The Southern men finished 19-10 overall and ended with 90 wins over a four-year span.
At the D-II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, senior Seth Isringhausen won the national championship in the pole vault with a height of 16'-8.75". It marked just the second indoor national title for a Lion since 1990.
Southern's softball team made its 14th consecutive appearance in the MIAA Postseason Tournament.
The Missouri Southern soccer programs both hired new coaches. Former Lion Kiley Cirillo, who played at MSSU from 1997-2000, was brought on as the seventh head coach in Southern's men's soccer history. Trevor Wachsman joined MSSU from Northern Colorado and became the second head coach in Southern women's soccer history.
In August of 2003, the institution officially became Missouri Southern State University.
Missouri Southern officially dropped the "Lady" from the nickname of its women's teams. All Missouri Southern athletics squads are now known as "Lions".
The men's cross country team won its fourth consecutive MIAA title. The team went on to finish fourth in the South Central Region to again qualify for nationals, where the Lions placed 19th. The women's cross country team finished second in the MIAA meet, second in the region and qualified for the national championships as a team for the first time ever. The women went on to place 20th in the nation.
John Ware was named the eighth head coach in Lions' football history on Dec. 23, 2003. Ware joined the Southern staff from MIAA rival Truman State University, where he was head coach for nine seasons.
Trevor Wachsman's women's soccer team finished the season 10-8-2 overall and 8-5-1 in the MIAA. The team was listed among the top five most improved NCAA-II teams in the nation.
Lions football under first-year head coach John Ware completed the biggest single season improvement in Southern history. The Lions finished 5-6 overall, one year after going 1-10.
The MSSU men's cross country team qualified for the national meet for the fifth consecutive season, finishing 22nd.
Baseball coach Warren Turner was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in January. The Lions beat Grand View (Iowa) 13-1 on March 5, giving "W.T." 800 career wins at Missouri Southern.
Missouri Southern named former SMS assistant coach Chris Willis as volleyball coach, replacing Debbie Traywick, who coached the Lions for 16 years. Southern finished 14-18 overall and 6-10 in the MIAA in Willis' first season.
Missouri Southern's men's track & field team finished sixth at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, led by a 1-2-3 national finish in the pole vault. Junior Matt Campbell was crowned national champion in the event after clearing a school record height of 17 feet, 2.75 inches.
The MSSU women's soccer team continued their rapid improvement, 11-5-4, 7-3-4 in the MIAA which tied them for second place. The 11 wins ties a school record while the second place finish in the MIAA is the highest ever for a Lions team. Goalkeeper Kaney Tyler was named MIAA Most Valuable Player while Nikki Llewellyn was named MIAA Freshman of the Year.
Lion football beat Truman State, 41-17, at Homecoming in one of the most emotional games in school history. The victory came just four days after the sudden passing of head coach John Ware. Coach Ware died of a heart attack while at work on September 27. Coach Ware was in just his second season as football coach at Missouri Southern.
MSSU named Aron Potter their new head softball coach in June. Potter joined the Lions after serving as head coach at Coffeyville Community College for the past three seasons. Potter is the sixth head coach in Southern softball history.
After an exhaustive national search, the Lions announced Bart Tatum as their new head football coach on December 13, 2005. Tatum replaces the late John Ware who passed away on September 27, 2005. Tatum joins the MSSU family after serving as an assistant coach at MIAA rival Northwest Missouri State for the past 12 seasons.
The Lion men s cross country team continued their domination of the MIAA, winning their fifth league title in the last six years on October 22 in Pittsburg, Kan. Five Lions finished in the top 17 to claim the title for Southern. Southern went on to finished sixth at regionals and qualify for the national meet.
The Southern women s basketball team finished the season 16-12, 8-8 in the MIAA. The 8-8 mark gave the Lions a fourth-place finish in the conference, their highest finish since the 1995-96 season. It was the fourth winning season under fifth-year head coach Maryann Mitts and it marked the team's fifth consecutive season with 15-plus victories.
Missouri Southern's men's track & field team finished ninth in the final indoor team standings at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, Mass. The Lions were led by pole vaulter Matt Campbell, who won his second national championship and first indoors, as Missouri Southern finished 1-2 in the pole vault event.
The MSSU women's soccer team continued continued to succeed as the Lions defeated two ranked programs in 16th ranked Washburn and 15th ranked Truman State. The Lions were ranked 21st in Division II when the team made its initial NCAA Tournament appearance, falling to Washburn in a shootout. The Lions tied a school-record for victories in the season and ran off a school-best 11 match unbeaten-streak that ran from Sept. 17-Oct. 29. Southern was 8-0-3 over that span.
Lions football ushered in a new era when Bart Tatum was named the new head football coach at the school in December of 2005. Southern went 5-6 in coach Tatum's first season. The team won its first three games, defeated perennial MIAA power Central Missouri at home and took home a thrilling, last-second victory at Emporia State in the final game of the season. Senior offensive lineman Allen Barbre became the highest drafted player ever to wear a Lion uniform when the Green Bay Packers took the Granby native in the fourth round. Barbre was a consensus All-American.
The volleyball team started off 19-2, earned its first (and only) trip to the NCAA tournament that year, and cracked the AVCA Top 25 for the first time in 14 years. Tessa Woods was named a first-team All-MIAA selection and was also named to the All-South Central Region Team.
The Lion men s cross country team continued their domination of the MIAA, winning their sixth league title in the last seven years on October 21 in Bolivar, Mo. Four Lions finished in the top 10 to claim the title for Southern. Southern went on to finished second at regionals and finished 18th in the national meet.
The Lion women's cross country team won its first MIAA Title since 1998 when Southern placed two runners in the top ten and four in the top 15 to take home the trophy. Coach Patty Vavra was named the MIAA Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year for the team's success, as the Lions went on to finish fourth at the regional.
The Southern women's basketball team went 14-13 on the season and continued the success of coach Maryann Mitts. The Lions started the season 8-0 and enjoyed a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. The Lions went once again to the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City and the season saw the young Lions defeat then No. 2 ranked Missouri Western 75-69 at home.
Missouri Southern's men's track & field team won the MIAA Indoor Track and Field title at Warrensburg and finished 17th at the NCAA Division II National Meet. The Lions finished fourth, sixth and eighth in the pole vault. Junior thrower Jessica Selby remained undefeated in the MIAA Shot Put and finished third in the weight throw. Selby placed second nationally in the shot put earning All-American status. Selby followed up her indoor success winning the shot put and the weight throw at the MIAA Outdoor Championships and finished fourth in the shot put and sixth in the hammer at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The MSSU women's soccer team started the season ranked 19th nationally and won its first four matches. The team finished 11-5-3 overall, including a 6-0 shutout of Emporia State to conclude the season. Junior midfielder Nikki Llewellyn became the all-time leading goal scorer in MSSU women's soccer history, scoring two goals in the final game. Senior goalkeeper Kaney Tyler finished her career as MSSU's all-time leader in saves, shutouts, goals-against-average and minutes.
In coach Bart Tatum's second season as head coach at Southern, the Lions finished with the program's first winning season since the 1997 campaign as Southern went 6-4 overall, including a shutout of Fort Hays State on Homecoming and a blowout victory of Truman on Senior Day. Senior Colin Bado became the the Lions all-time leading receiver in total receptions. His 84 receptions in 2007 raised his career Southern record to 250, placing him third all-time in the MIAA and 13th all time in Division II history. His 2,789 career receiving yards, trail only Southern hall of famer and former Denver Bronco, Rod Smith (3,122).
The Lion men s cross country team continued their domination of the MIAA, winning their seventh league title in the last eight years and third in a row, when Southern took home the title in Kirksville. Dustin Dixon and Dustin Miller finished 1-2 at the MIAA meet as the Lions placed four runners in the top 11 and all five scoring runners in the top 16. The Lions would go on to host the NCAA South Central Regional and the Division II National Championships at the Missouri Southern cross country course. The Lions defeated eventual national champion Abilene Christian to take home the regional title and placed 12th in the National Meet. Dixon finished the last 1,500 meters of the national race with a broken bone in his leg, but still placed 21st to be named All-American.
The Lion women's cross country team won its second MIAA Title in a row when Southern placed four runners in the top ten and all five scorers in the top 19 to take home the second title in as many years. The Lions would go on to make it a sweep at the Regional taking home the trophy as Southern placed three in the top eight and four in the top 14 competing at their home course. Kimi Shank would earn All-MIAA, All-Region and All-American honors as she helped Southern finish 13th at the national meet held at the MSSU Cross Country Course.
The Missouri Southern men's and women's basketball programs saw great success as the men went 17-11 and 11-7 in the MIAA, while the women 18-10, and 9-9 in the MIAA. The Lions' women started the season 9-0 and raced as high as second in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional rankings. They were ranked as high as 16th nationally and were ranked between two and six in all five weeks the NCAA regional poll was released. On the men's side, the Lions saw head coach Robert Corn pick up his second MIAA Coach of the Year honors as the Lions, picked to finish last in the preseason poll, finished fourth overall in the final MIAA standings. Vincent Ateba was a first-team All-MIAA selection and Skyler Bowliln was the MIAA's freshman of the year.
The Missouri Southern baseball program ushered in a new era of coaching as following the retirement of longtime head coach Warren Turner, former Lion Bryce Darnell was named head coach. Darnell had previously served as head coach of nearby Webb City High School winning two state titles in his tenure. The Lions improved in wins, both overall and in conference play, and saw the young squad play one of the most difficult schedules in NCAA Division II. The team won 16 games in MIAA play, including an exciting 3-2 win over MIAA Champ and Division II World Series Participant Central Missouri.
Missouri Southern's women's track and field team made collected the MIAA's triple crown, taking home the team titles in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track and field. Jessica Selby continued her dominance of the throws in the MIAA, becoming an eight-time indoor and outdoor undefeated shot put champion. She continued that success at the national level, earning All-American status in both indoor and outdoor seasons, and taking home the national title in the hammer throw at the outdoor championships. The Lions men picked up 15 All-MIAA selections in the indoor season and ten All-MIAA selections at the outdoor meet, while having three All-Americans in indoor and two in the outdoor season.
The Missouri Southern football team finished year three under head coach Bart Tatum with a 4-7 record, including wins against Harding and Haskell to start the season, as well as wins in conference play over Emporia State and Fort Hays State. Senior quarterback Adam Hinspeter finished his career as one of, if not the best, quarterbacks in Missouri Southern history. He put his name in the record books as tops in completions, passing yards, total offense and completion percentage. He set the school record for passing yardage in a game (422) and tied the record for touchdowns in a game (five) in the season opener against Harding. Hinspeter also ranks first all-time in the MIAA in completions, third in career passing yards, fourth in total offense and sixth in passing touchdowns. Junior linebacker Jared Brawner led the MIAA in tackles and was named first-team All-MIAA and All-Region, while being named to three different All-American squads. He finished the season ranked 10th in Division II in tackles per game. The football family, however, suffered heartbreak as sophomore running back Renard Johnson was in a fatal car accident in January when he was traveling back home to visit his family in Oklahoma.
The men's and women's cross country teams continued their success as both programs were nationally ranked the entire season and saw solid team performances at the Division II National Championships with the men placing 22nd and the women 16th. The women won their third-straight MIAA cross country title and their second-straight NCAA regional title in a dominant season that saw the team place no lower than second in five of the seven meets it competed in. Junior Kimi Shank was named an All-American after a ninth place finish in the national meet. The men had another strong campaign, placing second at the annual Southern Stampede. The Lions placed third at the conference meet and second at the regional meet, running a stable of young, but talented athletes.
The volleyball team battled through another tough MIAA campaign and played one of the toughest schedules in recent memory. Two Lions earned All-MIAA status in a season that saw five MIAA teams ranked in the top 16 nationally, with six teams making the eight team NCAA Regional Tournament. Junior libero Kari Hammerbacher and sophomore hitter Ashlee Russell were named honorable mention All-MIAA. Senior Sarah Joles etched her name into the Southern record books. Joles finished her career with 4,219 assists, ranking second-all time, just 409 off the school record. She ranks seventh alltime with 157 career service aces holds the school record for assists in a match (73).
The women's soccer squad wrapped up the 2008 campaign in style with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Emporia State on senior Nikki Llewellyn's team-leading, fifth game winning goal of the season. The Lions finished the season as winners of two of their last three matches. It was a record-breaking senior season for Llewellyn, as she became the Lions' all-time leader in goals scored (49) and points (109). Llewellyn's 11 goals on the season led the Lions for the fourth-consecutive year. Ironically, Llewellyn scored the Lions' first goal of her freshman season and the Lions' final tally of her senior year. The Lions had four All-MIAA selections, including Llewellyn, freshman Audrey Copenhaver, senior Elise Cairo and junior Stephanie Heines.
The men's soccer team fought through another tough Southwest Soccer Conference season as two teams from the league advanced to the NCAA regional round. Southern picked up a first-team All-Conference selection in goalkeeper Jon Hansen. Senior Austin Whiles was a second-team pick. The team, however, had more heartbreak than needed as it was announced in January that Missouri Southern would discontinue men's soccer as a varsity sport. A little over two weeks later, more heartbreak hit the Lions as Hansen collapsed during an intramural basketball game and passed away after an apparent heart attack.
The men's basketball team had another successful season under longtime head coach Robert Corn. The Lions started the season strong, winning their first 12 games and setting a new Missouri Southern record in the process for the most wins to start a season. Southern vaulted to the No. 10 national ranking in Division II, including a stunning victory over then No. 22 Central Missouri at home that saw the Lions come from 14 down in the final three minutes and win the game on a buzzer beater. The season saw Corn win his 300th career game and earn his 16th (11th straight) trip to the MIAA Tournament. Southern garnered its second-straight freshman of the year as Jason Adams joined Skyler Bowlin in giving the Lions back-to-back awards.
The women's basketball team and coach Maryann Mitts had another banner season, racing to its eighth straight winning season with a 19-10 overall mark. Mitts became the all-time winningest coach in Lions history when Southern defeated Northwest Missouri 65-47 in Maryville. The win was her 129th career win at southern, passing Jim Phillips for tops on the list. Mitts finished the season with 135 wins to date in her Southern career and also passed the 200 career win plateau as a collegiate coach. The Lions advanced the MIAA Tournament as the fifth seed and defeated the fourth seed Central Missouri, 62-57. Senior Danielle DeVader capped off one of the most impressive careers in a Southern uniform. She became the Lions' all-time leader in three pointers with 196, passing the previous mark of 180. She had a career-high 72 on the season and also led the Lions in rebounding with 6.1 per game. She ended her career with the best free-throw shooting mark in Southern history, as well.
The Southern men's and women's indoor track and field teams had three All-Americans, while outdoor track and field teams produced six All-Americans. Senior Phillip Horn was third in the heptathlon, while juniors Channell Lloyd and Ciara Lipsey placed eighth in the triple jump and pole vault, respectively to earn All-American status. In the outdoor campaign, Horn earned All-American honors in two events (Decathlon and 100m Hurdles). Junior Emilie Mieseler was sixth in the hammer throw and was named an All-American, while junior Ciara Lipsey picked up her second All-American honor of the year with an eighth place finish in the pole vault. Junior Kimi Shank was second in the 10,000 meters, while senior Kara Eckard was sixth in the steeplechase both being named All-Americans.
The Lions softball team started a new era with Bill Gray being named head coach in June of 2008. Gray made an immediate impact as the Lions improved their win total by more than double. Southern had four players named honorable mention All-MIAA in junior Whitney Clute, sophomore Megan Roark and freshmen Brooke Hurley and Breanna Volkmann. Clute broke two Southern single-game records with a monster game against Northwest Missouri where the junior had three home runs, seven RBIs and 14 total bases. The latter two were school records, while the three homers tied a record. She later tied a Southern single-season record with nine home runs.
The Lions tennis team fought through another tough MIAA campaign this year and picked up a pair of wins against Missouri Western including a win over the Griffons in the MIAA Tournament. Southern had its other win on the year against Evangel in a 6-3 victory early in the season. In April, Southern announced that due to budget cuts, the tennis program was being discontinued as a varsity sport.
The Lions golf team had another successful year under coach Kevin Greim as Southern finished third in the 2009 MIAA Tournament, as well as the final overall standings and were paced by All-MIAA performances from junior David Eddy and freshman Andy Hogenmiller. Junior Taylor Griffith (Carthage, Mo.) was an honorable mention All-MIAA selection. The Lions qualified for their seventh straight regional and travelled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they were the ninth seed in the tournament. Jamie Voegeli finished 12th in the tournament.
The baseball team continued its surge under second-year coach Bryce Darnell as the Lions not only had their first winning season since the 2003 season, but had the progra's first appearance in the MIAA Tournament since the 2002 season. Southern went 35-20, the most wins since 2001 when the team won 36. The Lions defeated Central Missouri in the opening round of the MIAA Tournament, 10-0 and junior pitcher CJ Maffei shutout the Mules twice in the season. It was the first time Central had been shut out twice in one year in more than 20 years and it was the first time the same pitcher had done it in many more. The Lions also took three out of four games from then third ranked and eventual national runner up Emporia State at home. Eight Lions were named All-MIAA including first teamers Maffei and sophomore third baseman Skyler Rawlins. The season ended on a high note when senior shortstop/pitcher Justin Beal was drafted in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Missouri Southern football
team finished their injury riddled 2009 campaign 3-7, with wins
over Emporia State, Truman, and a thrilling come from behind win
over then 12th ranked Missouri Western on the road. All-American
linebacker Jared Brawner, coming off of an outstanding 2008
campaign, broke his leg in the Lions’ week two matchup at
Washburn and was lost for the season. This came after junior
defensive back Corderial Collier suffered a similar injury in week
one at Harding and just like that, the Lions two biggest playmakers
on defense were lost for the season. Stepping up on defense in the
absence of Brawner and Collier was defensive end Jairius Jarvis who
finished the season with 9.5 sacks and was named to the All-MIAA
and All-Region team. On offense, the injuries were also apparent.
Sophomore quarterback Collin Howard, began the year as Missouri
Southern’s starter under center. However, after only four
weeks, Howard was lost to a knee injury and wouldn’t return
until the final game of the season against Fort Hays State. In
stepped junior Roland Thompson who was thrust into the flames right
away. His first career start was in the Sonic Miner’s Bowl
against border rival Pittsburg State. The Lions fought well in that
game and the defense held strong but in the end, Pitt State handed
Southern its fourth loss on the season Senior wide receiver Daniel
Thompson pulled down an impressive 10 touchdowns in his first year
as a starter and became just the second Lion in Southern history to
achieve that feat (Rod Smith being the other). Senior wide receiver
turned running back Johnny Johnson ran for 570 yards and seven
scores in his first season toting the ball, highlighted by a senior
day performance that saw him rack up 133 all-purpose yards to go
along with four touchdowns. And looking towards the future,
freshman wide receiver Landon Zerkel dazzled fans at Fred G. Hughes
Stadium in 2009 with an assortment of exciting big plays down the
field and acrobatic catches, finishing the season as the
Lions’ number one receiver with 44 catches for 641 yards and
The MSSU women’s soccer team ended their 2009 campaign on a high note with a 2-0 win over conference foe Emporia State. Senior forward Stephanie Heines led the Lions with four goals on the season to go along with one assist en route to earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors. She was joined on the honorable mention team by fellow senior midfielder Jentri White and sophomore midfielder Michelle Dimza. Sophomore defender Audrey Copenhaver earned a second team nod. Randi Russell, a sophomore Joplin native, took over as the Lions’ keeper this season and tallied 118 saves and a pair of shutouts.
The Volleyball team once again had to make it through the best volleyball conference in Division II in 2009 and the team finished 13-21 overall. Southern had conference wins on the road against then No. 20 Truman State and No. 20 Nebraska-Omaha. Freshman outside hitter Renee Rheinecker earned All-MIAA second team honors after finishing the season with 416 kills. Fellow hitter Jeanna Feldman, a junior, earned honorable mention for the Lions. The Lions said goodbye to one lone senior this season, Kari Hammerbacher finished her career with 1505 digs good for third all-time in Missouri Southern Volleyball history.
The women's basketball team and coach Maryann Mitts had another banner season, racing to its ninth straight winning season with a 15-13 overall mark. The Lions finished as the sixth seed in the 2010 MIAA Post Season Tournament and faced off against Central Missouri for the second-straight season. A year after defeating the Jennies in the first round, Central returned the favor as the Lions ended their season with a 77-67 loss in Kansas City. Southern was the first team to beat the previously undefeated Washburn Lady Blues and one of just three teams to defeat Washburn heading into regional play.
Both Apon and Jasmine Lovejoy were All-MIAA selections with Lovejoy being named second team and Apon picking up honorable mention honors.
Junior guard Skyler Bowlin was named to his second-straight All-MIAA team, this time picking up Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was named to the All-Defensive team and was a second-team All-MIAA selection along with sophomore Jason Adams. Adams finished third in the MIAA in scoring and fourth in rebounds, while Bowlin finished in the top three in five different MIAA statistical categories.
The 2010 Missouri Southern baseball team continued its resurgence under coach Bryce Darnell and made the MIAA post season tournament for the second-straight year. The Lions had their second-straight winning record with a 28-26 mark and finished third in the MIAA Tournament, losing out to eventual Division II World Series participant Central Missouri.
The 2010 Southern softball team had a tough season, but continued to improve under coach Bill Gray. The Lions won 19 games and had three players (Angie Turner, Megan Roark, and Kelli Bax all named All-MIAA.
The Lions golf team had a season to remember under coach Kevin Greim and had a fall that saw records fall. The Lions won the University of North Alabama’s Fall classic, defeating the host team and third ranked UNA in the process. The team score of 568 is also a new school record for lowest team total in an event.
The men’s outdoor track and field team saw records set and had a few All-American performances in 2010.
The 4x100 meter relay team of Maurlon Bembry, Jordan Patton, Jacob Khan and Andrew Wright set a new school record in the event multiple times during the season, the last coming in qualifying at the NCAA Division II outdoor nationals. The group ran a time of40.66 in the prelims and qualified for the finals and then ran the same time in finals to finish fifth and earn All-American status.
Brennan Benkert set a few school records, as well, throughout the course of the season, the last coming in the 1,500 meters as he, like the relay team, set a new school record in qualifying at nationals. He then went on to claim All-American status, finishing fifth.
Finally, James Coleman set a new school record in the discus prior to nationals and kept his momentum going, finishing second to earn All-American honors. In all, the Lions had six All-Americans and 11 All-MIAA performers in the season. Southern finished 15th overall as a team at the outdoor NCAA nationals.
The Missouri Southern women’s outdoor track and field team had a very successful year, as well, resulting in five All-American performances at the 2010 Outdoor Nationals.
The year also saw the end of one of the most dominating distance runners the MIAA, let alone Missouri Southern has ever seen. Kimi Shank finished her stellar four-year career as a Lion with two All-American performances at the outdoor nationals in both the 5k and the 10k, setting school records in the process. She was also a finalist for the MIAA’s Ken B. Jones Award (an award that annually goes to the best male and female athlete in the conference).
The Lions also had other All-American performances at nationals including Emilie Mieseler placing seventh in the hammer throw, and Nicole Green in the shot and Ciara Lipsey in the pole vault, both placing seventh in their respective event. Mieseler was also named the Missouri Southern Female Athlete of the Year, while the Lions squad, as a whole, (Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track) was named the fifth-best program in Division II by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Missouri Southern Lions soccer squad saw major improvements in the 2010 season over the 2009 campaign under new head coach Alese Woolard. The Lions came away with a four game improvement overall at 5-8-5 and a five game improvement in conference at 5-6-5 in MIAA play.
The offense improved in its goal average from 0.88 per game to 0.98 and the defense cut its goals against average in half going from 2.06 to 1.18 per game. The offense continued to improve in other areas as its shots per game increased from 8.4 in 2009 to 11.2 in the 2010 season.
The defense in the goal was a key, as junior Randi Russell sparked a 19 goal against difference in the net. Junior Danai Noftz finished the season leading the Lions with four goals and junior Shannon Kuhn finished second on the squad with three. Sophomore Corrine Tebbs finished with the team lead in assists with three while Kuhn and senior Sarah Evers finished with two each. Russell logged over 107 minutes in the net for the Lions giving up 22 goals with 91 saves and five shut outs.
The Missouri Southern football team had another successful showing on the All-MIAA squad as nine different Lions earned honors, including first-teamer Brandon Williams. Williams was also an All-Region and All-American pick after he led the Lions and the MIAA in sacks with nine and ranked 21st nationally in both sacks and tackles for a loss.
He had a memorable game earlier in the season when he helped the Lions sack the Missouri Western quarterbacks eight times, picking up three of his own in that game. On the season, Williams had 50 tackles, with 17 for a loss of nine yards, three pass break ups, six quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
Senior defensive back Justin Cowper became a four-time All-MIAA selection with a second-team nod, while junior center Ian Saxton also earned second-team honors.
The Missouri Southern volleyball team saw an increase of five more wins overall and two more in conference play as coach Chris Willis had his Lions in the regional hunt all season, finishing ninth in the South Central Regional Poll and just outside of the NCAA Playoffs.
A four-year starter for the Lions, Russell is 10th all-time on the career kills list at Southern and all-total, Russell has amassed 1,024 kills, 127 aces, 751 digs and 182 blocks. Judge was a four-year starter and emerged as the best blocker in MIAA this season. She ranked 34th in Division II in blocking and her 103 block assists ranked fifth all-time in a single season at Southern. Her career totals of 279 total blocks and 250 block assists ranked ninth and third all-time.
Both the Missouri Southern men’s and women’s cross country teams had successful campaigns that went deep into the post season.
The Southern women placed second in the MIAA meet and qualified for their fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Division II National meet with a third place finish at the Regional Meet. Both senior Silvia Pineda and sophomore Marlee Tegenkamp earned All-Region honors, while the pair, as well as freshman Rachel Schrader were named All-MIAA. The team placed 16th at the NCAA National meet. Also at that meet, senior Victoria Kline was named the NCAA’s Elite 88 Award winner. The award goes to the athlete with the top GPA at the national meet.
The Southern men placed second in the MIAA meet, as well, with senior Jarkko Jarvenpaa and Viktor Kuk earning All-MIAA honors, while Kuk was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. Jarvenpaa was fourth in the meet, with Kuk placing sixth.
The Lions placed eighth as a team at the Regional Meet, but Jarvenpaa earned All-Region honors and qualified for the National Race with a fifth-place finish at the Regional Meet.
The Missouri Southern women’s basketball team continued its long standing success and finished the 2010-11 season with the tenth-straight winning record under Coach Maryann Mitts and another trip to the MIAA Basketball Tournament. The team was also ranked regionally for nearly every week the poll was conducted during the season and it was one of the most enjoyable groups of young women to be around as coach Mitts stated on many occasions.
The 2010-11 campaign for the Missouri Southern men's basketball team proved to be one of the best the school has ever seen. The season saw one of the best-ever players to wear a Southern jersey end his stellar four-year career with All-American accolades and saw the Lions win the regular-season MIAA title after being picked fourth in one pre-season poll and seventh in the other.
The Lions started the season with nine-straight wins and were ranked in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll for all but three weeks of the year and for nine-straight weeks, tying a Southern record. Southern would finish the season ranked ninth nationally. The Lions would win 21 of their first 23 games, and were ranked either first or second in every NCAA South Central Regional poll, finishing the season ranked second in the region. Southern made it to the championship game of the MIAA tournament and went to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to eventual regional champ Midwestern State.
Senior Skyler Bowlin led a charge that saw the Lions sweep the MIAA post season awards. Bowlin was named the unanimous MIAA Player of the Year, while also repeating as MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, an honor he shared with Dijon Smith of Fort Hays. Coach Robert Corn was named the MIAA's Coach of the Year, while freshman Marquis Addison was named the league's Freshman of the Year. It is the third time in the last four years that a Lion has won that award (Bowlin in 2008, Jason Adams in 2009). Bowlin made his fourth-straight MIAA All-Defensive Team, while sharing first-team All-MIAA honors with Jason Adams. Big man Keane Thomann was a third-team All-MIAA pick and Bowlin was also named to the MIAA All-Tournament Team.
The honors did not stop there for the Lions as Bowlin (first team) and Adams (second-team) were both named All-Region by both Daktronics and the NABC with Bowiln picking up Regional Player of the Year honors from both groups. Bowlin was named to three different All-American teams (Daktronics, NABC and the Basketball Times), while being one of eight finalists for National Player of the Year as selected by the NABC. He was also chosen to participate in the NABC Division II All-Star Game at the end of the season.
Bowlin finished his career as the Lions' all-time leader in three pointers with 224, while his 1,664 career points rank him fourth all-time. His 568 assists and 265 steals rank third and second all-time and free-throw percentage of .830 ranks second all-time. He led the MIAA in steals and ranked 19th in d-2, while ranking 2nd in the MIAA in assists and 13th in d-2 in that category. Adams moved to sixth all-time in scoring, while ranking third all-time in three pointers made in a career.
Corn earned his third MIAA Coach of the Year honor as he was a unanimous pick by his peers in the league. He won his 350th career game in a win over Northwest Missouri to end the regular season and was a finalist for the NABC's National Coach of the Year. He led the Lions to their seventh 20-win season and won the third most games in a regular season every in Southern history, advancing to the school's second-ever NCAA post season.
The baseball team narrowly missed making the MIAA Tournament for the third-straight time under coach Bryce Darnell as the Lions finished a half a game out of the final spot in the postseason tournament. The Lions finished the season 24-26 overall and 20-24 in the MIAA.
Southern had six players named All-MIAA as Dallas Burke was named a first-team All-MIAA utility player. Burke played at both the catcher and outfield spot for the Lions, while also serving as a designated hitter at other times throughout the year. He ranked fourth in the MIAA with a .392 average and led the team with 60 hits.
Jesse Kinzey and Dane Kolkmeyer were named second-team All-MIAA at the first and second base positions. Kinzey was tied for a team-high five home runs, while leading the Lions with 37 RBIs. Kolkmeyer finished the season with a .386 batting average, ranking sixth in the MIAA. He finished the year with 59 hits and was tied for third with 32 RBIs.
Pitchers Brett Abell and Cody Griebling, as well as right fielder Patrick Deao, picked up honorable mention honors. Abell led the team with an 8-6 record on the mound and ranked second in the MIAA in strikeouts, while Griebling was 7-5 and proved to be the Lions top starter down the stretch. Deao led the Lions with eight outfield assists this year and was tied for the team lead with five home runs and 60 hits.
The golf team had another solid season on the links this year as the Lions finished the fall and spring seasons in third place after the final MIAA points standings were announced in May. The Lions had All-MIAA representation from both Andy Hogenmiller and Jamie Voegeli as the pair finished ninth and tenth, respectively, in the final MIAA Individual Points standings.
Hogenmiller qualified as an individual to the 2011 NCAA Division II Regional Golf Tournament, where he placed 45th in a field of more than 100 golfers.
The softball teamexperienced its best season in 10 years, going 32-22 on the season, winning 30-plus games for the first time since the early 2000s. The Lions logged a win over the only ranked team they faced in 2011, when on April 22, Southern defeated then-14th ranked Emporia State 4-0 to salvage a split in Emporia, Kansas.
Junior pitcher Nicole Reed, a junior college recruit from California, won 25 games. It was the first time a Lion pitcher has won 20-plus games since Hailey (Stanley) Burpo in 2004. Reed also set a new MSSU record for strikeouts in a season with 225.
For the second straight year, Southern qualified for the MIAA Postseason Tournament.
As the fourth seed, the Lions pushed first seed Missouri Western to the bottom of the ninth in a winner’s bracket semifinal before falling, 7-6.
The men’s and women’s teams had another successful outdoor season that saw three men and two women earn All-MIAA status (top three place finishers in each event).
On the men’s side, Corey Reynolds was the MIAA Champion in the pole vault, and John Lowe also picked up All-MIAA honors in the vault. Aki Nummela was second in the 5k to earn All-MIAA honors. The men placed seventh in the final team standings.
On the women’s side, Lisa Vengels was second in the high jump and picked up All-MIAA honors, while Carita Riutta placed third in the 800-meter and was named an All-MIAA athlete, as well. The women placed fifth in the final team standings.
The women and men both qualified five individuals altogether for the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championships as Michael Juergens, Nummela and Reynolds made trips to California, while Vengels and Nicole Green made return trips to nationals.
The Missouri Southern volleyball team suffered through a tough season that saw an injury sideline its starting Libero before the season started. The Lions also played with a rather young lineup, starting three freshman at various times throughout the season.
That didn't stop the Lions from seeing some success this season. Senior Rachel Olinyk led the team with 3.25 kills per set and was an All-MIAA selection, as well.
The Lions also swept the season series with Pittsburg State winning in Pittsburg for the first time since the 1999 season, taking the point in the Sonic Trophy Series between the two schools.
The Lions football team went 3-7 in 2011 with wins over Lincoln, Truman State and Southwest Baptist. The game against Lincoln pitted the two schools in the Gateway Classic, a game played in the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis.
In the game against SBU, the Lions broke numerous school records in a 68 point explosion against the Bearcats. Southern broke a record for total offense (672) they had set previously in the year against Lincoln. They also set a record for first downs (35) breaking the previous mark of 33 set against Washburn in 2002. The Lions tied marks for total points (68) with the previous mark coming against Evangel in 1982, while the nine sacks in the game tied the school record set twice, once against Fort Hays in 1988 and again against Missouri Western in 1991.
Junior defensive tackle Brandon Williams once again was named an All-American as three different publications picked him. He was a unanimous All-MIAA pick, as well as being named All-Region. Joining Williams on the All-Region and All-American teams was junior wide receiver Landon Zerkel. Zerkel was also a first-team All-MIAA pick with Williams and senior center Ian Saxton. The Lions had ten named to the All-MIAA squad.
Not to forget the talents in the classroom, two Lions were named Academic All-American as Kenny Smith and Alex Wong picked up those honors. Smith was a first-team pick, while Wong made the third team.
The Missouri Southern men's cross country team had a tough start to the season as the annual Southern Stampede was cancelled for the first time in its more than 20 year existence. Heavy rains and lightening led to the cancellation of the event. To make up for the loss of the home event, the Lions hooked up with Pittsburg State for a duel the next week and Southern came away victorious.
Southern would go on to win the Missouri S&T Invite later in the season, and finished third at the 2011 MIAA Championships. The Lions' Eric Schott was named the MIAA Freshman of the Year, while he, Jake Benton and Andrew Webster all earned All-MIAA honors.
Southern kept up the momentum the next weekend as the Lions placed fourth at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional, where Schott, Benton and Webster were once again honored, this time being named All-Region.
The Southern women's cross country team would have to suffer the loss of a big home event, as well , to start the season, but they made up for it with a strong finish to the season. Marlee Tegenkamp won the duel with Pittsburg State, and won the race at Missouri S&T, while the Lions placed third as a team.
Southern went on to place second at the 2011 MIAA Championships where Tegenkamp placed second. Rachel Schrader, as well as Tegenkamp, were both named All-MIAA.
Tegenkamp would keep up her hot streak as the junior placed second at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional meet, qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Meet. The Lions placed sixth at the regionals and Tegenkamp and Schrader were both named All-Region.
After starting the season 0-7-1 the Lions' soccer team won nine of their last 12 games finishing third in the MIAA regular season and making their way into the championship game of the first MIAA Post-season soccer tournament held on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
The season's turnaround started on October 2 as the Lions went to Emporia, Kansas and came away with a 2-1 victory over the Emporia State Hornets. Southern would win their next two matches by the same score taking a double overtime decision at Southwest Baptist University on October 6th and two days later defeating the newest program in the MIAA, Fort Hays State, at home 2-1 in overtime. The Lions would add two more victories in a row to tie the school record for most consecutive conference wins at five, defeating Washburn in Topeka, Kansas 2-0 on October 11 and shutting out Missouri Western 2-0 on October 15.
Following those five straight wins the Lions dropped a second 2-1 overtime decision to Truman State this season and fell to 10th ranked Central Missouri in Warrensburg, before closing out the season with a 2-1 double overtime victory over Northwest Missouri, which clinched the third place finish in the regular season and the third seed in the MIAA Post-season tournament, and a 3-1 victory over future MIAA member Lindenwood on senior day.
Going into the MIAA Post-Season Tournament the Lions had split 2-1 decisions with 6th seeded Southwest Baptist, this time the Lions would come out 1-0 winners on a goal in the 88th minute on a goal by sophomore defender Dana Wilhelm. With that win the Lions were now poised to take on the 2nd seeded Truman State Bulldogs, which had beaten Southern twice with both victories coming in 2-1 overtime decisions. The Lions fell down early in the 24th minute as the Bulldogs struck first and Southern just couldn't find the back of the net until in the final seconds as junior forward Megan Stueve connected on a pass from junior defender Corinne Tebbs to send the game into overtime. This time the Lions would extract some revenge on the Bulldogs as senior midfielder Shannon Kuhn connected on a Tebbs' corner kick to advance the Lions to the MIAA Post-Season Tournament Championship match against eighth ranked Central Missouri. In the championship match the Lions fell behind late in the first half as the Jennies scored in the 42nd minute. Sophomore forward Kelly White scored the lone Lions' goal in the second half to even up the score at 1-1, but Central would prove to be too much as the Jennies scored twice more to win the match, 3-1 and advance to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.
For the season the Lions finished 9-10-1, after starting the season 0-7-1, finished third in the MIAA and placed second in the MIAA Post-Season Tournament. Tebbs was named to the second team All-MIAA while Stueve and senior midfielder Michelle Dimza earned honorable mention honors. Kuhn and Stueve led the way in scoring for the Lions with seven goals each, Kuhn added three assists and Stueve had two. Tebbs led the way in assists with nine, and finished third on the team in points with those nine. Kuhn finished first in points with 17 and Stueve second with 16.
The Missouri Southern men's basketball team once again showed they are one of the best programs in Division II as the Lions made their second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Southern started the season ranked No. 4 in Division II and after a 9-0 start, the Lions climbed to the No. 1 spot in the NABC Division II poll after that week. It was the first time in school history that the men's basketball team was ranked No. 1. The Lions would be ranked each week of the year, finishing the season ranked No. 23.
Senior center Keane Thomann made it two years in a row for the Lions to have the MIAA and Regional Player of the Year. The big man was a first-team All-MIAA pick and was eventually named to three different All-American teams. He was an All-Region selection and was picked to play in the Division II All-Star game. He finished his career at Southern as one of the best big man to ever wear a Lions' jersey. He holds school records for best single season and career field goal percentage, as well as being No. 6 on the all-time scoring list with 1,523 points.
Jason Adams joined Thomann on the All-MIAA and All-Region teams and made his name known amongst the best ever to play at Southern. He finished his career with the second-most points in school history (1,981) as well as the second-most three pointers in a career with 213. He has the fourth-most points in MIAA history and scored the most points of any player in the MIAA over the last 27 years.
Sophomore's Marquis Addison and Jordan Talbert were also named All-MIAA by the coaches of the league.
The Lions Women's Basketball team had to overcome a major off season injury when senior Michelle Hedgecock tore her ACL in summer workouts. She sat out a good part of the season, making her first appearance on December 30 at Pittsburg State.
Junior Erin Rice led the Lions in most categories scoring 388 points on the season and grabbing 139 rebounds, all while shooting a team second best 42.9 percent (138-of-322) from the field and a team best 31.4 percent (27-of-86) from beyond the arch. Rice was also the lone Southern representative on the All-MIAA team, earning third team honors.
Senior guard Larrita Gipson was the assist leader dishing out 69 dimes on the season while freshman guard Haley Weathers led the way at the charity stripe for the Green & Gold going 34-of-40 and 21-of-29, respectively. The Lions got off to a 3-1 start in non-conference play falling to Harding Lady Bisons in the season opener and then winning the next three against future MIAA member Nebraska-Kearney, Evangel, and Avila.
Conference play for the Lions was highlighted by a sweep of Missouri Western for only the second time in the history of the series between the sister schools. The previous sweep was in 2010-11, and the Lions have won five of the last six from the Griffons. The season ended on a positive note for the Lions as they knocked Northwest Missouri State out of the MIAA Post-Season tournament with a 61-49 victory in Maryville.
The 2012 Missouri Southern Baseball team saw another successful season under head coach Bryce Darnell as the Lions had the second 30-plus win under the MSSU Alum.
The Lions started the year 11-0 and jumped into the National Poll at No. 24. After moving their record to 15-1, the Lions moved all the way up to No. 11 in Division II. The Lions finished the year batting .310 as a team and had a 3.74 team ERA. Southern also broke a school record for fielding percentage finishing the year with a .962 average.
The 2012 Missouri Southern Softball team suffered some early season injuries and dealt with the loss of a few key players and finished 16-35 overall and 5-15 in the MIAA.
The Missouri Southern men’s outdoor track and field team had another stellar year as the Lions qualified six individuals for the NCAA Division II Championships.
Four of those six qualifiers earned All-American status for the Lions at nationals. Green finished fourth in the discus, while Tanksley was 7th in the high jump. Fraley picked up his second All-American honor in the 200m after earning one in the indoor season, while Boure finished 8th in the triple jump.
The Missouri Southern women’s outdoor track and field team continued its success by qualifying four different individuals in six events for the NCAA Division II National Championships.
In what would be a re-building year for a young Lions’ golf team, the group was very competitive in the 2011-12 season.