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Fall Sport Highlights

By: James Estey

Football: After a disappointing opening game loss to Mid America Nazarene, the Jackets, coached by Patrick Ross in his first season as head coach, played their home opener against the Evangel Valor, and for the first time in 1,407 days, won a football game. This win snapped a 29- game losing streak, which, at the time, was the 3rd longest active losing streak in any division of College Football. An- other road loss to Missouri Valley and a second home win against Central Meth- odist leaves the Yellow Jackets at 2-2. The team is also making some buzz on the national level too, with the 1st pass- ing offense and 4th best total offence in the country. On the defensive side, they are 2nd in defensive touch downs and 7th in tackles. While the team is play- ing well, individuals are shining too. QB Cade Ross is currently 3rd in the NAIA for passing yards per game with 343 yards, 1st in completions with 101, 1st in total passing yards with 1338 yards, and 4th in touchdowns with 10. WR Gerald is 1st in receptions with 32, 1st in receiv- ing yards with 513 yards, 2nd in receiv- ing yards per game with 128, and 2nd in receiving touchdowns with 5. DL Cohen Fuller is 9th in sacks with 4. The next half proved to be a nail-bit- ter as both teams made astounding plays on defense. John L’Heurex and Kanoa Johnson came in the clutch with a timely 45 yd pick six and a blocked punt return for a touchdown which gave us a solid 11 point lead. Evangel fought back to make the game within reach down four points . You could cut the tension with a knife as each team battled to pull away. But Cade Ross and his 3 headed monster of a receiv- ing core with Reggie Wilson, Gerald Mon- roe, and Trae Blake were too much to han- dle for the Valor. All three combined for over a whopping 350 receiving yds on the day. Reggie Wilson caught a 63 yard bomb from Cade late in the game which resulted the game being in 46- 35. Graceland wins. Women’s Volleyball: After last year’s 1 win season, the WVB team and head coach Stew Mcdole, who is head- ing into his 36th year leading the pro- gram, are looking to improve greatly on that mark, and so far, they have. With a 6-10 start to the season, which includes a 1-4 conference record, it is a markable improvement. The Yellow Jackets are led by freshmen Allison Long and junior Megan Janok, who have .247 and .108 hitting percentage and 141.0 and 156.5 points, respectfully. Janok also has 275 assists on the season as well.

Men’s Cross Country: Led by Coach Tom Shore, the men’s cross team has only raced once this season so far at the Bill Buxton Invitational held by Simpson College. Over this 6k distancethe Yellow Jackets were led by Junior Dil- lon Grover who came away with the win in 18:31.8, beating a small but strong field of mostly NCAA athletes. The rest of the team came away with a 3rd place finish as well. Grover is looking to capture a conference ti- tle this year after 2 previous top ten finishes at the HAAC meet, as well as earn All Amer- ican at the national meet. Senior Logan Harder is also looking to leave a mark on the course this year, and after making outdoor nationals in the marathon last spring, he is looking earn a spot to the national meet this fall too.

Women’s Cross Country: Led by Coach Tom Shore, the women have also only raced once this fall at the Bill Buxton Invite hosted by Simpson College. While not having enough runners to score, the women still had individuals shine. Senior Grace Stewart led the Yellow Jackets with a 6th place finish, covering the 4k course in 16:44. 5th year senior Keagan Perkins was not far behind with an 8th place finish. Also helping the team is 5th year Ashlyn Per- kins, senior Laura Harder, and sophomore Mackenzie Fischer. With this small but ex-perienced squad, the women are looking to make a splash in the conference this year, and vie for a few individual national spots, and even for the coveted team spot at the national meet. Men’s Golf: The men’s golf team, coached by Dave Ranney, have had a strong start to the 2022 season. Taking 4th and 3rd in their first 2 tour- naments, they are looking to carry that success into the rest of the season. The first tourney of the year, the Wil- liam Penn Invitational, the team had 2 top ten finishers, with Sophomore Noah Hughes taking 4th and Se- nior Sheikh Rawof tying for 8th. The second tourney of the year was the Graceland Fall Invitational, and Rawof took home the individual title, shooting a 71 on the day. Freshman Saxon Hii tied for 9th on the day shooting 76.

Women’s Golf: The women’s golf team, led by head coach Dave Ranney, have had a good start to the season, despite having a small team. At the William Penn Invite, they wom- en were led by Sophomore Ally Lav- erty with a 22nd place finish, which helped the team to a 6th place finish overall. At the Graceland Fall Invite, Laverty again led the way for the Jack- ets, placing a strong 3rd individually, but the women did not have enough competitors to score as a team. Men’s Soccer: The Men’s Soccer Team, led by head coach Bryan Courtney, has been off to a strong start this year, with 4-1-2 record and a 1-0-1 conference re- cord. The team is looking to keep this mo- mentum rolling as they dive into conference play for the rest of the season. The Yellow Jackets have scored 12 goals so far this year, led by Seniors Nicolo Monacelli and Cristobal Ponce, who have scored 4 and 3 goals respectfully. The team as also only al- lowed 5 goals so far this season.

Women’s Soccer: The Women’s Soccer Team has had an... interesting start to the season. Between a head coach fi- asco and very young roster, the team has struggled to get going early in the season. Led by head coach Bryan Courtney, the jackets hold a record of 1-5-1. The Yellow Jackets are looking to jump start the rest of the season as conference play starts to pickup. The Yellow Jackets are currently led by sophomore Emily Carmen with 2 goals on the year, and a slew of teammates with single goals follow.

Dance: Better known as the Gadets, the dance team is looking to have a strong 2022-23 season. With returning All-American Sophomore Bryce Clausen and a new addition in Cheer All-American turned dancer Se- nior Grace Cantrell, the team is look- ing to improve on their 3rd place con- ference finish and 6th place regional finish from last year and earn a spot at the national competition this spring. The Gadets are coached by Ja’Shawn Walker. Cheer: With a very young ros- ter and brand new head coach, Ken- dall Smith, they are looking to bring a more exciting game day atmosphere for Jacket Athletics, as well as their own competitions. The Jacket Cheer team finished 4th at last years HAAC Championships, and are looking to improve on that mark as well.

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