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Hangs Up Cleats For Medical School
Hernandez, a senior cornerback on the football team this past season,
completed an outstanding football career on Jan. 9 when he competed
in the Snowbowl all-star football game in Fargo, N.D.
It was not an
end, but a beginning for the biology major who plans to attend medical
school in the fall.
"I was sure
that was my last game,"Hernandez said. "Maybe I could have played
in the arena league or overseas, but the money just isn't worth giving
up my future plans for."The Rockford, Ill., native came to Truman
four years ago and was the only true freshman to see action that year.
was evident from the beginning," head football coach John Ware said.
"He was as hard a worker on the field as off."
a starting spot at cornerback his sophomore season and began to gather
as many honors academically as he gathered athletically. He was an
honorable mention all-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association
pick that year while also earning academic all-MIAA recognition.
year, Hernandez was a first-team all-conference and all-Midwest pick
as well as a first-team GTE academic all-district and academic all-America
In 1998, he
continued to bring in the honors with another appointment to the all-MIAA
first-team and all-Midwest second-team, as well as multiple academic
honors. Hernandez was also a second-team all-America pick by Don Hansen's
He was awarded
a $5,000 NCAA postgraduate scholarship, one of just 13 Division II
and III football players across the nation to receive the honor. To
qualify for the award, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point
average of 3.0 and must have performed with distinction as a member
of the varsity team.
"I had a lot
of fun," Hernandez said. "I have a lot of great memories from playing
here and now I'm looking forward to a career in medicine."
his career on another winning note as a member of the West team at
the Division II all-star football game. The West team beat the East
squad, 38-28, as Hernandez posted four tackles for the day.
"It was great,
getting to know some of the other players in our league and playing
on the same team for a change," Hernandez said. "Now, I'm just ready
to focus on my future."
His future will
either be at the University of Illinois or Northwestern University.
been accepted at Illinois, now I'm waiting to hear from my first choice,
Northwestern," Hernandez said.
Wherever he ends
up, Hernandez is sure to continue the success he has enjoyed during
his undergraduate years at Truman. He started every game in 1998 and
finished with 67 tackles and tied for first in interceptions with
four, to go with 51 yards in interception returns. Hernandez also
had two tackles for a loss of six yards and five pass deflections
along with six punt returns for 39 yards. He had 183 career tackles
and 10 interceptions.
At the Jan. 23
football banquet, Hernandez was selected as the defensive back of
the year by his teammates.
Lights Up The Court As She Brings Outstanding Career To A Close
couldn't get much better for senior point guard Amy Eagan. In her
four years at Truman, things have only improved. The team has gone
from a 9-16 record her freshman year to 17-6 with just a handful of
games remaining in the 1998-99 regular season.
Not only has
her team done better, but Eagan's health is the best it has been since
she started playing at the University. From the first game of Eagan's
freshman year, she has played through a stress fracture in her right
"Usually at this
time in the year, I couldn't walk," Eagan said.
This year, thanks
to a bone stimulator and restrictions in practice, Eagan has not had
problems with her leg.
all-America was as high as second in the MIAA and ninth in NCAA Division
II in scoring at 20.5 points per game. Eagan also ranked first in
the conference in steals, second in assists and was among the league's
top players in field goal percentage. She scored 20 or more points
in eight games so far this season, including 36-point and 46-point
the lone senior said she thought she would score less this year due
to the offensive help of sophomore forward Kelli Kreuser.
Eagan is now
fourth in career points (1,414), sixth in career rebounds (607)and
second in career assists (479) at Truman.
"She is by far
the most talented point guard in all of Division II basketball, as
well as better than most at the Division I level," head coach Karin
Nicholls said. "She has evolved into a total player who can score
on an outside shot or break down the defense with her penetration."
As a freshman,
Eagan earned all-MIAA honorable mention honors and led the team in
assists. She was also second in assists and fifth in steals in the
In her sophomore
season, Eagan led the Bulldogs in scoring, assists, steals and rebounds.
The 1998-99 co-captain
gained national attention, ranking 23rd in steals in NCAA Division
II. She was named to the University of Nebraska-Kearney/Holiday Inn
Thanksgiving all-tournament team and finished the year earning first
team all-MIAA honors. Eagan also left the season on a 23-game double-figure
As a junior,
Eagan was second-team all-MIAA and made the MIAA Commissioner's Honor
Roll. Once again, she led the team in steals, assists, scoring and
rebounds. She also became Truman's all-time steals leader and finished
the season ranked 12th in steals, 32nd in assists and 53rd in scoring
among DII leaders.
With just three
regular season games left in her college career, there are only two
things she'd like to accomplish.
"I want to win
the MIAA championship and be an all-America," Eagan said.
Eagan is convinced
she will still be around the game of basketball, but the thing she
will miss more than anything is being a part of the Truman basketball
"This is the
closest team by far -- everyone gets along with everyone." Nicholls
said Eagan's dedication will help current and future players to enjoy
success at the University. "She has laid the ground work for this
program from the start," Nicholls said. "She is the foundation that
helped to build a national contender. She should leave Truman as one
of the most decorated players in history in a conference with so much
talent and respect."
The men's soccer team completed another outstanding season by hosting
an NCAA Division II quarterfinal game on Nov. 14. The Bulldogs fell
to Mercyhurst (Pa.), 1-0, to end their season. The squad closed the
year with a 14-4-2 overall record and a No. 7 ranking in the final
NSCAA national poll. Senior Claes Meldal completed his career ranked
fourth in the nation in assists per game (0.85) and set school records
for single season (17) and career (34) assists.
The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association announced in
January that women's soccer would begin sponsorship by the conference
beginning in 1999. Men's soccer will be dropped by the MIAA due to
a lack of teams. The Truman women will be the only conference team
to have made a postseason appearance, winning a first-round game in
'97, but losing in the quarterfinals.
The women's basketball team is enjoying one of its best seasons in
history with a 19-7 record (10-6 in the MIAA) and No. 23 national
ranking through games of Feb. 21. The Bulldogs clinched an MIAA postseason
berth earlier in the month, their second-consecutive appearance. They
traveled to Pittsburg State for a first-round encounter on Feb. 23.
The women were also touting the seventh-best scoring offense in the
nation, scoring an average of 83.7 points a game.
The men's basketball team clinched a spot in the conference postseason
tournament with a victory over Southwest Baptist on Feb. 10. The Bulldogs
played host to Missouri Southern in a first-round game on Feb. 22.
They were sixth in the South Central regional rankings with a 19-6
record (12-4 in the MIAA).
The swimming team is well on its way to nationals again, having already
qualified five men and 12 women in 13 events for the NCAA Division
II championships on March 10-13 in New York. The women repeated as
champions of the Mideast Classic on Feb. 23, while the men were second
Senior wrestler Calvin Buhler was ranked eighth in the nation at the
165-pound weight class the week of Jan. 15. He had a 29-4 record at
that time while the squad was 3-4 in dual meets. The wrestling team
will attempt to qualify individuals for the national championships
at the Midwest Regional Championships on Feb. 27 in Warrensburg. l
Men's Indoor Track & Field Senior Mike Weinkauf provisionally
qualified for the NCAA DII Indoor Championships in the 55-meter hurdles.
He posted a time of 7.60 at the MIAA Indoor Championships in the event
for a second-place finish. The team placed fifth at the conference
Track & Field
Three Bulldogs have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division
II Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 5-6 in Indianapolis.
In the weight throw, senior Sarah McLean was 13th on the NCAA performance
list with a distance of 50'5.25", while freshman Beth Leubbering was
eighth in the 5,000-meter run (17:55.45) and freshman Megan Williams
was 13th in the 55-meter hurdles (8.32). Dafros Mudyirwa met the provisional
mark in the 55-meter hurdles at the MIAA Indoor Champion-ships and
the team finished in second-place.
The 1999 Truman baseball team opened its season Feb. 15 with a 22-10
loss at the University of Missouri (Columbia), but swept a doubleheader
with Kentucky Wesleyan the next week. The 'Dogs bring a lot of promise
into the season, returning a majority of the '98 squad. The Bulldogs,
9-23 last year, won six of their last eight regular season games and
made the MIAA playoffs for the first time since 1994. In 1999, Truman
returns several players from a strong defensive unit and many of the
key pitchers from a staff that began to show promise toward the end
of the last campaign. Senior Josh Niemczyk and junior Jeff Birdsong,
a 1998 honorable mention all-MIAA selection, look to anchor the bullpen
this year. Niemczyk was 2-5 a year ago, while Birdsong was 3-6. However,
both won key late-season games to help push the 'Dogs into the playoffs.
Offensively, Truman returns its honorable mention all-MIAA centerfielder,
junior Mike Kubinski, who led the Bulldogs with a .336 batting average
and had 21 runs and 18 RBIs in '98. Senior Tony Vandemore was also
an all-MIAA honorable-mention pick and posted a slugging percentage
of .473, scoring 23 runs while driving in 18 last year. The Bulldogs'
RBI leader a year ago, junior David Westmeyer, will also play a key
role on the '99 team.
The 1999 season will mark the beginning of a new era in Bulldog softball.
Kristy Schroeder takes the helm for her first season as head coach
and will field an experienced and talented squad to compete for the
elusive MIAA crown. Schroeder brings a wealth of success and a winning
attitude to the team. A four-time all-PAC-10 shortstop, she helped
UCLA to four NCAA Division I Championship games, winning the crown
in 1990 and 1992. Schroeder also served as a graduate assistant coach
at UCLA, assistant at Stanford University and assistant at the University
of the Pacific (Calif.). The Bulldogs, 20-15 overall and 11-9 in the
MIAA in 1998, return starters at every position except one. A fresh
crop of recruits, including two new pitchers, should step right in.
Five Bulldogs were named to the all-conference list following the
'98 season. Sophomore Kristi Bredbenner and juniors Stephanie Schlegel
and Jen Wright were second-team all-MIAA and accounted for 13 of the
Bulldogs' 15 home runs a year ago. Sophomore Heather Mackie, who hit
.400, and junior Megan Sullivan, who hit a Truman-record 16 doubles,
were honorable mention all-conference honorees last year.