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Coming Out Flat Against PNC

Posted by jfullan on December 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Dubuque, IA - The Emmaus Eagles' men's basketball team hosted Purdue North Central on Tuesday night. Due to internal team matters, the starting lineup had to be changed several times and it showed as Purdue started on an 11-2 run before Coach Wilkerson was forced to call an early time out. It was to no avail as Emmaus started out flat and continued that throughout the entire first half. Heading into the locker room down by 24, Coach Wilkerson encouraged his team to forget the last 20 minutes and come out ready to play a strong second half.


Unfortunately, the fire and drive was not inside most of the team as they came out flat again and looked lost on both offense and defense. When the whistle blew to end the game, the score rested at 107-56. "I believe a reality set in for all of us tonight and that is, in order for us to compete with a team of that level, we must be dedicated and disciplined from the start and not take any plays off." Coach Wilkerson said. "I was disappointed in the fact that we did not play as a team for the majority of the game, which is why we started the year off so strong. Coach Joel Smith summed it up with these words: "Tonight was a good opportunity for our guys to see what real college basketball was."


The Eagles look to get back to their winning ways as they face off on December 9th in another home game. This time facing off against Trinity International.

Lady Eagles Learn Through Experience

Posted by jfullan on November 22, 2014 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The first half started with adversity being down 2-8 in the first 3 minutes. It was clear that Barclay had already shot us out of our 2-3 zone. We switched to man to man defense and quickly got back into the game as we tied it up at 10. The first half was back and forth with constant lead changes when finally with 3 seconds left in the first half Madison Laib hit a 3 point shot from 2 feet behind the 3 point line to put us up 28-24 at half-time.


The second half we started out slow but so did Barclay. Again another round of lead changes as our offense just wasn't able to get enough chemistry to really pull ahead. As we hit the 10 minute mark our youth and inexperienced really showed. Turnovers and not running the offense led to a Barclay 6 point lead. Before we knew it we were down by 10 and were never able to recover. Madison Laib led the way with 28 points and 6 rebounds followed by Rachel Melins’ 8 points and 5 rebounds.


“Overall I’m pleased with our first game. There are tons of golden nuggets from this experience that we can learn from and grow. For most of our girls this was their first collegiate basketball game and so there’s only going to be improvement. Growth can only come from overcoming adversity and we will learn and grow from this.” –Coach Graw

Eagles Split Weekend Games

Posted by jfullan on November 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The tough early season schedule continued for the Emmaus men’s basketball team as they traveled to Ankeny, IA to play 2 games at the neutral site of Faith Baptist Bible College. First up on Friday was defending MCCC champions, Manhattan Christian College. From scouting the team, Coach Wilkerson knew that the game would come down to how well the Eagles executed their game plan. “Having watched some film on Manhattan, our coaching staff really stressed to the guys the importance of playing our game. Regardless of how good an opponent is, we feel that if we control the pace and our defense does what it is supposed to, our guys have a good chance of winning the game.”


With the plan set up, the Eagles took the floor ready to play. However, they started out the game with poor shooting and some careless turnovers. Despite a cold front on the shooting end, their trademark tough defense kept them in the game and they went into the locker room at half trailing by only 2. “Watching that first half, we knew that we were the better team.” Coach Wilkerson said. “We just had to go prove it. We told the guys that the game plan wasn’t going to change. They just needed to sharpen up with their passes and continue to shoot and their shots would start falling.”


The Eagles responded exactly as expected and came out firing. Open shots that were missed in the first half starting going in and the Eagles limited their turnovers to only 5 in the second half. The defense never wavered and coupled with shooting 50% for the half, Emmaus walked away with an upset victory 68-61 and improved to 3-0 on the season. Caleb Ruter and Skyler Sandry combined for 45 of the 68 points with Caleb flirting with a triple double by adding 10 rebounds and 7 assists.


About 18 hours later, the Eagles would take the floor again to take on another quality opponent in Barclay College. The strategy was similar to the day before in that Emmaus would need to focus on playing their game and controlling the pace of the game. Again the Eagles would respond, as despite some more careless turnovers and some memory loss on the offense end, they controlled the half and went into the locker room up by 10.


The second half was approached the same way as the first and the coaching staff was confident in their team. “We had no doubts in our mind that we would walk away with the victory, judging by the score at half, and with the knowledge of how our guys have been playing.” Coach Joel Smith explained. However, the problem that had plagued the Eagles in their early season continued as they were unable to play 2 consistent halves in the same game. With a combination of lazy possessions, careless fouls, and allowing Barclay to control the pace, Emmaus found themselves down in the late stages of the second half. With a number of key players either fouled out or sitting with 4, the players on the court rallied to keep the game close. With time winding down, Skyler Sandry managed to get to the basket and put in the game-tying basket to send the game into overtime.


However, foul trouble and fatigue caught up with the Eagles as they were outscored 18-5 in the overtime session and left Ankeny with their first loss of the season 94-81. Despite the collapse in the second half, Coach Wilkerson was able to stay encouraged. “A lot of things were learned today by both the players and the coaches. We need to be able to play a complete game and not settle for playing one solid half. However, we are a young and talented team and we will only get better. The guys never stopped working hard and if we correct a few mistakes, we will be competing in every game this year and will win many of them.” The Eagles were again playing without one of their key players, Matthew Tomlinson. He suffered a foot fracture early in the game against Crossroads but should be back in time for the start of second semester’s games. The Emmaus men’s team will face off next against Purdue North Central on the Eagles’ home court December 2nd.

Eagles Men End Season with Good Fellowship and a Good Win

Posted by Megan Schuster on November 11, 2014 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Emmaus men’s soccer team played their final match of the season on Friday afternoon. The men faced off against the Patriots of Baptist Bible College (Springfield, MO) in the 5th place game of the ACCA tournament. The matchup was the first ever between the two schools and it was a battle from the start.

The Eagles set the tone early in the first half. Playing with a strong wind at their backs, they managed to create several promising scoring opportunities before finally capitalizing in the 19th minute. Wade Dozier (#8) sent a long throw into the Patriot box, which deflected to Travis Holtan (#11), who played the ball off a Patriot defender to Joe Olson (#3) on the far side of the post. He then put the ball away for the 1-0 lead. The Patriots fought back, creating a few good chances, but it was Emmaus who had the last say in the 44th minute. Wade Dozier (#8) volleyed a ball off of a Patriot defender that then rolled to Ryan Bell (#9) at the top of the 18. Bell’s well-placed shot caught a deflection in the box and flew into the right corner of the net to give the Eagles the 2-0 halftime lead.

“We played a strong first half overall, creating 26 shots, but there is always room for improvement. Rasmussen came up with some key saves to preserve the lead” (Coach Brown).

While the first half was mostly controlled by Emmaus, the Patriots were ready in the second half and used the wind to their advantage. The Emmaus defense held stout, however, as multiple attacks were stymied by great goal-keeping (Eric Rasmussen) and a determined back four. Emmaus struggled to create as many chances in the second half, although several shot attempts went wide. The Patriots made the game more interesting in the 83rd minute when #14 delivered a perfect strike from 25 yards out that bounced into the side net, but it was not enough as Emmaus held on for the 2-1 victory. “It was perhaps the greatest game in history” said freshman midfielder Luke Telecky.

While “greatest game in history” might be a bit of a stretch, the match did see a lot of excitement with Emmaus recording 36 shots (15 on goal) and BBC 25 shots (16 on goal). Eric Rasmussen recorded 15 saves and was only beat on a perfect shot into the side netting.

“I am really proud of the guys for their effort today. At moments, they looked brilliant, passing well and moving for one another. At other times, they played hard, but a little out of control. The important thing is that they gave it their best effort, finished well, and maintained their integrity. I have seen character growth in each of these guys as the season has progressed, and win or lose it has been a privilege to coach and do life with them. We have been blessed with great fellowship all year with one another as well as the teams we have competed against, today was no exception. We were able to enjoy a sweet time of fellowship with the Faith Baptist Bible College Eagles this morning at our hotel before competing hard against Baptist Bible College, all while maintaining Christ-like attitudes. We definitely haven’t been perfect this season, but we have grown and I rejoice at the maturity I see in these men. The end of a season is always bitter-sweet as we are in many ways ready to be done and focus on school and family, but I am really going to miss this group (especially seniors Travis Holtan and Benjamin Jimenez). The offseason will be a welcome change of pace, but these guys have made me look forward all the more to next year! Thanks for a great season, men!” (Coach Brown).

The Eagles finished the season with 4 wins, 14 losses, and a 5th place finish at the ACCA tournament.


Eagles Work Together, Cruise to Easy Victory 70-34

Posted by Megan Schuster on November 11, 2014 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

November 8th, 2014


Dubuque, IA — Emmaus Eagles’ basketball coach, Luke Wilkerson, will tell you that he did not plan the first two games this way. After facing the reigning national champions, the Crossroads College Knights, earlier in the week, the Eagles took the floor on Saturday, to take on the runner-up in last year’s national tournament, the St. Louis Soldiers. “The scheduling usually gets done well in advance of the tournament,” Coach Wilkerson said. “Today was the first time I realized it.” Assistant Coach Joel Smith was joking that Emmaus was trying to make a statement by starting their season facing off against the top two teams from last year in their first two games. However, the Eagles may have done just that in a dominate performance that resulted in a 70-34 win, putting them at 2-0. Similar to the game against Crossroads, Emmaus jumped out to a quick lead and went into the half leading 35-14. However, unlike the previous game, Emmaus kept it going in the second half and matched their first half score of 35, while only allowing 20. “It was nice to see that, although St. Louis was not quite the team they were last year, our men did not let down or play less than they are capable of.” Coach Wilkerson added. “Give St. Louis credit: They came off of a tough game the night before, had an early morning drive, and still managed to get 34 points on us. I am sure they will be much improved when we play them again next semester.” The Eagles had a balanced attack with every player scoring except one; Caleb Ruter leading the way with 19.


Emmaus’ next game is Friday, November 14th. They will head down to Ankeny, IA and play Manhattan Christian College at the neutral site of Faith Baptist Bible College.


Beautiful Night, Tough Fight

Posted by Megan Schuster on November 7, 2014 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The 6th seeded Emmaus men’s soccer team kicked off their ACCA tournament on Thursday evening against the 3rd seeded home team Ambassadors, of Ozark Christian College. With temperatures in the upper 40s, a clear sky overhead, and almost no wind, it was a perfect November night for a soccer match.

It didn’t take the Eagles long to get warmed up. After a few early, sluggish plays, they settled in and started to find feet. While on the other side, Ozark, a skilled team with great speed up top and in the back, took root and created some dangerous attacks. In the 14th minute, Ozark’s speedster, Alex Christian (#3), made a run into the Emmaus box and managed to send a short deflected cross that landed at the feet of Jose Heredia (#14), who poked the ball into the net from close range. At that point, the game started to go back and forth with Ozark maintaining the majority of possession, but Emmaus generating several strong attacks of their own. However, it was Ozark who would strike again, as Taylor Hunt (#12) found space on a corner kick and easily headed the ball home. This time, it was the Eagles’ turn to respond as one minute later Wade Dozier (#8) engaged a defender and fed the ball to a sprinting Joe Olson (#3) on the left sideline. Joe sent a perfect cross into the box that midfielder, Justin Humphrey (#5), flicked forward to a flying Travis Holtan (#11), who then made a sliding kick that sent the ball into the top of the net. “It was a fantastic goal that involved composure, good passes, unselfish play, and a great finish. It was a pleasure to watch and well earned by senior a hard-working senior.” (Coach Brown)

While Emmaus continued to press their attack, Ozark had an answer. In the 37th minute, Josiah Javier (#18) settled a pass from Lucas Dalton (#10) just outside the Emmaus eighteen. He fired a low hard shot just out of keeper Eric Rasmussen’s reach and into the net. The goal was the last of the half. The Eagles went into the break trailing 3-1.

The second half ran much the same as the first, though with only one goal scored. In the 72nd minute, Ozark’s man, Christian Clark (#6), found a through ball on the right side of the goal and slotted a perfect shot into the far corner. Emmaus once again created a few good chances, but couldn’t manage to find the net as Ozark held on for the 4-1 win.

“I am really proud of the guys’ effort tonight. Yes, we would have loved to pull the upset, but while Ozark earned the win, we made them work for it. I told the guys at half-time that I was impressed by their “soccer” skills as they played with their heads up, completed good passes, and really proved dangerous at times. Ozark is the more skilled team, but our guys rose to the occasion and should have a sense of accomplishment for their efforts and attitudes. Coach Greer’s boys are a great group and I look forward to seeing them again next year as a part of MCCC conference play.” (Coach Brown)

Emmaus Alum Clifford Nininger, observed that, “the guys played well with some good looks. Joe was pushing well and just needed a little more help up there. Overall, the guys played hard with some good passing. At times, they looked really good.”

The Eagles will close out their tournament Friday, November 7th, against Baptist Bible College (Springfield, MO) at 2:00 in a battle for 5th place. It will be the first ever meeting of the two teams and should provide an intriguing matchup.


Eagles Start Strong, Hang on to Beat National Champions

Posted by Megan Schuster on November 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

On Monday, the Emmaus Eagles men’s basketball team hit the road for their first game of the season. Having coasted to a 79-66 win in the annual alumni game just 2 days earlier, the Eagles knew much more would be required of them if they were to come out on top against reigning national champions, the Crossroads College Knights. However, on paper, both these teams were completely different than last year: Emmaus only returned 3 players from the previous year and Crossroads lost their leading scorer. Having scouted the team the previous week, Coach Wilkerson told his team that it was Crossroads’ game to lose. “I really felt that if the guys played the type of defense that we knew they were capable of, Crossroads would have trouble scoring”. Assistant Coach Joel Smith, also communicated before the game that if the Eagles came out and built an 8-12 point lead, the rest of the game should go smoothly.

The Eagles did exactly that. Playing a near perfect half in terms of defense, they only allowed 19 points before the horn blew to send them into the locker room. On the offense end, patience and execution were key in picking apart the Knights’ defense. An early scare came when freshmen Matthew Tomlinson came down on the foot of a defender. Despite wanting to continue playing, Coach Wilkerson chose to keep him out. “Matthew is more valuable than one game. The possibility of him hurting himself worse was not worth putting him back in.” Even with this setback, the Eagles finished on a 24-8 run to end the half and headed to the locker room with the score 38-19, in favor of the Eagles.

The second half was a different story. The Knights kicked up the intensity with their press defense and caused several early turnovers, resulting in easy baskets for Crossroads. Having never seen this type of pressure, several members of the Eagles had their nerves get the better of them, which caused Coach Wilkerson to call a couple of timeouts to remind them to calm down and be patient. “We had seen from the first half that if we took our time and found the open man, we could easily beat the press”. Despite the encouragement and reinforcement, Crossroads continued to chip away at the lead. As the lead fell to only seven with a few minutes remaining, our captains, Skyler Sandry and Caleb Ruter, showed their leadership by taking care of the ball and hitting some key free throws. As the last shot by Crossroads was off target, Ruter dribbled out the ball to end the game. Coach Wilkerson encouraged his team to give respect to Crossroads and to have good attitudes in the victory. “The Knights are the national champions and until another team is crowned, they should continue to be looked at as such. They can be a deadly team when they apply pressure and, in some regards, we are fortunate to be leaving with a victory. I am very proud of the way everyone on our team fought through adversity and held to win this game. Hopefully, this opens some eyes that our guys are not going to go down without a fight.”


Caleb Ruter led all scorers with 23 points while freshman Nathan Davidson had the game’s only double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Skyler Sandry was a couple rebounds and assists away from a triple double as he finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.


Eagles Come Up Short in Dog Fight

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on November 4, 2014 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Following a night of sweet fellowship with Dan Nichol’s Warriors of Calvary Bible College, the Emmaus men’s soccer team played their second round game in the Midwest Christian College Conference (MCCC) on Friday in St. Louis, MO. The matchup with the Saints of Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB) was the teams’ third meeting in 2 weeks with the teams splitting in the regular season.

The first half saw both teams going back and forth with near misses on either end of the field. In the 20th minute the Saints Justin Martineau (#12) managed to split two Emmaus defenders on a miscommunication in the midfield and fire a shot toward the goal. Keeper Rasmussen made the initial save, but speedster Miguel Gudino (#7) followed the shot and managed to poke it into the side of the net for the 1-0 lead. The Eagles pushed for the equalizer before the half and were dangerous on several occasions with their wide attacks, but it was not to be despite outshooting the Saints 15-10 .“When we played wide, we were dangerous. It really could have gone either way in the first 45.” (Coach Brown)

The Eagles came out determined in the second half, but again struggled to connect passes. They earned several free kicks around the Saints box, but were unable to convert. In the 80th minutes the Saints managed to add to their lead on a counter-attack as Justin Martineau (#12) found space straight up the middle and finished a strong shot from 18 yards out. “We got caught in transition and failed to close down the shooter. A mistake like that will usually cost you, and Martineau made us pay today” (Coach Brown). The rest of the half saw the Eagles continued to push, but it was not their day as the Saints held on for the 2-0 win.

“I told the guys before the game that it was going to be a dog fight out there, and it was. The shot count was 22-20 in favor of our guys and we did hold a slim 7-6 advantage in corner kicks, but we just weren’t able to put it away today. Hats off to Mike Flynn and his Saints for their pre-game adjustments as they really earned a nice win today. I am sad to have to go home as were hoping for a re-match with Calvary Bible College who had defeated us earlier in the season 1-0. Still, it was a successful weekend in many ways and the guys showed that we can play close with tough teams and that they aren’t quitters. We learn from losing as we learn from winning, and no matter the results we want to play in a manner worth of the Gospel. I look forward to the opportunity to play in the tournament next year and to our next match-up with the Saints. We are 3-3 with them over our previous 6 games, and I look forward to many more ‘Christian’ dog fights in the future.” (Coach Brown)


Solid Performance in Tournament Debut

Posted by jfullan on October 23, 2014 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The Emmaus men’s soccer team made their debut in the Midwest Christian College Conference (MCCC) tournament on Thursday afternoon in St. Louis, Missouri. The Eagles, seated 7th out of eight schools, matched up against the #2 Thunder of Manhattan Christian College (Manhattan, KS). The Thunder, coached by Midwest soccer coaching legend Rick Wright, had defeated the Eagles 6-1 earlier in the season.


The Eagles went into the game as the clear underdogs, but with the possibility of an upset on their minds. In the earlier meeting the Thunder jumped on the Eagles early, scoring three goals in twelve minutes. This time the Eagles were ready and employed a low press strategy that forced Manhattan to play over the top where the back-line held and managed to clear the ball out early. Despite great positioning, however, the Thunder managed to find a crack in the Emmaus defense in the 21st minute as #19 (Name?) made a strong turn at the top of the 18 and sent a right footed shot into the corner for the 1-0 lead (Assist Alex Brechle, #11). Ten minutes later the Thunder struck again, as this time #19 found midfielder Shane Herl (#10) on a bouncing ball in the box when Emmaus failed to get a solid clearance of the ball. The rest of the half saw a few chances for Manhattan that Emmaus again managed to cut out, making it 2-0 at the break.


“I was really pleased with our defensive efforts overall in the first half and encouraged the guys to settle down and find feet. One danger of playing too defensively-minded is not being able to possess well when you do win the ball.” (Coach Brown)

The second half started much like the first with Manhattan owning much of the possession, but struggling to create any really dangerous chances. Their break came in the 59th minute, however, as Alex Brechle (#11) won a ball on the right wing and fired a perfect rocket to the back post where #19 timed a perfect run to put the ball away. “Honestly, that was just a great play in transition. Sure, we could cover our back door a little better, but that was just a straight up fantastic play.” (Coach Brown).


Trailing by three goals with thirty minutes to play, the determined Eagles were not finished. In the 66th minute Emmaus earned a foul near the center circle. On a quick restarts freshman Wade Dozier (#8) angled a perfect pass to the left side of the box that Joe Olson (#3) settled and calmly put away into the left side net to bring Emmaus to within two goals. The rest of the match went back and forth as Manhattan continued to create chances, but the Eagles defense was not to be cracked again. On the offensive end Emmaus did a better job of connecting passes in the 2nd half, but were not able to score again as the game ended 3-1 in favor in the Thunder. The Thunder held a 30(15 on goal) to 5(2 on goal) shot advantage over the Eagles and held a 12-0 advantage in corner kicks.


“I am really proud of the way the guys fought today. They played disciplined soccer, they hustled, they communicated with each other, and they had great attitudes. Manhattan is a very experienced team and we would have had to play a near perfect game to beat them. As it stands, we gave it our best shot today and to hold them to 3 goals on 30 shots and 12 corner kicks shows how hard our guys played in the back. It makes me all the more excited for a chance to play again tomorrow.” (Coach Brown)

The Emmaus men will be in action again on Friday (October 24th) as they take on the Saints of Central Christian College of the Bible (Moberly, MO) for the 3rd Friday in a row. The teams split in the first two games, each winning on the road. The winner of the neutral site battle tomorrow will determine who has the privilege of playing for the 5th place in the tournament.

Emmaus Caps Strong Weekend With Shutout Victory

Posted by Tabitha Childrey on October 19, 2014 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

       The Emmaus men’s soccer team capped a strong weekend in Missouri with a win over the Soldiers of St. Louis Christian College. After a slow start which saw the Eagles struggled to connect open passes, Wade Dozier (#8) won the end-line in the 16th minute and delivered a perfect pass to Joel Olson (#3) at the far post who scored his second header of the weekend. Eleven minutes later, Ryan Bell (#9) delivered a cross that Dozier neatly settled and poked into the left corner. The rest of the half saw a few good opportunities for both teams as St. Louis launched some dangerous attacks of their own, but the Eagle defense held on to preserve the 2-0 lead going into the break.

       “It wasn’t our best half of soccer this season, but we managed to execute on a few plays when we got the ball wide and the defense hustled enough to preserve the lead. I told them at half-time they just needed to settle down, keep it simple, and play unselfish soccer.” (Coach Brown)

       The Eagles started the second half with energy and added to their lead in the 50th minute when senior Travis Holtan (#11) delivered a perfect cross to Ryan Bell who held his run just long enough to head the ball into the net. Fourteen minutes later in the 69th minute, the Eagle bench got in on the action as Johnny Lahoud (#12) settled a ball and played wide to Logan Matenaer (#7) who side-stepped a defender and connected a pass to Ryan Bell down the right wing. Bell then sent in a perfect cross to a racing Justin Humphrey (#5) who rocketed a header into the net from 12 yards out. After the game Humphrey made note of the fact that he had eaten chocolate donuts before the game. With the lead at four, the Eagles continued to create opportunities and to play unselfish soccer. St. Louis managed to create a few dangerous opportunities, but the Eagle defense continued to play hard and scrappy and keeper Erik Rasmussen came up with a couple of huge saves to help preserve their first shutout win of the year.

       “I was proud of the way the guys hustled today. Sure, their start was a little slow which was perhaps a sign of some stiffness from yesterday, but they never stopped playing hard. Even in the final minutes of the game everyone was hustling to get behind the ball so as not to give up any late goals. They showed this weekend that when they play unselfish, smart soccer, they can be a very dangerous team. I wouldn’t want to have to play these guys at tournament time… and apparently chocolate donuts really help to get these guys playing at their best… I may have to provide a few before out next match.” (Coach Brown)

       The wins this weekend capped the Eagles regular season as they will be back in action next week (in St. Louis) for the MCCC conference tournament (October 23-25). The Eagles may not have many wins this year, but they are undefeated in Missouri so far and will do all they can to keep it that way.