Sports Report with Alejandra Beltran and guests Adele Stradling and Nicole Burke, UF Women’s soccer players.
Findlay High School Football vs St. Francis
A table of sports gurus Mac Williams, Brady Stabler, WLFC, and Andy Wolf, the Courier, join Olivia to talk about all things sports.
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UFTV Live Stream
By: Leah Palm
The debate surrounding equestrians as athletes is nothing new to those of who compete in the industry. For years, equestrians have been told that riding horses is not a sport, and for many reasons. Most commonly, the majority of people have come to know an athlete as a person who they can witness physically exerting force to win a game. Whether that means tackling the quarterback, running sprints for track, or blocking the point guard, most people define athletes as being both physically and mentally fit.
University of Findlay Equestrian Senior Brandon Morin says his idea of an athlete is someone who needs skill to complete whatever event it is that they are competing in. Morin was awarded a National Championship title at the 2017 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) finals and is beyond familiar with the athletic skill required to ride and compete.
“You need to have skill, you need to have athletic ability, you have to have that demeanor that you’re going to do well, and you have to be able to deal with stress,” said Morin. “If you’re competing for points for a team or competing for a national title that would be considered an athlete and it takes all of those things mashed together.”
According to Morin, a common misconception is that when people see an equestrian riding they automatically assume that the horse is doing all the work, therefore the rider cannot be considered an athlete. However, Head Coach of the University of Findlay’s western IHSA team, Spencer Zimmerman, explains that the best riders are the ones that make it look that effortless.
“Our riders are working to stay in rhythm and in motion with that horse to make it look like they are not moving, which can be a lot more work than just sitting there,” said Zimmerman. “I think the good ones that just sit there are doing it correctly, and there is a whole lot more going on underneath them than meets the eye.”
Kimberly Zimmerman, the wife of Spencer Zimmerman and assistant coach of the UF western IHSA team, explains this in another way.
“I think IHSA is way more about the people than the horses and that’s what we tell the judges that they are looking for. Who would you want to ride your horse and have the finesse and feel to do that, and I think that takes a lot of core strength and muscle memory and strength from the rider,” Kim Zimmerman adds.
Spencer Zimmerman discusses the training routine of his athletes outside of practice sharing that he tries to focus mostly on cardio conditioning as well as building core strength within his riders.
“They do not necessarily lift weights to get bulky, but enough to be able to pull on a thousand-pound animal that might not want to say yes to you the first time,” explained Zimmerman.
As for getting inside the brain of this animal, Zimmerman says it is difficult that the horse ultimately holds the power.
“The horse really holds the playbook for you and sometimes there is not a playbook because it is all in their brain. As you are going through your ride, they may throw the ball over here and you do not know it is going over there so you have to be ready to catch it over there and bring it back into play, hypothetically speaking. I think that it becomes a much more mental game,” shared Zimmerman.
He adds that this is what can take riders to the next level as well. Learning to understand what the horse is thinking so that the rider can know what they are going to do next and be able to counteract their move.
“I find that to be the most challenging for me and that is what keeps a lot of people hooked because if it is not challenging people will just get bored with it,” said Zimmerman.
Whether debating the mental or physical, Morin hopes to put an end to the argument that riding horses cannot be considered a sport.
“I would not be able to go on a football field and perform, but I would like to see a football player get on a horse and perform.”
By Sarah Baer
Success seemed to be the trend of both the University of Findlay men’s and women’s basketball teams this season.
During their 2017-2018 season, the women’s team made it to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time since the 2013 Season. Despite falling to the University of Drury, a top ranked team, in the first round of the tournament, the Oiler women accomplished something that hadn’t been done in five years. The team finished their season with a record of 22-7, lead by Junior Forward Anna Hintz.
Many of the Oiler players were stand outs by the end of the season. Hintz was voted first team Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) and Senior Guard Linsey Englebrecht ranked second in Division II across the nation with 103 three pointers. Another outstanding Oiler was Senior Guard Haley Horstman who earned second team all-conference honors with a strong scoring record and 36 steals for the season. Horstman was one of only 21 Oilers to be inducted into the 1000-point club with 1,167 points. Horstman earned a collegiate title from her scoring success, being the 13 ranked all-time scorer in Oiler Basketball.
The UF women’s basketball team entered the 2017-2018 season with many returning, seasoned and experienced players. The Oilers joined the GMAC this year and were facing an entire list of new opponents. However, they entered this new conference with a group of strong upperclassmen.
“We’ve always had close relationships as a team, we’ve always been the same talented, hard-working girls. But this year we just dug deeper I think,” said Englebrecht. “It was fun on and off the court.”
In previous seasons, when the team went up against an opponent, Englebrecht says they often knew what to expect in most offensive and defensive plays. However, this year was the team’s first year in a new conference and each game was a new and challenging experience.
“I think what we did differently was capitalize on the little things during practices and in the games,” said Engelbrecht. “I think the biggest thing we did differently was battling all 40 minutes. We struggled with that in the past but not this past year. We built such a strong-willed environment that we were picking each other up.”
For the seniors, the end of the season is a bittersweet moment. Although the Oilers advanced into the NCAA Tournament, which none of the team members have done before, Englebrecht says she had a great experience this season, despite not quite reaching the team’s end goal.
“I had a blast this past season. With it being my last year, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Playing the sport I love with my closest friends was a blessing,” said Englebrecht. “I’m just super grateful for how hard we fought all the way to the final game. We had a special year and it was fun to be a part of it.”
The UF women’s basketball team will begin training and preparing for the upcoming season in the summer, and will look to place farther in the NCAA Tournament and bring home the title next year.
By: Dylan DeWitt
Findlay Oiler athletics have continued to show the conference, and the nation, what kind of student athletes the University of Findlay has.
In the last week, the University of Findlay was ranked seventh among all Division II institutions for athletic department performance this year. This has been made up of plenty of records and accolades in the fall and winter.
With the spring teams and their respected seasons being halfway through, these teams are showing plenty of success as well. Two teams in particular have shown their success on the tennis court and the baseball diamond. The UF men’s tennis team and baseball team have been a part of many victories, and even some winning streaks along the way.
On the court, the men’s tennis team is starting to hit their second wind of the season as they look sharp, especially in conference play. The UF men’s tennis team has now won five straight matches including a win against Davis & Elkins College, 7-2, at home. The men have also won six of their seven conference matches. The team has one remaining match of the regular season on Sunday, April 15 against the conference leading Hillsdale Chargers. Following this, the Oilers will move on to GMAC Tournament play and into the postseason.
On the diamond, the baseball team is off to a 16-7 start while heading into the back half of the regular season. With the remaining games left to be played, the Oilers baseball team will look to face many of the GMAC teams before entering the conference tournament. The Oilers are 9-2 at home on the year, and will look to keep the winning ways going at home with eight home games remaining on the schedule.
Throughout the year, the Oilers have been led at the plate by Senior Pete Burkett, Sophomore Casey Gould, Freshman Ethan St. Clair, Junior Derrick Herd and Senior Cameron Johnson. All of these players have a batting average of .300 or more throughout the season thus far.
On the mound, pitching for the Oilers has relied on many different arms to secure and help them in their 16 victories. Collin Gossard, Mark Delas, Alex Harter and Cory Carl are pitchers that have thrown more than 20 innings so far for the Oilers. Alex Harter was named Pitcher of the Week when he was 2-0 on the mound with an astounding earned run average of 0.00 along with 12 strikeouts.
All in all, the entire year has been filled with student athletes getting it done in the classroom along with their respected contests. With the postseason right around the corner, Oiler athletics will look to continue their success and bring back victories to Findlay.