Category Archives: NAIA

Oh, so you’re that fan…

So you’re that fan. You know, the one that played high school football. Well, kind of. You were on the team but never really made it on the field due to lack of ability. That, of course, is the truth. As far as people who didn’t grow up with you know you were the quarterback that led your team to a couple of fourth quarter comebacks and on to the state football playoffs. You can say that. Are they really going to take the time to look it up? No. Of course that was back in the day when you were fit and in shape. You didn’t carry the 270lb belly keg that you currently have.  Continue reading

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The road back to relevance…

Doane College football was once relevant. It competed for conference championships, was ranked in national polls and even made it to the playoffs. Since 2003, the Tigers haven’t been ranked, not even close, until today. The NAIA announced its weekly top 25 poll this afternoon and Doane sat at No. 21. This is the first ranking in the national poll for the Tigers since the September 9, 2003 poll that had Doane at No. 23.  Continue reading

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Semifinal game one is set, Davenport to play Walsh

In game one of the day Davenport blasted Cedarville 81-58 to advance to the semifinal round on Monday. The Panthers found their stride midway through the first half and never let up. DU was paced by 14 points from Carrie Grubius, who made four three-point shots, and Abby Neff with 11 points. The Panthers shot 42 percent from the field in route to the win. Senior Kristi Boehm was a spark plug for the Panthers in the win. Boehm blocked a three-point shot attempt and forced Cedarville into turnovers. Continue reading

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NAIA DI Men’s bracket has been announced

The official bracket for the NAIA DI Men’s national tournament was announced this evening via the Victory Sports Network selection show. Robert Morris (Ill.) earned the top overall seed in the tournament with a 30-1 record. Concordia (Calif.) (30-3), Mountain State (W. Va.) (29-3) & LSU Shreveport (29-3) round out the top four.

Thirty two total teams are headed to Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, one will leave with a championship.

View the complete bracket by clicking here.

Play the VSN Bracket Challenge and see how you match up with fans from around the country.

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NAIA DI Women’s Bracket has been released

The NAIA DI Women’s National Tournament has been officially announced via a selection show from the Victory Sports Network. The tournament is scheduled to begin March 16 in Jackson, Tenn. Union University (Tenn.) has been dominant in the national tournament in the past decade. They will again be a No. 1 seed with a 31-1 record. The other No. 1 seeds in the tournament include Oklahoma City (25-3), Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (28-5) and Campbellsville (Ky.) (28-3).

You can view the official bracket on the Victory Sports Network by clicking here.

Test your knowledge of NAIA DI Women’s basketball with the VSN Bracket Challenge.


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NAIA DI National Tournament Brackets Announced Tonight!!

The Victory Sports Network will have the exclusive broadcast of the NAIA DI Women’s Basketball and Men’s Basketball Bracket Announcement tonight. The NAIA DI WBB Show will be at 6:00 p.m. CT while the NAIA DI MBB Show will follow at 7:00 p.m. CT. Both shows can be watched live via the Victory Sports Network Livestream Channel.

CLICK HERE to watch the show live. Continue reading

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NAIA D2 Men’s National Championship Bracket Released

The official bracket for the NAIA D2 Men’s Basketball National Tournament has officially been released via a selection show on the Victory Sports Network. Walsh University (Ohio) is the overall No. 1 in the tournament after finishing the season 29-1. Northwood (Fla.) is the No. 2 seed while Cornerstone (Mich.) and Bellevue (Neb.) round out the top four.

The field is set with 32 teams heading to the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. next week. Here is a look at the bracket. More thoughts on the matchups coming later.

Official NAIA D2 Men’s Bracket

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NAIA D2 Women’s National Championship Bracket Released

The official bracket for the NAIA D2 Women’s Basketball National Tournament has officially been released via a selection show on the Victory Sports Network. Davenport University (Mich.) is the overall No. 1 in the tournament after finishing the season 33-0. The other three No. 1 teams include Morningside (Iowa), Northwestern (Iowa) and Walsh (Ohio).

The field is set with 32 teams heading to the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa next week. Here is a look at the bracket. More thoughts on the matchups coming later.

Official NAIA D2 Women’s Bracket

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NAIA DII Basketball Bracket Announcement Live Tonight on VSN

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Victory Sports Network (VSN) will be the exclusive home for the 32-team bracket announcement on all four 2011 Basketball National Championships. VSN, led by founder Jason Dannelly, will produce a live, free video-streaming broadcast on two separate days, March 2 and March 9.

Read More…

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Davenport University sweeps Cornerstone University in VSN NAIA Game of the Week

Bernice Hansen Athletic Center, Home of the Cornerstone Eagles

Separated by just 15 miles, Davenport University and Cornerstone University have certainly built a cross-town rivalry. Although in town, it is never easy to go into the other team’s facility and pick up a win. Both road team’s struggled in this one and both road team’s were higher rated. Neither game had a conference championship on the line, but both lower rated teams were looking for upsets to try and secure a spot in the respective NAIA National tournament. Continue reading

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We closed out the 2009 season with a fantastic matchup between Sioux Falls and Lindenwood. The two teams battled it out for the National Championship in Rome, Ga with Sioux Falls claiming the 25-22 victory. The two programs have started as the top two teams in the country and rightfully so. Some people are wondering if the Coo can repeat, while others have LU picked to win the title. Some folks are expressing interest in Carroll College and Saint Xavier as well. What if we had a repeat for the national championship this season? Would the same teams win? How do they match-up? Continue reading

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Game of the Week Preview: Southern Virginia at Lindsey Wilson

Due to the lack of history for Lindsey Wilson and the youth of players on the team,
“Thayer’s Thoughts” will not be offering a position-by-position breakdown of this week’s game of the week. However, we will take a look at the matchup and get an overview of the game. You can also watch for the Special, mystery position-by-position breakdown that will take the place of this week’s. Continue reading

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VSN Travels – Week 2 (St. Charles, Mo./Orange City, IA)

I know I am not breaking any news when I say this, but 4:15 a.m. is FREAKING EARLY…..Wow. That is what time my alarm went off to start the trip. This has been a tough week with two games in one week and just a short week to prepare. It means for less sleep and longer days. So we got started this morning early bound for St. Charles, Mo. I had everything packed last night so this morning I was just trying to wake up. I grabbed a sandwich for breakfast and it was out the door. When I got to Jason’s he was already waiting in the vehicle. We were on the road shortly after 5 a.m. About a half hour in the trip I decided it was time to work on my breakdown preview of Sioux Falls vs Northwestern, our scheduled game for Saturday. Continue reading

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Victory Sports Network Players of the Week for Games the Weekend of 8/28/10

Grand Island, Neb. – A record breaking performance tops the list of this week’s Victory Sports Network NAIA Football Players of the Week.

Mike Maher of Saint Xavier University set a school record for touchdown receptions while having an exceptional output as a wide receiver for the Cougars.
Here is a complete breakdown of the players of the week by the Victory Sports Network.

Continue reading

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VSN Game of the Week Preview: Baker vs Ottawa (VSN First Down Classic)

When you think of a rivalry, there are a number of matchups that come to mind. They range anywhere from the Yankees/Red Sox to Cowboys/Eagles to Texas/Oklahoma and many others. Most rivalries, when asked, come to mind because you have heard of it recently. What about a rivalry that disappears but still remains one of the best long standing rivalries? Continue reading

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The last month has been….

….well I guess you can say crazy. Today is the first time I have logged on to my blog in awhile and I looked back at the last post…exactly one month. That is way too long for me to not be updating here so I will try to get better. I am going to explain the last month here and you might understand why I haven’t written a post in some time.

First of all, on July 23rd I was basically told that I wasn’t going to have a job. The company I was working for, College Fanz Sports Network, was folding due to financial reasons. This came as a slight surprise and much disappointment. Unfortunately, it was out of my control. On Monday, we got the official phone call and informed we no longer had jobs. With my job, went my internet access. Such is life. Continue reading

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Basketball: Should women play after men?

It seems more and more these days we are changing aspects we have known for so long to try and push “equality”. Sometimes it can be simple things, but the bottom line…..if it’s been this way for men then it can be the same way for women. Is this true in all cases? I first want to make it clear that I am not a sexist human being in anyway and my intentions here are not to make myself appear that way.

Ever since I was a little fella, excited to get the chance to go watch the high school teams play, I can remember going to basketball games and watching the girls play before the boys capped off the night with a contest of their own. It doesn’t matter what level I was watching, the women were first. That’s only proper, right? I grew up being taught that women get served first, women are saved first, you let women walk through the door first, you hold the door for women, etc. These are all characteristics of being a gentlemen…..or so I thought. Continue reading

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You don’t have to win, to “win”

Competition can be defined as “rivalry between two or more persons or groups for an object desired in common, usually resulting in a victor and a loser”.
In most cases there is a loser, but can both persons ever “win”. The idea in any competition is to obviously be the victor in the end. I know when I play sports or anything, for that matter, I want to win. It is the nature of the beast; you want to make someone else the loser. However, there are some occurrences where the “must win” attitude is pushed aside to help make things right.

Picture this….you are out on the links on a beautiful day. After the final hole, you learn that you have tied for the conference championship and must play a playoff hole. The winner of the playoff will advance to the national tournament. You may never have the opportunity to win the conference championship again. To add to the excitement, one player in the playoff is a senior, while the other is just a sophomore. The senior has had four years to win a conference championship, while the sophomore is new to the idea.

Now picture this…….the sophomore has stamped his ticket to the national tournament, because he was a part of the conference championship team. The championship team and individual earn a spot to the national tournament. The senior is one of the nicest guys on the course and has worked hard for four years. His team is not going to the national tournament, so his only chance is to win this playoff hole.

If you were the sophomore, would you go after the conference individual championship that you have rightfully put yourself in contention for? Or would you completely blow the playoff hole because you are already going to the national tournament and feel someone else has earned their chance to play in the most prestige tournament?

That is exactly what happened at Heritage Bluffs Golf Club in Channahon, Ill. Grant Whybark, the sophomore mentioned above, qualified for the NAIA national golf tournament for being a part of the University of Saint Francis (Ill.) conference championship team. However, he was forced into a playoff for the individual honors by a senior from Olivet Nazarene, Seth Doran. Whybark’s tee shot on the playoff hole sprayed 40 yards to the right and well out of bounds. He would make double-bogey, while Doran made par to earn his spot in the national tournament. The amazing this about this story is Whybark did it on purpose.

This seems like a nice story, but was Whybark assuming that day that he was the better man on the tee box? Or was he simply giving someone else a spot in the national tournament? The story has reached ESPN Radio, blogs and news outlets all over the country. Some people are happy to hear the story and praise this young man for not claiming both spots (team and individual) to the national tournament. Other people believe or not, are infuriated because of what the young man did. Some are claiming Whybark took something away from Doran for not letting him win it on his own. What do you think? Is this an act of kindness? Or is it an act of embarrassment?

If I am Doran, I would be thanking Whybark until I breathed my last breath in this world. It was the absolute last chance for Doran to realize a dream of competing at the national tournament and Whybark has already earned a spot, so why be greedy? I applaud this young man for doing something that most of us wouldn’t. Most of us would go for the gold because we have earned that opportunity. This was nothing less than a class act of kindness and sportsmanship.

This is not the first time an act like this has happened and hopefully it won’t be the last. In a 2008 softball game between Western Oregon and Central Washington, Western Oregon’s Sara Tucholsky hit a home run for the first time in her long career, at any level. However, Tucholsky injured her knee at first base and collapsed. Western Oregon’s only option was to have a pinch runner enter the game and the three-run home run would turn into a single. Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman asked the umpire if they could help their opponent around the bases. When told there was not rule against it, Holtman was joined by shortstop Liz Wallace to do something simply, “unbelievable,” as the two carried Tucholsky to touch each base. The homerun gave Western Oregon a 4-2 win and ended the season for Central Washington, but on that day…more than just Western Oregon was a winner.

In 2009, a high school basketball team was charged with a technical foul for playing a player that was not on the pregame roster. The reason the player was not on the roster was because his mother had passed away that day and the team did not expect him to play. When the opposing team was granted two free throws for the technical foul, senior and Co-captain Darius McNeal stepped to the line and intentionally missed both attempts as an act of sportsmanship.

Acts of sportsmanship are not as common as they used to be, but they do still exist. For an athlete at any level to step up and be the better person is simply amazing. In two of the three stories above, the act of sportsmanship directly impacted the outcome of the game and the losers were deemed “winners”.

UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell Sanders was quoted in 1950 saying, “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything. (Long pause). Men, it’s the only thing.”

You have to decide what “winning” actually is to know if it was indeed, the only thing and perhaps, everything.

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