FALL SPORTS : A cause for celebration

The journey to a successful sports season begins in many ways.

For Hope's 2005 soccer teams it began in a most unusual way.  Both teams had an opportunity to travel to Europe last summer as a prelude to their regular seasons.  There was more to the trip than a series of "friendly games."  The student-athletes and their coaches participated in a community service project in Scotland and had many opportunities to experience the culture of Europe.

The trip paid dividends for the teams, who returned to have banner seasons. Both the Flying Dutch and Flying Dutchmen captured Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships and earned berths in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Success was not limited to the soccer program.  Hope teams won four MIAA championships in the fall season.  Joining soccer at the top were the volleyball and men's golf teams.  No Hope teams finished lower than third in their respective MIAA races.  Both cross country teams finished in second place, the football team tied for second and the women's golf team ended third.

The successes have put Hope atop the MIAA Commissioner's Cup standings after the fall season.  The award recognizes the member college with the best cumulative standings in the 18 conference-sponsored sports.

Soccer Teams Win at Record Clip

Hope's MIAA championship campaigns were impressive.  The Flying Dutchmen tied a school record for victories (17) in winning the conference championship for the third time in four years.  The Flying Dutch set a school record for victories (18) in gaining a share of the league crown for the third consecutive year.

The men's conference championship was the seventh under Coach Steven Smith, while the women's title was the second for Coach Leigh Sears.

All-conference first-team honors were presented to siblings.  Sophomore twins Dan and Ellie Tresslar of Bloomington, Ind., each played midfield for their respective teams and finished the season with double-digit assists.

Senior Geoff Meyer of Grand Rapids, Mich., was voted the MIAA's most valuable player and was one of six players named to the all-conference first team.  He was joined by senior Karter Klingenberg of Holland, Mich., senior Devin McNeil of Lansing, Mich., junior Patrick McMahon of Grand Rapids, Mich., senior Kevin Butterfield of Zanesville, Ohio and Dan Tresslar.

Four Flying Dutch were named to the All-MIAA first team.  Honored for a third consecutive year were juniors Holly Nestle of Mason, Mich., and Rachael Sauerman of Naperville, Ill.  Other honorees were senior Erica Pagorek of Munster, Ind., and Ellie Tresslar.

Both teams suffered tough losses in NCAA play, the Flying Dutchmen bowing to Gustavus-Adolphus, Minn., 1-0 and the Flying Dutch losing to DePauw, Ind., in a shootout after playing to a scoreless tie.

Volleyball Team a Perfect Sixteen

The Flying Dutch ran the table against conference opponents, posting a 16-0 mark in the MIAA .  At one point in the season the Flying Dutch had a 16-match winning streak.  The team ended with a 27-8 mark under second-year coach Becky Schmidt '99, who was named the MIAA Coach of the Year.

Presented All-MIAA first-team honors were senior Julie VanderSlice of New Era, Mich., junior Stephanie Poll of Hamilton, Mich., and senior Amber Hoezee of Jenison, Mich.

Dutchmen Golfers Achieve at Record Pace

The Flying Dutchmen won the MIAA championship for the third consecutive year and the sixth time in seven years with what is becoming a come-from-behind trademark.

Coach Bob Ebels's Dutchmen won the league crown by 22 strokes over eight tournaments. Runnerup Tri-State had owned a nine-stroke after six tournaments, but Hope rallied over the final two outings to claim the 12th league championship in school history.  A year ago Hope won the conference crown in a similar manner.

Three players, all sophomores, achieved All-MIAA first-team honors based on seasonal stroke average -- Tommy Yamaoka of Zeeland, Mich., 72.3; Matt Lapham of Brighton, Mich., 74.1; and Ryan Sheets of Saline, Mich., 75.0. Yamaoka and Lapham were honored for the second consecutive year.

Flying Dutch Golfers Most Improved

Under first-year coach Eva Dean Folkert, the Flying Dutch were the most improved fall sports team when compared to a year ago.  The Dutch finished in third place in the MIAA, improving their position in the team standings by four places.  Senior Brittany Philo of Greenville, Mich. achieved All-MIAA first team recognition, finishing sixth in the final league player standings.

Dutchmen Gridders Save Best for Last

The Flying Dutchmen finished the season with a flourish to keep their school-record streak of consecutive winning seasons alive.  Coach Dean Kreps's Dutchmen have now gone nine consecutive seasons of playing .500 or better.  This year's team finished with a 5-5 record and tied for second place in the MIAA standings.

Senior offensive tackle Josh DeHaan of Fremont, Mich., was named to the All-MIAA first team for the second time.  Named All-MIAA first-team on defense were sophomore end Matt Rugenstein and junior linebacker Zach Huizing, both from Grand Rapids, Mich.

The season's final game, a 38-20 victory over Alma, was also a day for several outstanding performances. Senior quarterback Joe Schwander of Rockford, Mich., became the first quarterback in Hope football history to rush for more than 200 yards in a game, gaining 209 yards.  Sophomore tailback David Booko of Three Rivers, Mich., became the ninth Hope player in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He gained 133 yards on 34 yards in the season finale to finish the season with 1,002 yards. He rushed for a touchdown to end the season atop the MIAA for touchdowns (11).  Senior placekicker Nate Barnett of Goodrich, Mich., tied an MIAA-record for consecutive PAT kicks with 30 in-a-row.

Cross Country Teams Each Finish Second

Both cross country teams finished second in their respective MIAA standings.  The Flying Dutchmen placed ninth at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional and the Flying Dutch were 11th.

Named to the All-MIAA first team were junior Amanda Huck of Fowlerville, Mich., freshman Lisa Peterson of Upper Arlington, Ohio, junior Ryan Terlouw of Pella, Iowa, and senior Kyle Williams of Plainwell, Mich.