Photo Courtesy of CUNE Marketing Department
By Madisen Smith
The golf and shooting sports teams have been working hard on team dynamics and are both bringing something fresh to Concorida’s athletics this year. The fundamentals that coaches have brought to their teams have shaped excellent teamwork within their programs.
Head Golf Coach Brett Muller has been coaching with Concordia for nine years. Originally from Milford, he attended Morningside College and played basketball. He then transferred to Concordia and worked alongside the basketball program as a student assistant. After coaching high school level golf, he joined Concordia’s coaching staff.
Muller oversees both men’s and women’s golf with Graduate Assistant Golf Coach Tanner Randall. Randall started graduate assisting the golf team in 2018 after graduating from Wartburg College. Both coaches are excited about their younger teams and what they have to offer.
“We are excited for the freshmen that are coming in this year,” Randall said. “We feel that they fit in real well with the teams so far and feel like both teams have gotten a little closer and a little tighter. We have a few leaders and a few returners on both teams that should be leaders for us heading into the conference championships. We’re excited to see the younger boys and girls into competition and see what they can do.”
The teams are still led by strong players even though the majority is younger.
“On the men’s side, we’re a pretty young team,” Muller said. “We’ll have quite a few newcomers and even some of our returners. Tylar Samek is our leader of our men’s team. On the ladies’ side, we have two very strong players at the top of our lineup, Murphy Sears and Kendra Placke. Going into most tournaments, those two should have a chance to win the tournaments.”
The players agree with the coaching staff’s belief in the team’s leadership and close knit relationships.
“I think our team dynamic is extremely strong,” senior Tylar Samek said. “Since I’ve been with most of the team for at least a year, I have been able to bond with them, and everyone really meshes well personality wise.”
The women’s side of the golf team focuses mainly on their values as a team.
“We created a sort of web diagram where the center of our values is unity, surrounded by eight specific values, including faith, family, relationships, academics, reliability, accountability, personal wellness and integrity,” senior Murphy Sears said. “We also have a vision statement that reads ‘The Concordia Women’s Golf Team will represent the university, and ourselves, in a positive, Christian manner. We will contend for GPAC titles year in and year out through our tenacious work ethic on and off the course. The coaches and players will hold ourselves accountable, while knowing our individual role. Finally, we will share in each other’s accomplishments because we know it took a team to achieve them.’”
Shooting sports also have a promising season ahead of them with the guidance of Head Shooting Sports Coach Scott Moniot. This will be his fourth year coaching shooting at the collegiate level. Previously he was the head coach for the shooting program at Simpons College. With a background in youth ministry and theology, he found Concordia to be a better fit for him. While he hasn’t been in the collegiate level for long, he has been coaching different sports for most of his adult life, including baseball, softball and football.
“I’ve been coaching a long time, just not necessarily at the capacity that I am now,” Moniot said. “As you’ll probably find out, when you get older and have kids, if you’re interested in your kids’ lives, you want to be with them. You find yourself ending up being the coach. What I’m doing now, basically, when our son was in junior high, he fell in love with this sport when we were in Iowa and he started participating through the school system.”
Shooting athletes agree that Moniot challenges them on the field and in the classroom.
“He brings things to the level that you need them presented to you personally and he works with all individually when he has the chance,” junior Hannah Wiedebush said.
Golf and shooting share some similar aspects to their sports including the fact that both their teams don’t have facilities available to them on campus. Also similar to golf, shooting sports have expanded their team quite a bit with transfers and new students. Going from a 14 person team, this season makes a total of 33 shooters. Bringing in 19 new recruits, 16 being freshmen, shooting went from a club to a full on sport at Concordia.
“It really is like a family,” Wiedebush said. “Most teams say that, but it really is. Fans can expect to see competitive scores across the board and definitely a couple podium finishes at nationals.”
Kaytlyn Kindschy contributed to this article.