Hamline athletics: homecoming highlights

Hamline athletics had their hand in homecoming week with a volleyball game, football game and the big bash.


Sophomore Naji El-Araby picks up the first down on the catch and runs for more down in the redzone. (Photo by Gino Terrell)

McDaniel Doe, Reporter

School spirit flooded onto the Hamline St. Paul campus, with various student orgs and athletic teams participating in the annual festivities the past week for Homecoming 2014.

Some of the highlights for the week were the volleyball game against Augsburg College, the football game against Bethel University and the Big Bash to round things off.

For the volleyball game on Oct. 10, the game had a “neon night” theme to support the team as they had a conference showdown against Augsburg as they were tied for second in conference. There was also a milestone set to cap the night.

The Piper Pit was brought back to Klas Field for the football game when the Pipers took on the conference powerhouse Bethel Royals on Oct. 11. Junior running back Austin Duncan also set a milestone as he became the first Piper to ever run for 3,000 yards in his career.

Finally, on Oct. 11 following the football game, inaugural celebration  called “The Big Bash,” kicked off. The Big Bash was a new event thrown in for Alumni Weekend where alums gathered for a social event with food and live music performances.

Senior co-captain of the football team, Ryan Ferkinhoff, was excited heading into his final homecoming weekend.

“There’s a different feeling about this game. It could be the continued support we’ve had with the student section, The Piper Pit,” Ferkinhoff said. “Also, since Coach [Chad] Rogosheske came here it’s been a different program.”

Ferkinhoff, who is also the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), has been making strides to increase attendance at sporting events and promoting a more unified campus.

“SAAC has been great. It seems like every year we continue finding new ways to increase attendance. The Piper Pit has been just that this year,” Ferkinhoff said.

Whether you call it the 12th man, the fanbase, or the Piper Pit, fan support is certainly paramount. One sports program that agrees is the Women’s volleyball team, who also received a lot of support this week. Senior Lynsey Reimer explained the importance of having school spirit.

“When I got here as a freshman, [finishing at the] bottom of the conference was expected as we were [suppose to be] okay with it. Now we are tied for [third] in the conference and not looking back,” Reimer said.

Reimer, who is also on the SAAC committee, owes the team’s success both in part to head coach Becky Egan and the fan base.

“Since coach Egan got here, it’s been a different environment. One of the first things that she emphasized was making Hamline her home and not a stepping stone. It is much easier being dedicated when everybody [has] bought in,” Reimer said.

Reimer also recorded a career milestone during the homecoming volleyball game when she moved up the ranks to be Hamline’s fourth all-time leader in digs, with 1571.

Earlier this season, after Reimer recorded her 1500th dig against St. Olaf on Sept. 27, she said seeing her name in the record books was not a goal for her.

“I’m really not trying to think about it to be honest. It’s cool to be up there, but the priority is to win games for the team. If I happen to get a couple of the dig records that they’re talking about then that’s cool. That’s just an additional incentive but the priority is winning games,” Reimer said.

Earlier this season, Egan commented on Reimer’s mindset.

“Talk about hungry, Lynsey is definitely one of those athletes that [is] constantly looking for what she can keep doing to get better,” Egan said. “She’s doing it for the good of the team. She knows if she does her job and stays consistent, stuff will work out…for her to come in and be like ‘it’s not about me. It’s not about me; it’s about the team,’ [that’s] amazing.”

Hamline athletics definitely had an extra boost with fans during their homecoming this year and Ferkinhoff said he thinks it will continue to better. He also wants to see the support translate into the winter and spring sports as he thinks it’s a win-win.

“We need to make sure that support goes into the winter and spring sports as well. If we show those programs the same support they showed us, then everybody wins,” Ferkinhoff said.