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Peru State SAAC Makes Another Donation to Project Response


(Peru, Neb.) – Each year, a competition has been held among the athletic programs to see which team could come up with the most winter season items on a proportional basis determined by their squad size. A deserving agency has been selected by SAAC and this year's recipient was Project Response that serves Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, and Johnson counties.

This year, SAAC decided to coordinate their effort during the College's Homecoming week instead of waiting until later in the month as there were no football games at home the last two weeks in October. Normally, the Make A Difference Day is the last Saturday in October.

Two overfilled boxes of items and $75 were donated to Project Response representatives – Shari Berglund, Heather Helbe (a current Peru State student), and Sandy Streit (a 1999 Peru State graduate). Making the presentation to Project Response representatives was SAAC Communications Director/Secretary Toni Blackwell (Papillion). Blackwell said, "SAAC determined again this year to help Project Response because it serves many people and families in the five-county area. The Project Response staff seemed to be very appreciative of the items and the monetary donation."

In the competition among the athletic programs, the softball team claimed their fifth title in the six years of providing the most items and/or donations. Second place this year went to the cross country team. SAAC president Logan Paben (Columbus) noted, "The SAAC members are pleased with all of the donations given toward this project. Also, I would like to thank Toni for her efforts as she did a nice job of coordinating the effort for SAAC."

Bobcat athletic director Steve Schneider is proud of SAAC's continued efforts to help locally. Schneider said, "The members of SAAC and the entire athletic department realize the importance of doing community service which is part of the NAIA's Champions of Character Initiative. This friendly competition provides a means of not only providing assistance at the local level, but does allow the members to participate in an event which is nationally recognized (Make A Difference Day)."

Hull Earns Third Heart Libero of the Week Recognition


(Peru, Neb.) – After averaging more than seven digs per set during the week that saw the Bobcat volleyball team win their 19th and 20th games of the season, Mallory Hull (Morse Bluff) was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Libero of the Week.

Hull, a 5-6 senior, helped her Bobcat team improve to a 20-11 overall record as Peru State swept Sterling College (Kan.) and topped Friends University (Kan.) 3-1. The two teams are members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and Friends is currently tied at the top of the KCAC while Sterling is sixth in the ten-team league and had a winning record going into the weekend.

Against Sterling, Hull had 21 digs and was perfect at the serving line. In the Friends' game, Hull had 31 digs in four sets, nearly matching her career-high dig total in four sets.

For the week, Hull averaged 7.43 digs per set. Hull also served at a 91.9% rate and was 37 of 39 in service reception for 94.9%.

After last week, Hull is ranked 12th in the NAIA with 577 total digs and 23rd in digs per set at 5.340. She leads the Heart in total digs and is second in digs per set.

Hull and her teammates will face Benedictine College (Kan.) tomorrow night before participating in a tri-match at Central Christian College this weekend in McPherson, Kan.

Baker Picked to Repeat HAAC Women's Hoops Title


(Peru, Neb.) – Defending Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) champion Baker received eight of ten first place votes to sit atop the 2014-15 Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Wednesday morning as part of the Virtual Media Day presentation.

The Peru State Bobcat women's basketball team, under the direction of second-year head coach Joan Albury, was picked to finish ninth. Last year, the 'Cats finished in a tie for seventh and made the conference post-season tournament.

The Wildcats received 80 voting points (coaches did not vote for their own teams) to finish 12 points ahead of runner-up MidAmerica Nazarene. The Pioneers, who finished one game off the pace last season, claimed one first place vote and earned 68 points to edge out Central Methodist for second place by two votes. The Eagles picked up the remaining first place vote and were picked third for the second-straight season.

Benedictine, which shared third place in the 2013-14 regular season with Central Methodist, was picked fourth in the poll with 56 points, three points ahead of Evangel. The Crusaders return three starters from last season's team, including last season's freshman of the year Allison Swanson.

Graceland was chosen to finish in the same position as last season as the Yellowjackets claimed 39 points for sixth place, while Missouri Valley was picked to finish seventh with 34 points under first-year head coach Timothy Dixon. Avila (24 points), Peru State (19) and Culver-Stockton (11) finish out the last three places.

Missouri Valley tips off the season with the first regular season contest on Halloween with a visit to College of the Ozarks, while Culver-Stockton and Baker hit the court the following day. The opening round of conference games is set for Thursday, December 4, before conference play resumes on Thursday, January 8. The HAAC Tournament begins on Wednesday, March 4, with the championship game scheduled for Monday, March 9, at the site of the highest remaining seed.

To watch the Virtual Media Day videos, please go to: http://goo.gl/4MMUnK. This was a new venture for the Heart of America Athletic Conference by handling their annual media day in this manner.

HAAC Men's Hoops Coaches Pick Ravens to Repeat


(Peru, Neb.) – Defending Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) champion Benedictine received nine of ten first place votes to sit atop the 2014-15 Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Wednesday morning as part of the Virtual Media Day presentation.

The Peru State Bobcats men's team, in new head coach Eric Behren's first season, were picked to finish ninth. Last season, the 'Cats finished 9-19 overall and 4-14 in conference play, finishing in a tie for ninth.

The Ravens received a full 81 voting points (coaches did not vote for their own teams) to finish 16 points ahead of runner-up MidAmerica Nazarene. The Pioneers, who advanced to the NAIA Fab Four last season, claimed the remaining first place vote and earned 65 points. Evangel earned 58 points to sit two points ahead of Culver-Stockton, both teams coming off of national championship appearances in 2013-14.

The next two spots were separated by just one point as Missouri Valley (51 points) edged out Central Methodist (50) for the last spot in the top half of the poll. The teams switched spots from their regular season finish last season after splitting the two regular season meetings.

Baker was predicted to move up one place from its finish from a season ago and was picked to finish in seventh place with 31 points. Graceland (23), Peru State (19) and Avila (16) rounded out the poll.

The 2014-15 regular season tips off on Halloween night as Benedictine and Evangel hit the road for tournaments over the opening weekend, while Peru State, Missouri Valley and Central Methodist join up with games the following day. The opening round of conference games is set for Thursday, December 4, before conference play resumes on Thursday, January 8. The HAAC Tournament begins on Thursday, March 5, with the championship game scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Bobcat Volleyball Avenges Loss at Haskell

(Peru, Neb.) – When the Peru State volleyball lost to Haskell Indian Nations University in the last game of their second fall invite, the Bobcats were disappointed in themselves.

The 'Cats went to Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday night and ruined part of Haskell's Homecoming and Dig Pink/Alumni recognition as they swept the Indians 25-22, 25-18, 25-23.

With the win, Peru State improves to 17-11 overall while Haskell fell to 9-13.

Seven Recruits Join Bobcat Women's BB Team

(Peru, Neb.) – After losing only one senior from its team last season, the Peru State women's basketball team has added seven recruits for the upcoming 2014-15 campaign. Bobcat head coach Joan Albury announced the recruits recently and noted they have all been participating in the preseason conditioning and practices.

Five of the newcomers are juniors while the other two are freshmen. There are nine returners for Peru State this season.

The five juniors include Madison Peterson (West Valley, Utah), a 5-8 guard transferring from Colorado Northwestern Community College; Paris Crenshaw (St. Paul, Minn.), a 5-5 guard transferring from Central Community College, Jamisha Crawford (Memphis, Tenn.), a 5-0 guard transferring from Kansas City Community College; Eleishia Bibbs (Omaha), a 5-10 forward transferring from Central Community College; and Bailey West (Omaha), a 6-0 forward transferring from Kansas City Community College.

The two freshmen are Ashley French (Columbus, Ga.), and 6-4 center from Glenwood High School, and Elizabeth Bowman (West Point), a 6-0 center from West Point High School.

Albury anticipates the recruits to help provide some much needed depth which was missing last season for Peru State. The Bobcats will look to improve upon 7-23 overall record which included a 5-13 mark in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Peru State's first game will be Tuesday, November 4, when they host Morningside College in the Al Wheeler Activity Center will be 7 p.m.

NFCA Names Six Bobcat Softball Players as All-America Scholar-Athletes

Peru, Neb.) – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) recently announced that 4,687 softball players across seven membership divisions earned NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete honors for the 2013-14 academic year.

Six Peru State Bobcat softball players were among those honored, including 359 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Those recognized from Peru State were seniors Abbie Moser (Lincoln), Traci Bohlmeyer (Fairbury), Devon Massengale (Elkhorn) and freshmen Nicole Reznicek (Omaha), Chelsea Reznicek (Omaha), and Meghan McPolin (Orland Park, Ill.).

NCAA Division I, with 1,105 honorees, had the most student-athletes with a 3.5 grade-point average or higher, while 1,020 players in NCAA Division III scored recognition, followed by 741 in the High School Unweighted category.

NCAA Division II had 695 honorees, High School Weighted amassed 584 recipients, NAIA had 359 and Junior College totaled 183.

In all, more than 400 different schools scored academic honors which are based on the 2013-14 academic year.

Bobcat head coach Mark Mathews was pleased to have six student-athletes earn the recognition again this year. Mathews stated, "As a team, we have annually identified that we want to have a team grade point average of 3.0 or better. However, individually, it is tough for these players to maintain that 3.5 grade point average needed for individual recognition as the girls do miss a considerable amount of classes in the spring. However, it is obvious this group knew how to balance their studies with their athletic commitments."

The NFCA was organized in 1983 as the National Softball Coaches Association (NSCA). The purpose of the NSCA was "to educate softball coaches and the public in the game of softball, including coordinating the relationship between softball team membership and other educational endeavors through the development of softball in all its aspects as an amateur sport, including maintaining communication of new ideas and discussion of issues involving softball and education.

The Peru State Bobcat softball team was earlier recognized this summer as an NAIA Scholar Team.

Pribnow and Conry September Athletes of the Month


(Peru, Neb.) – After having outstanding performances in September which earned conference and NAIA recognition, Marisa Pribnow (Lincoln) and Greg Conry (Harlan, Iowa) were named the Peru State Bobcat Athletes of the Month for September. Athletic director Steve Schneider recently made the announcement.

At Peru State's final golf tournament of the fall, Pribnow shot a disappointing opening round of 88, but then rebounded with a school record 76 for 18 holes on Friday. This effort broke the previous record of 79 which had been set last year and tied earlier in the same week that Pribnow broke the record. For her record-setting efforts, Pribnow was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week.

Pribnow finished in a tie for seventh at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invite that week and earlier in the week, she finished tied for ninth in Peru State's own tournament. Earlier in September, Pribnow was the medalist at the Graceland Invitational.

It was Conry's late-game heroics that came on a 35-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the game giving the Bobcats a 23-21 victory over then-No. 19 Friends University (Kan.) on Sept. 13 in the NAIA Football Game of the Week. Conry ended the game making three of three field goals, including kicks of 31, 34, and 35 yards. In addition, he converted two of two PAT attempts and had six kickoffs averaging 62.7 yards per kick, including three touchbacks.

For his efforts, Conry first earned Heart of America Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors. This was followed the next day by the NAIA naming Conry as the NAIA's Special Teams Player of the Week.

Schneider commented, "Marisa and Greg are deserving of their being named as the September Bobcat Athletes of the Month. Shooting a 76 is something I would like to do, but Marisa did it and also broke the school record for 18 holes. As to Greg, obviously, he came through with the field goal near the end of the game which helped break our string of losses in the NAIA's Football Game of the Week."

Marisa Pribnow Named Heart Women's Golfer of the Week


(Peru, Neb.) – Following her school record setting performance on Friday, Marisa Pribnow (Lincoln) was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference women's golfer of the week on Monday.

Pribnow, a sophomore, came back from a disappointing first round of 88 in the Nebraska Wesleyan Fall Invite on Thursday to shoot a 76 on Friday, just four over par. This broke the previous school record of 79 which was set last season by Courtney Musgrave (Omaha) and tied last Monday by Emily Hausmann (Columbus).

With her two-day total of 164 in the Nebraska Wesleyan tourney, Pribnow finished in a tie for seventh as she moved up from a tie for 18th after Thursday's round.

On Monday, Pribnow shot an 87 on the second day of the Peru State Fall Invite which was held at Table Creek Golf Course in Nebraska City. Pribnow finished in ninth in this two-day tourney.

The Bobcat women's golf team finished third in the Nebraska Wesleyan Invite and second in their tournament as they had a very successful fall tournament.

Bobcat Football Coaches Support Coach to Cure MD

(Peru, Neb.) – For the third year in a row, the Peru State Bobcat football coaches joined other coaches nationwide in support of the Coach to Cure MD program, which was held during games on Saturday, Sept. 27. The rapidly growing annual effort has raised more than a million dollars to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The Bobcat coaches, members of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), wore a Coach to Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines. Peru State and Evangel football fans were asked to consider a donation to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Northwestern Mutual, one of America's strongest corporate backers of college football, has served as the corporate sponsor for the program this year, making a major financial donation of PPMD's medical reseach for a cure to Duchenne MD.

Football fans were asked to donate and still can to Duchenne muscular dystrophy research by either going online to www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word CURE to 90999 where a $5 donation will be automatically added to your next phone bill.

Last year, more than 10,000 college coaches at more than 600 different institutions participated in the Coach to Cure MD events. The five-year fundraising total is just over $1 million.

About the AFCA

The American Football Coaches Association was founded in 1922 and is considered the primary professional association for football coaches at all levels of competition. The 10,000-member organization includes more than 90 percent of head coaches at the 700-plus schools that sponsor football at the college level. Members include coaches from Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.

About PPMD

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. The organization's mission is to end Duchenne. The group accelerates research, raises their issues in Washington, demanding optimal care for all young men and educate the global community.

Mallory Hull Earns Heart Libero of the Week Recognition


(Peru, Neb.) – After averaging nearly seven digs per set during the week that saw the Bobcat volleyball team win the York College Tournament, Mallory Hull (Morse Bluff) was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Libero of the Week.

Hull, a 5-6 senior, helped lead her Bobcat team to a 3-2 record on the week which saw Peru State drop a pair of games on Tuesday night to Evangel University (Mo.) and William Woods University (Mo.). However, the 'Cats rebounded and had sweeps over Bethel University (Kan.) and Central Christian College (Kan.) and a four-set win over the tourney hosts in the York tournament.

Against William Woods, Hull had a career-high 34 digs in four sets. She nearly matched that against York as she totaled 29 digs.

For the week, Hull averaged 6.72 digs per set. Hull also had four service aces while serving at 91% and had a serve receive reception rate of 91.6%.

Hull and her teammates will face MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) tomorrow night before participating in the Bellevue Bruins Tournament this Friday and Saturday.

Peru State Recognizes 2013-14 Winter and Spring Athletes


Peru, Neb. – At halftime of the Peru State-Evangel football game on Saturday, Bobcat winter and spring student-athletes were recognized for their athletic and academic honors earned during the 2013-14 season. This awards recognition was started three years ago with the winter and spring athletes being recognized at a football game and fall athletes being recognized at a basketball game during the second semester.

President Dan Hanson and the First Lady, Elaine Hanson, along with the respective coaches honored those in attendance on Saturday in the Oak Bowl.

Those receiving honors this past year follows:

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Jasmine Tate (Fayetteville, N.C.) – 2013-14 Swenson Award Winner, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Shelbie Hess (Phoenix, Ariz.) – HAAC Third Team, HAAC Player of the Week, 2013 Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Second Team
Karlee Stuart (Las Animas, Colo.) – HAAC Honorable Mention, 2013 Omaha World-Herald Honorable Mention
Brittany Peterson Harward (Orem, Utah) – Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, 2013 Omaha World-Herald Honorable Mention, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Nate Bohy (Mesa, Ariz.) – HAAC Third Team, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Kody Kirkpatrick (Loami, Ill.) – HAAC All-Conference Honorable Mention, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Taylor Christensen (Phoenix, Ariz.) - Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Brett Pierce (St. Joseph, Mo.) – 2013-14 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete

SOFTBALL

Cheyenne Dalrymple (Stockton, Calif.) – HAAC First Team, HAAC Player of the Week, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Halle Holloway (Waco) – HAAC Second Team, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Anna O'Gorman (Omaha) – HAAC Honorable Mention, HAAC Player of the Week, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Makenna Tracy (Hickman) – HAAC Honorable Mention
Traci Bohlmeyer (Fairbury) – CoSIDA Capital One District Three First Team, 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Abbie Moser (Lincoln) – 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Devon Massengale (Elkhorn) – 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention, Pitched Perfect Game – Only second one in Bobcat softball history
Entire Softball Team – NAIA Scholar Team

BASEBALL

Randy Santiesteban (Hialeah, Fla.) – HAAC First Team, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska First Team
Miguel Navarro (San Jacinto, Calif.) – HAAC First Team, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Seth Walston (Hemet, Calif.) – HAAC Second Team
Mike Melendez (Hollywood, Calif.) – HAAC Second Team, HAAC Player of the Week, HAAC Pitcher of the Week, NAIA Pitcher of the Week, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Jake Wright (Freeport, Fla.) – HAAC Second Team
Derrick Davis (Orange Park, Fla.) – HAAC Second Team, 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Josh Alonzo (Riverside, Calif.) – HAAC Honorable Mention
Tommy Barnes (Cusseta, Ga.) – HAAC Rawlings Gold Glove Team, Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Honorable Mention
Vance Keller (Tacoma, Wash.) – 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, 2013-14 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Bobcat Baseball Team – 2013-14 Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team – top team of 188 NAIA baseball programs

WOMEN'S GOLF

Courtney Musgrave (Omaha) - 2014 HAAC First Team, HAAC Golfer of the Week
Marisa Pribnow (Lincoln) – 2014 HAAC First Team, HAAC Golfer of the Week
Alana Payton (El Paso, Ill.) - 2014 HAAC First Team
Entire Golf Team – NAIA Scholar Tea

CHEERLEADING

Nakita Baird (Tecumseh) - 2014 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Brittany Bock (Lincoln) - 2014 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Felicia Schlicker (Lincoln) - 2014 HAAC Scholar-Athlete
Megan Carroll (Crete) - 2014 HAAC Scholar-Athlete

Peru State Volleyball Announces Two Schedule Changes

Peru, Neb.) – The Bobcat volleyball team has announced the addition of one more game and the rescheduling of another.

Peru State will now travel to Lawrence, Kan., on Friday, Oct. 10, to face the Haskell Indian Nations University Indians at 7 p.m.

Then, on Sunday, Oct. 12, the Bobcats will host Central Methodist University at 2 p.m. This game was originally scheduled for Oct. 10, but was moved to accommodate the addition of the Oct. 10 game with Haskell. The Peru State-Central Methodist match-up will be a Heart of America Athletic Conference game.


Jurek And Ford Earn August Athletes Of The Month For Peru State


(Peru, Neb.) – Courtney Jurek (Bellevue) and Tyler Ford (Lincoln) are the Peru State Bobcat Athletes of the Month for August as announced recently by athletic director Steve Schneider.

Jurek, a senior setter on the Bobcat volleyball team, earned the August recognition after having been named the first Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Setter of the Week honor of the 2014 season. She earned her HAAC nomination after leading the Bobcats to a pair of wins in the Grace University Tournament. Jurek averaged 10.29 assists per set while Peru State defeated Presentation College (S.D.) and Grace University.

The early childhood/elementary education major set her personal career high assists in a single game with 47 in the five-set loss to Culver-Stockton College on Tuesday night. Jurek is currently sitting in sixth in the all-time career assists leaders.

Ford, a senior offensive lineman for the Peru State football team, was named as the August Male Student Athlete of the Month for having been named to three preseason All-American football teams. The most recent preseason honor was the 2014 Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) which was selected by the "D2 vs. NAIA Challenge" Bowl committee and the 2015 "Team America" coaching staff.

In addition, Ford was named to the 2014 Football Gameplan (FBGP) Preseason NAIA All-American team and as a 2014 USA Football Networks, Inc. Preseason All-American. The criminal justice - administration major was named as an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NAIA First Team All-American following the 2013 football season.

AD Schneider said, "Earning any HAAC honor such as the Setter of the Week is an honor thus making Courtney deserving being named as the August Female Bobcat Athlete of the Month." Continuing Schneider noted, "Tyler has obviously earned many recognitions and works hard to do so. In addition, he does well in the classroom."

Peru State Can't Fend Off Culver-Stockton

(Peru, Neb.) – What was anticipated to be a potential long volleyball game Tuesday night turned out to be exactly that – a game which lasted over two hours on a stormy night in Peru.

Unfortunately for the Bobcat volleyball team, they found themselves on the losing side as the visiting Culver-Stockton College Wildcats came storming back after being down two sets to eventually win 24-26, 20-25, 25-22, 27-25, 15-8.

With the win, the Wildcats improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) while Peru State fell to 6-4 and 0-1 in conference play.

In the early part of the first set, the teams went back and forth with Peru State eventually moving out to a 12-7 lead as Cristal Quinonez (Anthony, N.M.) put down a kill on an assist by Courtney Jurek (Bellevue). The Wildcats would fight back in the first set and led 20-17 before Jurek assisted Rian Kirby (Gretna) on a kill to cut the lead to two. The set was tied at 23-23 and 24-24 before a hitting error on Culver-Stockton made it 25-24. The final point of the first set was a Bobcat kill by Carrie Lierz (Holton, Kan.) on an assist from Hope Harsh (Cassoday, Kan.).

The Wildcats jumped to a 3-0 lead in the set before Peru State tied it at 4-4. The score was then tied at 5-5, 6-6, and 7-7 before the Bobcats would work its way to a 16-9 lead with the 16th point coming on another Lierz kill, this time on an assist from Jurek. Culver-Stockton did get within four at 22-18 and 23-19 before another Lierz and Jurek combination finally finished off the set point.

Peru State never led in the third set but did tie it at 10-10 and 12-12. The Wildcats' largest lead came at 24-19 before the Bobcats attempted to come back. A kill by Jennifer Ostrowski (Kankakee, Ill.) on an assist from Jurek making it 24-20 was followed by a free ball kill by Ostrowski making it 24-21. A Wildcat hitting error shortened their lead to 24-22, but Peru State had a hitting error to give Culver-Stockton the 25-22 third set win.

Culver-Stockton jumped to an early lead at 8-4, but the Bobcats fought back to eventually tie it at 12-12 on an Ostrowski kill on an assist from Jurek. The teams traded points and it was still tied at 19-19 when the Wildcats went back on top 22-20. Bre Brandt (Papillion) got a kill on an assist from Jurek to make it 22-21. Then Brandt served up an ace to tie it at 22-22. Again, Culver-Stockton would go back up by two at 24-22 forcing Peru State to fend off a couple of set points. Consecutive kills by Quinonez on assists from Jurek once again knotted the score at 24-24. A Wildcat kill was followed by another Quinonez kill, this time on an assist from Mallory Hull (Morse Bluff) to make it 25-25. A Bobcat attack error followed by a Culver-Stockton kill tied the game at two sets apiece.

Peru State was forced to play from behind the entire fifth set as the Wildcats jumped to a 4-0 lead and never trailed in the deciding set.

The Bobcats will be participating in a triangular on Saturday in Seward. At 11 a.m., Peru State will be facing Concordia University. Currently, the Bulldogs are 6-3 and were receiving votes in the first NAIA Volleyball Poll released on Tuesday. At 1 p.m., the Bobcats will take on the Cardinals from Friends University (Kan.). Friends is currently 7-7. Both Concordia and Friends will play a conference match on Wednesday before Saturday's triangular.

Peru State's Weickert Named HAAC Golfer of the Week

(Peru State) - After shooting a career best 18-hole total in the opening round in the College of St. Mary Fall Invitational, Jessica Weickert was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Women's Golfer of the Week Monday morning.

Weickert, a sophomore from Beatrice, shot a ten-over-par 82 and stood in second place after the opening round trailing the leader by four strokes. The tourney is being played on the Miracle Hill Golf Course in Omaha.

Weickert and her Bobcat teammates a school-record best 335, bettering the previous mark by 11 strokes. Peru State was in first place after the first day with a one-stroke lead over Des Moines Community College.

Warriors Spoil Oak Bowl Rededication Night for Peru State

The 24th-ranked Peru State Bobcats held its dedication ceremony for the Oak Bowl before its season opener against the Midland University Warriors Saturday night. It was "one of the proudest days to be a Bobcat," at least until the game started as Midland upset Peru State 28-14.

The Midland Warriors were on the board first with a one yard touchdown run from Alex Cornist in the 1st quarter but Peru State's Aaron Smith responded in the second quarter with a four yard touchdown run of his own.

The game was still tied 7-7 going into the fourth quarter until Midland scored 21 unanswered points started by a four yard touchdown run by Alex Cornist, a 27 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Cameran to Tristen Klamaka, and finally a two yard touchdown run by Jacob Butler. Peru State's Aaron smith scored a touchdown on a one yard run with 15 seconds left in the game.

Peru State Head Coach Steve Schneider: "We gave the ball away too many times and didn't get the push up front on offense and gave up too many big plays on defense."

Peru State had 131 rushing yards in a combined effort from Aaron Smith, who rushed for 52, Tyler Audsley, who rushed for 36, and Bo Shepard who ran for 26. Nate Tromblee, Eric Morrison, and Marccus Spearman also added 28 combined rushing yards.

Bo Shepard completed 11 passes on 28 attempts for 109 yards, throwing one interception.

Midland's Alex Cornist carried the ball 34 different time in the game and rushed for 114 yards scoring two touchdowns, as he was the standout player in teh game.

Midland Coach Josh Gehring: "Alex is a true work horse. He played is heart out tonight. He went way above what we asked him to do. He's a true warrior."

Andrew Cameran made his debut for Midland at Quarterback completing 16 passes on 28 attempts for 180 yards, completing one touchdown pass.

Peru State next will take on Friends University from Kansas in the KCAC - HAAC classic this Saturday at 7pm at the Oak Bowl.


Bobcat Volleyball 2014 Season Preview

2014 Bobcat Volleyball Team

Bre Brandt, Mallory Hull, and Courtney Jurek

Rachael West, Lindsey Nelson, and Carrie Lierz

Hope Harsh and Jordyn Lukasiewicz

Kelsey Young, Jennifer Ostrowski, and Nicole Soifua

Cristal Quinonez, Lea Boras, and Shannon Liewer

Rian Kirby, Sela Tharan, and Meg Grose

Alexandria Mitchell and Alyssa Martin

Dana Christensen and Alaya Roberts

Nathan Baker and Kelsey Monahan

Allison Glathar and Sarah Burnette

(Peru, Neb.) – Improving from their 2012 season, Peru State Bobcat women's volleyball team ended their 2013 season with a 21-14 overall record and a 4-5 Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) mark. The 'Cats made the HAAC conference tournament, but were knocked out the first round by Baker University, who would go on to capture second place in the tournament. As they build off of their success from last year, the volleyball team plans on making even greater strides as they look to improve their record and advance further in the HAAC conference tournament under the new leadership of Coach Nathan Baker.

"I am excited about my first season at Peru State College," commented Coach Baker. "I see a lot of potential in our new team and I hope to build on the success from the past. PSC volleyball has a deep and rich history of being successful, now we have to transfer that over to our new team and make upward strides in the HAAC."

This fall, eight returners will be joined by 13 newcomers. While the newcomers will bring in some fresh talent and positive energy to the program, they will have the solid core of returners to work with as they look to have a bright and prosperous season.

"Our senior class has been great leaders in the new transition; they have bought into the new culture we have created. The sacrifice each of these young ladies has made during the spring and this summer will pay off this fall," stated Coach Baker.

Returners

The returners will be led by HAAC all-conference second team selection senior outside Bre Brandt (Papillion) and senior defensive specialist Mallory Hull (Morse Bluff). Brandt was third overall with 359 total kills and was tenth in the HAAC with 89 kills. Hull finished the 2013 season ranking 32nd in the NAIA in total digs (611) and 45th in digs per set averaging 4.89. Senior Courtney Jurek (Bellevue) broke into the Peru State record books and is now ranked sixth in career assists (1,629). Jurek earned all-conference honorable mention last season.

Joining these three will be five other returners with a lot of experience. They are senior right side Rachael West (El Dorado, Kan.); junior outside hitter Lindsey Nelson (Granite Bay, Calif.); senior outside hitter Carrie Lierz (Holton, Kan.); senior defensive specialist Hope Harsh (Cassoday, Kan.); and sophomore defensive specialist Jordyn Lukasiewicz (Farwell). Lierz was named to the HAAC all-conference honorable mention list last season.

Newcomers

Thirteen newcomers will be joining the Bobcat squad this year. Of the 13, seven are transfers and six are freshmen. The transfers are: junior setter Kelsey Young (Goodfield, Ill.); junior middle hitter Jennifer Ostrowski (Kankakee, Ill.); senior middle hitter Nicole Soifua (West Point, Utah); junior outside hitter Cristal Quinonez (Anthony, N.M.); junior hitter Lea Boras (Makarska, Croatia); junior defensive specialist Shannon Liewer (Imperial); and sophomore outside hitter Rian Kirby (Gretna). The freshmen recruits include: setter Sela Tharan (Denver, Co.); setter Meg Grose (Peoria, Ariz.); middle hitter Alexandria Mitchell (Fort Worth, Tex.); middle hitter Alyssa Martin (Grand Island); middle hitter Dana Christensen (Las Vegas, Nev.); and outside hitter Alaya Roberts (Cibolo, Tex.). Christensen will red-shirt this season as she recovers from a knee surgery.

Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC)

While there is no official preseason poll taken, the HAAC is expected to be a tough challenge as usual with excellent competition and skilled athletes within the conference. MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) looks to be the team to beat again this year. Finishing 9-0 in the conference, MNU beat Baker University in the HAAC tournament last November. Two years in a row now, MNU has won the conference tournament and advanced to the NAIA National Championship Tournament.

Last season, Peru State finished in the lower part of the conference at seventh with a 4-5 conference record. The record was good enough to make the conference tournament, but Peru State was swept by the Wildcats in the first round. The 'Cats will be looking to make it past the first round of the post-season for the first time since joining the conference in 2011.

2014 Schedule

This upcoming season's volleyball schedule will consist of several quality tournaments and tri-matches.

Peru State will host two tournaments this season. The first one will be August 22 and 23 with Doane College, Presentation College, and William Penn University participating. The second Peru State tournament will be in September with Stephens College, AIB College of Business, and Haskell Indian Nations University.

The two other tournaments that the Bobcats will be competing in are the Avila Tournament and York College Tournament. Teams participating in the Avila tournament are University of St. Mary, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bethany College, and Park University. The York College Tournament will consist of Bethel College, York College, and Central Christian College.

The schedule includes games against three teams which finished in the 2013 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll and one just outside the Top 25. The Bobcats will face the Park University Pirates that finished 15th on Sept. 6 and then on Sept. 16, the 'Cats will travel to face Baker University. The Wildcats finished the season while receiving votes, good enough for 36th overall.

On Sept. 30, Peru State will host MidAmerica Nazarene which finished the 2013 campaign in the 14th spot in the Top 25 poll. The final team which was ranked last season who the Bobcats will face this season will be the Bruins of Bellevue University. The two teams will match up in Bellevue's Premier Classic on Oct. 4.

The complete schedule can be found on the Bobcat athletic website at http://www.pscbobcats.com/schedule.aspx?path=wvball.

Fans will be able to watch home games via Livestream which will be linked to the schedule on the website. In addition, fans can get limited game updates and the media releases via text by signing up at

Coaching Staff

In January, Peru State Athletic Director Steve Schneider announced the hiring of Nathan Baker as the new head Bobcat volleyball coach. Baker arrived at Peru State with 12 years of experience as a head coach or an assistant at the college level. He has a history of strengthening programs by recruiting and developing skilled student-athletes, ranging from one All-American to two conference rookies of the year. Off the court, he takes pride in his student-athletes succeeding in the classroom.

Baker begins his work at Peru State after serving as the athletic director at Brevard Christian School in West Melbourne, Fla., for the last two years. He also served on the Facilities and Event Management staff at the University of Central Florida. His last coaching stop was as an assistant coach for three years at NCAA Division I Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Baker will be assisted by Kelsey Monahan (Atkinson). This will be Monahan's second year as the graduate assistant for the volleyball program. Previously before joining the coaching staff at Peru State, Monahan coached at Colby Community College. She is also a former Bobcat volleyball player and graduated with her B.S. in psychology and criminal justice counseling in 2011 from Peru State. Monahan was a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Baker and Monahan will be joined by two student assistant coaches, senior Allison Glathar (Dawson) and freshman Sarah Burnette (Irwin, Iowa).

Team Diekmann Wins Second-Straight Peru State FB Booster Club Golf Tournament

Booster Club tournament director Mike Gerdes (left) with Team Diekmann.

(Peru)- For the second year in a row, the golf team captained by former Bobcat student-athlete Bryan Diekmann (Shenandoah, Iowa), won the annual Peru State Football Booster Club Golf Tournament. Twenty-one teams competed on Friday, August 8, at the Auburn Country Club.

Diekmann's team shot a 53 for 18 holes to claim their second title and easily won by five strokes. Those joining Diekmann on the winning team were Ty Ratliff, Jon Weinrich, and John Skillern – all of whom are from Shenandoah.

The tournament was directed for the third year by Peru State Booster Club member Mike Gerdes. Gerdes was pleased with the outcome of the day, especially to have a similar number of teams and golfers as in 2013. He noted, "I had plenty of help on pulling off this event and am very appreciative of all who played, donated, and helped in some manner. I hope we have this same type of support and attendance in future years."

Winning the second flight was Team Dolezal from Lincoln as they completed the 18 holes with a score of 65. Team members were Mark Dolezal, Terri Dolezal, Steve Dolezal, and Cody Reinert.

Second place in the second flight went to Team Bowman from Plattsmouth as they shot a 66. One stroke behind in third was Zach's Bar & Grill from Peru with a 67.
3581Team Dolezal won the Second Flight

Gerdes noted the following businesses/individuals were hole sponsors for the tournament: A-1 Cellular, Arbor Manor, Auburn Family Health Center – PC, Auburn Optimist Club, Auburn Rotary Club, Auburn State Bank, Bowldog Alley, Brown's Medical Imaging, Carson National Bank, John & Mary Ann Chaney, El Portal Mexican Restaurant, HACO Electric, Hickory Road BBQ & Catering, Hilltop Dental – Katrina Conrad DDS, Hunters Headquarters, Lifetime Vision Center, Meyer-Earp Auto Center, Nemaha County Hospital, Peru State College Athletic Department, Pieters Construction, Southeast Design & Pioneer Tanning, Wal-Mart, Dennis Wittmann, and Zach's Bar & Grill.

In addition, the following donated flag prizes, raffle prizes, silent auction items, and live auction items: American Family Insurance – Tom Smiley, Andy & Rachel Kohls, Auburn Newspapers, Auburn State Bank, Bushnell – Scott Peterson, Dan Hoins, Ideal Images – Pete McCann, Jerry Joy, Marv Gerdes, PSC Athletic Department, PSC Football Booster Club, Sack Lumber, State Theater, Steve Schneider, and Ted L. Harshbarger.

Hull and Paben July Bobcat Student-Athletes of the Month

Logan Paben

Mallory Hull

(Peru)- Mallory Hull (Morse Bluff) and Logan Paben (Columbus) are the Peru State Bobcat Athletes of the Month for July as announced recently by athletic director Steve Schneider.

Both Hull and Paben are being honored for the fact that they were recently selected by the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Awards Committee as the HAAC's nominees for the NAIA's A.O. Duer Award. This award is named in honor of the NAIA's former executive secretary for his 26 years of service to the Association. The award is presented annually to a junior men's and women's student-athlete in any sport who has excelled academically, as well as, athletically.

The selection for the national award will be based on scholarship, character, and playing ability with the student-athlete having an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.75 on a 4.00 scale. Documentation for such, including a minimum of five letters of recommendation attesting to the character, citizenship, and leadership qualities of the nominee were required.

Hull was selected by Peru State and eventually by the conference as she not only meets the grade point average requirement, but also earned HAAC Second Team All-Conference as a libero for the Bobcat volleyball team. In addition, Hull is very active on the Peru State campus.

Currently with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Paban, too, is very busy on campus. In addition, last season, Paben earned HAAC All-Conference honorable mention.

AD Schneider noted that Hull and Paben were the logical choices for the July recognition. Schneider said, "Mallory and Logan, in their first two years at Peru State, have made an impact on their respective teams, not only as athletes, but true student-athletes. They are definitely role models for all student-athletes, as well as, Peru State's general student population, as they are doing what they are supposed to be doing as college students!"

Bobcat Volleyball among AVCA Record 676 Teams Honored for Academic Excellence

(Peru)- The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced today that 676 teams have earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2013-2014 season. This number once again breaks the previous year's total of 623 and sets a new all-time high for this award.

The Peru State volleyball team was among those honored and just one of 33 NAIA institutions receiving the recognition.

Four other Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) teams were among those honored including Benedictine College (KS), Evangel University (MO), Graceland University (Iowa), and Missouri Valley College.

The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

The AVCA Team Academic Award has become one of the AVCA's fastest growing awards programs, seeing an impressive surge in teams honored over the past several years. Since the 2000-2001 season, the number of recipients have increased every single year but one, while amassing an overall 500% increase over the span of the last decade. Since the award's inception in 1993, the amount of award winners has increased from 62 to its current number of 676.

New Bobcat head coach Nathan Baker was pleased to learn the 'Cats were among those honored. Baker said, "These student-athletes fully understand that collegiate athletics is a privileged four-year experience. The education they receive here at Peru State College will set them up for success not just for the next four years, but for a lifetime. As a staff and a department, we could not be more pleased to see our program place true value on the importance of excelling in the academic setting here at Peru State College. I am honored to coach the 2013-14 AVCA Team Academic Award winners."

Peru State Picked to Finish Fourth in HAAC

Bobcat Seniors Shane Lloyd (left) & Tyler Ford (right)

Tuesday's HAAC Media Day was held at the NAIA Offices in downtown Kansas City

(Kansas City, Mo.)- Three-time defending Heart of America Athletic Conference champion Missouri Valley received six of ten first place votes to claim one point more than Baker and sit atop the 2014 HAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Tuesday afternoon at the annual Media Day festivities at the NAIA national office. On that list, Peru State College was picked to finish 4th. The Bobcats enter their 4th year in the conference under the direction of Head Football Coach, Steve Schneider, "From top to bottom, it is a Cadillac Conference in the Country. Our goal is to win a conference championship. I think any program with their assault, that's their goal. Now for us, it's more about the process of getting there, than talking about wins. As you hear today, there's not much difference between the have's and have-nots. A few plays here and there, a few injuries here and there, and you can go from the penthouse the outhouse in a hurry," said Schneider.

For the Bobcats to end up at the top of the HAAC, Bobcat Senior Linebacker, Shane Lloyd says the younger guys on the team will need to step up, "I feel like last season, deep in the season, we kind of ran in little bit of an injury issue and the younger guys weren't ready. But, I really think this next season the younger guys will step up and make the plays we need them to make."

The Bobcats had the best rushing offense in the HAAC last season and the fourth best scoring offense in the conference. Peru State Senior Offensive lineman, Tyler Ford expects the offense to be just as good as it was last year, "we've got a lot of good returners. A lot of the guys coming back. I feel good about it."

A Lincoln native, Ford was named a preseason All-American, "it's exciting and a great honor. I guess we'll just see what happens this upcoming season."

Both Lloyd and Ford were recently named to the 2014 Collegiate Development Football League Preseason All-American Football Teams.

Peru State will open up its 2014 season at home when they host Midland University on Saturday, September 6, in the newly-renovated Oak Bowl at 7 p.m.



2014 HAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

School (First Place Votes) - Points

1. Missouri Valley (6) - 77
2. Baker (4) - 76
3. Benedictine - 65
4. Peru State - 56
5. MidAmerica Nazarene - 48
6. Evangel - 44
7. Central Methodist - 29
8. Avila - 21
9. Culver-Stockton - 19
10. Graceland - 15

Bobcat Football Receives Additional Preseason Honors

Tyler Ford

Shane Lloyd

(Peru)- Peru State football seniors Tyler Ford (Lincoln) and Shane Lloyd (Ridgecrest, Calif.) have been named to the Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) 2014 Preseason All-American Football Teams, which was announced on Wednesday, July 30. Ford was named to First Team Offense and teammate Lloyd was named to Third Team Defense.

The team was selected by the "D2 vs. NAIA Challenge" Bowl committee and the 2015 "Team America" coaching staff. It is based upon player nominations and evaluations made by college coaches, college sports information directors, regional scouts and media personnel. The CDFL is honored to showcase the 2014 preseason All-American players and to sponsor the annual "D2 vs. NAIA Challenge" to be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Saturday, December 20, 2014. The selected players are on the watch list for invitation to this game.

In addition, these players will be evaluated for selection to the roster for "Team America" that will be representing the USA in scheduled International bowl games in 2015. "Team America" is the only privately funded USA National team representing free agents and promoting American football on an international level. The 2015 schedule includes contests in New York vs. Canada, Grand Cayman Island, Myrtle Beach vs. Europe and New Orleans vs. Mexico. In 2014, over 300 players will participate in the CDFL's "National Scouting Showcase" (NSS) consisting of four games designed to present opportunity to top senior talent on the FCS, D2, D3 and NAIA levels.

The NSS is one of the nation's premier scouting events for post-collegiate players. It is held annually in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in December. This four-day football experience provides seniors with elite level game competition, a job fair, professional coaching clinic, combine testing, recognition banquet, live game broadcast, fresh game film and full access to our network of North American and European league contacts, coaches, agents and scouts. To learn more about the 2014 "D2 vs. NAIA Challenge" and other CDFL events, please visit PlayCDFL.com.

Ford is an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) First Team All-American and HAAC All-Conference First Team selection. Recently, Ford was named as a 2014 Football Gameplan (FBGP) Preseason NAIA All-American and a 2014 USA Football Network, Inc. Preseason All-American. With his offensive line teammates last season, Ford and the Bobcats had the best rushing offense in the HAAC and the fourth best scoring offense in the conference. In the NAIA, the offensive line led the way for the nation's third-best rushing total.

Lloyd, a linebacker, finished last season with 53 total tackles – 21 unassisted and 32 assisted. He added eight tackles for a loss of 36.5 yards and added 3.5 sacks for a loss of 18.5 yards. In addition, Lloyd had two pass deflections, five forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

Bobcat Volleyball Hosts Advanced Team Camp

(Peru, Neb.) – The Peru State Bobcat volleyball team hosted an Advanced Team Camp recently from July 23 to 25 in the Al Wheeler Activity Center (AWAC).

The advanced team camp was designed to teach advanced skills and concepts to teams. The camp assisted teams and individual players by combining individual skills work, team work, and competitive play.

Bobcat coaches, players, and others assisted the campers and coaches in order to provide a greater understanding of individual skills and concepts. Those helping with the camp were Bobcat head coach Nathan Baker, graduate assistant Kelsey Monahan, Bobcat players Carrie Lierz, Bre Brandt, Madi Sutton, Meg Grose, Alyssa Martin, and Courtney Jurek. Others assisting were Sarah Burnette, Kinsey Kozisek, and Alexandria McClain.

Those teams participating were Falls City Sacred Heart, David City, and Harvard. All three teams are coached by former Bobcat players.

Representing the Irish from Sacred Heart at the camp were: Haylee Heits, Alexandria Bangert, Abby Fiegener, Nicole Fiegener, Elizabeth Magdanz, Madison Huppert, Maggie Goltz, Lauren Parrish, Sara Wertenberger, Natalie Kreifels, Elizabeth Dunn, and Aly Bangert. Head coach Susan Witt accompanied the Irish.

Those Harvard Cardinals in attendance were: Katie Bell, Jennifer Callahan, Megan Fishler, Katie Harms, Shyanne Porter, Cassie Roberts, Alexis Schuck, and Makenna Schuck. The Cardinals are coached by K.T. Salberg.

The Scouts from David City included: Lauren Hoeft, Morgan Hoeft, Brooke Bell, Renne Backstrom, Rebecca Meusch, Ruth Behrens, Hannah Veskrna, Macy Grotelueschen, Jesse Grotelueschen, Dahlia Vodicka, Natalie Kirby, Hope Rerucha, Abigail Eickmeier, and Katie Romshek. David City is coached by Emily Maresh and Elizabeth Grosc.

Ford and Lloyd to Represent PSC at HAAC Football Media Day

(Peru)- Bobcat seniors Tyler Ford (Lincoln) and Shane Lloyd (Ridgecrest, Calif.) will join Peru State head football coach Steve Schneider at next Tuesday's Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) annual Football Media Day. The press conference will be conducted at the NAIA offices on August 5 in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

This is considered to be the unofficial kickoff to the HAAC football season. The event will return to the NAIA's downtown offices for the second-straight year. The conference will provide the opportunity for all ten football coaches, along with their representatives, to address local media, as well as, the fan bases of their respective teams.

Ford, an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) First Team All-American and HAAC All-Conference First Team selection, will be joined by Lloyd, a HAAC Honorable Mention defensive honoree.

With his other offensive line teammates, Ford and the Bobcats had the best rushing offense in the HAAC last season and the fourth best scoring offense in the conference. In the NAIA, the offensive line led the way for the nation's third-best rushing total. Just recently, Ford was named to two different preseason All-American teams.

Lloyd, a linebacker, finished last season with 53 total tackles – 21 unassisted and 32 assisted. He added eight tackles for a loss of 36.5 yards and added 3.5 sacks for a loss of 18.5 yards. In addition, Lloyd had two pass deflections, five forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

Prior to the start of the press conference, the annual preseason coaches' poll will be released, setting the order in which the coaches will speak.

Flores Joins Peru State Women's Basketball Coaching Staff

(Peru)- Peru State College has announced that Jillian Flores has joined the coaching staff of the Women's basketball program. This will be her first year as a graduate assistant coach for the Bobcats.

A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Flores began her collegiate career playing at her hometown junior college, Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), in 2007. There, Flores served as a key role player and served dually as a Presidential Scholar for the school. Flores was honored as an Academic All-American during her two years at IWCC.

A Lewis Central high school (Council Bluffs, Iowa) 2007 graduate, Flores received her bachelor's degree in psychology, with a minor in criminology in 2011.

Flores will also be working in the Residence Life Department at Peru State.

Hull and Paben HAAC's A.O. Duer Award Selections

Mallory Hall

Logan Paben

(Peru)- Lori Thomas, Heart of America Athletic Conference Commissioner (HAAC), has announced that Mallory Hull and Logan Paben, both Peru State student-athletes, were selected as the HAAC's nominees for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) A.O. Duer Award.

Each NAIA conference is able to nominate one female and one male student-athlete for this annual award. The award is presented annually to a junior men's and women's student-athlete in any sport who has excelled academically as well as athletically.

The selection is based on scholarship, character, and playing ability with the student-athlete having an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.75 on a 4.00 scale.

Hull, a junior volleyball player from Morse Bluff and a graduate of North Bend Central High School, is an early childhood education unified major. Mallory is a libero on the Bobcat volleyball team and earned second team all-conference last season. On campus, she has been on the Dean's list three times. Hull is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and is part of SAAC's Fan Support Committee.

Paben, a junior football player from Columbus and a graduate of Columbus Lakeview High School, is a middle grades education major. Logan is a cornerback on the Bobcat football team and earned all-conference honorable mention last fall. He is a member of SAAC and was elected last spring to serve as the vice president of the group for this coming year.

All national winners will be revealed on NAIA National Awards Day in September in a special video announcement.

Killin Joins Bobcat Men's Basketball as the new Graduate Assistant Coach

(Peru)- Peru State men's basketball program announces the addition of Chris "C.J." Killin to the coaching staff. Working alongside Peru State's recently-hired head coach Eric Behrens, Killin joins the team as the new graduate assistant coach. Killin enters his first season with the Bobcats' Men's basketball program after spending last season as an assistant coach at Central Community College in Columbus.

In his one year at Central Community College, Killin assisted head coach Marty Levinson where they took the program to new heights by finishing third in the nation at the NJCAA D2 National Tournament. Killin was involved with all aspects of the program and played a key role in developing multiple NCAA DI players. Among them was NJCAA D2 Player of the Year Tyron Criswell, now playing at the University of Nevada.

Prior to Central Community College, Killin worked as an assistant coach under current Hastings College head coach Bill Gavers at Grand Island Central Catholic while completing his student teaching.

A 2007 graduate from Central City high school, Killin studied at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. There he assisted Dr. Tom Kropp and Coach Kevin Lofton, co-head Loper coaches, while earning his degree in social studies education.

Killin will also be working in the Residence Life Department at Peru State.

Bobcat Baseball Earns Champions of Character Team Award

Coach Wayne Albury holding the plaque the Bobcat

(Peru)- The Peru State College baseball team was recently named as a 2013-2014 Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award winner. Only one team from each of the NAIA's 23 championship sports are selected as a winner each academic year. There are currently 188 NAIA institutions with a baseball program with Peru State being selected as the best.

The Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Awards are presented at the end of respective season. Teams that receive this prestigious award demonstrate in every day decisions integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. These institutions and athletic programs strive for excellence in and out of competition and are part of communities throughout the country dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics.

It is believed that this is the first time a Peru State athletic team has received this recognition.

Four Peru State Athletic Programs Named NAIA Scholar-Teams

(Peru)- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that 1,290 programs have been named 2013-14 NAIA Scholar-Teams. Four Peru State athletic teams received the annual recognition.

Earning the Scholar-Team designation for the 2013-14 academic year were the Bobcats' women's cross country, women's golf, softball, and volleyball teams. The Bobcat women's golf team had the highest grade point average among the athletic programs finishing with a 3.50 grade point average (GPA).

The volleyball team finished with a 3.34 GPA, the women's cross country completed the year with a 3.19 GPA, while the softball team earned their honor by finishing with a 3.03 GPA.

For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar-Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution. The team grade-point average includes all eligible varsity student-athletes.

Two Bobcats Earn Preseason All-America Honors

Jon Draeger (pictured) finished with 3 sacks in 2013

Tyler Ford (pictured) is a two year letter winner for the Bobcats.

(Peru)- USA Football Network, Inc. has published its 26th USA College Football Division II Pre-Season All-American Teams. Two Peru State football players have been announced to the squads.

Senior offensive lineman Tyler Ford (Lincoln) was named as a preseason All-American while junior defensive lineman Jon Draeger (Dunbar) was on the honorable mention list. In addition, Ford was named a 2014 Football Gameplan (FBGP) Preseason NAIA All-American.

Ford, 6-5 and 270 pounds, was an America Football Coaches' Association NAIA First Team All-American following the 2013 campaign. In addition, Ford earned Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) First Team recognition. He was just the ninth Bobcat ever to receive first team honors. Ford and his teammates paved the way for the nation's third-best rushing offense in the NAIA and after having led the HAAC.

A 6-2, 235 pound defensive lineman, Draeger helped the Bobcat defense have one of the top rush defenses in the country last year. Draeger was a HAAC third team selection after the 2013 campaign. He finished with 54 total tackles – 17 unassisted and 37 assisted and added ten tackles for a loss of 30 yards. Draeger added three sacks for losses totaling 16 yards, had four pass deflections, and added one fumble recovery.

In 2013, the Bobcats finished with a 7-4 overall record, including a 5-4 mark in the HAAC. In the HAAC, Peru State finished fourth and were 24th in the NAIA Football Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll.

Peru State will open up its 2014 season at home when they host Midland University on Saturday, September 6, in the newly-renovated Oak Bowl at 7 p.m.

Schneider on HAAC: "Cadillac Conference in the Country"

Running Back Marccus Spearman and the Cats enter the Season Ranked 24th

(Peru)- The Peru State Bobcat Football season is just 52 days away, when it hosts Midland University on September 6th. The excitement is building around the program that enters the season with a top 25 ranking and a newly renovated Oak Bowl Stadium, "there's no doubt about that, the ribbon cutting event will be on September 6th. That will be a great event for our football players, the college, Southeast Nebraska, small college football in general. Because your not going to find a better football stadium in the region, if not the country, than what we'll have here at Peru State," that's Peru State College Head Football Coach, Steve Schneider.

The Bobcats are one of four Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) teams to be ranked in the top 25. Schnedier says, "the Heart of America Athletic Conference is the Cadillac Conference in the Country. From top to bottom, you better be ready to play each and every week. Because there's not a whole lot of difference between the have's and have-not's in the league, so to speak. You certainly can't take anybody lightly."

Defending HAAC tri-champion Baker, enters the season ranked 5th. Sharing the title with Baker was No. 7 Missouri Valley and No. 11 Benedictine. Peru State enters the season ranked 24th.

On Monday, it was announced that the HAAC will hold its annual Football Media Day press conference on Tuesday, August 5th at the NAIA offices in downtown Kansas City. Eight days later, Bobcat Football players will report to the College on the 13th. The 18th will mark the official start date of practices for the 2014 season.

Bobcat Football Coach Varley Published

Coach Varley speeking at the 6-Man All-Star Banquet

(Peru) – In the recent June 2014 issue of the American Football Monthly, Peru State defensive coordinator, Lou Varley, was published as he wrote an article entitled, "Pressure Defenses."

Varley, a long-time football coach, since retiring from high school coaching, has been a member of the Bobcat football coaching staff since 2008. Currently, Varley is serving as Peru State's co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach. Prior to coming to help with the Bobcat program, Varley taught and coached at Superior, Friend, Ravenna, and Nebraska City High Schools.

Varley's article for America Football Monthly discussed the Bobcat Defensive Philosophy, how Peru State places their personnel according to their abilities and skill sets, as well as, describing numerous Bobcat defensive schemes.

Last season, the Peru State defense finished sixth in the nation against in the run and second in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) in total defense.

In addition, Varley was recently invited to speak at the Wyoming-Nebraska 6-Man All-Star Banquet held in Bladen at the Silver Lake High School. Varley shared the good news about Peru State College and Bobcat football at the event. Peru State alumnus, Duane Arntt, was the head coach for the Nebraska 6-Man All-Star squad. Arntt is currently the head football coach and elementary principal at Silver Lake. The Mustangs were the 2013 Nebraska State Champions in 6-Man football.

Bohlmeyer and Santiesteban May/June Bobcat Student-Athletes of the Month

Traci Bohlmeyer

Randy Santiesteban

(Peru) – Fairbury and Weeping Water native, Traci Bohlmeyer and Randy Santiesteban from Hialeah, Florida have been named the Peru State Bobcat Athletes of the month in May and June.

Bohlmeyer is being recognized as the female student-athlete of the month as she was recognized as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and as a CoSIDA Capital One District Three First Team honoree. She was the only spring sport student-athlete to receive recognition by CoSIDA Capital One. In addition, Bohlmeyer will be a Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Scholar-Athlete when the list is released later this month.

As one of four seniors on the Bobcat softball team, the 'Cats won 30 games this season, more than doubling their mark from 2013. Bohlmeyer finished the season hitting .317 with 44 hits, including seven doubles and two triples. She had a .932 fielding percentage and had 68 assists, ranking third on the team.

This fall, Bohlmeyer will be finishing her degree from Peru State as she will student teach in the Weeping Water school district.

Santiesteban is being recognized as the male student-athlete of the month as he earned several post-season honors and was recently drafted by the Atlanta Braves organization in the 40th round of the MLB Draft.

He was one of two Bobcats to be named to the HAAC Baseball First Team. Santiesteban led the 'Cats on the field and was second in the conference in assists with 123, first for the 'Cats and fourth in the conference with 40 RBI, and was third in the HAAC with six total home runs.

After three years as a Bobcat, Santiesteban is in the Bobcat career record books as he is tied for sixth in career doubles with 32 and is ninth in career RBI with 111.

Bobcat Men's Basketball Hosts Camp

(Peru) – In June, the Peru State men's basketball program hosted a basketball camp for area youth from Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.

The camp was conducted by the new Bobcat men's basketball head coach, Eric Behrens. He was assisted during the camp by Monte Ritchie, Marty Levinson, and Chris Killin.

Participants in both camps participated in the five-day camp where their individual skills were tested and analyzed. In addition, all campers received an evaluation and an off-season workout program. Several skill contests were conducted throughout the week with awards presented at the end.

Area athletes participating in the camp were from:
Plattsmouth- Richard White;
Falls City- Jake Hoy, Mason Crawford, Jamie Stice, Alex Rathje, Kyle Bauman, and Jarrett Simon
Rock Port, Mo.- Daniel Hart
Auburn- Marcus Hudson and James Matteen
Nebraska City- Lucas Nielsen
Nemaha- Payton Boden.

The Bobcat men's basketball team will open their 2014-15 schedule on Saturday, Nov. 1, when they host Doane College.

Oak Bowl Construction Undergoing Finishing Touches

New concrete sidewalks at the Oak Bowl. Photo courtesy of Peru State.

(Peru)- Undergoing its first major renovation since it was constructed in 1900, the Oak Bowl project at Peru State College is in its final stages. "Pouring a lot of the sidewalks, doing some of the work on the concourse area. They will be installing signage and things like that over the next few weeks," said Regan Anson, Director of Marketing and Communications. She added, "We'll see a lot of progress here in the next few weeks and it will definitely be ready for the ribbon cutting on September 6th."

September 6th is the first home game of the season for Peru State when it will host Midland University at 7 p.m. "If you haven't seen the facility, we encourage people to come by. Even now while its under construction. You can get a pretty good view of the field and the turf that's down. It's really a beautiful place." said Anson.

Peru State College broke ground on the $14 million renovation of the Oak Bowl on October 20th.

Nearly 150 Attend Bobcat Football Camps

Bobcat High School Football Skills Camp

Bobcat High School Football Offensive/Defensive Line Camp

Bobcat Junior High Football Camp

(Peru)- More than double the numbers attended this year's high school and junior high football one-day camps hosted by the Peru State Bobcat football program. Nearly 150 area high school players participated in three separate camps held on the newly-renovated Peru State Oak Bowl stadium field.

The first camp, held on June 18, was a high school skills camp which was comprised of individual technique sessions followed by group work. The campers received detailed individual instruction during the contact camp which will have them better prepared for the fall campaign. Participants in this camp included (listed by high school):

Auburn HS: Rex Harmon
Lourdes Central Catholic HS: Tylor Sturm, Ivan Valdovino, Bryan Rojas, Dylan Paap, and Colton Davis
Sidney (Iowa) HS: Tate Thompson, Eric Rodriguiez, and Ramone Gonzales

On June 19, an offensive and defensive line camp was held providing campers with a variety of techniques in order to develop their skills. Those attending this camp included (listed by high school):

Nebraska City HS: Donald Williams
Sidney (Iowa) HS: Anthony Kelsey, Tim Hensley, and Caleb Beharens

A non-contact junior high skills camp was conducted on June 20. Campers received detailed instruction in all facets of football. Participants in the junior high camp included (listed by school):

Auburn MS: James Matteen, Troy Guffey Jr, Hunter Thomas, and Ethan Phillips
Plattsmouth MS: Hunter Smith
Sidney (Iowa) MS: Noah Jorgenson, Thomas Wilson, Tanner Sears, and Christian Nennemann

All three camps were directed by Bobcat co-defensive coordinator, Lou Varley, with assistance from assistant coaches Andy Kohls, Derek Derr, Jeff Reed, Brian Maher, and David Gregory. In addition, area high school coaches provided assistance while working with their individual campers.

Behrens Looking to Win Now with PSC Men's Basketball

Behrens being introduced as new Head Coach in April. Photo Courtesy of PSC

(Peru)- Bobcat fans might not have their minds tuned to Peru State Basketball with the season still four months away. But, for new head coach, Eric Behrens, who was hired in April, he is focused on turning around the programs 9-19 record last year. Behrens says right now he is learning the ropes, "it's a great place. A lot of good people, So, I'm having a lot of fun with it so far."

He has spent the last 13 years as head boys' basketball coach at Omaha Central High School where his teams captured seven state titles. During those seven championship seasons, the Eagles' combined record was 173-25. Behrens' overall record as head coach is 283-58. A winning tradition is something he is trying to implement at Peru State, "we want to win. I told these guys coming in, I don't have a three year plan, or five year plan or anything like that. I'm trying to win next year. I want to see what we can do. Put a good team on the floor right way and go out and compete. "

Behrens says he likes the staff he has around him heading in to the season, "it's a great staff. The guys are hard working, basketball junkies, they want to be around the game. They want to be in the gym with kids."

He says the players are in the weight room this time of year, "getting bigger and stronger. But also, doing a lot of skill development stuff. Getting a lot of shots up, things like that."

Behrens was named the Metro Basketball Coaches Association's Class A Boy's Coach of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Peru State Men's Basketball tips-off the season on November 1st at home against Doane College.

Bobcat Cross Country Adds Sixth Recruit

(Peru) – The latest Peru State cross country recruit is not unfamiliar to the sport or Peru State College. Current Bobcat freshman women's basketball player, Leslie Kirkland (Rock Port, Mo.), plans to be a two-sport athlete this coming year as she will also run for the Peru State cross country team.

Kirkland, who will be a sophomore in the fall, discussed the possibilities of doing both sports with her basketball coach, Joan Albury, and head cross country coach, Katy Billings. After visiting with both, Kirkland made the decision to join the cross country team which should help her endurance for the long basketball season.

The Rock Port high school 2013 graduate participated in cross country as a Blue Jay. During her senior year, Kirkland was her team's second-best runner, running behind her sister Lacy. The Rock Port team qualified for the Missouri state championships in the fall of 2012. Kirkland finished 106th with a time 25:08.31. As a sophomore in high school, Kirkland ran a 23:11 in the Missouri district meet and followed that with a 24:09.57 in the Missouri championships while finishing 77th.

Bobcat Volleyball Adds 12 Recruits for 2014

(Peru, Neb.) – When practices open up this August for the Peru State volleyball team, Bobcats fans will find one of the largest teams in recent history. New Peru State head coach Nathan Baker has recruited 12 newcomers to join nine returners for a squad of 21 for the 2014 campaign.

The group of Bobcat recruits consists of one senior, five juniors, and six freshmen. They will join five seniors, two juniors, and two sophomores in August to begin fall practice while looking to improve on Peru State's 21-14 season in 2013.

The newcomers include:

Nicole Soifua, a 6-1 senior middle blocker from West Point, Utah. Soifua, the daughter of Al and Shirley Soifua, comes to Peru State via Syracuse (Utah) High School where she was a First Team All-Region player as a senior. Then, Soifua was a member of a successful Mustang volleyball program at Western Wyoming Community College before transferring to Division I Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Soifua plans to major in a communications-related degree at Peru State.

Coach Baker's comments on Soifua: "Nicole has played at a very high level and won several championships from high to her nationally-ranked JUCO days. She's a multi-purpose hitter, able to hit from anywhere along the net. Her mental toughness and leadership ability will make for an easy transition to Peru Sate."

Lea Boras, a 6-1 junior outside hitter from Makarska, Croatia. Boras, the daughter of Branko and Marija Boras, comes to the Bobcat program via Srednja skola fra Andrije Kacica Miosica High School in Markarska and played her last two years at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, N.M. Boras was named the most improved player during her freshman year on the Bronco squad in New Mexico. Boras anticipates majoring in sport and exercise science at Peru State.

Coach Baker's comments on Boras: "Lea is a lengthy, powerful player with the ability to terminate the ball on the outside, middle, or right side. She also possesses a very high volleyball IQ, understanding how to score and hit at an elite level. Lea's versatility will enable her to hit from multiple positions, which helps her fit in with the offense at Peru State."

Shannon Liewer, a 5-8 junior defensive specialist from Imperial. Liewer, the daughter of Mike and Cindy Liewer (from the Auburn and Johnson area) comes to Peru State via Chase County High School where she was then recruited to play at North Platte Community College. The biochemistry major was very successful as a Knight earning numerous athletic and academic honors including JUCO All-American Honorable Mention.

Coach Baker's comments on Liewer: "Shannon is a very skilled libero with great ball control. She will provide our offense the important ball control we need. Shannon has tremendous reading capabilities that will make for an easy transition to our team. She will bring a lot of positive energy and the "hate-to-lose" mentality that will help those around her get better."

Jennifer Ostrowski, a 6-0 junior middle blocker from Kankakee, Ill. Ostrowski, the daughter of Bill and Heidi Ostrowski, comes to the Bobcat program via Bishop McNamara Catholic High School and Kankakee Community College. At the end of her career at Kankakee, Ostrowski finished as the eighth-best blocker all-time with 226 career blocks and was an Academic All-American candidate. Ostrowski anticipates majoring in early childhood unified education.

Coach Baker's comments on Ostrowski: "Jennifer is another explosive middle hitter who can play all positions on the front row. Her ability to defend with her huge block will provide her the tools to contend for playing time. Jennifer played at a high level at her junior college and that experience will be a welcome addition to our program."

Cristal Quinonez, a 5-8 junior outside hitter from Anthony, N.M. The daughter of Ramona Holguin, Quinonez attended Gadsden High School where she was a member of her high school's back-to-back state championship team. Quinonez played the last two years at New Mexico Military Institute where she earned all-conference and all-region recognition. At Peru State, Quinonez plans to be a criminal justice and psychology major.

Coach Baker's comments on Quinonez: "Cristal is another explosive outside hitter who can play from both pins. Her ability to defend and attack from the back row will provide her the tools to contend for playing time in her first season."

Kelsey Young, a 5-9 junior setter from Goodfield, Ill. The daughter of Troy and Dana Young, played at Eureka High School before playing her first two years of college ball at Illinois Central College. In high school, Young earned all-conference recognition and left as the career leader in assists. Young plans to major in physical education and coaching at Peru State.

Coach Baker's comments on Young: "Kelsey is highly skilled setter who can make great reads and adjustments quickly. She will provide our offense with a great decision making and superior leadership, which will help her as she is challenged to make immediate impact. Her success at the junior college level will bring immediate improvements to our team."

Dana Christensen, a 6-0 freshman middle blocker from Las Vegas. Christensen, the daughter of Dan and Troy Christensen, played her high school ball at Shadow Ridge High School where she earned all-conference recognition her junior and senior years. Elementary education is the planned major for Christensen while at Peru State.

Coach Baker's comments on Christensen: "Dana is a perfect example of a student-athlete. She is a very smart player on the court and excels in the classroom. She is recovering from an ACL injury and will be limited at first, but once she is 100% I look forward to her growth and contribution to our program."

Meg Grose, a 5-11 freshman setter from Peoria, Ariz. The daughter of Karen and Mike Grose, Meg attended Peoria High School where she was earned all-district, all-section, and all-state honors. The education major also qualified for the state tennis tournament.

Coach Baker's comments on Grose: "Meg is a good athlete with a nice understanding of the game. Her ability to play multiple positions makes her a huge asset to our team. Meg will challenge at the right-side hitter and setter positions. Her competitive nature and determination to get better every day will no doubt lead to success at the next level."

Alyssa Martin, a 6-0 freshman middle blocker from Grand Island. Martin, the daughter of Rick and Kristen Martin, played for the perennially-tough Grand Island Northwest High School volleyball team and earned all-area and all-state honorable mention. At present, Martin is undecided about her major.

Coach Baker's comments on Martin: "Alyssa is another highly-skilled athlete who can make great reads and adjustments quickly. She will provide our offense with quickness; she will bring a lot of excitement to the court. Alyssa has unlimited potential, she will develop into a great player and contribute for years to come."

Alexandria Mitchell, a 5-9 freshman middle blocker from Fort Worth, Texas. The daughter of Oneil and Audrey Mitchell, attended North Crowley High School where she earned all-district recognition. Mitchell intends to be a criminal justice major at Peru State.

Coach Baker's comments on Mitchell: "Alex's athleticism will really give her a strong shot to excel at a high level, and she could become a dominant player for us early. Her quickness to both pins will give us more depth in the middle position as she competes for playing time."

Alaya Roberts, a 5-7 freshman outside hitter from Cibolo, Texas. Roberts, the daughter of Hyle and Turquita Roberts, attended Bryon P. Steele High School. The sports and exercise major earned academic all-district recognition.

Coach Baker's comments on Roberts: "Alaya is an explosive, athletic player who has the ability and the versatility to terminate balls from both pins. We see Alaya as someone who can possibly be a six-rotation player and develop into a dominate hitter."

Sela Tharan, a 5-8 freshman setter/defensive specialist, from Denver. The daughter of Patrick and Elizabeth Tharan, played her high school volleyball at Littleton High School where she earned all-conference recognition. While at Peru State, Tharan anticipates majoring in physical therapy.

Coach Baker's comments on Tharan: "Sela is an extremely dynamic, athletic setter. Her ability to run down balls and still run quick tempo, out-of-system sets is exactly what we needed. Sela has played multiple positions and we are looking for her to contribute early here at Peru State."

Overall, Coach Baker is cautiously optimistic about how his initial Bobcat squad will perform in the always tough Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). Baker noted, "We have worked hard over the last few months to put together a recruiting class that would help our program improve in the HAAC standings. I never like to judge recruiting class on the front end, I like to judge them at the end of the season. With that said, I am really excited about this class, the potential this group has, with the returners from the spring, could be something special. We still have a lot of work to do, but this is going to be a lot of fun!"

Carrie Lierz Wins HAAC Champions of Character Award

(Peru, Neb.) – At their spring meeting of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Board of Governors meeting, HAAC officials announced Carrie Lierz of Peru State was selected as the conference's female Champions of Character scholarship winner.

The HAAC annually awards a $1,000 scholarship to both a male and female student-athlete who best represents the NAIA Champions of Character initiative. Each conference institution submitted electronic nominations which were sent to each Board of Governor member to review prior to voting at their annual spring meeting. The recipient of the award must be a student-athlete who will enroll at his or her institution the following fall semester.

Lierz, a senior-to-be from Holton, Kan., was selected by Peru State's athletic department as their nominee. In learning of her award, Lierz said, "I am humbled just to be selected by Peru State to represent my college. When I learned of this conference recognition, it makes me feel very proud to be a student-athlete, not only at Peru State, but in the Heart of America Athletic Conference."

Recently, Lierz was the HAAC's nominee for the NAIA's A.O. Duer Award.

Athletic Director Steve Schneider stated Carrie is very deserving of this recognition. Schneider noted, "Carrie embodies what the Champions of Character is all about. She is a true role model for all student-athletes. We are very happy for Carrie and her most recent honor."

Members of the athletic department staff prepared the following nomination for Lierz which was centered around the five core values of the Champions of Character initiative. The nomination follows in its entirety.

Carrie Lierz
Peru State College's Female Nominee
for the
HAAC Champions of Character Award

"Play for the name on the front of the jersey and they will remember the name on the back."
Walter Rooney

Carrie Lierz is a student-athlete who is not satisfied with what she has accomplished thus far, and what she will do in the future pales by comparison. In addition, with that being said, the quote which begins this nomination truly fits Carrie as she is not worried about her personal accomplishments, but rather what happens with everything she is involved with at Peru State College. From athletics to academics to extra-curricular to serving others, Carrie puts everything she has into the things she does and to this point, Carrie has done everything very well. Considering all of this, Peru State is proud to nominate Carrie Lierz for the HAAC Champions of Character Award.

Three years ago, Carrie arrived on campus and joined the volleyball squad. After her first three years of not only playing volleyball, but becoming very involved on campus, her work, while maybe not knowing so, has incorporated the five core values of the NAIA's Champions of Character – Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and Servant Leadership.

INTEGRITY is a combination of all inward traits that build upon one another to determine who a person really is in life. Carrie demonstrates those traits through her honesty, her poise, her patience, her determination, and her passion. She knows and does what is right in every situation. As Carrie pursues a career in the medical field, these traits will be key to her future successes. While she is not an elite athlete, it is her determination to be the best she can be and to help her teammates to do the same while exerting every ounce of effort she can give at any one time.

Maybe Carrie's strongest core value is RESPECT. Each underlying aspect of respect as identified in Champions of Character initiative is something Carrie emulates on a daily basis. She is accepting of all, she is considerate of others, she is always encouraging others, and she appreciates the guidance of all whom are trying to help her. One of her biggest traits is being attentive and ready to learn – whether it be from her coaches, officials, faculty members, or anyone is prepared to offer her guidance. Carrie has gained the respect of many, not only on the campus, but in her community, because she shows that same respect to all with whom she has contact.

As RESPONSIBILITY is the social force that binds a person to the group, Carrie has demonstrated this by being voted/elected/selected to the many positions of leadership over the course of her three years at Peru State. It is obvious that Carrie's peers are confident she can handle the responsibility of being a leader which has resulted in her being twice to the Student Senate and most recently was elected to serve a second year as the President of the Residence Hall Association (RHA). In the latter, the RHA has become a much more active group on campus and much of the credit can go to Carrie's leadership. In addition to the commitment to be a successful volleyball player, Carrie balances her other responsibilities along with maintaining a near-perfect grade point average.

As SPORTSMANSHIP is the following of rules, spirit, and the etiquette of athletic competition, Carrie demonstrates this aspect by modeling the types of behavior expected, both in terms of fairness and with respect to her opponents. Carrie has the ability to be cooperative with her teammates, opponents, coaches, and officials in the mutual quest for excellence. She would be considered to probably be the most gracious and honorable individual on the current volleyball team and is very humble in accepting any accolades which come her way.

As SERVANT LEADERSHIP is serving the common good, Carrie is truly one of those who exhibit the core value of servanthood – that caring for and meeting the needs of others before caring for herself. She is selfless with her work and she understands the links between individual effort and group achievement. Carrie has to be in the top five percent of all of Peru State's student-athletes who embodies the true meaning of servant leadership as she is willing to work hard and to serve and help others.

In addition to the above-mentioned information, Carrie is an excellent student-athlete and serves others in many ways. Carrie was recently named to represent the HAAC as the NAIA's A.O. Duer Award winner which is indicative of why Peru State is nominating her for this scholarship opportunity. She maintains a grade point average of 3.948 in biochemical science, one of the toughest majors on our campus. In addition, this fall, Carrie was named as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and also was named to the Capital One District Academic First Team. Besides what has been mentioned early, Carrie has been involved in the Peru City-Wide Clean-Up, Nemaha County Gives Back, Vacation Bible School, Feeding 44, and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Carrie's future goal is to enter the medical field. By virtue of what we have seen in Carrie in her three years at Peru State, we are sure she will be very successful at whatever she does. And, she will still be playing/working for the name on the front of the jersey when doing so as long as she does something for the greater good of others.

Carrie Lierz is a fine example of what the Champions of Character is intended to produce – a young woman who does exhibit and will continue to exhibit the five core values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and Servant Leadership.

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to Lierz at the beginning of the 2014 fall term at Peru State.

2014 Peru State Bobcat Summer Camps Announced

(Peru, Neb.) – Athletic camps of all kinds and varieties will be held on the Peru State campus this summer and in satellite locations. Camps for girls and boys basketball, football, and volleyball will be held throughout the summer. In addition, the Bobcat cheerleading squad will host team camps upon request.

The following is a description of each athletic camp that will be held during the 2014 summer.

Girls Basketball Camps

On June 2-5, the 2014 Fundamentals Skills Camp will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for girls in grades 3-12. Campers will receive daily instruction to address all areas of skill development. Sessions will be conducted on both offensive and defensive skills with contests, awards, and games included. The cost is $80. All campers will receive a camp t-shirt, lunch, and a camp basketball.

For more information, campers should contact Bobcat women's basketball head coach Joan Albury at jalbury@peru.edu or by phone at 731-617-1546.

Boys Basketball Camps

Two different camps will be held for boys in June.

The first camp will be conducted from June 9-13 and is a skills camp for boys in grades 3-6. This camp will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day. An Elite Skills Camp will be held June 9-13 for boys in grades 7-12. This camp will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. The campers in both camps will have their skills tested and analyzed by camp instructors. In addition, all campers will receive an individual evaluation and an off-season workout program.

The cost for both camps is $70. Campers will receive a camp t-shirt, a camp skills book, and will have the opportunity to compete for medals in various skill contests. Campers will need to bring a change of shoes as street shoes are not allowed on the AWAC playing floor.

Campers can check in at 8:30 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. session and 12:30 p.m. for the 1:00 p.m. afternoon session.

For more information, campers should contact Bobcat men's basketball coach Eric Behrens at ebehrens@peru.edu or by phone at 402-208-0191. In addition, assistant coach Monte Ritchie could be contacted at mritchie@peru.edu or 402-679-5829.

Football Camps

Three separate day camps will be held for football players. In addition, a team camp will be held for the first time.

On June 18, a High School Skills Camp will be conducted by the Bobcat football coaching staff and players. The camp for boys in grades 9-12 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Oak Bowl. Cost for the camp is $40 and that includes lunch and a camp t-shirt. This camp will be in full pads so campers will need to bring helmets and shoulder pads.

An Offensive and Defensive Line Camp will be offered on June 19 for boys in grades 9-12. The camp will provide campers with the techniques and skill development necessary to be a successful lineman. The cost for the camp, conducted by the Bobcat coaches and guest coaches from the region, is $40. The cost includes lunch and a t-shirt and it will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Campers are required to bring helmets and shoulder pads, as this will be a full-pad camp.

A one-day Junior High Skills Camp will be conducted on June 20 for boys in grades 5-8. The camp will be conducted in the Oak Bowl and will cost $40, which includes a camp t-shirt and lunch. The junior high camp will be broken into individual sessions followed by group sessions. Campers will be provided individual instruction and will leave camp better prepared for their upcoming season. Campers should wear a t-shirt and shorts as this will be a non-contact camp. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On July 28 and 29, a padded team camp will be held in the Oak Bowl. The key aspects will include an offensive focus on option football, a defensive focus on fundamentals, and team competition and development. Check-in begins at 3:30 p.m. with the team camp to run from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each day. The cost is $40 per participant includes a lunch and camp bag.

For more information, campers should contact Bobcat assistant football coach Lou Varley at lvarley@peru.edu or by phone at 402-209-4787.

Volleyball Camps

Two team camps will be conducted by the Bobcat volleyball coaching staff and players. The camps will be held in the Al Wheeler Activity Center (AWAC).

An advanced team camp will be held July 23-25. Our advanced team camp is designed to teach advanced skills and concepts to teams. This camp will assist teams and individual players by combining individual skills work, team work, and competitive play. Peru State volleyball coaches and players will work with campers and coaches in order to provide a greater understanding of individual skills and volleyball concepts. The cost is $95 for each overnight camper and $75 for a commuter camper. Each team must have a minimum of eight players. One high school coach per eight players will be free. Additional coaches will be charged $75 to cover camp costs.

On July 27-28, the 2014 High School Team Challenge Camp will be conducted. The team challenge camp consists solely of competitive play and is designed to give a team a chance to compete against other teams in the region before your season starts. This camp will include both pool and tournament play. Each team will receive a minimum of six matches within the two-day camp. A coach from Peru State Volleyball will review each match and provide each team with feedback on the areas in which need improvement. The check-in will be at 10 a.m. on the first day. The cost is $400 per team for overnight campers and $300 per team for commuter teams. A maximum of ten players and two coaches is the limit for the roster. Schools who bring both a junior varsity and varsity team will receive a $50 discount.

For more information, campers should contact Bobcat head volleyball coach Nathan Baker at nbaker@peru.edu or by phone at 804-325-9454. In addition, questions can be answered by graduate assistant Kelsey Monahan at kmonahan@peru.edu or by phone at 402-340-4759.

Cheerleading Camps

The Bobcat Cheerleaders are available for team camps upon request. Each camp is led by multiple Bobcat Cheerleaders and coaches and tailored to your school's specific needs and goals. Camps can be hosted in the Peru State Al Wheeler Activity Center or at your school. Pricing is available on a sliding scale depending upon squad size. Any school interested in organizing a camp with the Bobcat cheerleading squad should contact head cheer coach Chelsea Allgood at 402-872-2350 or at challgood@peru.edu.

All Camps

For more information on each camp conducted this summer, along with the required forms, please go to the hyperlink of www.perustatecamps.com.

Mike Melendez Named NAIA Pitcher of the Week

(Peru, Neb.) – Michael Melendez of Peru State has been selected as the NAIA Pitcher of the Week the national office announced Tuesday. Melendez was chosen based on his performances from April 28 – May 4 and was selected out of a pool of conference, independent and unaffiliated group winners.

Melendez, a native of Hollywood, Fla., tied a 32-year-old program record with 18 strikeouts in Peru State's 3-1 win over Evangel (Mo.) at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship Series on May 2. The senior allowed only three hits, one earned run and one walk to claim his first complete-game victory of the season.

On the year, Melendez owns a 4-2 record and 4.10 earned run average in nine appearances.

Melendez is the only Bobcat student-athlete to receive a national honor this academic year. The last Peru State student-athlete to earn a national honor was softball player Kristin Bodyk who earned National Player of the Week honors last year on April 2, 2013.

Peru State Still Alive In HAAC Tournament

(Peru, Neb.) – After winning their first two games of the (HAAC) Championship Series and then falling in their third game, the Peru State baseball team is still alive with a chance to make the NAIA Baseball Championship Tournament.

The Bobcats started with a 4-1 win over Central Methodist University on Thursday and followed with a 3-1 victory over Evangel University Friday night. Then, late on Saturday afternoon, the 'Cats dropped a 3-0 contest at the hands of the top-seeded MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) Pioneers.

The loss to MNU dropped the Bobcats into the elimination bracket where they will face the Culver-Stockton Wildcats on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. on Monday in Joplin, Mo.

Peru State Baseball Advances to Semis

JOPLIN, MO. - The Peru State baseball team continued their winning ways Friday at the HAAC tournament by defeating #2 seed Evangel 3-1.

Michael Melendez tossed a complete game and recorded a career-best 18 strikeouts, the highest single-game strikeout total by a conference pitcher this season, and matched the second-best total in the NAIA in 2014.

All three runs for the Bobcats were driven in by Tyler Croushorn from the last spot in the batting order.

The Crusaders put the tying run on first base in the top of the 9th inning after a single by Michael Headlee and walk by Caleb Kauffman, but Melendez induced a fly out to complete the win.

Croushorn was the only player in the game to record two hits while Jones had the only extra-base hit of the contest. Sam Garrison (5-7) took the loss for Evangel, yielding two earned runs on eight hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

With the win the Bobcats, advance to the winner's bracket semi final today against top seed MidAmerica Nazarene. First Pitch is set for 4 PM.

Peru State Softball Eliminated from HAAC Tournament

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The #6 seeded Peru State softball team was eliminated from the HAAC tournament yesterday after two tough losses.

In their first game against #2 seed MidAmerica Nazarene the Bobcats had a 5-2 lead going into the 7th before conceding 6 runs in the inning, falling 8-5.

After the loss the Bobcats dropped into the loser's bracket and faced Benedictine but couldn't get back on the winning track, losing 6-0.

The Bobcats finish the 2014 season at 30-24.

Anticipation Growing in Peru as Oak Bowl Nears Completion

The historic Oak Bowl has been home of the Peru State football program since 1901. While it provides one of the most scenic football venues in the entire state of Nebraska, it had not undergone renovations in over 50 years. Excitement is sweeping through the Peru community as the Oak Bowl's $10 million renovation is nearly complete.

Peru State President Dan Hanson spoke on how the Oak Bowl transformation became a reality.

Hanson: "Lavon Heidemann took the lead on putting together a package in the appropriations committee, and came up with funding for us to make this project possible. He came up with 7.5 million dollars in funding, we needed to match that with 1.5 to get the full amount, and so our foundation and our donors and loyal alumni were critical in making that happen."

Peru State Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach Steve Schneider knew the Oak Bowl needed some attention.

Schneider "The Oak Bowl in its prior state, was aesthetically a great place to play a college football game, but over a period of time the facilities were getting to the point where it's kind of run down, they weren't real fan friendly, weren't real friendly for our visitors, and now with the upgrade it raises the whole level of the competitive venue significantly."

The renovations have brought a spark back to the football program and community according to junior middle linebacker Shane Lloyd.

Lloyd: "Seeing the new field renovations, I mean it brings so much inspiration to just not us but only the community. I mean people drive by and see this field and when they see it, they're like dang Peru State has a great program going for us now, and the football team has a lot to do to pay back the community."

The Bobcats will begin their 2014 season by hosting Midland University on September 6th. There will be a special dedication ceremony held prior to kick off.

Bobcats Excited about Men's Basketball Coaching Hire

Peru State found out the next man to lead the men's basketball program would be seven-time state champion coach Eric Behrens after the 40-year-old formally accepted the position Friday morning.

The excitement has reached as high as the President's Office as Behrens prepares to make the transition from high school to collegiate coaching.

Dan Hanson, President of Peru State College: "When we saw that Coach Behrens' application was in the pool we knew he would be a top candidate, and we offered him the job because of his long history of success, and we're excited to have somebody of his caliber and his connections helping us build a strong future here at Peru State and a strong basketball program."

While a coaching change can be tough on players, Brett Pierce talked about his initial reaction to meeting his future coach.

Brett Pierce, Senior Point Guard: "He (Behrens) came up here and met with us on his interview day he seemed like a real cool laid back type of guy. In practice he sounded like he was going to be; this is it, this is how it's going to be done, and you just go with it. It's going to be intense.

The senior is excited about the new philosophy Behrens will bring.

Pierce: "It sounds like a lot of fun because he said everything is a competition. Not really everything here in practice was a competition, so that sounds like a lot of fun."

A press conference will be held at the Al Wheeler Activity Center Tuesday, April 29th at 3:30 PM to officially announce the hire. Behrens, Hanson, and Peru State Athletic Director Steve Schneider will all be present.

Behrens is set to make $56,000 annually.

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