Lion pride is alive

Lion pride is alive

Lion pride is alive

What a difference a year makes.

This time a year ago, the Missouri Southern men’s basketball team was mired near the bottom of the MIAA and fighting for the last spot in the championship tournament. This year, Southern was the second team to lock up a tournament bid. And, for most of the season, they have been in a tie for first or second place in the conference.

For opposing teams, there is nothing more frightening than a team that plays better as they start to have more fun, and that is exactly what kind of team Southern has.

Not only do the Lions have a good chance to win the conference title, there is also a very real possibility that they will be playing in the national tournament. For the record, the last time Head Coach Robert Corn led a Southern basketball team to the national tournament was in 2000. That team advanced to the Final Four.

On the women’s side, Head Coach Maryann Mitts has done a tremendous job bringing in top talent. The women’s team is fun to watch simply for the personalities. Senior Robin Kantin is probably one of the toughest athletes wearing the green and gold right now. She severely injured her knee early in the season, and instead of undergoing surgery, she wrapped the knee up and played on.

On the subject of knee injuries, how about junior Danielle DeVader? DeVader has had multiple knee surgeries and she is still the most intense player on the court no matter who the Lions are playing. Throw in Division I transfers like forwards Fatai Hala’Api’Api, Tynesha Pierce and India Wood, and you’ve got a recipe for a championship contender.

Oh, and by the way, the women are also in a favorable position to play in the national tournament.

This all bodes well for next week’s MIAA Tournament in Kansas City. In the past two weeks, two spirit busses have hauled Lions fans to Bolivar and Pittsburg to support our team. The pep band is making the trip north for the tournament. Students, faculty and staff are talking about the teams.

We encourage the entire campus community to join the teams in Kansas City for next week’s tournament. It isn’t that long a drive, there are inexpensive lodging options and the teams appreciate the support. Let’s paint Kansas City green and gold.

Oh, and to the pep band:

Don’t forget to pack your Charts to read during the introduction of the bad guys.