After the dust settles on the record books 20 years from now and the current students are located in every corner of the globe, there will be things forgotten about your days spent here in Big Rapids.
It won’t matter what parties you went to, what clothes you wore or what test you were studying for. Things tend to be forgotten that aren’t important. In the sports world, this remains true as well. The things that great sports teams and programs are remembered for are championships.
From the beginning of the school year to now as we pack up our belongings, Ferris State University has had one of the best years in athletics in the Bulldogs’ history.
The place where memories start for FSU couldn’t be anywhere other than Ewigleben Ice Arena. The FSU hockey team had the best season in program history, ending up in a spirited loss in the National Championship game against Boston College.
Between Jordie Johnston putting pucks past opposing goaltenders and Chad Billins shutting down teams’ offenses, the hockey team was spectacular this past year. The team effort had contributions from every member as it went on to win the CCHA Championship and earn a coveted invite to the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in school history. The Bulldogs followed the regular season success with a magical run to the school’s first ever Frozen Four appearance and were honored as the national runner-ups.
Magical seasons did not end there for the Bulldogs, as the women’s volleyball team had an amazing 27-4 overall record and looked spectacular in the process. They came away from this year’s campaign with hardware as the GLIAC North Division champions and did it with dominance. FSU had a 10-game streak of shutouts during the course of the year and set high standards for the volleyball program.
The courts showed nothing but success to FSU as well. Whether it was basketball or tennis, the Bulldogs came away big on the courts. The men’s basketball team had an amazing year by earning the GLIAC North Championship, with one incredible year where sophomore Kenny Brown earned national honors. The boys played with high effort and maximum intensity, which paid off in the greatest way–earning them hardware.
The women’s basketball team also was a force in the GLIAC, finishing with a 17-2 conference record and also bringing home the trophy for the GLIAC North Championship. Whether it was Sarah DeShone sinking threes or Tricia Principe breaking down defenses, the thing that captured victories for the Bulldogs was team defense. Every lady on the team played with grit as well as a tough mentality, and it paid off with the incredible season.
Capturing the GLIAC title as well was the men’s tennis team with a surprise upset in the championship game against Northwood University. The team finished 8-1 in conference play with the lone loss coming against Northwood University. Through senior leadership and clutch play in the championship, they came away on top with a thrilling 5-4 victory as they avenged the early season loss and brought home the hardware for the first time since 1999.
With these teams, one has to mention Tina Muir and the lady runners as well. Breaking records and finishing All-American, senior runner Muir leaves Big Rapids as perhaps one of the most decorated runners in school history. And her teammates’ incredible seasons have put FSU on the map in track and field competitions.
The things that creates memorable moments in sports are incredible finishes and incredible teams. As we look back while we are getting ready to head home for the summer months, 2011-12 Ferris State athletics displayed both of these, and you can count on them not be forgotten any time soon.
Nice article Matt.