The Voice: Spring 2003
By: Mike Byker, Sports Information Director
The 2002-2003 mens basketball season was full of milestones. For the second straight year the Defenders won nineteen games. Two players advanced into the top five in career scoring, and the 2002-2003 team made it all the way to the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament title game, the first time since the 1997-1998 season that a Dordt team had advanced that far in post season play. The season came to an abrupt halt with an overtime 90-82 loss to Concordia in Seward, Nebraska. The loss ended the senior-dominated teams hopes for a NAIA National Tournament berth and drew the successful campaign to a close. Dordt went 9-7 in the GPAC this season, finishing fourth in the regular season championship race, while going 19-11 overall.
Evan Beimers, a Great Plains Athletic All-Conference selection for the second straight year,
ended his career at Dordt College with 1413 points, 499 rebounds, 273 assists
and 145 steals. Beimers ranks fourth in scoring all time, 15th in rebounding,
6th in assists and 4th in steals. Eric Maas, another all-conference selection, finished
right behind Beimers in career scoring with 1292 points, 616 rebounds and 104
steals, good for fifth, seventh, and tenth all time respectively. Maas, who battled
back from a season-ending knee injury during the 2000-2001 season, ends his career
at Dordt with 116 games played, breaking the old record held by Kevin
Gesink from 1984-1988.
Shawn De Stigter, an all-conference selection as a junior and honorable mention pick
as a senior, graduates as the all-time steals leader with 200, bettering the
previous standard held by Gesink. De Stigter also ended his career with 286
assists, good for fourth all-time and had 909 career points. Beimers, Maas, and
De Stigter are all Sioux Center natives. Ryan Dooyema, from Brookfield, Wisconsin, filled
almost every role imaginable for the team: an undersized post player as a
sophomore, a part-time starter as a junior, and a spark plug off the
bench as a senior. Dooyemas numbers are solid for his three seasons as
he ends with 598 points, 302 rebounds, 54 steals and 75 assists.
Darin Beckering, a senior from Edgerton, Minnesota, appeared in 70 games and relished
his role as a backup, physical post player.
Returning are full-time starter Kyle Van Arendonk and part-time starters Dan Hospers and
Luke Ruter. Both Van Arendonk and Ruter were GPAC honorable mention selections this
year. Bret Van Wyk and Tony Reitsma, a pair of top reserves, also
have two years of eligibility remaining.
This season marked Greg Van Soelens eighth at the helm of the Defender
program. Over that period Van Soelens teams have gone 125-99, including 69-43 the
last four years.
Two wins were the bookends for the 2002-2003 womens basketball season at Dordt College. Between those wins the Dordt Lady Defenders youthful basketball team experienced many ups and downs.
Using a rotation of players that included eight freshmen and sophomores along with
two juniors, the Lady Defenders put together a 9-18 record this season. The
women started the year with a 106-point outburst in a win over Huron
and went 4-2 in the first six games of the season, all non-conference
contests. The Lady Defenders lost a narrow 63-60 decision to Briar Cliff in
the Great Plains Athletic Conference schedule, but later avenged that loss with a
69-58 win over the Chargers in Sioux Center.
The Lady Defenders were in the hunt for a post-season playoff berth until
the second to last game of the season. They rebounded from a disappointing
loss to Mount Marty to beat Doane College, a playoff qualifier, on the
road in a 98-93 overtime game. Other highlights for the Lady Defenders included
a win over the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers in Mitchell, South Dakota, when the
Tigers were rated in the top fifteen in the National NAIA poll.
Jenna ONeill led the Lady Defenders with a 10.8 points per game average
with a season high of 31 points in a win over the College
of Saint Mary. Katie Bleeker, Jill Bouma, and Colleen De Groot all averaged
between seven and nine points per game. Bleeker, Bouma, and Rachel Van Beek
were all GPAC honorable mention nominees.
With no players exhausting their eligibility, the Lady Defenders are poised for another
season of improvement next year.
The indoor track season was filled with seven new school records and many NAIA National Meet qualifiers for Dordt College runners and throwers. Meeting the qualification standards for the NAIA National Meet in Johnson City, Tennessee, were two relay teams and four individuals.
A womens 4 x 800 meter relay team consisting of Rebecca Demarest, Jen
Van Beek, Tanya Holtrop and Kristi Meendering ran at the March 6-8 event
and were joined by their male Dordt counterparts in the same event. The
mens team consisted of Dan Foreman, Peter Franz, Jeff Taylor and Stefan Petersen.
The women finished in eighth place at nationals, the men in fourth.
Petersen, Taylor and Holtrop all qualified in the 800 meters as well, and
Dan Van Engen ran the 3000-meter race after qualifying in a time of
8:42.13.Van Engens time in the 3000 was also a new school record, breaking
the old record held by Jerrold Wynia since 1981.
Aaron Klein blazed to a new record in the 55 meters in a
time of :06.62, breaking Roger Smits 1998 record. Taylor set a record in
the 600 meters, bettering the standard he had already owned with a time
of 1:22.84. The only field event record set was Chris Fransman bettering the
high jump mark with a jump of 66 at the Great Plains Athletic
Conference meet. Fransmans jump was two inches higher than the previous best held
by Tim Lyon (1979) and Joel Van Soelen (1999).
On the womens side, a distance medley relay team of Rebecca Demarest, Jen
Van Beek, Tanya Holtrop and Kristi Meendering set a new standard of 12:50.69.
Demarest also broke her own record in the 1000 meter run with a
time of 3:06.91. One other womens runner put herself at the top of
the records: Steph Schippers raced to a 200 meter record of :27.21, eclipsing
Sarah Haans 2001 record.
The Dordt track teams return to action in the outdoor season, which begins
April 5, and will host their track and field meet on April 12.
The awards are made each year at the annual state high school tournaments.