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Nikao Advances to “Sweet 16” in Logo Competition

Nikao Advances to “Sweet 16” in Logo Competition

Vote for Calvary’s mascot, Nikao, on April 22!

In lieu of the traditional “March Madness,” the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) is hosting NCCAA Logo Madness. At the end of March, all schools in the LEAGUE were randomly matched to form a bracket, with matches posted on Twitter for voting. On April 14, Calvary’s mascot “Nikao” won its third round and advanced to the “sweet sixteen.”

Calvary’s mascot, Nikao, was designed by Adam Weeks in collaboration with Phillip Parker during the 2015-2016 school year. Weeks said, “Calvary had been looking to update the mascot for their Warriors athletics teams to give a more modern design. Philip Parker, the ARA on my hall my freshman year heard that I had done some graphic design and asked if I would be interested in helping to redesign the mascot, a project he had been wanting to start for some time.”

Weeks made a rough draft based on the parameters of “a clean, professional-looking design of a Spartan-style warrior utilizing the teams’ colors of red, gold, and black.” Parker and the Athletics leadership worked with Weeks to revise the design until a final version was approved. Since designing the logo in 2015, Weeks has been involved in several other design projects for Calvary events and groups. He graduated from Calvary’s Biblical Counseling program in May, 2019, and now works as Calvary’s Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications.

Weeks said, “The Warrior has been the team name for Calvary’s athletic teams for over five decades, but the name Nikao, meaning “to conquer”, was chosen for the new mascot design to reflect our victory in Christ.” Athletic Director Jeanette Regier added, “We chose the name because that is what we feel God calls us toward. We want our athletes to learn principles for how to take God’s truth and use it in the battles of life.”

The next round of voting for the NCCAA Logo Madness tournament takes place April 22. You can vote on Twitter @NCCAAChamps, and retweet asking your friends to vote.

Warriors Adding Cross Country

Warriors Adding Cross Country

Calvary University is pleased to announce the official addition of Cross Country as the fifth and sixth programs in the Calvary Athletic Department.  Coach Benjamin Hill will take the helm of both programs in a volunteer capacity.  He is excited to build the programs and compete at the NCCAA level in the fall.

Benjamin Hill is no novice to endurance sports.  He understands what it takes to mentally and physically condition in order to be successful as an athlete.  He competed both in distance races and in strongman events from 2010–2015 across the Midwest.  His belief is that victory comes from the action steps taken to grow and improve day-by-day.  Growing leads to wins, and this is his encouragement to his athletes as the first Head Cross-Country Coach for the Calvary Warriors.  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (1 Corinthians 9:14).

Prior to joining Calvary, Coach Hill started as a dual-enrolled student at Calvary in 2007.  Upon training in distance running and strength conditioning at MCC–Longview, he graduated in 2011 and then returned to Calvary.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies with a Greek emphasis in 2015.   He will be finishing his master’s degree in Bible and Theology at Calvary in May of 2020. 

Coach Hill grew up in South Kansas City, Missouri, where most of his family still lives.  He resides with his wife, Rebecca, and his newborn baby girl, Julia, within running distance of the campus.

Warriors Win in Overtime, Advance to First MCCC Championship Game in 28 Years

Warriors Win in Overtime, Advance to First MCCC Championship Game in 28 Years

Calvary was able to hold on and overtake Barclay in overtime 91-88, punching their ticket to the conference championship game. 

The Warriors and Bears both started the game well offensively, but it was Calvary who jumped in front. With 12 minutes left in the first half, Calvary was up 22-13, lead by hot shooting from Braydon Unruh and Zeb Green. However, after the Warriors extended the lead to 12, the Bears began to claw their way back into the game and five minutes later the lead was just four, 29-25. But Calvary was able to stem the tide and went on a 9-0 run, before the Bears hit a three at the first-half buzzer to trim the lead to seven, 47-40.

Barclay came out of the locker room on fire and opened the second half by going on a 13-2 run over the first four minutes and taking a 53-49 lead. From there the teams went back and forth, neither able to gain separation. At the ten minute mark of the half Calvary led 64-61. Benjamin Jones knocked down a three on the next possession, but then the offense went flat for Calvary and with four minutes to play they trailed 71-70. Then, Zeb Green went to work in the paint, as he did all game, scoring the Warriors final six points. Barclay had a driving attempt at the buzzer, but couldn’t convert so the game went to overtime tied at 76.

In the overtime period, Calvary got off to a critical quick start, with Green scoring two more baskets giving him ten straight points. Barclay, though, hung around and after Green converted an and-1 the Warriors led 85-81. He scored on the next Calvary possession as well, and the Warriors led 87-86. It was then the Bears got a steal, but an opportunity for an open layup was missed and turned over to the Warriors with 30 seconds to play. On the next Barclay possession Green picked up his fifth foul and the Bears knocked down both free throws to take an 88-87 lead. At the other end, Cameron Bender was fouled going after an offensive rebound and split the free throws to tie the game at 88. Barclay grabbed the rebound and ran the other way off the miss, but Ques Harris chased down the ball handler and poked it free in what head coach Matt Sanders called, ”the play of the game.” At the other end, Jay Lems was fouled with one second left. Barclay was then hit with a technical foul and Lems knocked down three of the four free throws to seal the game for Calvary, giving the Warriors a 91-88 win. 

After the game, Sanders said, “We got stops when we needed to down the stretch, but couldn’t make some open shots. The goal was to keep the game under 80 points and we did that [in regulation], I figured we would win if we did. Defensively we were really good in the second half, and they were as well, they stifled us for a while. The first two minutes of overtime is very important and we jumped out to a quick lead. I think that might have rattled them, and then Zeb Green just took the game over.”

The Warriors shot the ball much better from behind the three-point line today shooting 28% for the game, and 44% from the rest of the field. Calvary also had 13 turnovers compared to 15 assists on 35 made shots. 

Zeb Green led the Warriors with another incredible performance, tallying a massive 33 point, 18 rebound double-double. Braydon Unruh had 22 points and 7 boards. Jay Lems and Benjamin Jones had 10 points each, Lems adding 6 assists. 

Greg Thirdkill led the Bears with 20 points. 

The Warriors advance to the Midwest Christian College Conference championship game for the first time since the 1991-92 season and will face number four seed Faith Baptist Bible College. The championship game will be played on Saturday at 6 pm in Joplin, MO.

Calvary Defeats Barclay, Advances to Conference Championship Game

Calvary Defeats Barclay, Advances to Conference Championship Game

The Warriors earned a hard-fought victory over the Bears in the Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament semifinals 72-59 and will move on to the Championship game on Saturday. 

The game was close throughout the first quarter as both teams had things working at the offensive end, and neither could find much of an answer defensively. The relatively high-scoring, first quarter ended with the score knotted at 20. In the second, Calvary continued to play well on offense and picked up the intensity at the defensive end opening the quarter on a 9-2 run. From there the Warriors were able to extend the lead to 16 points, before heading into the locker room up 43-31. 

In the third quarter, the Warriors started somewhat slowly. With just over three minutes to play in the quarter, Barclay had cut the 12 point halftime deficit to just one. One minute later the game was tied at 49. It was at this point that Calvary went on a 9-0 run to close out the quarter and headed to the fourth with a 58-49 lead and the game’s momentum. The Warriors scored eight of the first ten points in the fourth quarter and held a 15 point lead with eight minutes to play. The game was never in doubt from that point on as Calvary was able to keep the Bears at bay, holding Barclay scoreless over the final four and a half minutes and winning 72-59. 

For the second day in a row, the Warriors used a big second quarter to gain separation from their opponent outscoring the Bears 23-11 in that period. Otherwise, the game was very evenly matched on the court and on the stat sheet. Except that Calvary out rebounded Barclay 58-37 including pulling in 25 offensive rebounds. Those offensive rebounds led to 17-second chance points as rebounding proved to be the difference in the game. 

After the game head coach Tressa Shoemaker said, “This will be our second straight year in the championship game. We have been working hard to get back to this point in the season. To win a championship would be incredible and something the program hasn’t done since the eighties. We will have to tighten up our defense and be willing to put it all on the line [on Saturday].”

Taylor Hunter led the scoring for the Warriors with 31 points, including 5 threes, and 8 rebounds. Shalom Sutcliffe had 17 points. Both Anna Davis and Anna Holloway had a team-high 9 rebounds and added 6 points apiece.  

Jamia Jackson led the Bears with 17 points. 

The second-seeded Warriors have advanced to the conference championship game and will play the number one seed Emmaus, Saturday at 4 pm in Joplin, MO. 

Calvary Hangs On to Defeat Central Christian, Advance in MCCC Tournament

Calvary Hangs On to Defeat Central Christian, Advance in MCCC Tournament

The sixth-seeded Warriors escaped the third-seeded Saints, in the first round of the Midwest Christian College Conference tournament, winning a tightly contested game 77-74.

Calvary started the game very well, as they have done against Central Christian before, opening the game on a 15-4 run. The Warriors were able to keep the high-scoring Saints in check over the first eight minutes, yet despite the great defense only led by nine. CCCB began to make a run and five minutes later the game was tied at 21. The Saints grabbed the lead and led for the rest of the half, extending it to as many as five. But Calvary was able to cut it down to just two and trailed at halftime 33-31.

The second half picked up right where the first left off, with both teams able to answer one another at both the offensive and defensive ends. Five minutes into the half Central was able to pull away slightly and held a 42-37 advantage. The Warriors were always able to keep the Saints within six points and with just over 11 minutes left back-to-back and-1 conversions from Zeb Green and Braydon Unruh turned a five-point deficit into a one-point lead, 51-50. This sparked the offense for Calvary and the Warriors pushed the lead back to 12 with five minutes left. The Saints wouldn’t go quietly, and with two and a half minutes left the Warrior lead was just 5, 71-66. CCCB cut the lead to three multiple times over the last two minutes and had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line trailing by two, but couldn’t. The Saints had a shot at the buzzer to tie, but it didn’t fall as Calvary held on 77-74. 

The third time was the charm for Calvary, after falling to the Saints by two and four points earlier in the season the Warriors were able to pick up a win when it mattered. After the game head coach Matt Sanders called it, “A huge win, we played tremendous defense, and the starters were fantastic.” The Warriors only scored three bench points in the game and only knocked down one three-point shot. “Winning with only one three is incredible, but really points to our total team defense. Zeb Green and Benjamin Jones were fantastic at that end.”

Green not only played well defensively but also led the Warriors in scoring with a big-time 25 point, 19 rebound double-double. He now owns the top three individual rebounding games in the country this season. Braydon Unruh had 15 points and 7 rebounds, Benjamin Jones had 13 and 8. Jay Lems had 12 including the Warriors’ only three-pointer.

Kedron Rollings led the Saints with 24 points. 

With the win, Calvary advances to the semifinals on Friday, where they will take on the number two seed Barclay for a place in the conference championship game.

Calvary Runs Past Manhattan in First Round of Tournament

Calvary Runs Past Manhattan in First Round of Tournament

After a shaky first quarter, Calvary found their groove and beat the Thunder 81-52.

It was a relatively low scoring first quarter as both teams struggled to score. Calvary led for most of the period, but a Thunder three on their final possession sent Manhattan into the quarter break with a 14-12 lead. On the first possession of the second quarter, Taylor Hunter knocked down a three to retake the lead and Calvary never looked back. The Warriors opened the quarter on a 12-0 run and kept the intensity going on both offense and defense outscoring the Thunder 28-11 in the second. Calvary led 40-25 going into halftime.

The game was never in doubt in the second half as the Warriors quickly pushed the lead to 20. Manhattan tried to make a run multiple times in the third, but every time the Warriors had an answer and never allowed the Thunder to close the gap. Calvary was led by as many as 25 in the period and went to the fourth quarter up 69-45. In the fourth, the Warriors’ defense simply overwhelmed a fatigued Manhattan team holding the Thunder to just 4 points over the final eight minutes, easily taking the game by a 29 point margin, 81-52.  

Head Coach Tressa Shoemaker was pleased with her team after the first round victory saying, “We were ready to play from the start defensively, but it took us a little bit of time to get the same rhythm offensively. Once we did, we never looked back and are excited about the next game.” 

The Warriors scored 57 points in the second and third quarters alone, connecting on nine threes in those quarters, and shooting 32% from three on the game. Calvary also had 14 assists compared to 11 turnovers, to go along with 21 steals. 

Taylor Hunter led the scoring for Calvary with a game-high 25 points and 6 rebounds. Avery Kornstad had 19 points and a team-high 7 rebounds, both Kornstad and Hunter connected on 4 three-pointers. Anna Davis added 11 points and 6 rebounds. 

Kennedy Wilson led the Thunder with an 18 point, 12 rebound double-double. Her 12 rebounds were a game-high.

With the win Calvary, the second seed advances to the semifinals of the Midwest Christian College Tournament. The Warriors will play Barclay, the number three seed, on Friday with a spot in the championship game on the line.