A fresh year of sports excitement

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Along with all of the changes we can expect in the transition into the new year, sports fans are going to have to be ready to adjust to a new showcase of sport excitement. After the close of our fall sports seasons at North Central, the winter programs will take the stage once again.

In 2016, the Cardinal football team finished off the season with an impressive record of 11-1, taking their only loss in the second round of the playoffs to their rivals the Wheaton College Thunder. However, the Cardinals still hold the Little Brass Bell over the Thunder after defeating them 35-25 in their sixth game of the regular season.

After averaging 39.2 points per game on offense, it will be hard to replace the excitement the football games brought to North Central on Saturdays.

To further the school’s 2016 success, men’s cross country brought home their 17th national title from Kentucky at the end of their season and the North Central’s women’s triathlon team earned a trip to the National Championship in their inaugural season where they took first among the Division III competitors.

A few of the other North Central sports that came to a close before the change of the year were our men and women’s soccer teams, women’s volleyball, women’s tennis, and the men and women’s fall golf seasons.

After adding those Cardinal seasons to the record books, many teams are just getting the ball rolling. Men and women’s basketball seasons are well under way and they are bringing a whole lot of hype into Merner Fieldhouse.

The Cardinal men’s basketball team started off their season beating four of the country’s top 20 DIII basketball teams including the number six ranked Benedictine. Currently standing at a record of 8-7, these Cardinals have 10 games left in their regular season to earn their spot as a contender for the national championship. Similarly, the women’s team has 10 games remaining in their season, but hold a 9-6 record.

Another team to look forward to on campus in their 2017 season is the men’s volleyball team’s second ever season. Hoping for a big improvement after their 8-16 inaugural season, their first game was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Friday, Jan. 20 against Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Other Cardinal teams that will continue or begin their seasons in the year 2017 include men’s wrestling, men and women’s track and field and men and women’s swimming and diving teams.

Beyond the gyms and fields of North Central, we can look back on how professional and national sports wrapped up 2016 and the history yet to be made in 2017.

Among the biggest happenings of 2016 in the world of sports was the first World Series Championship by the Chicago Cubs since 1908. The seven game series went down to the 10th inning of game seven when the Cubs won it in a historic fashion.

Along with the Cubs, other notable sports events that took place in 2016 was Kevin Durant decided to go to the Warriors, and the USA led all countries in gold medals and total medals in the Rio Olympics.

With such an exciting year behind us, it’s hard to imagine topping it in 2017, but there was already much to see in the NCAA DI National Championship when Clemson topped Alabama with a last second touchdown pass. Now with the nearing the Super Bowl, and the NBA and NHL seasons fully under way, there is plenty of sports action to go around.

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