To Stand or Not to Stand: Thoughts on National Anthem Kneeling

For better or worse, one of the most discussed and debated topics across the country this past week has been the recent controversy over whether athletes should be taking a knee during the national anthem. The arguments over kneeling were ignited in 2016, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to protest racism and police brutality by sitting during the anthem, later changing his strategy and taking a knee instead.


Players who take a knee are protesting racism toward colored people in the United States. SB Nation reports that Eric Reid, who protested alongside Kaepernick, wrote in The New York Times “We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”  Continue reading “To Stand or Not to Stand: Thoughts on National Anthem Kneeling”

Young talent sometimes works harder

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Iowa and St Louis’ prospects are proving their caliber for the Quad City Mallards. Of the 30 goals scored for the Mallards so far, 28 have been scored by someone who attended an American Hockey League (AHL) or National Hockey League (NHL) Training Camp this summer. The other two goals were scored by Vladimir Nikiforov, who has past AHL-experience.
Continue reading “Young talent sometimes works harder”

Fantasy sports – Chieftain style

Football season is here! Now for those of us students who can’t get enough fantasy football, here are some pointers.

Who to start: Although there have been a lot of key injuries this season, there are still some diamonds in the rough to be picked up and started for your fantasy team. Whether you are playing draft kings on fan duel, or just a league on, we will offer some fantasy advice for your teams. Here is a top 7 list of who to start and, top 5 who to sit as the season progresses. Continue reading “Fantasy sports – Chieftain style”

Lady Braves softball preview

The Lady Braves dealt with adversity for practically all of last season. The program played the entire year with only nine players due to some key injuries and a few players quitting the team. The Lady Braves look forward to working hard this fall to give them the opportunity to be competitive this spring.

Head Coach Carrie Calderon is entering her 23rd season with the program, and after a disappointing 2014 campaign she is more than eager to get back to work.

“I’m really energized and excited for this spring because I love being around people that want to work hard and challenge themselves, but who also want to learn the game,” Coach Calderon said.

Coach Calderon’s main focus point for the fall season is for her team to continue to learn every day. The Lady Braves are a young team this year with twelve freshmen and only four returning sophomores.

For Coach Calderon, the fall season is an opportunity to give the first year players important experience playing at the college level.
“They’re not playing high school softball any more, they have to make the adjustment to everything being faster and more challenging.”

Freshman outfielder Caitlin DeWitte credits Coach Calderon and the sophomore players for helping her through the learning process that comes with playing college softball. Caitlin admits the fall season has been challenging at times, but Coach Calderon has taught her that nothing is going to come easy at the college level so she has to approach the game with a never give up mentality.

The sophomores on the team have also played a role in helping Caitlin prepare for this spring. According to Caitlin, the sophomore players are always there to help whenever she’s in need, which has helped her learn from her mistakes. With the spring season five months out, Caitlin looks forward to continue preparing for the spring by working hard and learning with her teammates during practice.

Sophomore outfielder Amanda Bowen, who is a team captain, embraces any opportunity she gets to help her teammates. However, she believes the entire team contributes to the learning process.

“I’ve learned so much from the freshmen players as well. It’s a learning process where we’re all able to learn from each other, and I believe that will make our team stronger,” Amanda Bowen said.

The Lady Braves competed in seven exhibition games this fall and they recently concluded their fall season with the programs second annual Alumni game. The team will now focus their attention on conditioning in preparation for the spring season. The Lady Brave’s complete roster and schedule can be found at

Nothing Guaranteed for Braves Baseball

For the last three seasons, the Braves Baseball team has managed to come up just short of advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament, but this year’s team isn’t concerned with the past. The Braves are confident they can compete for a National title, and they understand the importance of having a successful fall season.

The fall season consist of the Braves playing in several exhibition games, including games against Western Illinois and St. Ambrose. The team currently has four games left before they finish the fall season competing in the Black and Gold World Series.

Starting right hand pitcher, Joey Fredrickson, who has reached as high as 89 mph on his fastball this fall, is confident in the team’s ability to compete for a National Title. Fredrickson admits the team needs to improve on their batting, but overall he’s been impressed with the team’s progress so far.

As a captain, Fredrickson embraces the opportunity to show the first year players the standards Coach Chavera and the program have set in place.

“As a captain, I want to make sure every incoming freshman knows the expectations of acting first class on and off the field,” Fredrickson said.

The program lost 11 sophomore players from last season, but the Braves will have eight returning sophomores and three sophomore transfers. Having 11 players with prior college baseball experience should benefit the Braves this upcoming spring, but just being a sophomore doesn’t get you in the starting line up on this team.

The fall season is all about competition for the Braves, and from day one Coach Chavera and his staff made it clear to the team that nothing is guaranteed.

“The players that are returning are pretty good, and they were starters last year for a reason, but they know in this business my job is to put the best product on the field every day,” Coach Chavera said.

Whether a player is on a full tuition scholarship or is a walk on, each player is expected to compete against one another. Coach Chavera’s goal is to create an environment where the players are competing every day to prepare them to compete against their opponents.

To establish competition on a consistent basis, the coaching staff has come up with a rather unique way for the players to embrace the competition.

Every day at practice, the Braves have some form of competition against one another. The team is split up into two groups: the Sauk Tribe and the Fox Tribe, which were two tribes led by Chief Blackhawk. The two teams can earn points by making good plays at practice or during a game, and they can also lose points for things such as showing up late to practice. The two teams can also earn points by winning competitions such as relay races and kick, pass, punt competitions. Every two weeks the points are added up and the tribe that has the least amount of points are assigned to clean up duty on the field or extra conditioning.

The coaching staff doesn’t want any player becoming complacent and content with their role on the team. They want the players to be pushed, whether it’s by the coaching staff or a teammate to ensure each player competes every day.

Every year the Braves’ goal is to bring a National Title to Black Hawk, but winning is not Coach Chavera’s number one priority. Coach Chavera believes the most important aspect of his job is helping his players develop enough to play for a four year school. The coaching staff takes pride in developing their players to be able to move on to the next level, and last year the program had seven players who were signed by Division I schools.

With the spring season still months away, it’s impossible to speculate how the season will go for the Braves, but make no mistake – this team will be competing every step of the way.

The entire fall and spring schedules, as well as a complete roster, can be found at

On par in golf and in life

IMG_1534As I walked to the twelfth tee at the Tournament Club of Iowa, all I wanted to do was to finish my high school career with a par. The hole played as the most difficult on the course according to the scorecard, but taking more than the four shots required to par the hole just did not seem like an option. Sure a four on the scorecard looks nice, but this was more about my farewell to something I had devoted so much time to over the past six years. Continue reading “On par in golf and in life”

Staying positive equals success for Lady Braves

The 2015 Lady Braves Volleyball season is finally upon us, and this year’s team is determined to have a successful season.

The Lady Braves are coached by Head Coach Mary Davis, who is entering her twenty-fourth year as Head Volleyball Coach at Black Hawk. Coach Davis attended Black Hawk from 1983-1985, where she played on the Lady Braves Volleyball team.

After graduating from Black Hawk, Coach Davis became an assistant coach at BHC, and four years later she was named the Head Coach of the program. Coach Davis admits it was all about winning her first few years coaching, but eventually her perspective on the importance of coaching changed.

“After a few years of coaching, it became more about being a good role model for young women and teaching them how important education is for them to make good decisions and to be strong young women in life,” Coach Davis said.

As far as Coach Davis’s expectations for this season, she hopes to pick off right where the team left off last year. With a young team last year, the Lady Braves experienced a slow start early in the season, but they continued to improve and ended up finishing second in the Arrowhead Conference. The Lady Braves fell two games short of qualifying for the NJCAA Tournament last season, but this year the team is focused on staying competitive and winning their conference.

The Lady Braves will be led by their three captains this season, Katherine Fringer, Morgan Ripperger, and Courtney Cobert. All three girls are returning from last season, and they all agree that Coach Davis has taught them how important it is to be mentally tough throughout a season.

“You have to be mentally tough in this sport. If you’re not mentally tough then you’re bringing down the whole team,” Morgan Ripperger said.

Captains Katherine Fringer and Courtney Cobert credit Coach Davis for teaching them how to enjoy the moment and how to keep a positive attitude regardless of the circumstance.

Katherine and Courtney believe if you’re not having fun while your playing then you have no shot at winning the game.

The Lady Braves currently have a 9-12 record as they enter the final month of the regular season. With only eight games remaining in the regular season, the girls are focused on adding to the win column before the Regional Tournament begins in early November.

Braves focused on successful season

golfFor over four decades, there’s been a certain standard in place for the Braves Golf Program and that standard is simply winning.
Overall as a program, the Braves have won nineteen Region IV Championships, and thirty Arrowhead Conference Championships.

Continue reading “Braves focused on successful season”