It was another very successful year for men’s athletics. The University for Wisconsin-Stevens Point has always fielded some very competitive teams, and this year was no different.
•Football: The Pointer football team came into this season with their backs already against the wall. After having their starting quarterback, Jake Swank, and leading receiver Jared Jenkins, graduate, the team’s offense would have to start all over. On the defensive side, Stevens Point lost their top pass rushers Brandon Bruger, leaving the defense with a big hole to fill. The Pointers had a good start to the season, winning two of their first three games, but didn’t finish strong, losing five of their last seven games. It was a rebuilding year, but there were still some bright spots. Senior receiver Mike Mullins, had career highs in reception, 38 and recovering yards, with 511. For the defense, senior linebacker Curtis Krump led the team with 92 tackles, and 3 sacks. Senior defensive back, Joe Mleziva, led the team with four interceptions. Next year the Pointers will look to be competitive again in the WIAC.
•Hockey: It was a season where the Pointer hockey team turned in the right direction, under first year coach Chris Brooks. The team improved from the season before, accumulating a record of 14-11-4, and having a conference record of 8-6-4. It was a season where the Pointers found themselves in the thick of things at the end of the season, losing in the NCHA Peters Cup championship game, but lost to power house St. Norbert. Leading the team this year was sophomore standout Kyle Heck. At the forward position, Heck led the team with 20 goals, and added 7 assists. The Pointers will only get better in the coming years, as they have five of their top six goal scorers coming back, along with goalies Brandon Jaeger and Nick Graves.
•Basketball: After losing three of their top five scorers from last season, there really weren’t any great expectations for the men’s basketball team this year, but the team really stepped up. The Pointers had a record of 20-8, with a dominant record of 12-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. One of the main reasons for their success this season was the play of the Tillema brothers. Senior Dan Tillema and junior Tyler Tillema only averaged around nine points last season, but this season, both players burst on to the scene, with Tyler averaging 17 points, and 5 rebounds and Dan adding 16.5 points, and 5.5 rebounds. Senior big man, Jordan Brezinski, also stepped up, averaging 12.2 points per game, and 7 boards. Although the team will lose Brezinski, and Tyler Tillema, they will still be very competitive next year.
•Baseball: The Pointer baseball team came into the season with high expectations. The Pointers returned a lot of key parts to their offense, and pitching staff, but still had to rely on some younger players to step up and deliver. That is just what happened for Stevens Point, as they achieved a record of 27-15 during the season, going 15-9 in the conference. Although they were bounced early from post season play, there are still some very bright signs for the future of Pointer baseball. After only appearing in 8 games as a sophomore, Pitcher Cam Seidl claimed the role of the Pointer pitching rotation ace. Seidl posted a record of 5-3, leading the team with a 1.67 ERA, 75 1/3 innings pitched and 53 strikeouts. For the offense, sophomore outfielder Casey Barnes staked his claim as one of the best up and coming hitters in the WIAC. Banens had a batting aveage of .359, with 55 hits, and 29 RBIs. Look for the Pointers to only get better next year.