MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

November 14, 2020

Senior student athletes grateful for support, friendships

It’s been a very unpredictable fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to enjoy watching some Comets athletic contests. The volleyball team has completed the fall season and will play some games again in the spring. Football has some later games due to earlier postponements. Details regarding rescheduling of football games are pending.

Comets Volleyball finished the 2020 fall season with a 13-3 record and a 5-0 conference record, which puts them in first place heading into the spring season. Mayville State was on a 10-game winning streak before a loss last week to the University of Jamestown. We look forward to seeing how things go when play resumes in the spring.

It is our great privilege to have the opportunity to watch our student athletes on the courts and fields and to get to know them as individuals. We are blessed to have some extra-special people among us and as supporters, we rejoice in their victories and remain steadfast through their losses. These student athletes realize what a gift the support of alumni and the community is to them.

Several members of the volleyball and football teams are seniors. They include Kaitlin Leier, Bismarck, N.D.; Mason Hart, Moorhead, Minn.; Jordyn Lucas, Nevis, Minn.; Creighton Pfau, West Fargo, N.D.; Travyen Brownlee, Miramar, Fla.; Tim Rooks, Pahokee, Fla.; Dan Simpson, Chesapeake, Va.; Darrel Wilson, Douglasville, Ga.; Dave Hanson, Buffalo, Minn.; Robert Barnard, Middleburg, Fla.; Derrick Prater, Miami, Fla.; Jelon Hilton, Augusta, Ga.; and Max Cooper, Minnetonka, Minn. I was able to get some reflections from a few of these senior student athletes recently.

Mason Hart is on the volleyball team and is from Moorhead, Minn. She was recently crowned Mayville State’s homecoming queen. Mason says she has a TON of good memories at this small campus. Her favorite was beating Bellevue University in five sets during her junior year. She says the crowd involvement was one of her most favorite parts of the experience, along with how hard she and her teammates fought for that win.

Mason considers Mayville State to be a special place because of how close everyone is. She didn’t have those same interactions in her hometown which is fairly large. “Everyone knows everyone and everyone is nice to each other. It’s one big happy family,” she explained.

Creighton Pfau is quarterback for Comets Football. He also played basketball for a couple of seasons. Creighton is from West Fargo, N.D. His favorite Mayville State memory is the first win on the new turf field that debuted at Farmers Bowl in 2018. The student to faculty relationships are something he values and he says they are better at Mayville State than anywhere else.

Creighton is grateful for his interactions with alumni and community members. “The White Hat Club has done an awesome job,” he said, and he looks forward to advocating for this football booster club and joining the group when he gets a “real” job.

David Hanson is also a senior on the football team. David is from Buffalo, Minn. David says that Mayville State has allowed him to grow in his relationship with Christ through the many groups in which he has participated. He has taken part in Mayville State’s CRU and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He’s always felt welcomed by others in these organizations.

David recognizes the importance of the community and staff members who care so much for the students. He said, “Every professor always sets aside time so they can help you out. In my first year at Mayville, Tracy, who cleans in Agassiz Hall, always took time out of her busy day to see how I was doing and to find out if everything was well with me. In addition, I feel like the community has my back and will help me and the team out whenever we need it.”

Hanson says he’s been blessed to receive scholarships funded by alumni and community members. This support helps him pay for college and reduce the stress during the football season. He could not be more thankful for scholarships and all the ways alumni and community members support Comet Football.

We are sad when we have to say good-bye to special students like Mason, Creighton, and David as they graduate and move on to do great things in their careers. On the flip side, we know their futures are bright and we look forward to celebrating in the future successes that we know are ahead of them.