The Lincoln Lutheran Men of Faith Basketball Tournament was once again a tremendous success. 13 teams and over 100 men participated in this: the 17th annual tournament. The Christian fraternity was positive and the action was once again very exciting!
In the Open Division (30 & younger), 8 teams competed. This division included a strong alumni representation. Squads in this division included: Alumni 2000-2004 (Brendan Bonner-Captain), Alumni 2002-2006 (Adam Troester-Captain), Alumni 2003-2007 (Brett Himmelberg-Captain), Alumni 2008-2010 (Derek Schulte-Captain), Alumni 2010-2012 (Eric Beckman-Captain), Concordia (Aaron Hedlund-Captain), Lincoln Lutheran Coaches (Mike Holle-Captain), and a team of existing Lincoln Lutheran Warriors PLUS Mr. Niederklein. The Beckman, Hedlund, Holle and Troester teams reached the final four. In a rematch of last year’s championship game, Aaron Hedlund’s Concordia team defeated the LL Coaches to claim bragging rights as tournament champs for the second year in a row.
- Classic Division Champions -- Faith: Jim Austin, David Bliemeister, Kent Eitzmann, Chris Fatter, Jason Gaffe, Tim Guenthe, Pat Hardesty (Captain), Jeff Peterson, Kelley Sears, and Vic Seydell.
- Classic Division Runner-up -- Trinity: Jeff DeBoer, Shawn Donovan, Ron Gottula, Dean Heiden, Kevin Lanka, Kevin Orth, David Ringler (Captain), and Rick Schwartz.
- Open Division Champions – Concordia: *Keegan Bloomfield, Aaron Hedlund (Captain), *Andrew Bowers, *Alex Bowers, *Ian Fuller, *Nick *Milberger, and *Ryan Schrum.
- Open Division Runner-up – Alumni 2010-2012: Eric Beckman (Captain), Isaiah Bockelman, Nick Dudycha, Jayson Haessler, Matt Justus, Zach Justus, Connor Shelton, Logan Wachal.
The champion and runner-up teams in each division are invited to designate $200 and $50 respectively to a charity of their choice. All four teams donated their winnings to the Warrior Wellness Project (weight room remodel). Thank you, gentlemen!!
Tournament Highlight: 4th grader Steven Bennett (Son of Tom and Kristin Bennett) led the pre-game prayer before the Sunday classic division semi-final game!
Others teams in the tournament… CLASSIC DIVISION (31 & OVER)
- Christ-1 -- Vincente Bustamonte, Lars Gallagher, Will Hayes, Jerry Kile, Mark McDonald, Brody Ockander, Steve Wells (Captain).
- Christ-2 -- Jeff Frohberg, Shawn Goodrich, Steven Kennedy, Bryce Kleen, Byron Peterson, Troy Post, Joel Rodencal (Captain), Dave Swan.
- Redeemer/Holy Saviour: Jesse Bachman, Tom Bennett, Dustin Hoffman (Captain), Ryan Holiday, Ryan Koch, Dave Michaelson, Keith Seilhans, and Scott Stream.
OPEN DIVISION (30 & YOUNGER)
- Alumni 2000-2004 -- David Bliemeister, Brendan Bonner (Captain), *Ryan Edwards, Erik Poulsen, Cory Rohren, *Matthew Wagnitz, Zach Willet.
- Alumni 2002-2006 -- *Tim Culwell, *Reed Phinisey, David Schwartz, Ben Troester, Jon Ziegler.
- Alumni 2003-2007 -- *Nate Bloch, Brett Himmelberg (Captain), Matt Himmelberg, *Alex Holley, *John Lavorson, Grant Maul, Andy Wittman, Kyle Ziegler.
- Alumni 2008-2010 -- Alex Deeter, *Dylan Hajek, Tyler Metschke, Zane Peterson, Micah Pomerenke, Derek Schulte, Michael Tewes.
- Lincoln Lutheran Coaches -- Brett Dangler, Adam Flanagan, Kraig Flanagan, Seth Flanagan, Lee Fiddler, Jason Glines, Derek Groskurth, Mike Holle (Captain), Joel Weyand, and Kyle Wooster.
- 2013-2016 -- Ethan Bruggeman, Harrison Martin, *Alex Niederklein (LL M.S. Teacher), Marshall Oetting, Micah Oetting, Andrew Polk, Riley Smith (Captain), Garett Wachal, Josh Wendland.
*Denotes non-Lincoln Lutheran Alumnus
THANK YOU’S….There are SO MANY people who volunteer time and talents to make this tournament successful. Tournament director Lyle Ziems would like to sincerely thank all the players for their support of Lincoln Lutheran through participation in this tournament AND for overall witness of Christ in their play. Lyle would also like to thank the MANY others for their special contributions to the tournament:
- Volunteer Officials -- David Bliemeister, Tom Bliemeister, Brian Bruggeman, Luke Derowitsche, Keith Ernst, Scott Ernstmeyer, Lee Fiddler, Michelle Metzger, Joel Stoltenow
- Scorer’s Table Coordinators - Keith Ernst and Brad Pracheil
- Assistant Scorer’s Table Coordinators – Sheila Ziems
- Yummy Pulled Pork Meal Preparation and Service – Sharon Bliemeister
- Meal Assistant -- Sheila Ziems
- Floor Prep -- David Backus
- Miscellaneous -- Brent Johnson (LL Athletic Director)
- Scorers Table Student Volunteeers: Dylan Brockhaus, Ashlee Ernst, Caleb Gahan, Alex Havlena, Mikayla Higgins, Chase Latham, Max McCoy, Minh C. Nguyen, Jacob Rappa, Nolan Schad, Nick Schmeling, Riley Smith, Jacob Staab, Nathan Todd, Rachel Ziems, Rebecca Ziems.
NOTE: Chase Latham & Riley Smith worked the ENTIRE day Saturday!!!
Additional Note: David Bliemeister helped with food prep the day before the tournament, either played or officiated 11 of the 24 Saturday games, and, then, played in two more games on Sunday. That’s a full day’s labor, David! Thank you for your tireless(?) contributions to the tournament!