The Lincoln Lutheran Men of Faith basketball tournament was once again tremendously successful. For the first time in several years, the tournament maxed out its quota of sixteen teams (8 in each of two age divisions). The Christian fraternity among the approximately 130 players was quite positive and the game action was extremely competitive and exciting. Several players who have played in tournament in the past commented that this year’s tournament may have been the most competitive in the event’s history.
The eight teams in the “Open Division” (30 & younger) were captained by: Adam Troester, Brett Himmelberg, Derek Schulte, Eric Beckman, Aaron Hedlund, Nathan Bloch, Lucas Megrue, and Greg Nelson. Nathan Bloch’s team won the championship with a thrilling 69-66 victory over the team from First Free Church (Lucas Megrue - Captain). That victory coming after a even more thrilling 89-85 double-overtime semifinals win over Adam Troester’s squad.
In the “Classic Division” (31 & older), the team captains were: Tom Bennett/Dustin Hoffman, Cory Bergt, Pat Hardesty, Mike Holle, Wade Houchin, David Ringler, Joel Rodencal, and Steve Wells. After losing to Wade Houchin’s squad in round robin play, Mike Holle’s team earned redemption in the championship game to claim the Classic Division title.
OPEN DIVISION CHAMPION -- Nathan Bloch (Captain), Emil Bloch, Kurt Chvatal, Kyle Hedley, Alex Holley, Corey, John Levorson, Jason Thalken
OPEN DIVISION RUNNER-UP -- Lucas Megrue (Captain), Jesse Anderson, Mozart Dixon, Andrew Drevo, Steve Fielder, Josh Megrue, Brad Schindler, Ryan Swihart.
CLASSIC DIVISION CHAMPION – *Mike Holle (Captain), Scott Ernstmeyer, Lee Fiddler, Jason Glines, Sam Loewe, *Kevin Loontjer, John Reilly, *Cory Rohren, Scott Schmidt.
CLASSIC DIVISION RUNNER-UP -- Wade Houchin (Captain), Brian Benson, Brian Daniel, Anthony Harms, Jake Mohs, Joel Scott, Randy Sukup, Travis Wischmeyer.
TOURNAMENT PROCEEDS: Over $1,000 dollars from this year’s Men of Faith tournament will be used to fund Lincoln Lutheran’s new Community Outreach Program. The following is a basic description of the program:
(1) The mission of the new program is to "provide the organizational structure for students, parents and staff to show Christ's love by serving the needs of our Lincoln neighbors." (2) The Community Outreach Program will give students the opportunity to act upon God’s word: 1 John 3:17 - “But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” Matthew 25:40 - "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (3) Those students involved as team members in the Community Outreach Program each commit to serving a minimum of two Saturdays of a single month of the school year. The students for a given month select a faith-based not-for-profit organization from the Lincoln community to serve. These students are also responsible for organizing the service outing. (4) The Men of Faith Tournament contribution to the program will be used as “gift money” to the organizations being served. In other words, the majority of the Men of Faith Tournament proceeds will ultimately end up in the hands of those faith-based non-profit entities. Matthew 25:40 - "…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Others teams in the tournament…
CLASSIC DIVISION (31 & OVER)
Tom Bennett & Dustin Hoffman (Captains) -- Aaron Farber, Chris Johnson, Ryan Koch, Doug Koebernick, David Michaelson, Keith Sielhan, Scott Stream.
Cory Bergt (Captain) -- Chad Cade, Jon Ernst, Jeff Fry, Jess Meekma, Chris Rathe, Chris Schaedel, *Craig Volzke, Kelly Waldo.
Path Hardesty (Captain) -- *David Bliemeister, John Dolson, Kent Eitzman, Chris Falter, Jason Graff, Tim Guenthe, Jeff Peterson, Kelly Sears, Vic Sydell. Final Four Team.
David Ringler (Captain) -- Jeff Deboer, Shawn Donovan, Mike Gibbons, Pete Kragel, *Kevin Orth, *Spencer Volzke. Final Four Team.
Joel Rodencal (Captain) -- Brad Dougherty, Kevin Hanley, Justin Hinz, Kelly Hoffschneider, Steve Kennedy, Dave Swan, Troy Post.
Steve Wells (Captain) -- Scott Blahauveitz, Vince Bustamante, Drew Erks, Zach Hansen, Will Hayes, Bryce Kleen, Jerry Kyle, Brody Ockander, John Wells, Shawn Wilcox.
OPEN DIVISION (30 & YOUNGER)
*Eric Beckman (Captain) -- *Isaiah Bockelman, Justin Damme, *Nick Dudycha, *Jayson Haessler, *Derek Groskurth, *Logan Wachal, *Connor Shelton, Adam Vogt. Final Four Team.
*Aaron Hedlund (Captain) -- Andrew Browers, Alex Browers, Andrew Duensing, Joel Duensing, Ian Euler, Nick Milberger, Ryan Shrum.
*Brett Himmelberg (Captain) -- *Brendan Bonner, Matt Englehaupt, *Matt Himmelberg, Jake Micrometer, Jason Jisa.
Greg Nelson (Captain) -- _ Anderson, Tyler Bell, Eric Broullette, Jameson Rexillius, Brett Shamblin, Jared Stauffer.
*Derek Schulte (Captain) -- *Nicholas Deeter, *Tyler Metschke, *Zane Peterson, *Dillon Schulte, *Michael Tewes. Final Four Team.
*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 positive fellowship displayed in the tournament. Lyle would also like to thank the MANY others for their special contributions to the tournament:
Volunteer Officials -- David Bliemeister, Matt Bliemeister, C.J. Cooper, Jason Glines, Luke Derowitsche, Lee Fiddler, Joel Stoltenow, Doug Wiemer, Scott Wilson, Kyle Wooster, & Paul Yates.
Scorer’s Table Directors - Keith Ernst and Brad Pracheil. These two men are amazing…they were on site ALL DAY!
Yummy Pulled Pork Meal – Sharon Bliemeister
Meal Assistant -- Sheila Ziems
Miscellaneous -- A.D. Brent Johnson
Scorers Table Student Volunteeers: Luke Bartels, Elijah Frost, Noah Frost, Alex Havlena, Hallie Hohbein, Caitlin Justus, Dylan Lilliethal, Hieu Nguyen, Ben Schmeling, Nick Schmeling, Mikaela Sorensen, Nathan Todd, Andrew Wendland, Bryce Wendland, & Scott Wineman.
Extra Special Thanks to the Bliemeister family. In addition to prepping and serving the great pulled port meal, they jumped in an helped in many other ways. THANK YOU SO MUCH, BLIEMEISTERS (Tom, Sharon, David, & Matt).