Thursday, August 30, 2012

4,148 Fans Watch Drake Open Its Season With 28-8 Victory Over Grand View

Drake trailed early, but settled in to defeat Grand View, 28-8, Thursday night in front of a crowd of 4,158 in its season football opener at Drake Stadium. After going down a touchdown after a misplayed punt return, the Bulldogs took the lead when Mike Piatkowski (Wheaton, Ill.) floated a one-yard pass to wideout Nick Rosa (Owasso, Okla.). Spencer Lee (Johnston) converted the extra point to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead. The Vikings opened the scoring on the night when Neko Graf (Rascine, Wis.) fumbled a punt and the ball was recovered at the Bulldogs 10. Darius White then carried the ball in on a sweep. Grand View failed to convert the extra point. On the ensuing kickoff Mike Ratelle (Edina, Minn.) brought the ball to the Drake 47 to start the drive. The Bulldogs marched down the field on impressive runs from freshman Gary Scott Jr. (Forsyth, Ill.) and the drive was capped with the Piatkowski-to-Rosa pass. Piatkowski, the 2011 Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year, went 25-for-41 on the night for 271 yards. He threw two touchdowns and one interception. Rosa led Drake with 68 yards on four catches. Michael Hudson (Urbandale) had six catches for 57 yards in his first game with the Bulldogs. Drake's defense was impressive. The Bulldogs held the Vikings to 241 total yards with 12 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. Drake took advantage of Grand View miscues when Scott Jr. punched in a two-yard touchdown late in the first quarter. It was Scott Jr.'s first collegiate rushing touchdown. He led all rushers with 110 yards on 17 carries. Junior T.J. James (Des Moines) carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards. Yet another special teams miscue lead to the Vikings' final points of the game. In the second quarter the Bulldogs lined up to punt deep in their own territory. The snap was well over the head of Jeremy Stein (Carpinteria, Calif.) and out of the endzone for a safety. [This story was written for Ron Maly by Sean Palchick of Drake's sports information staff].

Drake Women's Basketball Team Plays St. Louis Squad Coached by Ex-Bulldog Coaches Lisa Stone, Amy Strephens Dec. 21 At Knapp Center

“This is a very good schedule with some great non-conference games, both here at the Knapp Center and on the road, that will challenge our team early,” first-year Drake women's basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk said today. “We have a young roster with nine underclassmen and just one senior, but we feel the non-conference schedule will help us prepare for the always tough Missouri Valley Conference.” A feature of the schedule is a Dec. 21 home game against St. Louis, which has two former Bulldog head coaches leading the program. The head coach is Lisa Stone, and one of her assistants is Amy Stephens [pictured], who preceded Baranczyk at Drake. [This story was written for Ron Maly by John Meyer of Drake's sports information staff.]


Friday Nov. 2 Quincy (Exhibition) Des Moines, Iowa 7:05 PM

Wednesday Nov. 7 Upper Iowa (Exhibition) Des Moines, Iowa 7:05 PM

Sunday Nov. 11 South Dakota Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

Sunday Nov. 18 Illinois-Chicago Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

Friday Nov. 23 UC-Irvine Las Cruces, N.M. 4:00 PM

Saturday Nov. 24 George Mason or N.M. State Las Cruces, N.M. TBA

Tuesday Nov. 27 Iowa State Ames, Iowa 7:00 PM

Sunday Dec. 2 Chicago State Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

Thursday Dec. 6 North Dakota State Fargo, N.D. 7:00 PM

Saturday Dec. 8 North Dakota Grand Forks, N.D. 2:05 PM

Sunday Dec. 16 Iowa Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

Friday Dec. 21 St. Louis Des Moines, Iowa 5:05 PM

Saturday Dec. 29 UW-Milwaukee Milwaukee, Wis. TBA

Thursday January 3 Evansville Evansville, Ind. TBA

Saturday January 5 Southern Illinois Carbondale, Ill. 2:05 PM

Friday January 11 Indiana State Des Moines, Iowa 7:05 PM

Sunday January 13 Illinois State Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

Saturday January 19 Missouri State Springfield, Mo. TBA

Monday January 21 Wichita State Wichita, Kan. 7:05 PM

Friday January 25 Bradley Des Moines, Iowa 7:05 PM

Sunday January 27 UNI Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

Saturday February 2 Creighton Des Moines, Iowa 4:00 PM

Friday February 8 Illinois State Normal, Ill. TBA

Sunday February 10 Indiana State Terre Haute, Ind. TBA

Thursday February 14 Wichita State Des Moines, Iowa 7:05 PM

Saturday February 16 Missouri State Des Moines, Iowa 4:00 PM

Thursday February 21 Bradley Peoria, Ill. TBA

Saturday February 23 UNI Cedar Falls, Iowa TBA

Sunday March 3 Creighton Omaha, Neb. TBA

Thursday March 7 Southern Illinois Des Moines, Iowa 7:05 PM

Saturday March 9 Evansville Des Moines, Iowa 2:05 PM

March 14-17 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament St. Charles, MO TBA


Sunday Nov. 4 Quincy (Exhibition) TBD

WNIT (Nov. 9-18)
Friday Nov. 9 Northern Illinois 12 p.m.

Sunday Nov. 11 TBD (second round) TBD

Wednesday Nov. 14 TBD (third round, location TBD) TBD

Sunday Nov. 18 TBD (championship, location TBD) 1 p.m.

Tuesday Nov. 20 Robert Morris TBD

FIU Thanksgiving Classic (Nov. 23-25)

Friday Nov. 23 vs. Florida International 5 p.m.

Sunday Nov. 25 vs. West Virgina/LSU 12 or 2 p.m.

Wednesday Nov. 28 at Florida State# 6 p.m.

Saturday Dec. 1 Northern Iowa TBD

Thursday Dec. 6 Iowa State^ TBD

Sunday Dec. 16 at Drake 2 p.m.

Wednesday Dec. 19 Missouri State TBD

San Diego Surf ‘N Slam Classic (Dec. 28-30)

Friday Dec. 28 vs. Texas 10 p.m.

Sunday Dec. 30 vs. Central Michigan/San Diego 4 or 6 p.m.

Thursday Jan. 3 Ohio State TBD

Sunday Jan. 6 Michigan TBD

Thursday Jan. 10 at Wisconsin TBD

Thursday Jan. 17 at Michigan State TBD

Sunday Jan. 20 Purdue TBD

Thursday Jan. 24 Wisconsin TBD

Sunday Jan. 27 at Michigan TBD

Thursday Jan. 31 at Illinois TBD

Sunday Feb. 3 Northwestern TBD

Thursday Feb. 7 at Minnesota TBD

Monday Feb. 11 Nebraska TBD

Thursday Feb. 14 Penn State TBD

Sunday Feb. 17 at Purdue TBD

Sunday Feb. 24 at Nebraska TBD

Thursday Feb. 28 Indiana TBD

Sunday March 3 at Northwestern TBD

Thurs.-Sun. March 7-10 at Big Ten Tournament TBD
(Hoffman Estates, IL)

Sun-Tues. Mar. 24-26 NCAA First/Second Rounds TBD
(Iowa City, IA)

Sat.-Tues. Mar. 30-Apr. 2 NCAA Regionals TBD
(Spokane, WA, Oklahoma City, OK Trenton, NJ, Norfolk, VA)

Sunday Apr. 7 NCAA National Semifinals TBD
(New Orleans, LA)

Tuesday Apr. 9 NCAA National Championship TBD
(New Orleans, LA)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Drake Men's Cross-Country Team Ranked 12th In Region

The Drake men's cross-country team will open the 2012 season ranked 12th in the first United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) regional poll of the year. "We're excited to get the fall season under way," coach Dan Hostager said. "It's great to see the men's team is already ranked in the region since its reflective of their hard work." The Bulldogs rank in the same spot as they ended the season last year after spending several weeks in the top 10. Drake ranked as high as ninth in the midwest region last season in mid-October. "Of course, the guys realize that a preseason ranking really doesn't mean much and will be very motivated to move into the top 10 as the fall season progresses," Hostager said. The midwest region offers some of the best talent in the nation. Oklahoma State has won two of the past three championships. The region houses one of the best runners in the country with Chris O'Hare, who was named USTFCCCA Indoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year. Drake will open the season Friday (Aug. 31) hosting the annual 4k Bulldog Classic at Ewing Park on the southside of Des Moines. The first of two meets in Des Moines for the Bulldogs will see them compete against UNI and Iowa State. The men won the event last season. The women will start at 5 p.m. with the men's race to follow at 5:45. [This story was written for Ron Maly by Trygve Jensen of Drake's sports information staff].

Zach Gives Back

Members of the Drake men's and women's golf teams were offered an opportunity Monday to learn from the team that helps support Bulldog alum Zach Johnson [pictured] on the PGA tour as noted sports psychologist Dr. Mo Pickens and strength and conditioning coach Chris Noss spent the day with the squads.

In a continuing and evolving partnership between Drake and Johnson as a way to give back to the Drake programs, both Noss and Pickens were in town for the first of their two visits this year.

The day began with student-athletes working in the weight room with Noss around their class schedules as classes began at Drake on Monday. He worked on drills with both teams to enhance their flexibility and endurance to help produce better and more consistent efforts on the golf course.

Members of both squads then joined forces with Pickens at Echo Valley golf course in Norwalk, where they talked strategy before heading onto the course to carry out and enhance what they learned.

The Drake men's team coached by Matt Lewis opens its fall season at the Fairway Club Invitational in Nebraska City, Neb. [Sept. 10-11], while the women and coach Leanne Smith kick off their season at the Redbird Invitational in Normal, Ill. pSept. 8-9].

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Sean Palchick of Drake's sports information staff].

Bulldog Corn Feed

It's the one night of the year when coaches of Drake's athletic programs show their lighter side and share why it is so great to be a Drake Bulldog.

They all deserve credit for being good sports and helping create with the creative help of Matt Mobley a rousing rendition of the Drake "D" Song for the entertainment portion of the annual Bulldog Club Corn Feed, which took place at the Izaak Walton League in Des Moines. The evening began with a social hour, followed by a dinner buffet and the program to raise funds for Drake's athletic programs.

The 48th edition of this event produced a packed house, all enjoying an evening when the Bulldogs' biggest supporters share time together with the coaches from each of Drake's athletic programs, as well as athletic department officials and staff.

Ric Silvestrini served as master of ceremonies for the event and he spoke about the prospects for the fall sports teams this season with their respective head coaches including men's basketball coach Mark Phelps, women's basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk, cross country coach Dan Hostager, volleyball coach Tony Sunga, head football coach Chris Creighton, women's soccer coach Lindsey Horner and men's soccer coach Sean Holmes.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of videos that had been produced, starring Drake's coaches singing the Drake "D" song.

Athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb spoke and expressed her appreciation for the tremendous support of the Bulldog Club and the positive impact it makes for Drake's coaches and student-athletes. She also heaped praise upon the athletics department staff and conveyed her enthusiasm for the year ahead.

Clubb also recognized Drake's 2011-12 winners of the Howlett Award, presented this past May to men's soccer player Matt Kuhn and women's basketball player Rachael Hackbarth. The Howlett award is given annually to the top performing male and female student-athletes for the year.

The annual corn feed serves an opportunity for an entertaining night in which the Bulldog Club expresses appreciation to its current members and encourages prospective members to join the Club, while mingling with Drake athletic department coaches and staff. It also is an opportunity for Bulldog fans to meet and greet Drake head coaches and athletics staff.

The mission and vision of the Bulldog Club is to serve as ambassadors of Drake athletics to the public; provide leadership in financial support to Drake Athletics; and assist in the recruitment, cultivation and stewardship of annual donors to the Bulldog Club.

Last year, nearly 1200 alumni, friends and supporters were members of the Bulldog Club. For more information about the Bulldog Club and how to join, please contact John Brown, assistant athletic director, at 515-271-2228 or

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Sean Palchick of Drake's sports information staff].

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Bulldog Way

Drake student-athletes, coaches and administrators gathered Sunday night at Drake Stadium to recognize the student-athletes who pledged to live the Bulldog Way both on and off the field.

After the student-athletes filled up on a barbeque meal, they filed into the stands at the stadium, where senior Naser Hannoon and Sarah Yeager of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee spoke to their fellow classmates before giving way to athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb, who talked about the Bulldog Way and the importance of what it stands for. Faculty-Athletic Representative Renae Chesnut also spoke to the gathering.

The students were then called down to the track to be recognized by class before every student-athlete gathered around the Bulldog logo on the center of the football field to discuss how they planned to live the Bulldog Way.

Each student-athlete the signed the Bulldog Way placard and were given a Bulldog Way T-shirt.

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Sean Palchick of Drake's sports information staff; photo courtesy of Drake Athletics].

Monday, August 20, 2012

UNI Picked To Finish 7th, Drake 8th In Valley Cross-Country

A young Drake women’s cross-country squad was picked to finish eighth by Missouri Valley Conference coaches in their preseason poll.

The Bulldogs bring back all of the runners who scored at the 2011 Valley meet. Sophomore Mariel Fulton (Louisville, Colo.) and senior Kirsten Lake (Parker, Colo.) were Drake's top-two finishers last year, running times of 18:58 and 19:21, respectively.

Lake turned in an outstanding track season, winning the 1500-meter run at the conference meet in a school-record time of 4:23.75. She was the only upperclassmen to run for the Bulldogs last season.

Sophomore Melissa Parks (Norfolk, Neb.) capped an impressive freshman season with a time of 19:29 at the league meet. Her sister, Stephanie Parks (Norfolk, Neb.), also looks to have a strong showing in her second cross-country season.

Juniors Amanda Marwitz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Erin Poss (Antioch, Ill.) round out a talented class that hopes to improve on last season.

After winning last year's Valley title and returning four of the seven members of the championship squad, the league coaches picked Illinois State to claim the title in 2012. The Redbirds received seven first-place votes and a total of 96 points largely due to their trio of all-conference runners (Krista DeCeault, Elise Sigg and Kristen Zillmer) that are coming back.

Bradley was picked second in the preseason poll, earning one first-place vote and 83 points. Wichita State came in as an extremely close third, earning 82 points and the remaining two first-place votes. Northern Iowa is picked to finish seventh.
[This story was written for Ron Maly by Trygve Jensen of Drake's sports information staff].

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stephanie Viola Hired At Drake

Drake's athletic department announces the addition of Stephanie Viola as the director of student-athlete academic services. Viola began her duties this month.

“We are thrilled to have Stephanie join the Bulldog athletics family,” said Drake associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator Megan Franklin. “Her expertise in student-athlete development and knowledge of NCAA rules and regulations will assure that Drake student-athletes have the tools in place for a successful collegiate experience.”

Viola oversees the academic progress of all Bulldog athletic teams and works to ensure student-athletes balance the academic and athletic demands they face. She will also focus on student-athlete’s transitioning into and out of the collegiate experience so they may successfully attain the goals they envision.

“I am extremely humbled to have the opportunity to be a member of the Bulldog family,” Viola said. “Drake truly has a family feel and is committed on every level to the success of students. I am excited to begin working with the student-athletes, staff and coaches as we push to continuously be at the top of the conference in all academic measures. I have been fortunate to be mentored by special people at both Arizona State and Penn State and look forward to learning from the leadership within Drake athletics.”

Viola comes to Drake from Arizona State, where she spent five years in the office of Student-Athlete Development. She was responsible for academic oversight of several teams, served on the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and coordinated student-athlete recognition inclusive of postgraduate scholarships.

Prior to Arizona State, Stephanie was a student-athlete at Penn State, where she played softball. Upon the completion of her eligibility she served as an intern in the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes at Penn State.

Viola earned a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services from Penn State in 2005 and a master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State in 2008.
[This story was written for Ron Maly by John Meyer of Drake's sports information office].

Monday, August 13, 2012

Building Football Unity

The Drake football team spent Sunday continuing to build team unity by visiting Wildwood Hills Ranch in St. Charles.

The mission was designed to train, educate, and inspire the Bulldogs in order assist them in building a cohesive unit that is prepared for a successful upcoming season.

Coach Chris Creighton and his staff have divided the Bulldogs into 10 teams of 10-11 players per squad throughout preseason camp to compete and grow together. Each team is comprised of a mixture of upperclassmen and newcomers brought together to learn about and feed off one another to build a cohesive unit.

The entire Drake team and coaching staff arrived at the ranch in the afternoon for several hours of productive team building drills that were broken into three areas.

The teams began their experience with a low-ropes course. They were tasked with working together to find the best means to navigate the course with the available tools or supplies at their disposal. The drill challenged the squads to utilize the mental aspect of practical problem solving in order to successfully find their way through the course.

The groups then headed to the next challenge that involved a teammate who was blindfolded, leading another teammate, who sat atop a horse, through a course. The blindfolded teammate needed to listen and trust the directions of his fellow teammate to help conquer the course.

The final challenge took place with a number of activities on the water, including the Bulldogs doing a similar style event, only this time the blindfolded race occurred in a canoe and traversing over a log that crossed over the river. The squads needed to navigate around a pole before switching positions to allow everyone the experience.

The experiences learned are ones Creighton and his staff hope carry over to the season as the Bulldogs look to repeat their 2011 Pioneer Football League championship.

Drake opens its season on Aug. 30 as the Bulldogs host cross-town foe Grand View at 7 p.m. in Drake Stadium.

To keep up with Drake football on the web, visit and be sure to follow @DUBulldogs on Twitter and Ron Maly's websites at and

[This story was written for Ron Maly by Sean Palchick of Drake's sports information staff].

Friday, August 10, 2012

'Meet the Players' At Valley

By Ron Maly

In the photo at the right, Valley's sophomore football players are shown being introduced to a large crowd on "Meet the Players" night Friday at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. The Tigers' freshman, sophomore and varsity players scrimmaged, and cheerleaders, dance team members and athletes on the school's other fall teams were introduced. A free-will offering was taken, with proceeds going to Des Moines East High School, whose football facilities and equipment took a sizable hit in a recent fire at the stadium. Valley's varsity team is coming off a 14-0 record that produced the fifth state class 4-A championship for Tigers coach Gary Swenson in 2011.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ty Patton Of Alabama Staff Is New Drake Sports Publicist

Ty Patton, a media relations professional with more than 10 years experience, including the last three years as associate director of athletic communications at the University of Alabama, has been named assistant athletic director for athletic communications at Drake, associate athletic director Dennis Francois said Thursday. Patton will begin his duties during the week of Aug. 27. Patton will serve as the primary media contact for the sports of men's basketball and football as well as serving as the media coordinator for the Drake Relays. "I'm extremely excited to join the athletics team at Drake and be part of a university with such a rich athletic and academic tradition," Patton commented. "The vision and leadership in place at Drake demonstrates how intercollegiate athletics can enhance the university experience and it is an honor to join such a progressive group of leaders, coaches and student-athletes." Patton comes to Drake after spending more than three years at Alabama where he served as the primary communications contact for the men's basketball and track and field programs. While at Alabama, he oversaw and directed the media relations and publicity efforts for a pair of 20-victory teams that advanced to postseason play, including appearances in the 2011 NIT and a berth in the 2012 NCAA tournament. In addition, he also assisted extensively with game day operations for the two-time BCS National Champion Crimson Tide football program. Prior to his tenure at Alabama, Patton spent nearly four years at Appalachian State University as an assistant director of sports information before being elevated to associate director during the final two years of his tenure in Boone. At Appalachian State, he worked primarily with the men's basketball program, while heavily assisting with the publicity efforts for the three-time FCS National Champion football team. At various points, he also directed efforts for men's and women's soccer, softball and field hockey. In addition to his media relations' duties, he also coordinated the athletic department graphic design and publication projects. A 2003 graduate of Kent State University and native of Youngstown, Ohio, he began his career as a student-assistant in the sports information office at Kent State before spending a year as an intern at Virginia Tech. He also served a season as an assistant director at Mercyhurst College. "When we began our search process we strove to identify an individual that would bring an unabashed enthusiasm and passion to promoting the student-athlete experience at Drake and the many individual and team successes that our outstanding student-athletes and coaches exhibit every day," Francois said. "We firmly believe we have found that in Ty and we are extremely excited about his arrival and look forward to his leadership at Drake." [This story was written for Ron Maly by Sean Palchick of Drake's sports information staff; photo by Ron Maly]