Although the men’s basketball team suffered a homecoming defeat to Lawrence University on Saturday, plenty of other attractions helped fill Memorial Gymnasium for the matinee game against the Vikings.
Following the women’s basketball team’s 59-48 victory over Lawrence, Knox College offered a final congratulating ceremony to both the 2008 Midwest Conference Champion Men’s Golf and 2008 Midwest Conference Champion Baseball teams before each team begins to defend their respective titles. Outstanding individual efforts were also recognized for both clubs.
The men’s golf team held off an upstart Monmouth College team by six strokes to claim the conference title in May at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Ill. David Marquardt ’08 was the individual medal winner at the Conference Championships, shooting a 224 over 54 holes, winning by a comfortable nine strokes over St. Norbert’s Gabe Dahl. Kevin Foerster ’10 finished in a tie for tenth place at 247.
Although the golf team, led by Coach C.J. Rugh ’05, missed the team cut after two days at nationals, Marquardt continued on individually for a 14th place finish in Braselton, Ga. Marquardt earned Second Team All-America honors for his efforts.
The baseball team, behind the leadership of Coach Jami Isaacson ’92, earned its conference title by defeating conference powerhouses St. Norbert once and Ripon twice in one day to complete its return trip from the loser’s bracket. To get into and host the Midwest Conference Championships, Knox won the four-team bracket determining the South Division champion after all four teams closed with a 6-6 record in division play. The 2008 Knox baseball team was the first to win an outright conference title in 25 years and the only Knox baseball team to ever represent the school in the national tournament.
The Fire boasted six players named to the All-Midwest Conference team, and they were honored for their efforts at Saturday’s ceremony. Players named to First Team All-Conference honors were Sam Almohandis ’09, Paul Bennett ’08, Colin Davis ’11, Luke Hunter ’08. Kevin Malone ’09 and Greg Leibach ’08 earned Second-Team nods. Additionally, Bennett was named to an Academic All-American selection, to the All Midwest Region Second Team, and was South Division Player of the Year. Isaacson was named the South Division’s Coach of the Year.
Saturday in Memorial Gymnasium also marked the dedication of Tim Heimann Court, bearing the name of the 24-year Knox coach who led the most victories in Fire history. Heimann ’70 won 258 games in his years at the helm before his retirement following the 2007-2008 campaign. He was named Midwest Conference Coach of the Year for the second time in his career following his final season, and has since moved on to the Knox Office of Advancement.
“This court has my name on it, but all of you, where ever you are, have a big piece of it also,” Heimann said during an emotional halftime ceremony, surrounded by his family and friends, “because you poured your heart and soul into it.”