Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Pioneers!

If you've watched the news at all recently there is quite a bit going on right now, there is a lot to be concerned about.  I hope we're all able to set that aside today and spend some time with family and friends reflecting on all we have to be thankful for.  Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Poulos Signs In France

Poulos connects with Sandoval for the first TD of the 2015 season.
Following in the footsteps of former Pioneer quarterback Sean Pfalzer, Sam Poulos has signed with the Thonon Black Panthers in France.  Details are still coming, but this is a great opportunity for Sam to continue his playing career at a high level.

See the writeup on Thonon's facebook page here.

Good luck Sam!

Monday, November 23, 2015

What to do After a Long Recruiting Trip?

Immediately go on a long family trip!!

Headed for the Mountains!
After spending four productive recruiting days in Georgia, we packed up the family and hit the road.  We've made it to Colorado to join Grandpa and Grandma, and Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins for the Thanksgiving in the Rockies.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Two Pioneers Name First-Team All-Conference

Two Pioneers were named to the first-team all-conference team.  Graham Fisher was named an all-conference punter for the third time in four years, and first-team for the second time.  Fisher led the conference with 41.7 yards per punt, a yard and a half ahead of his closest competitor, and more than three yards ahead of the the next.  Graham's per punt average is a school record, and eighth best in conference history.

Morrissette was named all-conference for the first time.  Barrett moved to linebacker for his junior and senior seasons, after playing running back for his first two years.  Morrissette finished the season third in the conference with 93 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss and two fumble recoveries.  

Other notable performances were turned in by Ryan Slager, who recorded a conference-leading 134 tackles.  That total ranked him third in the country (!) and is the fifth best season in school history, right behind David Ternes' 140 tackles last year.  As mentioned earlier, Emmi Sandoval set the new standard with a 94 yard kickoff return, and Sam Poulos threw five touchdowns against Lawrence, which ties for the third best single game total in school history.  Poulos finished both the 2014 and 2015 seasons with five touchdown passes in the final game.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

You Won't Find Any Better

West Grand High School head coach Chris Brown earned his 306th victory Friday evening, tying him for the record in the state of Colorado.  While that is an amazing accomplishment, and something I'm sure he is very proud of, this win came amid some very difficult circumstances.  Please read the linked article for the story:  The Mustangs were playing days after the passing of junior quarterback JD Guess.  An outstanding young man, JD was killed in a car accident on the way home from practice Tuesday evening.  Coach Brown, and all the assistant coaches that have worked with him over the years, always had the ability to prepare us to play our best while keeping the game in proper perspective.  Friday night's was the latest, greatest example of this.

Congratulations to Coach Brown, you won't find any better, and now the record books will show that.  Congratulations also to all in the Mustang family.  Way to pull together and lift each other up in such a tough time.  Best of luck the rest of the way!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Former Pioneer Excelling in NYC

Tefiro entered the all-time top-ten at Grinnell on this throw
Last spring Pioneer track and field athlete Tefiro Serunjogi accepted an offer as one of six new William R Berkley scholars for New York University's MBA program.  Tefiro swam as a youth in Uganda and was initially a swimmer here at Grinnell.  He spent the last three years of his Pioneer career as a thrower on the track and field team.  Before his senior year Tefiro interned for Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, and had to decide between an offer from Goldman Sachs and the opportunity to continue his studies as a Berkley scholar.  Not a bad option to have!

"This experience is opening my eyes to what I can and should be doing with my life, to think beyond what I thought was possible."
Read more about Tefiro's experience at NYU here:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Grinnell College Athletic Facilities - From Above

Our swimming and diving teams held an alumni event recently, and friend of the program Danny Engesser used his drone to create a stunning view of the northern part of campus, prominently featuring our athletic facilities.  The Bear Recreation and Athletic Center and Rosenbloom Field are both highlighted quite a bit.  This video is not officially connected with the college in any way, but it does a great job highlighting our campus.  Check it out and enjoy!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Kid's Camp a Success

Current and future linebackers
 We hosted our annual free kids camp yesterday, and once again it was a success.  There was a lot of learning and a lot of fun for the local kids,  hopefully some future Pioneers in the group!  Thanks to all who came.
Learning to Catch

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Positive Thursday!

It's Positive Thursday once again, and the Pioneers got some encouragement from number 1 fan Frances Pedersen (1st grade).  In case you're having trouble reading them (she writes like her dad), Frances says "I believe in you! Be good out there!" and "Be awesome.  I love football so much! Go Daddy's team!"

After two road games, we are excited to be back on Rosenbloom, hosting Knox this Saturday at 1:00 PM.  The Pioneers last appearance at Rosenbloom was a 28-20 victory over Lawrence, and we're looking for similar results this Saturday!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Beecher Named Semi-Finalist for Prestigious Student-Athlete Award

Jacob Beecher #22, heads to mid-field for the opening coin toss
Senior safety/outside linebacker and team captain Jacob Beecher has been named a semi-finalist for the William V Campbell trophy.  The intent of the award is to honor top academic student-athletes playing football, and it comes with a $25,000 scholarship to be used on graduate school.  Fifteen finalists will be named in late October, and each of those will receive and $18,000 scholarship, and one winner will be named in December and will receiver the $25,000 scholarship.  Beecher is the third Pioneer in the last four years to be named a semi-finalist (TJ Schaid in 2012 and David Ternes in 2014).

Congrats Jacob, and best of luck in getting selected as a finalist!

Thursday, October 8, 2015


I usually like to keep these posts at least somewhat related to Pioneer Football, but I'm making an exception today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First School Record of the Season - Longest Kick Off Return

The first school record of the season has fallen, and it took until week four for it to happen.  During last Saturday's 28-20 victory over Lawrence, Emmi Sandoval set a school record with a 94 yard kick off return for a touchdown.  The previous long was an 84 yarder by Nick Merklin in 2007 and an 82 yarder by Kyle Perry in 2005.  Congrats Emmi!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fisher Earns Mention in Notable Special Teams Performances

Graham Fisher '16 unleashes another long punt
Each week the Midwest Conference selects an offensive, defensive, and special teams performer of the week, and also list other notable performances.  This week Graham Fisher '16 was mentioned in the notable performances.  Fisher averaged 50.2 yards per punt on four punts, with two of them being downed inside the 20 (both at the 11).  Graham was named Honorable Mention All-Conference as a first-year, and First Team All-Conference last year.  He's off to a stellar start this year, currently leading the conference by nearly four yards per punt (42.0 - 38.1)!

Keep up the good work Graham!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nice Article in the Minor League Sports Report

Head Coach Jeff Pedersen '02 was recently featured in the Minor League Sports Report.  The article does a nice job highlighting some or our philosophies, check it out:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Myron Rolle to Visit Campus Oct. 2-3

The poster pretty much says it all, but former All-American, Rhodes Scholar, and NFL athlete Myron Rolle will be visiting campus October 2-3, which corresponds with our home game against Lawrence.  We have invited our football alumni and our local recruits to join us for the game, and we hope to have a great turnout.  Myron is a great example for our guys, as he is the embodiment of a student-athlete, excelling in every arena.  I'm excited to have him here on campus!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Congrats to Chris Brown

I also wanted to take a second to congratulate my old high school coach, Chris Brown, who earned his 300th victory as a head coach last night.  The West Grand Mustangs beat Nederland 22-7 last night, as Brown became just the third coach in Colorado high school football history with 300 wins.  Congrats Coach!!  You've been such a positive influence on so many of us over the years, and hopefully many more to come.  Although I'm know there is at least one receiver and quarterback combination (Ryan Brown and Jeff Pedersen) who though you should have thrown the ball a little bit more!

Congrats and here's to many more!

Follow the Pioneers Live!

Follow the Pioneers live today as we open the season against Beloit College at 1:00 PM Central.  We'll be playing at home on beautiful Rosenbloom Field, looking to get the season started off right!

The free webcast can be found here:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Final Summer Update

It is a little unusual to have a summer update at this point in the fall, after all we're gearing up for our first game this Saturday.  However, I wanted to make sure to include one more update, this one from Jacob Bernholtz, a biology major from Slater, IA and Ballard Senior High.  Bernie is one of only two guys from Iowa on the roster this year.  While we will always seek to have a diverse roster; a roster full of guys from all across the country (and the globe, Ibuki Ogasawara and Vinny Pavoni!) it's still a priority to have a strong group of local players.  One of the biggest priorities in our recruiting efforts this year to bring in a good group of Iowa boys.

Jacob Bernholtz '17 looking sharp on Media Day
Anyway, in his own words, here is the summer experience of Jacob Bernholtz:

I worked part time at Safe Building Compliance and Technology doing municipal building code inspections and earned an International Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector certification. I also worked to improve the inspection database by cleaning data and working on other computer related projects. It was a nice commute as I worked at the family business which is located on the first story of our new residence on Main Street in Slater, Iowa.

In the afternoons I worked as a Biological Lab Technician at the USDA labs in Ames. I worked under Dr. Julia Ridpath and Kathy McMullen studying BVDV (Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus), Corona Virus, and HoBi Viruses. It was an amazing experience being able to work with great people performing science in a lab environment.

I look forward to the upcoming season and can't wait to return to my true home at Rosenbloom field.

Thanks Bernie!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

College Football Opening Day: It's a Family Thing

Not much more needs to be said about this post.  Today is the first real day of college football games, and I couldn't be more excited.  I was just made aware of this video today, but it's a promotional video for the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and it features former Pioneer Scott Raecker '84.  Raecker is a former Republican member of the Iowa House of Representatives.  Great stuff from Scott!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Catching Up With: Eddie Guen-Murray '15

Defensive lineman Eddie Guen-Murray '15 just graduated this past spring, and it looks like he'll be staying in Grinnell for one more year.  Eddie has been appointed the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Post-Bac Fellowship Position here at Grinnell.  The Fellowship is a great way for Eddie to continue his education and improve his options in his career field, while giving back to the current students at Grinnell.  Here's what Eddie had to say:

For the next academic year I will be occupying the HHMI Post-Baccalaureate Fellow position for the Science Learning Center (SLC) of Grinnell College. My job will primarily be composed of two main responsibilities: to oversee the 2nd year science retreat and to act as a full time mentor in the SLC. The goal of the 2nd year science retreat is to aid students in their transition into higher level science courses and inform them on how to pursue a future in science. As a mentor in the SLC, I will work to further assist student success by providing an ever-present mentor for Organic Chemistry I/II. Two courses generally regarded as some of the more difficult that students have to take as science majors. 

Thanks for the update Eddie.  It will be different to see you at Rosenbloom Field on Saturdays in your street clothes, but we're glad you'll be here in town!  Good luck!