CSB volleyball stays hot

CSB volleyball stays hot

By Matt Captain
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The St. Ben’s volleyball team has been on a tear lately by not just winning five straight matches, but also sweeping all five opponents.

Overall, the Bennies are 10-6 and 4-1 in the MIAC with the only loss coming at the hands of conference leading St. Thomas.

The CSB team consists of seven upperclassmen and twelve first-year players. In other words, this young team has room to grow. (more…)

Students contribute to theater behind the scenes

Students contribute to theater behind the scenes

By Sean Kelly
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They’re not the ones in the spotlight, but the ones that picked the color for it.

Seniors Noah Anderson and Jessica Davis are technical supervisors for Fine Arts Programming (FAP). They have a range of responsibilities which include running a shop crew, helping to run the theater department and FAP performances, as well as designing their own shows. (more…)

SJU football falls to UST, 20-17

SJU football falls to UST, 20-17

By Brandon Spratt
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SJU went into last Saturday’s game averaging more than 67 points per game, but they managed just 17 in a loss to St. Thomas.

“We just didn’t execute on some plays and missed a few holes . . . they just played good defense,” SJU senior running back Dusty Krueger said.

SJU lost to St. Thomas 20-17 at Target Field in front of an NCAA Division III record crowd of 37,355. The Johnnies were outgained 386-151 in offensive yards, and managed just one rushing yard on 20 attempts.

SJU senior left tackle Noah Voigt missed the game with a concussion.

“It’s hard when you don’t have your starting line in there,” Krueger said, “They work as one unit so they need to be on the same page.”

The Johnnies did not convert a third down in the game, finishing 0-11.

“3rd downs were especially difficult because we put ourselves in long yardage situations, and it allowed them to dictate the defense,” SJU Head Coach Gary Fasching said via email.

Senior wide receiver Evan Clark racked up 59 total yards on three catches and one rush. He hauled in his first touchdown reception of the season, after a 13 TD season in 2016, on a 40-yard pass from Sophomore quarterback Jackson Erdmann in the fourth quarter.

“Our hope is that every game we can get Evan 10-15 touches,” Fasching said, “We have to get him the ball more, no question.”

Trailing 14-10 at halftime, the SJU offense was on the field for just over five minutes in the second half. The Johnnies ran 15 offensive plays compared to UST’s 46.

“The biggest thing we need to do is be able to make changes at halftime instead of just sticking with certain plays,” Krueger said.

As the SJU offense struggled to stay on the field, the defense needed to step up. They held UST to three points in the second half.

“They had a pretty long drive in that third quarter and we ended up intercepting a pass on our goal line which was a huge play,” SJU senior linebacker David Franta said.

Being on the field nearly 40 minutes during the game presented challenges for the defense.

“The heat definitely played a factor … you couldn’t drink enough water,” Franta said. “We had a few guys who were cramping up out there.”

The defense was stingy outside of two long UST touchdown passes.

“You certainly can’t put those pass plays on our defensive backs,” Franta said. “It’s a team dynamic. There were definitely mistakes we made as linebackers.”

SJU limited the Tommie running game to three yards per attempt, but UST found success with a fullback dive play.

“They typically run that play about 2 times a game. They had success, so they ran it a few more times,” Fasching said.

“We were maybe lined up incorrectly a few times … they found a weakness on us and hit it a few times,” Franta said.

The majority SJU crowd came to life late in the fourth quarter with the Johnnies trailing by three.

“We’re thankful for all the students and the rest of Johnnie nation who came out to support us like they always do,” Franta said.

“The fan noise was loud, we had to change our snap count,” Krueger said.

The Johnnies got a defensive stop with about four minutes to go, but were unable to gain a first down on offense. UST ran out the clock to finish the game.

SJU returns to Collegeville this week to host MIAC foe Bethel.

“We will have our hands full,” Fasching said. “We need to improve greatly from last week’s game.”

The Johnnies likely need to win their remaining six games to qualify for the Division III playoffs.

According to Franta, “Playoff time starts now.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF STAR TRIBUNE • Sophomore Tommie running back Josh Parks hurdles over junior Johnnie defensive back Max Jackson during SJU’s loss.

Folk music legend revisits campus

Folk music legend revisits campus

By George Dornbach
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The first fiddle John McCutcheon learned to play was salvaged from a trashcan on campus in 1970. He’s since rebuilt it, been a yearly headliner at the university’s former Swayed Pines Folk Festival, recorded 36 albums and has six
Grammy nominations. He’ll have the chance to share the fiddle’s sound and his
other musical talents when he returns to campus for a performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 in the Escher Auditorium at CSB.

Born and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin, McCutcheon came to St. John’s by luck. It was the only school he applied to and after receiving a scholarship, McCutcheon thought he’d give it a shot.

While on campus, he took his wide-ranging idea of his liberal arts education to the next level. He wanted to create his own individualized major focused on folk music, but since there was no formal coursework on campus to help him hone his craft, he approached Fr. Hillary Thimmesh, who then headed the individualized major program. McCutcheon proposed the idea of learning through lived experience.

“It’s amazing what people will let you do if you just ask,” McCutcheon said.

In the fall of his junior year, he headed into the Appalachian Mountains where he spent the rest of his time as a Johnnie immersing himself into a community of musicians, storytellers and keepers of American folk-music history.

McCutcheon will showcase his studies, stories and talents when he comes back to play a show this Saturday. In addition, he tries to come back yearly to visit good friend and artist in residence Richard Bresnahan.

“Coming back to campus is always exciting for me,” McCutcheon said. “St. John’s taught me how to begin learning and introduced me to the rest of my life; my life as an eternal student.”

For six songs on his set list, he’ll be accompanied by students in the CSB/SJU
Orchestra, Chamber Choir and his former director, Axel Theimer. Theimer, a professor of music at CSB/SJU began teaching in 1969 and directed McCutcheon when he joined the Chamber Choir in 1970. He remembers John as “very much an individualist” and a “phenomenal musician” while he was in school.

When Theimer was approached by orchestra director Dr. David Arnott three weeks ago about the possibility of working with McCutcheon, he couldn’t pass up theopportunity.

“Having the chance to collaborate with John is a wonderful way to create a
different sense of community,” Themier said, who used to perform Peter, Paul and Mary tunes with John McCutcheon in the middle of choir concerts back in the day. “By making music together and learning from someone like John, the choir gets the chance to perform music that traditionally isn’t apart of our repertoire.”

McCutcheon is also looking forward to further defining and creating community by collaborating with students.

“One of the great things about music is that you’re not segregated by generation,” McCutchen said. “You always have the elders who are there who have paved the way, and you have the young people who bring the enthusiasm and energy that’s so vital to making guys like me be a life long learner.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN MCCUTCHEN • John McCutcheon, an SJU alumnus, will be playing at Escher Auditorium this Saturday, Sept. 30. After elevating himself in music, he still makes time to visit home at CSB/SJU.