March 1, 2013
Fun ride nears end for Bearcat seniors
Tipoff: Saturday 1:30 p.m.
Stadium: Bearcat Arena
Radio: Bearcat Radio Network
Matt Gaarder (play-by-play);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.
(WBCA/USA Today Top 25)
Truman State: 25
Series: Northwest leads the all-time series 52-13. The Bearcats won on a last second shot by Abby Henry with four seconds last year in Maryville while the Bulldogs ran away with the win in Kirksville. This will also be the last meeting between the two teams as MIAA members with Truman leaving to become a member of the GLVC next season.
Northwest: Mark Kellogg (Austin College '98) 175-46 (8th season overall) (1st season at Northwest)
Truman State: Michael Smith (Central Methodist '96) 48-60 (5th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
Minutes before action begins in their final basketball game at Bearcat Arena, Northwest Missouri State seniors Ashley Thayer and Alexis Boeh will step on the court with their parents and soak in the applause and appreciation for their contributions to the women’s basketball program.
The final time of playing a sport at home for a student-athlete is filled with emotion.
The finish line of one phase is near and the starting line of the next chapter is in view.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Bearcat Arena, Thayer, Boeh and the rest of the Bearcats will take on Truman State.
“It will definitely feel mixed emotion,” Thayer said. “I am excited to see what is next in my life. I have played basketball my whole life. It is going to be hard that this is the last time I will play in front of everybody at Northwest.
“I couldn’t ask for a better environment to play in. It has been amazing to have the teammates I have had.”
Boeh’s time at Northwest has been just as exhilarating. For much of her career, she was able to play with her twin sister.
Although Boeh’s sister has moved on, Boeh was able to finish her college career with a longtime teammate in Thayer. Before arriving at Northwest, Boeh and Thayer played on the same AAU basketball since they were freshmen in high school.
“It has been an amazing experience and playing with my sister, we have created so many memories that I feel we will carry through the rest of our lives,” Boeh said.
“This definitely will be a bittersweet moment.”
Both Thayer and Boeh are excited about their futures. They are majoring in elementary education. Thayer applied to be a student teacher in Maryville this fall. Boeh still has a semester remaining before she does her student-teaching stint.
“Ideally, I want to either teach fifth grade elementary or high school special education,” Boeh said.
“I always loved going to school when I was younger. I am excited about the opportunity to help children learn to love school like I do and have a great experience. I feel education at a young age is important so you can take that through the rest of your life.”
Thayer is thrilled as the prospect of working with children every day.
“I am a big kid myself,” she said. “I love being able to watch kids get excited about learning and grow and learn everything around them.”
As excited as Thayer and Boeh are about teaching, they still have some basketball left and will do everything to extend the season for Northwest.
The Bearcats have won their last two games and are 13-12 overall and 7-10 in the MIAA. They have exceeded expectations that placed them 14th out of 15 teams in preseason polls.
“It has been a great way to end our last four years,” Thayer said. “Obviously, we do wish we could have done better, but we definitely have improved and learned how each other play.”
Every player hopes that their playing career is filled with conference championships and appearances in national tournaments.
Many times, though, a student-athlete gains more by experiencing the wins and struggles to be successful.
As sophomores, Thayer and Boeh were part of the first-ever Northwest women’s team to reach the Elite Eight and win a game to make the NCAA Division II semifinals.
Last year the Bearcats played a lot of freshmen in a rebuilding season and this year they learned a new system from new coach Mark Kellogg.
“It has been a once in a lifetime experience to be able to go to the Elite Eight in the national tournament and having that amazing talent on that team,” Thayer said.
“We have also had teams that struggled and to be able share everything, the up and downs with my teammates has been a great experience. I think it has really helped me with working with other people.”
The current Bearcats have shown the ability to stick together when times get tough. Before winning their last two games, Northwest dropped five games in a row.
“More than anything, I learned to keep pushing through,” Boeh said. “It would have been easy to throw in the towel and give up. You learn through every experience something positive comes out of.
“We learned more than what it is like to win a game. We made friendships, learned different coaching styles and we learned how to work hard.
“I feel just because we may not have won the most amounts of games, we still had a great experience.”
It is what you hope all student-athletes feel when they are honored in their last home game.
Some of the lessons Boeh and Thayer learned on the court will serve them well off the court.
“I’m really excited for the future, but it also a little scary,” Boeh said. “It is a good feeling going into something you really want to do. I think it is important to love what you are going to do. I can’t wait to have my own classroom and my kids for the first year.”
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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