Editor looks back at favorite moments as a student, reporter

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

In my four-and-a-half years at this school, and my year as the sports editor at The Collegian, I have seen some unforgettable things, both good and bad – like when the football team lost to Division III Wisconsin-La Crosse. In my last column as the sports editor (it just feels weird writing that) I’m not going to focus on the negatives, just the good times. So I present to you my four favorite memories at SDSU – both as a student and a reporter – countdown style.

4. The WNIT runs by the women’s basketball team.

The first year the Jacks made it was simply incredible. Since I was never at a USD game, I have never seen Frost Arena that loud and that full; it was what college athletic events are all about. The women left it all out there on the court those two home games. It was my first major foray into SDSU athletics – outside of football – and I was officially hooked on the magic of SDSU athletics.

3. The men’s basketball team beats Oral Roberts in the Summit League tournament

It was special day for Jackrabbit fans in Sioux Falls. Hours after the top seeded women took care of No. 8 Oral Roberts, it was the men’s turn to do the same as the No. 2 vs. No. 7, with the Jacks being the No. 7 seed and the underdogs. The way Garret Callahan willed the team to victory and put the Jacks on his shoulders was amazing to watch. Callahan scored 30 points for SDSU, the first player to do it in the Division I era. Callahan couldn’t have picked a better night to do it.

2. The women’s basketball team wins the Summit League title and blows out TCU in the first round of the NCAA tournament

Watching the women play Oakland in the Summit League Championship was one of the most exciting games I have ever witnessed. Both teams played with so much heart, it was incredible. Oakland could not have played better in the first half, building a 14-point half time lead but the Jacks answered back, they always do. SDSU stormed back and downed Oakland by 10 for the Summit League title.

Things continued to get better for the Jacks in the NCAA tournament. The Jacks took on TCU in the first round and after a quick start, the only question in doubt was how much the Jacks would win by. TCU was never in the ball game after the early minutes and the Jacks cruised to an easy 90-55 victory.

1. Football team knocks off undefeated and top ranked NDSU for Dakota Marker

This was college football at its finest; there is no other way to describe it. The Jacks played out of their minds that Saturday in November. Coughlin-Alumni Stadium was packed, the students came out in full force and the place was constantly loud. There was a time in the second half that I thought NDSU was going to come back and down the Jacks because of NDSU quarterback Steve Walker, but the Jacks were not having it.

Every crucial play that needed to be made was made by the Jackrabbits. The punt return for a touchdown by Paul Aanonson, the blocked punt, the go ahead touchdown by Cory Koenig and the interception by Brock Gentile to seal the win.

SDSU was not afraid of the mighty Bison and it showed on the field. Easily the best sporting event I have ever been to.

When I am finally done with my time at SDSU in May, I am going to remember so many great things about this school. My time at The Collegian has been absolutely priceless. The people I have met and the experiences I have gained have meant so much to me, not only as a writer but as a person. I was close to not taking this job, but my sister convinced me to do so and I am happy I did.