Trent Solsma’s touchdown pass to Connor Niles in overtime is what’s sending the Morningside Mustangs to the warmth of Daytona Beach, Florida for the NAIA National Championship game. They’ll be taking on the Benedictine Ravens, from Kansas.
The game is still more than a week away, but fans of the Mustangs, from students to faculty to alumni, couldn’t be more excited.
“I think most of the students are just amped. There’s really no other way to describe it. Everyone is just so pumped up,” said Carter Ades, a freshman at Morningside.
“It’s a great opportunity for our alumni, for our friends, for our community to support our team,” said Shiran Nathaniel, a faculty member. “This is a big deal for us.”
“I’m ready to win a national championship,” said Randy Hansen, a Morningside Alumni. “We’ve fallen short a couple times. I’m not getting any younger so I’m hoping this is the one.”
Some devoted fans will be making the 1500 mile trip down to Florida to cheer on their team.
“My husband and I have four young children so we are gonna board them on a plane for the first time and head to Florida. We are so excited,” said Kari Winklepleck, a Morningside Alumni and faculty member.
“I’ve said all along when we go to a championship, I’m gonna be there,” said Hansen.
For those that can’t make the trip south, local places like Miles Inn will be hosting watch parties for the game.
“We’re right down the hill from Morningside so it makes it a pretty big deal for us,” said Brett Lias of Miles Inn. “We have a pretty big following as far as Morningside students are concerned.”
“I’ll probably find one of the watch parties that are here in the Siouxland area,” said Kaitlyn Polk, a Morningside senior. “Get some friends together and see what’s the closest one to us and how we can help support our team.”
So when the Mustangs take the field on December 15, they’ll have plenty of support.