College of DuPage has quite a fall sports season
GLEN ELLYN – It’s great to just have a single national champion in one sport in a given academic year, but things have been quite good at one Chicagoland NJCAA school.
College of DuPage already has three on their athletics resume in 2022-2023, and incredibly it took them less than a month to pull it off.
In the span of 28 days, the school captured a trio of junior college Division III championships in men’s cross country, women’s volleyball, and football. They have brought the Chaparrals’ number of overall athletics titles to 40, including eight since May of 2021.
Both men’s and women’s track and field have two titles while the football team also captured an NJCAA championship in 2021. These have been done under College of DuPage athletic director Ryan Kaiser, who has been in that position since January 2020.
“You’ve seen the level of sports overall, not just us three winning national championships, but overall raising,” said head football coach Matthew Rahn, who led the program to the title last season. “I couldn’t be more proud of all the programs here and all they’re able to accomplish.
Men’s cross country started the run on November 5th when they captured the Division III national championship in Westfield, Massachusetts. They had a 41-point margin over the second place team with Nicholas Keeling winning the individual national championship and seven other Chaparrals’ runners finishing in the Top 22.
One week later on November 12th, the women’s volleyball program completed a strong season where they were mostly ranked in the Top 2 in Rochester, Minnesota. They knocked off three-time defending Division III champion Owens Community College in the championship 3-1 to win their third title in program history and their first since 1999.
Two weeks after that on December 3rd, the football program captured a second-straight championship in the Red Grange Bowl on their home field in Glen Ellyn. In a tight defensive battle, they beat North Dakota State College of Science 14-12 to seal a repeat title.
“It’s a great opportunity, not only for the cross country team but for football winning their second and Tolis winning his first,” said DuPage cross country head coach Robert Cervenka of all three programs winning in close proximity. “It’s a lot of exposure for the college and each one of the programs.”
Unlike Rahn and Cervenka, who is also the coach of the school’s men’s and women’s track teams, head women’s volleyball coach Tolis Koskinaris is winning a title at the school for the first time.
“Bob and Matt kinda started it and this is our first time joining the party,” said Koskinaris of the women’s volleyball team adding to the recent championships for the College of DuPage. “It has a different vibe in the gym, and the kids really feel it, even the kids not on the championship teams, you can just see everybody showing up with a little bit more enthusiasm, and the general building culture is a lot better right now.”
Larry Hawley has more on the great month for College of DuPage athletics from WGN News Now, which you can watch in the video above.
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