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Welcome to MavBlog • Providing Insite & Information on the Mavericks Since 1985Mankato, Minn.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Anthony Herrera and Pilosec OTC

There are five words you never thought you would see on MavBlog, but here's an explanation.  Minnesota Viking offensive lineman Anthony Herrera shot a commercial for Prilosec OTC during training camp and Minnesota State was showcased throughout (great shots of Blakeslee Stadium, Julia Sears Dorms, the weight room, the locker room, etc.).  Additionally, a Mankato staple - Zanz - was also shown in the piece.  The extended version of the commercial - nearly two minutes long - can be found below.  Pretty cool to see MSU on a national spot!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mavericks Continue to Give Back

KEYC did a feature last night (Tuesday) on the Engineers Without Borders who are traveling El Salvador.  Former Minnesota State golfer Kassie Ellsworth is among those making the trip.  KEYC did a piece on the group, which can be found HERE while the Free Press wrote an article about the group, HERE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kenny the Kicker Stops By

Ken Navitsky with NCC championship ring
Former Minnesota State (he would say Mankato State) football placekicker Kenny Navitsky stopped by the office today, just to say hello.

Kenny, a Sarasota, Fla., native who played here from 1991-94 and was a part of a MSU team that captured a North Central Conference title in1993, still owns school records for season and career PATs made, career field goals attempted and career points.

MavBlog took the opportunity to ask "The Kicker" a few questions.

Tell us a little about your favorite memories from playing football with the Mavericks.
"Well, you know the team from that time, the coaches, the campus.  It seemed like we were all one, culminating with that great team in '93 with the conference championship, beating Missouri Southern in a first round game and then playing the Fighting Sioux up in Grand Forks in the NCAA quarterfinals.   We had a great team, obviously, and they (UND) did the one thing we thought no team could do against us.  They beat us twice.  We were 10-3 that year and they got us once during the regular season, we lost at home to SDSU in a shootout and then we lost to UND in the playoffs."

How does the school look now to you after all these years?
"It's a whole different level now.  It's almost like a health spa.  Everything's so open and beautiful.  The mall across the street looks a lot different.  The student union is beautiful and has all the amenities. The new buildings, the walkways.  The name of the school has changed since we were all here.  We often wonder what it would be like if we had this when were were here.  My gosh, I think about the old weight room we had under your office in the hallway Otto Arena compared with what we have here now.  Everything's so nice, we're all so happy these changes have been made and it makes me proud to be an alum."

What are you up to these days?
"I rep for Forest Healthcare.  I also travel the country on weekends as a professional MC in the monster truck industry.  I volunteer coach for the RCTC football program (they play in the North Star Bowl this weekend).   I'm on the zoning and planning commission in Rochester and I'm heavily involved in the running of Team Navitsky which consists of my wife, Kelly (who was a MSU cheerleader), my son Parker (8) and daughter Peyton (10). Life is good."

It's great to be a Maverick.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Backes Inks Contract Extension

Former Minnesota State forward David Backes has signed a five-year extension with the St. Louis Blues.  Backes, who was in the final year of his current deal, has spent all five of his professional seasons in St. Louis and is now under contract with the team until the 2016 season.  The Blues issued a release on the signing, which can be found HERE.  Last night, Backes scored his second goal of the season (sits 2-4--6 on the campaign) in a 3-2 shootout loss to Nashville. 

Backes comments on the extension can be found HERE

General Manager Doug Armstrong's comments on Backes' extension can be found HERE.

Finally, Backes netted his second goal of the season last night in a 3-2 shootout loss to Nashville. Backes, who sits 2-4--6 on the season, absolutely blew up a Nashville defender prior to his goal, which can be found HERE.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

King Pins

Not sure how many instances there of of this, but the MSU women’s bowling program head coach is also the director of compliance and eligibility for the Maverick women’s bowling program.

Shane Drahota, who is in his second year skippering the MSU keglers after guiding the team to a 48-42 in 2009-10, is in his second go-round with MSU and in his fourth year with the department in his current role.

Drahota has compliance responsibilities that relate to all university, conference and NCAA rules and regulations governing the operation of intercollegiate athletics. He supervises ongoing rules and compliance education programs for university staff, administrators, coaches and student-athletes. He is the primary resource person for all athletically related rules, regulations and interpretations. He certifies eligibility and financial aid for the more than 600 MSU student-athletes, and is the department liaison for all academic reporting (retention, graduation & other statistical data) to the NCAA.  

So, yeah, combined with coaching responsibilities with the bowling program, he’s a busy individual.

Given his intercollegiate background, however, Drahota should have a pretty clear understanding of the intercollegiate athletics culture. A native of nearby Jackson, Minn., where he played high school baseball, football and basketball, Drahota started working on a degree in business at the University of Minnesota before transferring to MSU.  Recruited to work in MSU’s athletic communications office as a sophomore, he spent eight years assisting with publicizing Maverick teams, student-athletes and coaches before becoming an assistant director of athletics at the University of South Dakota in 2006.  He returned to Mankato in 2007 when he accepted his current role handling the school’s athletics compliance and eligibility.

“Honestly, it's challenging, but ultimately rewarding," said Drahota summing up his feelings regarding juggling his responsibilities. "I've certainly gained a greater appreciation what the demands on our coaches are from a compliance point of view.  Hopefully this had benefitted me, as well as our coaches.  As far as bowling goes, I'm pretty lucky that I have a great bunch of student-athletes I get to work with on a daily basis.  And, I will say this.  I really do love MSU and am appreciative for what the school has given me. To get the chance to come back, still be here, I must lead a charmed life."

Seth Wickersham of ESPN the Magazine penned this article entitled Internal Affairs back in August and it covers alot of what college athletics compliance and eligibility directors do.  You might find it interesting.

It's great to be a Maverick.