Last games played in Physical Education Center

By Drew Chaltry

Staff Writer

MVNU student athletes took the gym floor for the final time in the Physical Education Center during Senior Night for the men’s basket- ball team. The Cougars lost 63-69 to Spring Arbor (Mich.) University. Photo Courtesy of MVNU's SID Office

MVNU student athletes took the gym floor for the final time in the Physical Education Center during Senior Night for the men’s basket- ball team. The Cougars lost 63-69 to Spring Arbor (Mich.) University.
Photo Courtesy of MVNU’s SID Office

The Cougars played what will most likely be the last basketball game ever played in the Physical Education Center on Feb. 12.

The team and the fans recognized two seniors, Zach Zeltman and Jason Dawson, for their careers as Cougars and then commenced the final 40 minutes of competitive sport to be seen in the old gym.

With plans to open the new Ariel Arena next fall, this marks the end of an era in MVNU athletics. Basketball players such as Ben Falken- berg, Amanda Himes and Robbie Taylor made their names in the old tin-roofed building.

Volleyball players such as Shana Beheler took the floor under coach Paul Swanson, who earned most of his 1,000 career wins on the court in front of home fans.

Within the confines of the Physical Education Center, coaches such as Scott Flemming and Steve Gregory led their Cougar squads to what can only be considered greatness for a school as small as MVNU.

And so fans bid adieu to the

gym in the back of the Prince Student Union.

In an interview with WNZR’s Chris Runion, Lady Cougars’ head coach Jason Foster said, “You lose a lot of history and tradition….

“You look at the heritage and the history that has taken place on this floor and you hope that that sense of owner- ship is moved into the new building so that the transition isn’t a loss of history, or a loss of tradition, but more of a foundation for what’s to be built upon in the new build- ing.”

Matt Moore, the men’s bas- ketball coach, also weighed in on the departure from the Physical Education Center.

“It’s been special,” Moore said. “It’s been a fun atmos- phere for fans, and it’s been really fun to see it develop through the years, so I’m defi- nitely going to miss it.

“But at the same time, I’m very anxious for what’s to come next year and on down the road.”

No doubt the plans for Ariel Arena have everyone connected to Cougar athletics excited. But there will always be the lingering memories and sense of pride under the roof of the Physical Education Center.