Athletics News
2016-17 Top Moments No. 9: Football's late rally against Defiance

Chase Lightfoot throwing


HANOVER, Ind. – Continuing our series of Top 10 Moments from the 2016-17 athletic year, we have Hanover football’s come-from-behind victory against Defiance coming in at No. 9.

The 2016-17 athletic campaign was one to remember for the Hanover College Athletic Department, so over the next few weeks we will recall some of the top moments from the year that was. This week we announce the 9th and 10th best moments.

Trailing by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter, Hanover rallied to knock off Defiance on Senior Day, 27-20, back on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.

Junior Chase Lightfoot (Crestwood, Ky.) entered the game at quarterback on the second offensive possession for HC in the third quarter. Lightfoot proceeded to complete 11-of-21 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns.

The junior connected with sophomore Garrett Chesney (Kirkland, Ind.) in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to pull the Panthers within six points, 20-14, with just under 13 minutes remaining. A stalemate between the two sides occurred and after forcing its third straight defensive stop, HC was left with possession on their own 29-yard line with 1:33 left to play.

Lightfoot helped guide the Panthers down the field, completing 6-of-10 passes, including a 27-yard touchdown to freshman Taylor Bleistein (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) with 32 seconds remaining. The point-after try from senior Adam Goepfrich (Jasper, Ind.) was successful, giving HC a 21-20 advantage.

The Hanover defense suffocated the Yellow Jacket offense in the next possession, as a sack and eventual fumble recovery resulted in a defensive score for the Blue and Red, giving them the 27-20 lead. Overall, the Panthers outscored Defiance 20-0 in the fourth quarter.

Hanover’s victory over the Yellow Jackets was its second of three straight near the end of the 2016 season, helping the Panthers complete Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play 4-4. The win also marked HC’s third Senior Day victory in the last five seasons.

The Panthers will kick off the 2017 campaign with a home contest against Centre (Ky.) at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2.

Next week we will continue our countdown of top moments from the past year, as the No. 8 moment will be announced Monday, June 26.

No. 10: Men’s Cross Country wins first team invitational since 1998

Contact: Tyler Jester

2016-17 Top Moments No. 10: Men's Cross Country wins first invitational since 1998

Joe Rector running


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men’s cross country team kicks off our list of top 10 moments from the 2016-17 athletic year.

The 2016-17 athletic campaign was one to remember for the Hanover College Athletic Department, so over the next few weeks we will recall some of the top moments from the year that was. This week we will announce the 9th and 10th best moments.

In its first meet of the 2016 cross country season, the Panthers recorded the top two individual finishes en route to a team victory at the Sodexo Grizzly Invitational, hosted by Franklin College. The team victory was the first invitational win for the men’s cross country squad since winning the Bellarmine Invitational in 1998.

Junior Joe Rector (Aurora, Ind.) and sophomore Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) led the way, finishing first and second respectively. The duo paced the lead runners from the beginning of the eight-kilometer race before distancing themselves from the pack over the last mile.

Overall, Hanover had seven of its eight runners place among the top 18 in the field of 48 runners, totaling 35 points to outlast Vincinnes (Ind.) for the top spot in the team standings.

The victory at the Sodexo Grizzly Invite jump-started a strong beginning to the 2016 campaign, as the Harriers went on to add a first place finish the following week in the home Hanover Invitational. Hanover add a third place finish in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship later in the fall, posting a top three mark for the second straight season.

On Thursday, June 22, we will reveal No. 9 in our “2016-17 Top 10 Moments” series.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Panthers to host elite youth lacrosse camp

men's lacrosse team huddle



HANOVER, Ind. – With the help of the Hanover men’s lacrosse program, the Trilogy Lacrosse Future Aces Midwest Camp will return to Hanover College this summer.

Trilogy Lacrosse Future Aces Midwest will feature the best 6th to 8th grade players from across the region. Top instruction, competition and exposure help players prepare for the rigors of high school lacrosse and the recruiting landscape they will face.

This year’s camp will take place at Alumni Stadium on the campus of Hanover College from Tuesday, July 18 through Friday, July 21.

Camp instruction will have five training sessions led by the Trilogy National Directors and staff, including position-specific individual training, group strategies, team concepts and film review. Players will also compete in three game sessions and have the opportunity to qualify for future Trilogy Aces events and the Intensive Club Experience.

For complete information on this summer’s Trilogy Future Aces Midwest Camp visit the link above. Also, visit the Hanover Summer Camps page to see all of the opportunities offered by the Panther athletic programs this summer.

College adopts test-optional admission policy

Beginning July 1, high-school students will have the option to apply to Hanover College without submitting SAT or ACT scores. The policy will affect students entering for the 2018-19 academic year.

Aerial photo of Hanover's campus quad

This alternative to the traditional admission pathway will expand access and ensure a more-diverse and sizeable applicant pool. The test-optional model has proven to open doors for high-achieving students, but particularly students of color, first-generation college students or those from low-income households. Meanwhile, the risk to retention and graduation rates has proven to be minimal.

“Like many colleges and universities in the nation, we have found that a student’s high school GPA and careful review of academic preparation are better determiners of future academic success,” said Jon Riester, vice president for enrollment management. “We remain committed to the high academic standards for which Hanover is known and believe this new policy will provide opportunities to more highly qualified future students.”

The College will continue to utilize a holistic review of all application materials, including an applicant’s grades and coursework, as well as involvement in school and community activities. The increased focus on these metrics will better identify those who are capable of handling the rigors of a Hanover education.

The decision to adopt a test-optional policy was made after four years of campus discussion and is based on a recommendation from the Enrollment Management Task Force as part of the development of Hanover's 2020 Clear Vision strategic plan.

The College now joins more than 900 institutions in the U.S. that have begun to assess their own data in admission decisions.

Prospect Camp dates set for women's soccer

women's soccer team huddle


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women’s soccer program will offer two girls’ soccer camps this summer.

Under the direction of the head coach Jim Watts and his coaching staff, the 2017 Hanover College Prospect Camp will be an intense, one-day experience that will expose participants to a typical preseason training day with Hanover’s intercollegiate team. The first camp date is schedule for Sunday, June 25, while the second session is slated for Saturday, July 1.

The Panther women’s soccer program has been the one of the best in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, compiling a 115-38-8 overall record since the start of the 2009 season. Since 2009, Watts has helped guide the Blue and Red to six HCAC regular season (2009, 2011, 2013-2016) and five tournament (2011, 2013-2016) championships, while also appearing in the NCAA National Tournament each of the last four seasons.

Overall, the Panthers have had 52 all-conference selections in the past eight years, while also recording 17 all-region and 5 all-American picks. The Hanover women’s soccer program has also achieved multiple individual honors for their work in the classroom, including 48 academic all-HCAC selections, 18 academic all-region and 3 academic all-American honorees.

Hanover is coming off a 2016 campaign which saw them finish 14-6 overall and 8-1 in HCAC play, earning a share of their fourth straight conference regular season title. The team added a HCAC Tournament Championship as well, while also notching its second victory all-time in the NCAA National Tournament, defeating Illinois Wesleyan in overtime, 2-1.

For more information and online registration for summer camp opportunities at Hanover College, visit the link above.

McKinney named HCAC male athlete of the year

Wes McKinney headshot and action photo graphic



GREENWOOD, Ind. – Behind a career season on the hardwood, junior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) of the Hanover men’s basketball team was announced as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Male Athlete of the Year Monday afternoon.

The prestigious conference award is in its fourth year of existence, with McKinney’s award being the first honor for Hanover on the men’s or women’s side. McKinney was named HCAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year as well back in February.

Behind McKinney, who averaged a team high 18.7 points per game, as well as a conference high 8.3 rebounds per game, the Panthers enjoyed one of their top five overall seasons since the end of World War II. Hanover finished 26-4 overall, advancing to its first ever NCAA Tournament “Elite Eight” and winning both the HCAC regular season and tournament titles. The Blue and Red also finished seventh in the final 2016-17 D3Hoops.Com National Top 25 Poll.

To go along with his two yearly conference awards, McKinney also earned a pair of All-American accolades. At the end of February, the junior was named a second team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and later added a fourth team All-American selection by D3Hoops.

McKinney totaled more points during the 2016-17 season than any other player in the HCAC, accumulating 560 points. During his breakout season, the junior also surpassed the 1,000-career point plateau, moving into the top 30 all-time in Hanover’s 117-year history.

The sharpshooter did a lot of his damage from behind the three-point line, where he made 74 attempts, falling just two makes shy of tying the school’s single season record. McKinney made just under 2.5 three pointers per game, which was among the top five in the conference.

The two-time 2016-17 HCAC Player of the Week also led the conference in double-doubles with 11, while adding top five conference statistical marks in blocks per game (1.6), field goal percentage (.522) and points per game (18.7).

Highlighting the 2016-17 campaign was McKinney’s buzzer beater at No. 18 Hope (Mich.), in front of a sellout crowd in the NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16”. The Panthers erased an 11-point halftime deficit as McKinney’s jumper from the left baseline as time expired gave the team a 79-77 victory.

The HCAC has given out both male and female athlete of the year awards since 2014 with the conference’s sports information directors nominating and voting on the winners. Transylvania’s Jordin Fender was named the 2016-17 HCAC Female Athlete of the Year.

Contact: Tyler Jester

Fundamental Skills Camp, High School Shootout set for women's basketball

Allison Nash shoots during warm ups


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women’s basketball program will host its annual Girls’ Fundamental Skills Camp and High School Shootout later this month.

Hanover will open the summer by hosting the Girls’ High School Shootout Saturday, June 17, followed by the skills camp on Sunday, June 18, through Wednesday, June 21.

The Panthers are coming off a six-win improvement in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play under second year head coach John Jones. Hanover returned to the HCAC Tournament as they finished the regular season in a tie for fourth.

Former Hanover women’s basketball coach and current assistant athletic director Molly Jones, along with her husband John, will co-direct the summer events. Molly amassed a career record of 405-296 through 28 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including a 271-175 mark at Hanover. John just finished his second year as the head coach of the Panther women’s basketball program and spent the prior 10 years as an assistant on the staff.

The skills camp will be for girls entering grades 3 through 9 for the 2017-18 academic year. The campers will be grouped according to age and ability and the daily schedule will provide excellent instruction of fundamentals while also creating ample time for 5-on-5, 3-on-3 play and individual contests.

Hanover finished the 2016-17 season with a 13-13 overall record and 11-7 mark in HCAC play. The Blue and Red have appeared in two of the last four HCAC tournament championship games, while also winning the 2014-15 conference tournament championship and advancing to the NCAA National Tournament. As a program, Hanover has appeared in four NCAA National Tournaments, with the last three entries all coming since the 2010-11 season.

For complete information on all of this summer’s camps at Hanover College, visit the link above.

Men's soccer's Prospect Camp set for June 15

men's soccer team huddle


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men’s soccer program has announced the date of its summer Prospect Camp.

The Blue and Red will host high school athletes Thursday, June 15, for a one-day experience, which will expose participants to a typical preseason-training day with Hanover’s intercollegiate team.

Under the guidance of Hanover head coach Matt Wilkerson and his staff, athletes will experience two training sessions and lunch, while campus tours provided by the admissions office will also be available.

The Panthers is coming off one of their best seasons in program history, as they won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship to earn the team’s first ever NCAA National Tournament bid. Hanover set a new program record with 16 wins in 2016, as the victory total was the most of any men’s soccer program in the state of Indiana. The team also compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 and graduated 12 student-athletes.

For more information on the one-day camp, plus online registration, visit the summer camps link above. Questions about the Prospect Camp should be directed to Coach Wilkerson’s email,, or by phone at (859) 699-0038.

Harriers to host annual summer camps and Triple Crown racing series

Hanover hurdles lined up


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover cross country and track and field programs will host their annual camps for middle and high school aged students, while also welcoming all ages for the Triple Crown races this summer.

Brian Power, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, along with new head cross country coach, Brady Wells ’83, will lead the track and field instrutcions for campers entering 7th through 12th grade this June. Power is a five-time coach of the year, while his teams have broken nearly 60 school records over the past five seasons. Wells has enjoyed individual success in marathon events, winning the 1984 Indianapolis and 1985 Louisville Marathons, while also enjoying a personal best 30th place finish in the well-known Boston Marathon.

Recently, Hanover has been a mainstay at the top of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in both cross country and track and field. The men and women’s teams have combined for over 20 top five finishes in the three annual conference championship events the past four seasons. During the recent stretch, the women have won two HCAC cross country championships, while also adding an indoor and outdoor conference title this past season.

The track and field camp will be held daily for both junior high and high school students June 12 through June 15. The junior high students (entering seventh and eighth grades) will be available for instruction from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. all four days, while the high school students (entering 9th through 12th grades) will follow and run to 8 p.m. daily.

The Hanover running programs will also host the annual Triple Crown Race Series in July. The event will be held at 7 p.m. on July 12, 19 and 26. Registration for the Triple Crown will be available on the Hanover College Cross Country Course 45 minutes prior to the race.

To register for the track and field camp and to find more information on all summer camps at Hanover, visit the link above.

Football to host summer camps beginning in June

Hanover football helmets laying on track


HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover football program will host five camp sessions during the months of June and July.

The Panthers will offer three types of camps over the course of the summer, including the one-day prospect camp for those entering grades 9-12, a youth instructional session for campers in grades 1-8 and team camps for high school programs.

There will be two, one-day prospect camps, which are slated for back-to-back Sundays on June 11 and 18. Campers will spend time during the four-hour camp with group and individual drills, while also getting 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 work in with the Panther coaching staff.

Hanover will offer the youth instructional camp Sunday June 25, as the session will cover a full day, beginning with check-in at 8 a.m. before closing at 6 p.m. with the camp check out.

The Panthers cap the busy summer by offering two sessions for high school team camps. The first session will be from Tuesday, June 27 through Thursday, June 29, while the second round will take place Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16.

In the first year under head coach Matt Theobald ’96, the Blue and Red enjoyed its best season since 2013, which included a 4-4 record in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Ten Panthers were honored with all-conference selections after the 2016 campaign, the most for the program since 2013.

For full information and online registration on all Hanover camps, visit the link at the top of the page.