Bearcat Athletes Back in the Fold; News Briefs From Fall Sports

SALEM — The Willamette University women's soccer team begins practice Wednesday as the final few fall athletes trickle back into town.

Bearcat football and men's soccer teams have been practicing for several days, and the women's volleyball team hit the courts last weekend. So activity at the Sparks Center has picked up greatly in the past few days.

Bearcat trainers Deb Cagle and Shane Wibel, and a crew of dedicated student trainers, have used hundreds of feet of tape already as they juggle practices at the stadium and Sparks Field.

New men's soccer coach Jeff Enquist and assistant Nelson Larson have added new training regiments for their squad, often beginning practice as early as 7 a.m. And players report they are running more than ever under their new coach.

Volleyball coach Tricia Wright has well over 20 athletes trying out for her team, giving the Bearcats new depth and great excitment for the coming year. Look for the volleyballers to field a jv team as well.

Football coaches report they are pleased with their team's progress as they prepare for their home opener on September 4.The Bearcat football team faces one of the most difficult schedules in all of Division III this season.

Meanwhile cross country runners, though not practicing with coaches Matt McGuirk and Jimmy Bean yet, are logging dozens of miles each week as they look for a return trip to the national championships this season.