Badgers roundup and recap


Allison Irons

Jordan Pelland

Men’s Basketball v. Norwich University, March 1 and March 2

The Badgers men’s team finally reached victory against the Cadets with a 95-66 win on March 1. The Badgers outscored the Cadets by 26 points in the first half. Robert Dubose led the Badgers to their win with 21 points and junior Phillip Lyttle added 12.

With a limited game season, the men’s team worked hard to create a sharp team dynamic. “There was nothing that we did outside of what we would normally do for our season,” said Coach Miles Smith. “My student-athletes were just extremely excited that we had the opportunity to have a season.”

The Badgers won again the next day with a 86-66 win over the Cadets. Dubose led the Badgers with 34 points and Ayodeji Skoeye added 20.

Women’s Basketball v. Norwich University, March 3

Freshman Gabriella Wardell had her career-high game against the Norwich Cadets on March 3. Wardell led the team with 16 points and 17 rebounds.

The Badger’s losing season has not demoralized Coach Greg Eckman and his team. “I always view games as a test,” said Eckman. “Not as much to see if we passed or failed, but more so if we are retaining and executing what we are trying to accomplish each week.”

Ellery Kiefer added 12 points and three rebounds to continue with her successful senior season.

Gabby Wardell (Chad Copeland)

Men’s Basketball v. NVU Lyndon, March 4

The Badgers men’s basketball team lost to the Hornets on senior day. Seniors Ayodeji Skoeye and Robert Dubose Jr. were standout players during their final season for the Badgers.

Dubose reached a huge milestone by scoring his 1000th point and is ranked in the top 10 for top scorers. “Ayo and Rob were great leaders both on and off the court,” Smith said. “Rob finished his career at Johnson scoring over 1,000 points and will be in the Johnson record books for both steals and points.”

The Hornets won the game with only a single point difference with a final score of 87-86.
Dubose led the Badgers with 31 points and junior Malik Moore added 12 rebounds.

Women’s Basketball v. Clarkson University, March 5

Early game turnovers had the Badgers down in the first half. Clarkson was able to secure their win with two strong back-to-back quarters. The Badgers led in scoring during the final quarter but lost 42-79.

Ellery Kiefer led the Badgers with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists. Senior Aysha Hodgdon added five points.

Men’s Basketball v. Plymouth State, March 6

In their final game of the season, the Badgers had a tough loss against the Panthers, which led in scoring in each half and ultimately won 89-64.

Looking back on this season, Coach Smith thought about one special player who could not be there but was there in spirit. “When someone special like Mamadou N’Diaye, there was no other motivation that our team needed,” said Smith, noting that N’Diaye, who died this past July in a drowning accident, is greatly missed in Carter Gymnasium.

“Overall, all my student-athletes were standout players,” said Smith. “They all played a meaningful role in our season this year.” The Badgers finished with a 2-7 record.

Women’s Basketball v. Norwich, March 7

The Badgers faced a tough season with a 0-7 record. The Cadets led the entire game in outscoring the Badgers in each quarter. Sophomore Devyn Thompson led the Badgers with 12 points and Ellery Kiefer added nine.

The Badgers will lose four seniors at the close of this season with Aysha Hodgdon, Ellery Kiefer, Jocelyn Pellerin, Devin Libby, and early-graduate Melissaann Clark. The team played with a smaller roster this year, and they struggled to play as many games as possible to complete their season.

PREVIEW: Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team is scheduled to play in four games this April. The team got the chance to complete a full training season this fall before heading home for the two-month break. Coach Andrew Lafrenz has worked hard to give his team the opportunity to play this spring.
“I am not sure that it’s possible to make things feel normal,” said Lafrenz. “The main thing that this spring is giving us is the opportunity to compete and play real matches. We trained all fall without any matches to prepare for. Having real opponents on the horizon has definitely helped with the intensity and the enjoyment of our spring sessions so far.”

The women’s team will face new conference opponents with SUNY Cobleskill and Cazenovia College. There will be one home match against SUNY Canton and a game against the Norwich Cadets in Northfield.

“Our players have stepped up throughout this entire pandemic,” said Lafrenz. “They are showing up to train, on team Zoom meetings, in the classroom, and have created a great team environment. We are not perfect, and mistakes have been made, but we have owned these mistakes, and we continue to grow and prepare.”

The Badgers will play their season opener against the Cadets in Northfield on Sunday, April 4.

PREVIEW: Men’s and Women’s Volleyball

After a shortened season last spring, the men’s volleyball team is looking at a normal match schedule.

“The NECC conference, to which our men belong, is competing this spring,” said Coach Kevon John. “Because the men are outside the NAC, we have the chance to have a much more normal season than many of the other sports on campus. We are very thankful for that.”

The women’s team is also set for a shortened season. Both teams trained all fall and held inter-team scrimmages.

“We are looking forward to seeing another team across the net,” said John. “At some point, athletes need others to measure themselves and to feel totally fulfilled. I am excited our athletes will get a chance to compete, even if we are not playing for nationals or a championship. Just remembering what it is like to feel game day emotions will go a long way.”