Being an athlete comes with no shortage of challenges and Coach Ben Johnstone recognizes that. Throughout his time at Missouri Baptist University, Johnstone’s goal for the MBU women’s soccer team has been to inspire players to not only be the best athletes they can be, but the best people they can be.
Coach Ben Johnstone is known at MBU, Whitfield High School and various additional club soccer teams for his honest approach to the game, both encouraging and inspiring players to reach their best and settle for nothing less. Photo courtesy of Hannah Leahy
The Spartans, coming off a season cut short last spring by the COVID-19 pandemic, are taking every precaution to ensure a safe and strong start to this 2021 season, hitting the road to take on three teams in games starting Thursday and running through Saturday.
MBU Spartan Trey Steffler, a junior from Boise, Idaho, steps into the batter’s box. After a disappointing and abrupt ending to last season, the Spartans find themselves in an optimistic mindset heading into this season, opening against NAIA-ranked opponents. Photo Courtesy of MBU Athletics
Orlando Olivera is among a small percentage of athletes who have found success in a game of failure, and he added consistency to his success by being named first-team All-American twice during his college career. Along the way, he established himself as one of the best players to wear the Spartan uniform.
Orlando Olivera watches a hit during a game. During his tenure at Missouri Baptist University, Olivera won consecutive All-American awards and set multiple school records before being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. Olivera returned to MBU as an assistant coach for the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics
Among the sea of transfer students participating in the athletics program at Missouri Baptist University is senior baseball standout Carter Mize, whose transfer story is quite unique compared to many.
Carter Mize, who is a senior majoring in communications studies, swings at a pitch during a Spartan baseball game. Mize, who transferred to MBU after playing baseball at the junior college level, has landed a starting position at first base. Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics
Like all spring MBU athletic teams, the men’s volleyball season was ended abruptly due to coronavirus. The Spartans were on a red-hot winning streak and trending upward entering some of the most pivotal games of their season, and the players were disappointed they would be unable to compete for a National Championship. However, the team has already started preparing and setting their sights on next season.
This story is part of a series of ongoing stories and analyses produced by MBU Timeline staff members, focusing on several aspects of COVID-19 and how it has changed the lives of students, faculty members, athletes … everyone. Photo courtesy of MBU Athletics — Graphic by Dylan White