From the Home Basement Office of Sports Information Director Dave Blanchard
For some unknown reason I looked at my monthly planner for the month of April a couple of days ago and noticed that originally there were only seven days without a Luther College athletic event scheduled. Needless to say, that has all changed due to COVID-19.
About the same time, the news station I was watching was running a story on the pressures and dangers facing the professionals on a daily basis in the medical field, law enforcement, fire departments, etc. My thoughts turned immediately to the safety of two of my most recent student-workers, Kayla Michels and Anna Strien, both 2018 graduates.
Kayla is a nurse working at Minnesota Health Fairview Southdale Hospital located in Bloomington, Minn., and Anna is a police officer for the city of Lincoln, Nebraska.
For four years, Kayla was behind the scenes operating all of our home athletic video streams. She not only ran the cameras, she was also the tech support. If something went down, she would take care of the problem and get the stream up and running again. While she was spending her junior year in Rochester, Minn., for her nursing degree, she would drive down to Decorah to help cover our video stream needs on the weekends. Darin Svenson, who was the voice of the Norse on all of those streams, gave her the title of Executive Producer. The photo of Kayla was a selfie of her at work with the caption, "I wear this face mask for 13 hours straight."
For those of you who followed Luther softball, Anna was a two-time All-American shortstop, who helped lead Luther to a third place finish at the NCAA III National Tournament her senior year. At the conclusion of her career her name was etched all over the record books. To steal a line from Pop Fisher, Manager of the New York Knights in the 1984 movie The Natural, "best damn hitter I have ever seen." The photo of Anna is from her graduation ceremony in Lincoln this past fall.
Kayla and Anna are just two examples of the many Luther College graduates who are serving and protecting their communities on the front lines, while facing the dangers of the Coronavirus. These are not just the professionals in the medical field, but also those who are considered essential workers that have been keeping the supply chains moving, so we can all live a some what normal life during these difficult times. To all of you, the Luther College athletic department says Thank You!
We are also asking the Norse Nation to help us say Thank You by tagging Luther alumni and friends who are fighting COVID-19 and using the #norseheroes on social media.
Stay Safe and Go Norse!