Dubbert, Ediger, and Walter share their positive experiences from competing in the KCAC
Kansas Pregame is joining forces with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference to profile Kansas student athletes competing in the KCAC. This time we're taking a look at three recent grads of KCAC member institutions.
Trey Dubbert, Sterling College
Trey Dubbert comes from an athletic family. Dubbert, a St. John’s Beloit/Tipton and Sterling College alum, is the older brother of Davis, Kail, and Lauryn. Davis is a pentathlete at Wichita State, Kail finished up an impressive career at St. John’s Beloit/Tipton last year, and Lauryn, a junior at SJBT, is one of the top players basketball players in north central Kansas.
Trey helped St. John’s Beloit/Tipton to two of the best football and basketball seasons in school history. In football, Dubbert was a leader on a Blujays team that finished 11-1 and reached the sub-state championship. The following winter, St. John’s Beloit/Tipton won a basketball state championship, led by 13.2 points per game from Dubbert.
Dubbert took his basketball talents to Sterling College where he was a four-year lettermen. Dubbert played in 108 games for the Warriors and accumulated 775 career points.
His sophomore season at Sterling, Dubbert set career highs with 30 games played, averaging 10 points a game, with 47 3-pointers made.
Dubbert graduated from Sterling last December with a degree in Exercise Science Education. He student taught at Plainville schools this fall, where he helped coach the Plainville football team to a 10-2 record. Currently, Dubbert is a long-term substitute teacher at Wamego Middle School.
Kansas Pregame caught up with Dubbert to find out what is special about competing in the KCAC:
Question: What did you enjoy most about Sterling from both an athletic and academic standpoint?
Answer: I loved the small-school atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed feeling like I was a part of something much bigger than myself, and I believe that small colleges can do that. I loved getting the opportunity to play the game that I love at a higher level while getting an education that will last me the rest of my life. I thoroughly loved building strong relationships with my teammates, peers, coaches, professors, faculty, and community members. Sterling College and its community made me feel like I was a part of a huge family. This family helped me grow as a student and as an athlete, and has helped cultivate me into the person I am today.
Q: What did you most enjoy about the NAIA and KCAC level of play?
A: I loved the competitiveness of the NAIA. Many people do not realize or understand the high quality of athletes and the level of competition that is displayed in the NAIA and KCAC. The competition in the KCAC was tough and every night you had to be ready to fight because teams brought a high level of play to the court. Also, I enjoyed playing in a conference and division that also strived to build athletes who displayed high character values and morals during competition.
Q: As a four-year lettermen, where did you see your game improve the most during your time at Sterling?
A: I saw my game grow in every aspect. When you compete with and against a higher level of competition it pushes you to grow and expand your game to new levels. This allowed me to become a better player on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I had tremendous growth in my IQ for the game over my career, learning more and more about basketball and its small details. In all this growth as a basketball player I believe that my biggest improvements at Sterling were made in my leadership skills and abilities. I was put into a leadership position during my sophomore year and continued to grow as a leader and role model in our program throughout the rest of my career.
Q: What was it like growing up in a household that features many talented athletes, including your younger brothers Davis and Kail, and younger sister Lauryn?
A: Growing up our household was always busy! Our parents were always taking us from one sporting activity to another, often being pulled in different directions. In all this craziness we have always had tremendous amounts of support for one another, always attending as many events of our siblings that our own schedules allowed. With each of us having our own successes in different areas, we were always pushing each other to be our best selves at everything we did. This was easy for us to do because it was how we were all wired and because we knew that in our successes and failures we always had each other to lean on for support, to help us celebrate the good times and push through the tough ones. It has been fun growing up in our home because we all have had the same interests in athletics. Through all the time we have spent traveling to support each other or competing with one another in the backyard, it has made us a close family.
Morgan Ediger, Tabor College
Morgan Ediger is a Bluejay through and through. After a decorated four-year career as a Cimarron Bluejay, Ediger transitioned to a slightly darker shade of blue and became a Tabor Bluejay, where she made an immediate impact.
Ediger was named the 2015-2016 KCAC Freshman of the Year. She played in all 36 games, despite only starting one, and averaged six points on 42 percent shooting from the floor.
Ediger would go on to become a three-time All-KCAC selection, and was a unanimous selection her senior year. On Nov. 26, 2018, Ediger eclipsed the 1,000 career point total in an 86-76 win against Bethel.
Ediger was voted the KBCA Miss Kansas Basketball her senior year at Cimarron. Despite the opportunity to play at a larger school, Ediger chose both her parents’ alma mater, Tabor College. Ediger’s father, David, coached Morgan all four years in high school.
Ediger is currently a Graduate Assistant coach for the women's basketball program at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.
Kansas Pregame caught up with Ediger to find out what is special about competing in the KCAC:
Question: What did you enjoy most about Tabor from both an athletic standpoint and academic standpoint?
Answer: Athletically, I most enjoyed my coaches and my teammates that I’m still friends with to this day. Academically, I enjoyed being in classes with my advisor, Aleen, that allowed me to focus on topics that would help me in my future career.
Q: What did you most enjoy about the NAIA and KCAC level of play?
A: I enjoyed being in a position to play for championships. A lot of people don’t understand that the NAIA provides a really high level of competition. It is really hard to win a championship at any level, and I was able to have that opportunity multiple times with my team. I also enjoyed that I was able to have a life outside of basketball. I was able to see my family on breaks and travel over the summer.
Q: What has the coaching experience been like for you so far? How has four years at Tabor helped you transition from playing to coaching?
A: So far my coaching experience has been amazing. I really enjoy being a part of Coach (Chris) Yaw's staff, and I am learning a lot about how not only to coach a basketball team, but also how to help run a program. My time playing at Tabor helped me transition into coaching mostly because I was surrounded by great coaches and leaders. They modeled how to lead a program and how to invest in an athlete's life and show that they care.
Q: You were able to enjoy a lot of individual and team success while at Tabor. What is it like to look back on your career now that you’ve graduated?
A: Now that I look back I think the biggest thing is that I am very thankful. I am thankful that I was able to play for four years, I am glad I got to meet and become close friends with my teammates, and I am glad I was able to compete and play for a coaching staff that cared for me as a person. Looking back all of the championships and individual accomplishments is nice because I am a competitor and I wanted to win, but the people and the memories that I made with them mean even more. Those connections with my coaches and closest teammates will last.
Q: What was it like to play for your dad at Cimarron? Do you have a favorite memory from high school?
A: Playing for my dad was such a cool thing to have the chance to do. He is very passionate about coaching and about the game of basketball and I got to experience that every day in practice and during games. I have a lot of good and funny memories, but one that I will always cherish is when we finally made it to the state tournament and we were able to just hug and he told me he was proud of me. He told me that all the time but it was really just so memorable to accomplish one of our goals and be able to celebrate with him.
Dayton Walter, Ottawa University
Dayton Walter left behind a storied career at Lincoln High School before making the jump to the KCAC at Ottawa University.
The high school success of Dayton Walter is exemplified by his nine passing touchdown performance in 2011 against Peabody-Burns, which is the state record in 8-Man. From his sophomore to senior seasons in high school, Walter threw for over 1,000 yards and reached double digit passing touchdowns all three years.
Walter completed a five-year stay at Ottawa from 2013-2017. His junior year, Walter threw for over 1,000 yards and threw 12 touchdown passes. His senior year, he nearly threw for 1,400 yards and had 13 touchdown passes.
Walter currently works as an Ag Lending Officer at Citizens State Bank in Lincoln.
Kansas Pregame caught up with Walter to find out what is special about competing in the KCAC:
Question: What did you enjoy most about Ottawa University from both an athletic and educational standpoint?
Answer: What I enjoyed most about Ottawa on the athletic side was probably the people that I was able to get to know through the process. There were guys from Kansas and guys from outside of Kansas all in one place with the same goal, to win football games. A lot of the teammates that I played with are still my closest friends to this day. I believe that athletics provided me a way to meet people from different backgrounds that were similar to me in many ways and it gave me a perspective on life outside of the one that I had grown up with. Academically, the size of the college was something that was very good for me. It was easy to get in contact with professors if I was having trouble with curriculum. I didn’t feel like I was just thrown into a course with 500 students and it mattered to professors that we did well. It was somewhat similar to how school was growing up and I liked that a lot.
Q: How did your education and athletic experience in the KCAC prepare you for your career?
A: I believe the thing that the KCAC prepared me for the most regarding my career was the opportunity to make so many outstanding connections. There are a lot of individuals, no matter where you are at, that are connected with KCAC schools and it is always a point of connection with potential employers, employees, and customers.
Q: What advice would you have for an aspiring college athlete consider an opportunity in the KCAC?
A: My advice to any aspiring college athletes would be to not overlook the KCAC when going through the recruiting process. The level of competition is still very high, and it provides most everything that you would want when thinking about participating in college athletics. You will still have many opportunities to move to a higher level of competition after participating in the KCAC. The bond formed with teammates and coaches will be something that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. I still am very thankful for the opportunity to participate in the KCAC as I believe that it helped positively shape the person that I am today.
The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) is a prominent intercollegiate athletics conference comprised of 13 outstanding private, faith-based institutions of higher education across Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The KCAC sponsors conference intercollegiate athletics in football, volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's wrestling, competitive cheer and competitve dance, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, baseball, softball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's swimming.