LAFAYETTE, Colo. – No. 6-ranked Lindenwood was very busy last weekend. The Lions sent a team to Las Vegas that competed in and won the Las Vegas Invitational CRC qualifier tournament. Soon after they held up their championship trophy, many of the players quickly left town in order to help the team earn a 17-17 tie on the road against No. 8 Arkansas State. Most of the sevens players in Sin City either didn’t suit up against the Red Wolves or were on the match day roster as a reserve. Not D1A Player of the Month Michael Baska, however.
The senior was a crucial part of Lindenwood’s sevens team in Las Vegas, then started and played 80 minutes at full back in the 15s contest a day after the conclusion of the three-day sevens tournament. The task sounds nearly impossible to pull off, but Baska’s coach was hardly surprised.
“We’re fortunate to use GPS monitors at training, and Baska routinely covers almost 5K in a practice,” explained Lindenwood Head Coach Josh Macy. “He’s a really hard worker that just doesn’t quit.”
The Kansas native is used to the spotlight Sin City provides. Two years ago Baska helped Arkansas State win the very same tournament. Now in his second year at Lindenwood, even a grueling three-day event 1,500 miles from the Arkansas State campus wasn’t going to prevent him from lacing up the boots against his former team.
“In addition to having great ball skills, he’s an underrated attacking threat, as well,” Macy added. “He only needs a little space to make a team pay and he’s willing to hustle down field and support his teammates and finish a try.”
After opening their Mid-South season with a six-point loss to Life and settling for a tie against the Red Wolves, the Lions will look to pick up their first conference win of the season Saturday, March 11, when they host No. 10 Davenport for the Charles Labry Memorial Shield.