At Northwestern, a Raider is “one who is fearless, confident and prepared to finish the task through discipline, sacrifice and the relentless pursuit of excellence.” Although this description sets the stage for success at NW, it is the student-athletes who define what – and who – a Raider is.
Four NW senior student-athletes – Christian Korver, Kate Staab, Ann Pater and Drew Schutt – talked about their time in Red Raider Athletics and provided advice for both new and returning members.
Christian Korver, a social studies and secondary education major from Orange City, Iowa, appeared in each men’s basketball game over the last two seasons while being a four-year member of the varsity squad. Korver referenced playing games in California and earning three National Tournament berths as the highlights of his NW basketball career. The Raiders participated in the National Tournament in the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2019-20 seasons.
During his time as a NW athlete, he was able to integrate his faith with basketball.
“In basketball, I began to see the game in ‘3-D,’ as our coaches walked us through scenarios through film and practice,” he said. “More importantly, I learned the importance of finding my identity in Christ rather than sports. An identity rooted in Christ allows for freedom in life and in sports.”
Next year, Korver plans to enter into his first teaching position.
“I have had a few job interviews recently, and I am looking forward to seeing what doors God opens in the future,” he said.
Kate Staab is a member of the women’s track and field team and is a nursing major from Lincoln, Nebraska. Although she had a strong indoor season, the outdoor season was cut short due to COVID-19.
“I was hoping to hit the provisional mark for Nationals and had some goals I was eager and ready to meet,” she said. “I was really just bummed, thankful for the time I had as a Red Raider but bummed for the way it ended.”
She earned 28 top-10 finishes during her track and field career, being named to the GPAC All-Conference team during her sophomore and senior seasons. Staab had some advice for other NW athletes.
“Savor every minute,” she said. “Our coaches remind us being an athlete is a privilege not a right and every day give thanks for legs that run and lungs that breathe.”
Staab plans to work at Avera in Sioux Falls and get married in the fall.
Ann Pater is a defensive specialist for the Red Raider volleyball team and an elementary education major from Pipestone, Minnesota. She is an NAIA Scholar Athlete, led the team with a 96% serve her junior year and had 212 digs during her senior season.
In a game many remember, Ann’s most cherished moment as a NW athlete came in a five-set win over Dordt last season, which included a 37-39 finish in the fourth set. She said she was able to use her time with the volleyball team to grow both athletically and spiritually.
“My coaches and teammates shared devotions throughout my four years which helped me grow in my faith and challenge me,” she said. “I learned how to be a good teammate and got to know many different teammates and their personalities.”
Next year, she plans to teach at an elementary school.
Drew Schutt, an exercise science major from Montgomery, Alabama, is a shortstop for the Raider baseball team. After two years at Cecil College in Maryland, Schutt performed well in his junior season. He shared the GPAC lead with 10 home runs and was second in RBIs with 42.
This season, he batted .416 through 20 games. During a doubleheader with Hastings, NW received news that the last game of the season would be played that day. The seniors were recognized between the games, and the Raiders won the second game 11-1.
“I was shocked, at a loss for words, and I still am right now,” Schutt said in regards to the cancelation.
One connecting point for the team was the signing of Chad Rutledge, a member of Team IMPACT, who became a teammate at the beginning of the season.
“We have Zoom meetings on Friday where a lot of the guys will get on and talk to him and his family to stay in touch,” Schutt said. “[Chad] and his family have been amazing in supporting us this season.”
He plans to pursue a career in baseball after graduation.
NW has benefitted from both the athletic abilities and the leadership of these individuals. Each senior student-athlete has exemplified what it means to be a Red Raider, setting the stage for continued success as an athletic program.