Year in review: 10 most viewed stories of 2017



2017 was a year that marked some good news for Lindenwood University with a half-dozen national championships in the month of April and the opening of the $24.5 million Library and Academic Resources Building in August and some tragic news with the deaths of two students and one former student.

Listed below are the 10 stories that got the most views from readers on our website in 2017.

Jaz Granderson

10) Former Lindenwood football player and sprinter Jaz Granderson was found shot to death near Interstate 55 in the city of St. Louis on Oct. 16. Three people –Floyd Barber, 22, Jherrica Dixon, 23 and Kurt Wallace, 25, each of St. Louis — were charged in November in a series of armed carjackings, including one that authorities say resulted in the death of Granderson, 27, who apparently was killed  shot and killed so the trio could steal his 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

9) An opinion piece in September about the lack of a crosswalk to the newly opened LARC resulted in Lindenwood adding several safety measures for pedestrians.

8) Lindenwood student Sierra Wilder, 19, died in a car accident near her hometown of Foley, Missouri, on July 15. She was killed when the 2005 Ford Explorer she was in veered off the right side of the road and overturned, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol’s crash report. Wilder was a public health major and an active member of the Delta Zeta sorority on campus. This fall would have marked the start of her sophomore year.

7)  Announcer Bob Carroll has been energizing crowds at the Wentzville ice arena for decades with his signature catchphrase: “It’s go time, baby!” A profile about how he got started announcing for Lindenwood was shared by members of those same crowds.

Cristian Rodriguez charges down the field, avoiding defenders, to score a try during the All-American Rugby match against Oxford University on Sept. 16 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo from Cristian Rodriguez

6) A feature about Lindenwood rugby player Cristian Rodriguez detailed his rise from the rough streets of Hawaiian Gardens, a 1-square-mile city in Los Angeles County, known for gangs, drugs and violence, to St. Charles, Missouri. Rodriguez was able to choose a different path when neighborhood counselor Ernie Vargas introduced Rodriguez to rugby in seventh grade.

5) A student who had ammunition and a knife in his dorm room in October said the incident was “a harmless mistake,” but rumors about the items caused concerns among many students. According to the Lindenwood student handbook, “All fireworks, firearms, explosives, BB guns, archery equipment, knives, or other items that may be considered weapons (ie. , snowballs, water balloons, paint pellet guns, soft pellet pistols, or decorative swords) are prohibited on the campus. 

4) For the first time in collegiate billiards history, a women’s team won a major collegiate event in November at the University of Michigan Team Championships. That team was Lindenwood senior Briana Miller and freshman Taylor Hansen.

3) A video of then-senior Travis Williams performing a stunt at a cheerleading competition last April went viral on Twitter. During a ‘stunt fest’, an exhibition event where teams try to do the best stunts possible, Travis Williams completed a quintuple full basket. This stunt includes doing five spins in one flip.

The scoreboard in Hunter Stadium showed Isaiah Kozak in remembrance of his life.
Photo by Kelby Lorenz

2) Close friends and teammates of deceased Lindenwood men’s lacrosse player Isaiah Kozak decided to pay permanent tribute by getting matching

tattoos in his honor. Nine players got inked, many with the same design, depicting Kozak’s initials and the ribbon for suicide prevention.

1) Lindenwood University student Isaiah Kozak from British Columbia died in his dorm room after “taking his own life,” on March 6. The 20-year-old student was a member of the men’s lacrosse team. Members of the campus organization Athletes in Action hosted a prayer service at the campus gazebo for the team and a larger memorial service took place at Hunter Stadium.