Iowa State closes out the regular season at home Saturday against Missouri and while the Cyclones hope to win the Big-12 North Division crown they will also take time to honor the departing seniors. It’s not a big class, just 12 are in the two-deep, but it has provided effective leadership this season. Iowa State coach Dan McCarney says it began with a December meeting after a dissapointing 2003 season where the senior class said they weren’t going to let the season slip away again.McCarney says it has been leadership by example to do whatever it takes on and off the field.One of those seniors is center Luke Vander Sanden. The West Lyon product has battled through injuries just to get back on the field. It included two broken legs in 2002. He says anytime you have setbacks you have thoughts about being able to make it, and he says he’s glad he did.Vander Sanden says the seniors felt they needed to set the tone for off-season workouts. He says the seniors met after the season and laid out the things they wanted to accomplish. He says they worked on it in the offseason and then shared it with the young guys after they decided on what they wanted to do. While many believe the turning point for the Cyclones was the October 23rd win at Baylor, Vander Sanden points to the December meeting and the way they worked in the off season.The Cyclones are 6-4 and need a win over Missouri or a Nebraska victory over Colorado on Friday to earn a trip to the Big-12 championship game.
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