Abigail Fogg and Chris Streveler are two former Coyote athletes that have traded in their red uniforms for new ones at the professional level. Here’s how USD has prepared them to compete there.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, Abigail Fogg arrived in Vermillion as a junior in 2015 after spending her undergraduate years at American University in Washington, D.C.
Following graduation in 2017, the 6’4” center played for the BBC Troistorrents of Switzerland for a season and is now playing for the Turkish Basketball League’s Mersin Üniversitesi, where she has averaged 24.2 points and 13.8 rebounds and a 71.4 shooting percentage (all team highs) through six games.
Fogg said playing overseas has been a pleasant adjustment.
“I have really enjoyed playing professionally so far,” Fogg said via email. “I’ve learned to be more disciplined and self-directed with honing my craft. I have also had the wonderful opportunity of experiencing different cultures.”
During her first year as a Coyote in 2015-16, Fogg averaged 4.7 points off the bench for a team that won the school’s only Women’s National Invitational Tournament. She tallied ten points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in the championship game against Florida Gulf Coast University. Her senior year, Fogg recorded 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in 32 starts at center, earning an Honorable Mention in Summit League awards.
After the season, Fogg, with help from an agent, signed her first contract in Switzerland. She found her way onto a professional team on a different continent and had to learn how to communicate with her teammates, something she’s still learning in Turkey.
“There are a few on the team who know English well enough to translate to me while we are learning in practice,” she said. “In a way, basketball is a language in itself. We are all pretty experienced in the game and usually have a good understanding of what needs to be done and how to problem-solve. So between that, paying close attention in practice, and the English translation, we make it work.”
Once juggling a medical biology major, a minor in art, and a large role in a competitive basketball program, Fogg said her time at USD helped her prepare for her career.
“It helped me to see how much I was capable of. It tested my time management as well as my ability to adapt and grow in many different fields,” she said. “It helped me to learn to produce work with tight time limits, to understand and store a lot of information quickly, and perform under pressure. Both my teachers and coaches were instrumental in preparing me for this career, and I am so thankful to them and USD as a whole.”
Fogg said she hopes to enjoy a long basketball career and then attend medical school to become a doctor. Through her endeavors, Fogg said she still hears the words of coaches Amy Williams and Dawn Plitzuweit in her head.
“By the end of my college career I ended up having four different coaches, and I would say that each has given me something unique. From Amy Williams, the words that I still hear from her are ‘trust the process’, and ‘stick-to-it-iveness’. From Coach (Plitzuweit), I remember to work hard, love it and smile.”
Last year, quarterback Chris Streveler led USD to its most successful season of their 11 years as a Division-I program, posting an 8-5 record, and making it to the second round of the Football Championship Series playoffs, where Streveler broke a school record with 520 total yards tied another with six touchdowns.
During the 2017 campaign, Streveler compiled 4,854 total yards and 32 touchdowns, earning the title of Phil Steele FCS Offensive Player of the Year and Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year, the first Coyote to do either.
Now a member of the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Streveler has thrown for 1,134 yards, rushed for 441 more, and scored 21 touchdowns through 17 games this season.
“I love playing in Canada and Winnipeg,” Streveler said via email. “We have great fans here and getting to play in Canada has been a great experience. It’s a great organization and we are in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Division.”
In May, Winnipeg signed the Crystal Lake, Ill. product to a free-agent contract, and from there, the chance to play professional football became a dream come true, he said.
“The Blue Bombers first contacted me shortly after my senior season ended at USD,” Streveler said. “One thing different from a college to a pro-locker room is the age difference between some players. For example, I’m one of the youngest guys on the team at the age of 23, and we have guys in their mid 30’s on the team.
Moving from college to professional football is one thing, but shifting from American football to Canadian football is also a challenge, Streveler said. Compared to the National Football League (NFL), a Canadian Football Leauge (CFL) team can field twelve players, but only has three downs to gain ten yards. The playing field is also larger, and receivers and backs can move about the backfield however they please.
“The CFL is obviously very different from the NCAA,” Streveler said. “Not only is it professional football, but there are also some different rules that make the game slightly different. There was definitely an adjustment period for the rules and the level of competition but every day I continue to feel more comfortable and familiar with the game.”
A transfer from the University of Minnesota in 2016, Streveler said his time as a Coyote equipped him for his role as a professional quarterback.
“The way I approached the game of football really changed when I got to USD because I had some great coaches that helped me prepare for games in the best way possible,” he said. “My goal is to get better every day. Try to learn as much as I can and continue to develop as a professional QB so I can help the team as much as possible.”
Read The Volante next week for the second part of the story about Kelly Law and Derek Chancellor who are working on Capitol Hill.