The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

2009-10 was a year for the fans

There are rare moments in sports that are so supernatural that they are impossible to believe. When an athlete or a team performs these feats, fans have to pinch themselves to know they weren’t dreaming.From early fall to the chilly winter and the blooming spring, there were moments throughout the 2009-10 year in Guilford sports that had competitors scratching their foreheads and Guilford fans cheering their throats hoarse.

After a clutch hit, a dramatic win, or an unbelievable play, many athletes at Guilford gave their beloved fans and friends a wave, a tip of their hat or even a round of applause.

The 2009-10 year in Guilford sports was for the fans.

The excitement of the 2009-10 year began under four bright lights in Armfield Athletic Center when the women’s soccer team broke in the new turf with their home season opener against cross-town rivals Greensboro College. Stuck at a deadlock tie in the 84th minute, the lights, the 175 fans in attendance, and a video camera captured a 40-yard, one-timer goal by sophomore transfer Bri Eilman, which gave the Quakers a 1-0 win.

More new faces on the men’s soccer team found spotlight early. First-years Ronnie Castellanos and Freddy Gomez combined for 15 goals in the team’s first 11 games. Whenever one of the two scored a goal in Armfield he would greet the fan base at the midfield sideline with a celebratory dance.

Guilford football fans saw an unfamiliar face behind center this season. In an upset victory over Randolph-Macon on Halloween, junior quarterback Billy Watkins threw for a 378 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The women’s volleyball team outdid their predecessors by earning the best record (12-15) since the 1997 14-16 team. There were an average of 113 fans per home game this season, who witnessed the team reach the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament.

As winter arrived, so did the goosebumps in what Guilford men’s basketball fans will remember as one of the greatest seasons to date. As fans watched from the bleachers inside Ragan-Brown Field House, and from their computer chairs at home, Quaker nation followed seniors Tyler Sanborn, Clay Henson, Rhett Bonner and the Quakers to the top of Division III basketball’s world with an ODAC championship banner wrapped around their shoulders and a second consecutive Final Four appearance to their name.

Women’s basketball had their share of glory in a season that will be remembered for the 3-point shot. A month before the Quakers broke the school record for the most 3-pointers made in a single game on Feb. 2, on Dec. 2, sophomore transfer Jazlyn Gibbs took a three-point shot with six seconds left in a deadlock 52-52 tie against Washington and Lee University. As the ball left Gibbs’ fingertips, spinning backwards perfectly, all 150 fans in Ragan-Brown new the shot would fall. The “swoosh” was reassuring. The Quakers won by three.

In their first year outside of Ragan-Brown, the swim team collected a 3-4 record, 2-2 in the ODAC with the help of their leading senior Justine Merritt. The senior finished writing Guilford’s record book for the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 individual medley in 2010, as she earned record times at the ODAC/Atlantic States on Feb. 13-14.

As the spring arrived, so did the first-year class on the men’s and women’s tennis teams, who helped the Quakers overcome Greensboro College in their opening match 9-0 (men) and 7-2 (women).

The baseball team also swept the Greensboro Pride in 2010, thanks to a lights-out pitching performance by junior Zach Daw in game two on March 30. In a game where Daw felt “invincible,” the starter recorded seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings for a 2-0 Quaker win.

Guilford’s track and field teams’ inaugural seasons introduced sophomore transfer Derick Kosgei, The Flash. Many Guilford fans blinked and missed the middle-distance runner run a first place, 15-minute, 21-second 5000-meter run at the Charlotte Invitational on April 17. Kosgei’s times in 2009-10 will be cemented in Guilford’s record books for years to come.

Guilford’s softball team broke several records in 2009-10 and in the doubleheader on April 16 against Emory & Henry College. With the 10-0, 16-3 sweep of the Wasps, the Quakers broke the single-season win record of 26. Record-breaking performances by senior Charissa Duncan lifted the Quakers. Duncan had a hat trick of homers in game one and reached safe on 12 total bases.

Senior golfer Peter Latimer also capped his legendary Guilford career in style as he finished first at the Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate on March 26-28 with 66-70-71 scores.

Women’s lacrosse enjoyed leadership and productivity from seniors this season. Ellie Merritt, Shelly Nogueira, Carrie Earnst and Bree Vohs have combined for 81 goals and 118 points while Alyzza-May Callahan, the goalie, leads the ODAC in saves per game with 11.

Junior men’s lacrosse goalie Mark Guillen averaged 13.53 saves per game this season, and had 13 saves in an overtime win over Oberlin College on April 4. A fancy no-look pass from sophomore Daniel Dowd and a quick catch-and-shoot goal from sophomore Greg Nash clinched the 12-11 win for the Quakers.

As Guilford’s tennis teams, lacrosse teams and softball team finish their respective seasons, the spring teams’ seniors become anxious for one last chance at an ODAC crown.

The seniors, the fans, and legendary golf coach Jack Jensen will be missed in 2010-11. But next year will give young Guilford athletes a chance to shine, and more fans an opportunity to witness the unimaginable.

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