Quakers seize victory in the 18th Annual Soup Bowl

A streak of maroon and white bolts past green-clad opponents, football in arm, racing towards the end zone.

Fans sit on the edge of their seats, a sea of red in the east stands and green in the west stands, waiting to see what will happen.

Suddenly, thunderous applause rocks the stadium at Armfield Athletic Center as Guilford College scores their first touchdown. The first of many they would score this day.

Of course, no one really doubted that we would win the 18th annual Gate City Soup Bowl.

“This is our first official week with a real game on Saturday,” said senior offensive lineman Daniel McFaddin. “We have not lost the Soup Bowl since I’ve been here.”

These dedicated players have been practicing for a big game like this since they were in elementary school playing flag football.

“We have a lot of players who came back from last year,” said junior defensive back Karl Roberts. “We worked pretty hard in the winter, spring and this past summer. I think we have a pretty good team this year.”

Ultimately, Guilford won the game 52-0, to the delight of our students.

“I want to support our college,” said sophomore Colin Macintosh. “I (also) want to kick some Greensboro tail.”

There is another number that is even more incredible than the 52 points Guilford scored against Greensboro, believe it or not.

Throughout the game and in the weeks before, we collected over 7,000 cans to donate to Greensboro Urban Ministry.

“At the first football game of the season, we collect cans,” said Hunger Fellows Project Coordinator Lesley Manuh.

“Instead of competing against Greensboro College, we’re working with them, (fighting) hunger together.”

Rather than paying to get into this unique game, attendees are encouraged to give two cans of non-perishable food items for free admission.

“The admissions fee being two cans is a great way of promoting community awareness and togetherness,” said Project Community Coordinator Nora Prokosch.

The Gate City Soup Bowl is a blend of rabid sports fans and those with a passion for community service.

“When we get to see people doing community service and the athletes together, we get connected,” said first-year Bonner scholar Marimar Mantuano.

“It is a good way for people to get to know each other.”

Leading the can collection are the Hunger Fellows.

“Hunger Fellows is a fellowship with the Bonner Center,” said Hunger Fellows Project Coordinator Marek Wojtala. “We deal with food insecurity and other issues in Greensboro.”

Not only does the game fight food inequality, but it also brings both campuses together.“There’s the idea that athletes are coming here to play sports and nothing else,” said Wojtala. “There’s a huge amount of cans that athletes have collected here. (Athletes) are an integral part of our community. This is a really exciting way to demonstrate how important community is to the sports teams.”

This game not only reaches the Guilford and Greensboro College communities but is emblamatic of other colleges in the Triad.

“We place a high priority on community engagement at UNCG with our student-athletes and teams,” said Director of Athletics at UNCG Kim Record. “If we want the community to support our programs we need to support the community.”

This year, Guilford and Greensboro joined together to collect cans, rather than making it a competition, gathering over 7,000 cans.

“The real winners are the people who support this event and those that it helps,” said Greensboro College football coach Bill Young. “(It’s an) opportunity for both schools to help the community by raising awareness for food banks in the area.”

This drive to help the community does not stop with the Gate City Soup Bowl.

“Greensboro and Guilford both have amazing reputations for helping change our community for the better, and this is just one way we do that,” said Campus Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion of Greensboro College Robert Brewer. “It is great to see how area colleges can make a difference in the our community.”