by Alex Trepper
In our first issue we took a look at half of the Pride teams competing this fall. The teams discussed have gotten off to promising starts. The Pride golf team took home multiple awards in their first tournament of the year and men’s soccer picked up a nice win on the road vs. Piedmont.
In this issue, we look at our basketball teams, triathlon and swimming and breakdown their upcoming seasons as well as highlight some athletes to watch on each team.
A new program got its chance to compete in early September as women’s triathlon had their first ever competition. This historic team is led by Sophia Walter and Alex Prillaman, and even though neither had ever completed a triathlon before this year, they were able to beat the athletes from Guilford in their first race. Triathlon is running, swimming and cycling all in one race, which makes it highly impressive that in less than a year, Coach Buxton was able to train these athletes enough to beat our in-city rival.
“We are still looking for others to join our team … we build triathletes,” Buxton said.
And build them she does, as evident by the results of the team’s first race. The expectation is that they will continue this trend throughout the year.
Our swim team looks very much improved from last year as the incoming freshman look to be the spark this team needs. After a ninth-place finish in the conference championship meet last year, the team was disappointed because they had a good regular season with a lot of success. This poor showing is on everyone’s mind still and they are using that finish last February as motivation to be even better this year. Look for swimming to improve this season and finish around the middle of the pack in conference.
The next team we will highlight is men’s basketball, as head coach Jim Cantamessa begins his fourth year at the helm. This year’s basketball is going to look a lot different from the past few years, which is both a good and bad thing. The Pride basketball team lost its top two scorers from last season as Grayson Collins and Kevon Meertins both graduated. Look for Ty Hill or Matt Brown to be the guys to take the bulk of the scoring this year, as those are the players who “have the ability to do that for us,” said Cantamessa. The team in general took a step back last year bringing in over 12 new members and a strong returning class. Look for this team to finish in the top five in the conference this year.
Now it is time to talk about the best team on campus. The women’s basketball team appear poised to repeat the magical season they had last year. Following a 25-2 record, multiple individual awards and a regular season conference championship, this team is ready to get back on the court again to try and be better than last year. There is a realistic chance this team goes undefeated during the year, and it is not crazy to assume that they will grab an NCAA tournament bid.
“Not getting in last year really hurt, especially after the season we were having … we are using that as fuel to be even better, as it will probably take a perfect conference record to do it,” said Coach Heather Macy.
This team looks dangerous, so when they start their run to the finals in November, everyone should be following along because if they are even half as good as last year, it will be an exciting season to watch.
Fall sports are a great time for students to experience another side of college, and players and coaches alike would love to see the family atmosphere of GC show up for our programs as they compete. There is at least one home game a week for each team so make sure to go out and support our Pride athletes.