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Bruins wrap up season with fall sports luncheon

Bruins athletes and coaches will reminisce on this past sports season during the Bruins Foundation Fall Sports Luncheon, which will take place at noon on Dec. 8, in the Davis Room of the dining common.

Team members of the four fall semester sports—soccer (coached by Jesse McCormick for the men, Chris Carmichael for the women), golf (coached by Denny Scott), cross-country (coached by Landon Bright) and volleyball (coached by Vickie Denny)—recently finished their seasons and will be recognized at the event. Various awards will be given to the athletes, including an athlete of the year award for each sports team.

“It’s always great to recognize the student athletes at the end of the year for all the hard work and commitment they put in,” Bright said. Bright said his cross-country team had a good season.

The men’s team won both their first NCCAA DII South Region Championship and their third straight  DII national title, while the women placed third at nationals and second at the regional competition. Ten students were awarded Scholar-Athlete, and both Joe Patchen and Caleb Davis were named All-Americans at the national championship. Bright was also awarded national coach of the year for cross country for the third straight season.

“I think we had a great group of student athletes that persevered through a lot of challenging situations both as a team and on an individual level,” Bright said. “I appreciate everything that they put into the program this year.” The women’s volleyball team successfully held off Maranatha Baptist University 3-0, winning this year’s national championship.

Brooke Beaver, a sophomore nursing major, was named tournament most outstanding player. Beaver and Saleena Walker, a senior English major, were named to All-Tournament teams, and three Bruins, Laura Gaston, Lauren Mukenschnabl and Rachel Williams, were named Scholar-Athletes by the NCCAA.

Beaver, Williams and Katherine Ring were named to All-American teams. Although they made it to the championship game like the volleyball team, the women’s soccer team lost in penalty kicks to Grace Christian University. Despite this loss, several individual players received recognition for their performance.

Bailey Martin, Jennifer Townsend and Grace Hoffmann were named to the All-Tournament team, and eight women were named Scholar-Athletes.

Abby Davis, a junior culinary arts major, received the Game Plan 4 LIFE Character Award, given to a student for outstanding academic achievement, leadership skills and Christian testimony. On the men’s side of soccer, Karl Walker, a senior Bible major, was named to the All-Tournament team and received the Kyle Rote, Jr. Award.

Walker, Isaac Landry, Andrew Zhang and Nicholas Marks were named Scholar-Athletes. Walker and Landry were also named to All-American teams. For the golf teams, Tyler Smith, senior business administration major, was named to the All-American team and as a Scholar-Athlete, while Cloe Jefferson, junior communication disorders major, was also named Scholar-Athlete.

As first semester ends, Bruins basketball will continue their season into second semester, while track and field participants prepare to begin their season. Planning continues for the upcoming baseball and softball teams, baseball being led by head coach Brent Casteel.

Thirty current students have expressed interest in being on the team. “I’m excited about the interest,” Casteel said. “People are very interested in baseball.”