Homecoming is always an exciting time for the students and faculty here at TFC, and this year was no exception. The week was packed with events such as the Trustees coming to visit, our new president being inaugurated, alumni from all over coming back to check out their old school, and the crowning of the new homecoming queen. And if all of this didn’t give you enough opportunity to show your school spirit, there were more than enough sporting events going on this past weekend. On Friday, TFC hosted the annual Toccoa Falls College Eagle invitational for cross country, and the men’s basketball team kicked off their season with the annual TFC alumni game. Saturday also featured a full schedule for sports fans, as the volleyball team and both the men and women’s soccer teams competed.
The TFC Eagle cross country invitational is one of the most unique and special races that is on the team’s schedule. It is run right here on campus, looping out to the flood plains before ending right at the base of the falls, and both men and women’s team had plenty of support from the homecoming crowd. Both teams placed third in their respective races, with the men running an 8k and the women running a 5k. Finishing first for the Eagles was Sam Burnett, who came in fourth place overall with a time of 29:41, and Jordan Lang came in second with a time of 31:46, which earned him eleventh place overall. Leading the way for the lady Eagles was Clessie Kendrick, finishing in fifth place overall with a time of 22:19, and Alisha Carlson finished in eighth place with a time of 23:04. After the success of this past weekend, the teams are looking forward to their next event, which will be the Kentucky Christian University Invitational on Friday, October 26.
The men and women’s soccer team were also successful in front of the homecoming crowd this weekend. The women’s team defeated region opponent Florida Christian College on Saturday by a score of 3-0. The Lady Eagles got off to a quick start and took a 2-0 lead into halftime, getting goals by Cory Buterbaugh and Lizz Rice. The score remained that way until late in the second half, when Kaelyn Watson scored on a header off of a corner kick by Sierra Stacey. With this win, the Lady Eagles improved the record to 6-7 on the season and 2-2 in their region. The men’s soccer team also won their game 3-0, beating Crown College on Saturday. Tyler Timberlake scored the first goal for the Eagles early in the first half, and Josh Gailer added another one to help the Eagles take a 2-0 lead into the half. Another goal would be scored by Chris Chestnut, his first career goal in an Eagles uniform, and the Eagles ended up winning the game by a three goal margin. With the win, the men’s team improved their record to 5-10, but they are now 4-2 against schools who are also in NCCAA Division II.
The TFC volleyball team played Piedmont College on Saturday afternoon, and went on to win in three straight sets. The team really came together to get the win, as every player who entered the game recorded at least one kill, dig, or assist. They managed to shutout Piedmont by winning the first three sets by a score of 25-21, 25-19, and 25-13. The Lady Eagles got big nights from Bethany Slate, who anchored the defense by having 25 digs while also contributing 16 kills, and Mary Willis, who racked up 33 assists over the course of the three sets. This win brought the Lady Eagles record to 12-13 on the season, and they have now won four of their last six matches.
While most of the team’s who played during homecoming weekend are nearing the end of their season, the men’s basketball team is just beginning. They started their season off on Friday night with the annual TFC alumni game. The alumni, despite being undermanned, made the Eagles work in their first game, and made it close until the end as the Eagles pulled away to an 82-64 victory. There is a lot of excitement for the basketball team this year, as there are twelve new players on the team and they are being led by new head coach Jason Mehl. The men’s team got off to a good start, and went into the half leading by 13. The alumni tried to make a run in the second half, but the Eagles were able to hold them off with hot shooting and eventually built the big lead. The Eagles were led by Billy Aristide, who had 22 points in the game, and Cam Williams, who had 15. They go on the road to begin their regular season on November 2, when they will take on Northwest Georgia Tech in Rome, Georgia.
All of the athletic teams here at TFC helped to make this a memorable homecoming, rewarding the fans who came out to support them with great effort, good attitudes, and wins. It was an exciting way to both celebrate what the teams have done as the cross country, soccer and volleyball seasons start to wind down, and to show support for the basketball season which is just beginning. Every team will look to take the momentum they gained from the weekend and carry it through to the rest of their respective seasons, and to continue to represent TFC in the way they play on the field and act off of it.