Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
Over Mountain Day weekend, the Berry men’s lacrosse team and Berry softball team both participated in alumni games, for which many alumni returned to play against the current team.
Junior defensive midfielder Miles Mitchell described how each alumni game has its own personality, because each returning player has been through the program and has their own memories of their experience on the team. He said the men’s lacrosse program has developed over the years.
“The alumni game is one of the biggest traditions our team focuses on,” Mitchell said. “It’s a way to show those who have passed through the program that we’ve taken what they’ve built and turned it into something great. In the end we’re one big family, and competition flows through each person in this family, making the alumni game fun.”
Mitchell explained how the alumni game can be one of the biggest games of the fall and how it’s a must-win for the current players. It also shows what it means to be a part of the program and represent the Berry name to the highest standards.
Senior midfielder Luke Koferl said that not only can the alumni game be fun, it is also taken very seriously. The game is an introduction into the upcoming season because it serves as a base for the team to build off of and it shows what needs to be improved to become better for the future.
“I believe the alumni games have become more prominent,” Koferl said. “It’s great to see the amount of support we get from our alumni. The chance to be able to have a full team come back every year and play us to the best of their abilities shows how much they care about the program.
Being able to talk to all the alumni and see how proud they are of the program makes all the hard work worth it.”
According to Senior utility Katlin Seger, this year’s softball alumni game was the first official alumni game where there were enough alumni to form a team. Members from the first team to the ninth team at Berry were able to attend. Seger said it was exciting to see who was around at the beginning of the program and to see where it is now.
“I think all teams strive for a family atmosphere, so you always want to bring that around with the past players that helped shape a program,” Seger said. “It can also be helpful to hear what they went through as a player. At the end of the scrimmage, we had three players talk to the team and all three mentioned that what they missed the most was the family atmosphere and seeing their teammates every day.”
Seger said that the current team ended up winning seven to five, but the alumni were not going to go easy on them.
Some of the alumni that attended were some of the best players in program history, with eight of the nine being a part of the teams that were ranked for the first time and hit number one in the NCAA.