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Remembering the Fall 2003 semester

By Nathan Walls

This semester has been one of the fastest I’ve experienced in my three years at UNCP. That is a big reason why I am somewhat amazed that I will be heading home to Yadkinville, N.C., also known as “Y-vegas,” in a few short days for Christmas break.

I’m looking forward to spending some time with my friends, visiting some of our places of interest in Winston-Salem. I might check out a show at Ziggy’s. Shawn Swaim’s house in East Bend is a great hangout spot. Heck, I may go to a few games at Forbush High School or even return to the Hunt House, a haunted spot, in Huntsville.

Whatever I do, I’ll have plenty of stories from this semester to tell.

UNCP has received public relations’ black eyes due to the Dial Building being shut down and Aja Locklear being found guilty of a misdemeanor while holding the Miss UNCP title.

There is nothing more harmful to an institution than bad publicity. During a time when this university is trying to grow, you couldn’t ask for worse situations. The Dial Building is currently in the cleanup process and other buildings are being checked as well. Robyn Baker, the runner up, is the new Miss UNCP and will be until late next month when the 2004 Miss UNCP Scholarship Pageant is held.

I am still in awe of the turn around the men’s and women’s soccer teams experienced this year.

The men’s team went 8-10 a year ago before this season’s 17-1-2 clip. They were a treat to watch this season and I am happy that they made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Three players, Veit Schaidinger, Graeme Little and Sascha Gorres were named Peach Belt All-Conference, and deservedly so.

Not to take anything away from those players, every starter and some bench players possessed the talent to be named all-conference. It’s unfortunate that all of them can’t be recognized.

Also, Mike Schaeffer should have been named conference coach-of-the-year. USC-Spartanburg head coach Greg Hooks received that honor, instead. Schaeffer also deserves national coach-of-the-year accolades in my view, for his team was probably the most improved in the country this season.

The women’s team went from 4-11-4 in 2002 to 13-5 this year. They won a conference game for the first time in their history and finished 4-3 in the conference. Lars Andersson was named conference coach-of-the-year, Jamie Clarke was named freshman-of-the-year and all-conference and Hillary Helms was named all-conference, also. The women won nine games in a row before bowing out to Francis Marion, 2-1, in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference tournament.

Other players, including Lefke Boysen, who tallied 37 points, Simoane Taylor, who had 21, Katie Stokes, with 28, and Kelly Jones, with 23, were noteworthy performers who didn’t get their just due. The team’s defense didn’t get awarded either, and they should have after winning nine more games than last season, possibly being the most improved team in Division II women’s soccer.

The soccer teams deserve a parade for their fine accomplishments. They were that good.

We finally won another basketball game. This was a relief to me, because I know the men’s basketball team has enough talent to impress people this year. The 69-68 win over Newport News on Nov. 22 ended a 32-game losing streak for the Braves that dated back to February of 2002.

I hope that head coach Bryan Garmroth and his troops can gain more and more confidence as the season progresses so they can make people forget about last year. They have lost three games since the win, but one win through five games is much better than none through 28.

I’m interested to see if next semester is as eventful as this one has been. That seems hard to surpass or even come close to, but you never know, the next big story is probably already in the making. Around here, that’s a guarantee.

Black Line
  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Thursday, December 4, 2003
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