By Kevin Schrock
For multiple sports teams at The University of Findlay, there is one game a year where the tensions don’t run as high as all the other games. It’s not that the games aren’t competitive, because they are, but it’s more of a brother versus brother attitude. These games are the alumni games.
This past Saturday the Findlay men’s soccer team had their annual alumni game and according to Coach Andy Smyth, it was a huge success.
“It varies from year to year but typically we get a pretty good response from our alumni,” said Smyth. “This year we had a really good turnout.”
The men’s soccer team enjoys enough success with the game that in years past they have actually attempted to have two of them per year. Typically they have the game in August and if enough people are interested they also try to put together a game in the spring.
“Sometimes the game in the spring can be a little bit hit or miss so we don’t always have that game depending on the numbers, but the game in August we do every year,” added Smyth.
Not only is it something that the alumni enjoy, but it is also a great way for the university players to get a scrimmage in.
“The alumni game is a good way to get the guys back on campus and connected to the program, but it is also a way for us to get a scrimmage against quality players,” said Smyth. “It kind of kills two birds with one stone.”
A number of sports teams on campus have alumni games. The women’s soccer team, like the men’s already had their game for this year, and the university baseball team will look forward to hosting their second annual alumni game this fall.
For redshirt sophomore pitcher and first baseman Anthony Ondrejac, the alumni game provides a chance for him to reconnect with some of the players that had become some of his best friends in years past.
“When you go from spending everyday with these guys to barely seeing them anymore, its nice to finally get back on the field with them,” said Ondrejac. “It’s definitely something our whole team looks forward to every year.”
The baseball team actually took the extra step to name an MVP of the game a year ago and it was Dave Warner, a 1975 graduate who claimed the award after delivering a pair of base hits in the game.
Smyth also realizes that this soccer game is an opportunity his current players cherish.
“Especially for the older guys on the team who have played with many of the alumni coming back, it is something they can look forward too,” said Smyth. “The alumni also want a chance to test themselves again against college competition and see what kind of talent we have at the university.”
Findlay baseball head coach Stephen Parrill added this about the alumni game saying, “The purpose is to connect the past to the present and let our current players know about the history of the University of Findlay Baseball.”
With a few alumni games already played and more to be played, make sure you make it out to attend them whenever you get the chance.