The cheering of fans and a broadcaster’s announcement (“TOUCHDOWN!”) drew me out of my somewhat productive homework session in Hirschy to the stands of the football game Saturday as our Bluffton Beavers handled the Rose Hulman Fightin’ Engineers.
The win marked the fourth straight for the Beavers, making them 4-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. With only two matches remaining, the Beavers are guaranteed to finish at least at .500, if not better. The last time our football team made such a finish was 2004.
But the football team isn’t the only team giving J. Denny something to cheer about. Beaver volleyball sits at 5-2 in the HCAC with only Defiance and Franklin left to play. They hope to make the conference tournament for the fourth straight year.
Seniors Courtney Zimmerman, Jenna Eshleman, and Nicole Wood have had celebratory seasons, especially Jenna and Nicole, who each celebrated 1,000 career kills. Jenna was twice named HCAC player of the week in September.
Arguably most exciting for the Bluffton community is the success of the women’s soccer team. (Although being a member of the team may make me biased!) Currently at 9-3-2 (4-2-1 HCAC), the team has guaranteed a winning record for the first time in Bluffton women’s soccer history. Goalkeeper Maggie Armstrong has posted eight shutout games, including 11 consecutive shutout halves, which is also a team record.
Currently, the team is in fourth place in the HCAC, but will likely have to win both of its remaining games to make the post-season tournament. A trip to the tournament would be the first by the women’s soccer team in school history. The team has also earned its first ever National Team Academic Award.
So while the seasons are winding down, we are both energized and exhausted. Relieved and disappointed. The end of a great fall season marks the end of the careers of our beloved seniors and the beginning of an offseason to prepare to once again compete at a high level next season.
What a great time to be a Bluffton Beaver!
Check out the latest in fall athletics action.