By CHRIS MACKOWIAK
Records are made to be broken. Whether positive or negative, the Salisbury Athletics programs saw their fair share of records over the last two semesters.
These records, which span Salisbury programs, the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) and even the national blueprint, came and went as we moved forward through the calendar year.
Building from day one in Sea Gull Stadium and culminating in a win against Wesley College, SU men’s lacrosse head coach Jim Berkman’s five-hundredth career win marked a momentous event in both Salisbury lure and the sport’s history. He’s now the winningest head coach in NCAA lacrosse history at any level.
Moving over to the baseball diamond, the SU baseball field has seen fantastic moments over its history. It is never easy to say goodbye.
But a strong way to say it is a second-straight CAC Championship and an eighteenth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. SU head coach Troy Brohawn and the Sea Gulls rode a hot streak all the way, averaging 20.5 runs per game and outscoring opponents 82-17 over the course of the conference tournament.
With the chapter closing on the SU baseball field, Salisbury will open their brand new facility next season on the site of the current intramural fields.
On the negative side, both the Salisbury women’s lacrosse and softball teams hit rough patches at times in 2017. With those rough patches came the fall of two mighty streaks.
Heading into their match-up vs. York (Pa.) in the regular season, the Salisbury women’s lacrosse team, under head coach Jim Nestor, boasted a 101-game CAC regular season win streak. Following that day, the Sea Gulls needed to restart their successes, when the Spartans took down Salisbury 10-6 in a battle of the conference’s top two squads.
For Salisbury softball, major successes have come under head coach Margie Knight as she has led the way. However, 2017 has not boded so well for the Sea Gulls. At 21-17, it is the most losses in a season under coach Knight, and it may just end up as the second season that Salisbury does not make the NCAA Tournament under Knight, who has coached the Sea Gulls since 1997.
Not only just the spring sports, but also fall and winter sports have seen their own recent streaks, such as the Salisbury men’s basketball team travelling to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament this past season, a first in the program’s history.
At times, it is a marvel to wonder how successful one school can be across a variation of so many sports. Salisbury is one of those few schools that can celebrate their winning mentality and passionate determination across a wide field of venues and sports.
With this winning mentality, which has developed into consistency, comes these streaks and records which really can amaze and inspire people. While teams can embrace it as the evil empire, as Salisbury men’s lacrosse runs onto the field with the Star Wars Imperial March, they also showcase what it means to be a Sea Gull, to fly high and achieve as a team.
The only advice with this is to embrace it while here at Salisbury. Embrace the history and embrace the work past and present players and coaches are putting or have put in on this campus.
There is not a better time than right now to spend time on East Campus on these warm weekends and afternoons. New facilities are rising quite often now.
The new SU Soccer Complex will grace Salisbury Athletics next fall, welcoming in the men’s and women’s soccer teams for their next campaigns. The new SU baseball field will join the new facility beside it for the 2018 spring season coming up next year.
In addition to these, rumors of an SU fieldhouse continue to circulate the campus as Maggs Physical Activities Center stands as hallowed ground.
But before these new updates come well down the road, embrace the history—be able to say that you were there. While some streaks and records have fallen back into Salisbury history, new ones remain to be built. The everyday game can become something magical.
Friday, Sept. 2: sophomore wide receiver Sean Rowland returns the opening kick-off 92 yards for a touchdown vs. Albright College in the season-opener. Saturday, Dec. 17: junior forward Chad Barcikowski hits a half-court buzzer-beater, sending it into viral history as the Sea Gulls took down Christopher Newport.
Magic can happen at any moment in an average game. Make the effort to get out to a game. Enjoy time with friends and cheer on the fellow classmates.
Division III makes the difference. The student-athletes are everyday students, battling for the A on that test and then hitting the practice fields for a late afternoon shift prior to a Saturday afternoon game.
Support the players, support the students, support the Sea Gulls.