Rocky Mount, N.C. - North Carolina Wesleyan celebrated its 2012 Homecoming on Saturday, and the day was full of notable highlights. A pair of USA South soccer wins coupled with Commissioner Rita Wiggs' halftime presentation at the Bishops' football game made for an exciting day, while the Department of Athletics annual Hall of Fame inductions capped off a memorable night in Rocky Mount.
The Battling Bishop volleyball team (14-6, 5-0 USAS) officially kicked things off on Friday evening with a pair of USA South sweeps over Mary Baldwin and Greensboro on senior night in Everett Gym. Men's soccer followed suit at noon on Saturday with a 5-2 league win over visiting Greensboro. Freshman Andri Bjarnason continued his impressive play with a pair of goals, while Malick Chune scored the eventual gamewinner in the 62nd minute.
While our soccer Bishops (7-1-1, 3-0 USAS) were en route to their seventh win of the season, the NCWC football team was kicking off against Methodist at the Northern Nash Football Complex. The Bishops and Monarchs entered the half tied 7-7 thanks to a four-yard touchdown pass from freshman Laron Ellerbe to junior Greg Edwards with 16 seconds left in the second quarter.
At halftime, USA South Commissioner Rita Wiggs was on hand to present former volleyball player Mackenzie Tingle with her 2012 Woman of the Year award, which honors student-athletes for their collegiate achievements in service, leadership, athletics and academics.
Methodist and Wesleyan returned to field minutes later, and it was the Monarchs who got the early boost when D.J. Payne ran the opening kick-off back 67 yards, setting up a 26-yard TD pass from Max Reber to Vaughn Cross just 59 seconds into the quarter. MU did not look back en route to a 34-13 win over the Bishops (1-4, 0-2 USAS).
As football was winding down, the N.C. Wesleyan women's soccer team was busy putting the finishing touches on a 4-0 shutout of William Peace University. Sophomore Dori Brooks netted the eventual gamewinner less than five minutes in, while Sarah Olsowski, Rebecca Staylor and Johanna Wallinder also tallied scores. Fittingly, 2012 Hall of Fame inductee Jennifer Foreman -- one of the most prolific goalkeepers in both NCWC and NCAA history -- was present to see the Bishops (4-6-1, 2-4 USAS) turn in their first shutout of the season.
Foreman then made her way over to the Dunn Center to join fellow inductees Misty Carneal and Mark Silletti at the College's "Celebration of Excellence" dinner. Silletti earned notoriety as the winning pitcher of both games of the 1989 National Championship set, while Carneal is the all-time leading scorer in women's basketball history. The end of the evening saw Carneal surprised by former head coach John Brackett, teammate and current head coach Artina Trader and Athletics Director John Thompson announcing the retirement of her #35 jersey.
It was a fitting end to a great weekend at North Carolina Wesleyan College. On behalf of the Department of Athletics, we offer congratulations to all of our victorious teams and award winners during our 2012 Homecoming!
* A special thanks is extended to faculty members Drs. Carl and Jackie Lewis for their photography work over the weekend. To view photos from all of the events mentioned above, please visit http://www.ncwcsports.com/photography/index.