By Sean Callahan, News Editor
Hundreds of alumni bearcats flocked back to Saint Vincent College this year for a Homecoming weekend of class reunions, dorm nostalgia trips, and alumni sports games. It was held noticeably earlier than past years, from Sept. 16 to 18. However, many alumni still roamed the campus with family and old friends, and the stands were packed for the sunny annual football homecoming game on Sept. 17.
This year’s game against Thiel College ended with a 24-16 win for SVC. SVC ended the first half 14-8, and maintained their lead for the final score in the end. The game proved to be competitive statistically, with each team averaging 4.2 yards a play. But despite Thiel outnumbering SVC in both total offense yards and plays executed, SVC prevailed. Sophomore running back DJ Gray Jr. held the most yards gained of any SVC offensive player that game, with 118 rushing yards from and 26 passing yards from a single reception. Sophomore defensive back Ethan Facey dominated SVC’s defense with nine tackles and one forced fumble recovery.
During halftime, SVC’s homecoming court was honored, and the king and queen were chosen.
The men of the court included Ahmad Shaw, senior sports management major, Kody Johnson, senior marketing major, Luke Wilson, senior business management major, Andrew Kunz, senior finance major, and Ronald Bell, senior philosophy and politics major. Johnson was chosen as the king.
Johnson plans to pursue a marketing career and fulfill his dreams of becoming a content creator. He says he would either like to pursue his dream job in Pittsburgh or in Orlando, his hometown. He describes his journey from freshman to senior year at Saint Vincent College as life changing. “My teammates, classmates, friends, faculty, and community have been great to me during my time up here. It has made my experience here even better,” Johnson said.
The women of the court included Emily Bosche, senior mathematics and psychology double major, Olivia Emmonds, senior biology major, Lindsey Kocjancic, senior biology major, Jessica Persin, senior biology major, and Shelby Stoner, senior liberal arts pre-health major. Stoner was chosen as the queen.
Stoner plans to become a nurse practitioner and specialize in pediatrics. She says that until she completes school, she would like to get a job as a nurse’s aid. Reflecting on her journey at SVC, Stoner expressed gratitude for her friends, community, and acknowledged her own hard work to get to where she is as a student. “My journey from freshman year to now was not easy, but it was definitely worth it,” Stoner said. “I got involved early so I would have a group of people I could count on and a place to go when I wasn’t in class. I joined APB and that has been my saving grace of surviving the last four years.”
One notable change to this campus tradition is that Fall Family Weekend, which is typically held concurrently with Homecoming Weekend, will occur on the weekend of Sept. 30 instead.
Deanna Wicks, Director of Campus Life, explained that the date difference for Fall Family Weekend and Homecoming was due to this year’s football schedule. The homecoming game would have been held in November if not Sept. 17. She says that because homecoming falls more than a week after the club fair, Sept. 7, clubs and organizations would not be able to adequately prepare for Fall Family Weekend activities, including the club carnival.
However, Wicks is optimistic about new opportunities due to this schedule change. “This year, with the separation of the two events, we’ve been able to expand the offerings of Fall Family Weekend and provide an exciting showcase for many of our clubs,” Wicks said. Possible expansions to come may include some larger club activities spread throughout the weekend, in addition to the club stands typically seen after the Homecoming game.