By Megan Seals
Coasting through their first seven games, the Union men’s soccer team geared up for a new challenger.
The program hosted its second official alumni weekend Oct. 1 – 3.
Scott Marksberry, former men’s assistant coach and Union graduate, said since it was the program’s 11th year of existence, alumni from the team wanted to get everyone together for a real alumni experience.
Marksberry, responsible for the organization of the event, expressed the reasons for its second year of existence.
“I am a big fan of creating and sustaining traditions, and I think the alumni traditions give current players something to look forward to, even after they have graduated from Union,” he said.
The alumni weekend started with a Friday night dinner on Oct. 1., followed by the alumni “Legends Game” and cookout on Saturday. Also included in the weekend was a round of golf along with dinner.
Marksberry described the range of players that were in attendance for the event, including three members of Union’s inaugural team.
The three original players who played were Cesar Cerdeira, Daniel Banks and Marksberry himself. All three players were a part of the original recruiting class brought in by former Coach Darin White, who resigned in 2006.
Marksberry emphasized they were also the only three freshmen to play all four years of collegiate soccer for Union.
Also joining the three players for the second alumni weekend was Isaac Brooks, another Union graduate and Union women’s soccer assistant coach, among others.
“We even had a few players from the original Scottish invasion: Gareth Munro, Mark Forrest and Colin Bonner,” Marksberry said. “On the younger end of the spectrum, Paul Turner, Josh Hanna and some other recent graduates were also seen on the field playing in the second alumni game. Along with them, we had All-American goalkeepers Jeff Lean and Robert Stinson to help tend to the goal in the game.”
Marksberry said he was excited about the opportunity to break from coaching and getting in the game with his former teammates.
“This was my one weekend of the year where I get to just play the game and enjoy hanging out with my old teammates,” Marksberry said.
The current head coach, Clovis Simas, provided some insight from his experience with the alumni weekend.
“I was looking forward to a great time with former Union players,” Simas said. “I was also looking forward to talking with each of them about their lives. I wanted to play with them, watch them play, laugh with them and have a good time.”
Simas said the importance of the event went further than playing the game, but extended to celebrating friendships that were made on the team and the impact Union has made in the lives of these players.