Soccer welcomes alumni event

By Megan Seals

Union soccer alumni face off against the Union Bulldogs current JV team, Oct. 2, during alumni weekend. The game was organized by Scott Marksberry, who was a part of the team throughout his college career and served as an assistant coach for two years on the Union men's soccer team. | Photo by Victoria Stargel

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.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.