Homecoming is a very interesting concept, and event. Historically it's served the purpose of reuniting the graduates of a particular college to either celebrate a shared affection for the particular institution, or for the institution itself to promote itself to it's wealthy alumni in the hope of increasing their contribution to the institution.
For athletes, fans of athletics, and coaches, homecoming is an opportunity for a unique experience. At the Division III level you rarely find sporting events, especially soccer, that draw a significant crowd. For the fans, players, and coaches, homecoming means a 3 to 4 fold increase in the # of fans attending your game. Given this increase the importance, the focus, and excitement surrounding these games in significantly increased.
For me, since I graduated, homecoming has been about 2 things. The first is the Soccer alumni game. This is a pickup game played early in the morning where all the old players from past years get together to share stories, discuss differing views on the importance of the maintaining one's particular pant size, and play some disorganized,yet fun, soccer. Since I am running the Blues Cruise 50K tomorrow morning I did not participate in today's alumni game but I do look forward to seeing some familiar faces this afternoon at the Main Event.
Today we play BBC. Better known as the team in Clarks Summit that has been our school's main rival for the past 30 years or so. Over the last 3 years the rivalry has shifted to Lancaster Bible College however given the both PBU and BBC have already beaten LBC this year the BBC/PBU rivalry appears to be the "Clash of Titans" if you will in the NCCAA East region once again. For me I am particularly looking forward to running into BBC's new coach Sean McPhearson. Sean is a former NCCAA II All American goalkeeper and was a Youth Leader at my Church in Scranton in my youth. I'm sure his experience and discipline have played a major part in the resurgence of quality in the BBC soccer program.
For anyone up to date on the PBU soccer team it will come as no uprise to hear that we have had an up and down year. What's been particularly evident is that we play our best soccer when we are down a goal. Today, more than any other day this year season, is the day to come out strong. Hundreds of people will line the hill next to the field in anticipation and I believe the team is ready to deliver a strong performance.
We shall see....