Eagles Win First Home Football Game of the Season 31-7

Community Gathers to Celebrate Historic Day

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  • The Bridgewater College football team won their first home game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 4. The team has not been greeted by a full-crowd since fall 2019.

  • Former Head Football Coach Mike Clark, spent two hours at the tailgating area before heading to the bleachers with his family to watch the game.

  • The new Screaming Eagles Marching Band performed during halftime, before the recognition ceremony of Clark. They performed songs such as “Can’t Hold Us,” “Seven Nation Army,” and “Let it Rock.”

  • The Eagles struggled during the first half of the game, but gained momentum with a rapid scoring drive at the end of the second quarter — going into halftime ahead 10-7.

  • Also returning to a full crowd at the Jopson Athletic Complex is the Bridgewater College cheer team. During halftime, the cheer team kept the spectators on their toes by tossing t-shirts into the stands.

  • The Screaming Eagles Marching Band gathers near the scoreboard ten minutes before half time to get organized for their performance. The band rehearses as a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are expected to play at the next home game, which is on Sept. 18.

  • During halftime, Clark and his wife Sharon, joined President Bushman, Director of Athletics Curt Kendall and three representatives from the Bridgewater College Alumni Association for Clark’s recognition. Clark was presented with a resolution of appreciation from the BC Board of Trustees by Bushman and a certificate from the Alumni Association recognizing him as an honorary alumnus of Bridgewater College.

  • Following the long-held Bridgewater College tradition, the community gathered around Memorial Hall after the win to ring the victory bell.

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Jackie Letaiugyang and Samantha Hince

Bridgewater Va. – Saturday’s football game marked several important events for Bridgewater College: the recognition of former Head Coach Mike Clark, debut of the Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band, and the first fully-attended home football game since fall 2019. 

“I think we have a lot of people who are very excited to come back and see each other face-to-face and enjoy what BC does best, which is making sure that people feel connected to campus,” said Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Student Leslie Frere.

Clark was recognized for his 26 years coaching the BC football team. President David Bushman presented Clark with a resolution of appreciation from the BC Board of Trustees. Clark was also presented with a certificate from the Alumni Association recognizing him as an honorary alumnus of Bridgwater College. 

“I took over for a great man, my mentor,” said current Head Coach Scott Lemm. “So to be able to carry on something that he built is important. It’s just one win, but I like to think we got the kind of squad that can keep this going.”

The presentation came right after the 50-member Screaming Eagles Marching Band performed their first sports live performance during halftime. The band performed for the first time Saturday morning at Generation Park before marching through the Bridgewater Retirement Community on their way to the Jopson Athletic Complex.

“I think this was the best possible start I could’ve imagined for the Screaming Eagles Marching Band,” said Director of Athletic Bands Barry Flowe. “This was the entire being at camp and everything we’ve done to prepare for this day. Today was a nice day to see a live performance, especially after the pandemic and everything we’ve been through.”

The music was a compilation arranged by Assistant Professor of Music Ryan Keebaugh and includes “Can’t Hold Us,” “Seven Nation Army,” and “Let it Rock.”

This year’s football team includes eight seniors who returned to BC for a fifth season. They were able to return as a result of an NCAA decision to extend student-athlete eligibility due to Covid.  

The Eagles struggled in the first half, but gained some momentum with a rapid scoring drive at the end of the second quarter, going into halftime ahead 10-7.

“First half we did not play how we had intended to,” said fifth-year senior quarterback Matt Lawton. “The coaching staff did a good job and gave us the game plan we needed and we executed in the second half.”

“We weren’t playing our sharpest but we were still playing really hard,” said Lemm. 

The second half gave the fans a reason to cheer, with three BC touchdowns and an interception by sophomore defensive back Samuel Adkins.

“It’s a very homey atmosphere. It feels like everybody enjoys everybody’s company and that’s what I like about BC,” said sophomore Talvis Robinson. “The turnout was actually bigger than I expected. I came from a D-1 school so coming to a D-3 and still seeing all these many people show up and support the game is really crazy.” This is Robinson’s first year on campus. 

“It was great to see the tailgating full, all the fans packed, and just to have a regular game again. It’s definitely exciting for the year going forward,” said fifth-year senior running back Demetreus Jalepes.