The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


Student Athlete Focus: Kennedy Fauntleroy

Rising Stars: Unveiling the Emerging Talent of the Class of 2027 as the Season Concludes

Bridgewater Eagles Athletics
As the pregame announcements echo through the stadium, the Eagles assemble in a resolute lineup. Dierkens, during it all, applauds and maintains a focused gaze, mentally preparing himself for the impending challenge against EMU in a game earlier this season.

Bridgewater, VA- The remarkable accomplishments of the Eagles’ most recent recruits gleam with brilliance, especially highlighting the noteworthy contributions of two primary freshman defenders: Alex Dierkens and Ashby Barbee.

Taking center stage initially is Dierkens, who boasted an impressive track record by participating in eight games, with five starts. He quickly left his mark on the program as a formidable presence in the backline, notably clinching an assist during the resounding victory against rivals Eastern Mennonite University.

Continuing the narrative, we have Barbee, whose significant influence came to the forefront as he secured a starting position towards the latter part of the season. Notably, he also played a pivotal role in their final match, a hard-fought draw against the formidable Randolph Wildcats. This solidified his presence with four games played and three starts in his freshman campaign.

The Eagles wrapped up the season with a solid 7-4-6 record. Although they missed out on the ODAC tournament this time, the team has a bright future thanks to the promising contributions of these talented freshmen.

Looking ahead, Dierkens, one of the team’s promising freshmen, expressed his ambitious aspirations for the squad. 

“Everyone on the team recognizes that we fell short, and we’ll use that as motivation for next year,” said Dierkens. “I want us to win the ODAC and go to the conference tournament. That’s the ‘team spirit’ that drives us, and we’re all on the same page, working towards achieving those dreams and turning them into a reality.”

Throughout the season, the team’s unwavering unity and camaraderie were never in doubt. Even though the Eagles fell short of making it to the postseason, the remarkable success of this season was undeniably apparent in the way they fiercely battled for each other on the field.

“The team’s camaraderie was incredibly tight knit,” Said Barbee. “In just a matter of weeks, I developed strong connections with many of the guys. It felt like being part of a closely-knit circle of friends, a group you could wholeheartedly trust. This trust and friendship among us translated into our success on the pitch, as we fought not just for ourselves, but for each other, driving our collective achievements.”

Looking forward to future seasons, the soaring ambitions of the Eagles are unmistakably intertwined with their unwavering drive and profound passion for the game. Their unrelenting commitment to excellence, both on and off the field, not only underscores their determination but also ignites the flames of optimism for what’s to come in the seasons ahead.

“My primary objective is to dedicate myself to relentless hard work and attain peak physical condition in preparation for the upcoming preseason,” said Barbee. “The valuable lessons I’ve gained from this years’ experience have reinforced the idea that one must exert control over the factors within their reach. In the forthcoming off-season, my focus is focusing on only what I can control.”

Throughout a season marked by adversity, the team’s enduring unity and unwavering energy levels were evident, demonstrating their unwavering spirit and strong foundation for future achievements.

“I learned that attitude is everything,” said Dierkens. “The way our team responded to adversity when there were difficult times was an amazing thing to see. If our team on and off the field had a lot of high energy, then I would be confident in our winning ability.”

The Eagles will have ample time for reflection on the conclusion of this season, with their spring season not slated to commence until 2024.

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About the Contributors
Gianni Maltese
Gianni Maltese, Staff Writer
Communication, Technology and Culture Major, Coaching Minor
Senior, Class of 2024
I’m participating in BC Voice to broaden my horizons within my skill sets of sports media. I cannot wait to see what my future holds.
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