Story by Assistant Women's Soccer Coach Stacey Balaam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia soccer programs hosted their annual alumni event on Saturday, Apr. 20. Several generations of alumni were represented for both the men and women's programs as the event brought back over 50 alumni members and over 100 spectators.
Guy Oliver, who began the soccer program in 1967, flew in from Texas to participate in the festivities. Oliver was recognized last year for being the first-ever soccer coach at North Georgia and for his efforts to keep the sport alive.
The whole day was a celebration of the programs' pasts and was also an appreciation of the people that have been a part of the history for both the men and women's soccer programs at North Georgia.
"It was an awesome day to have the different generations of North Georgia soccer players ranging from 1967 to 2013," said head men's coach Pat Parris. "Being able to honor Coach Mark Howarth on this special day was priceless. It is always great to bring our programs together to honor the past, present & future. We are absolutely proud of our North Georgia soccer alumni for having another excellent alumni weekend. We are already making plans to have a UNG Soccer Alumni night during our fall 2013 season."
The event opened up with the alumni men playing against the current roster, providing a good amount of entertainment to the spectators.
Following the men's game, the current coaching staff honored Mark Howarth for his contributions to the men's soccer program within his reign as head coach from 1993-2003. Howarth's passion for the game was evident throughout his time at North Georgia and he was remembered for his dedication to the program and the success he had within his decade in Dahlonega.
Following the men, the 2012-13 edition of the women's soccer team went up against the alumni women. The senior classes from the previous two years were then recognized for their accomplishments within their playing careers at North Georgia. The two sets of seniors who graduated from the field in 2011 and 2012 were recognized for their individual success as well as team achievements for soccer and for academics.
The final award on the day was presented to head women's coach Chris Adams by the Department of Athletics for reaching the 100 wins milestone as the head women's coach at North Georgia. Adams reached the mark this past fall with a 4-2 win in the Peach Belt conference tournament quarter finals victory over Clayton State University on October 30.
Above: Alumni from both the men's and women's programs.
Above: The North Georgia Alumni men play a friendly game on the pitch.
Above: The alumni men pose following their game.
Above: Tony DaSilva (far left), Chris Adams (middle left) and Pat Parris (far right) recognize former men's head coach Mark Howarth for his 10 years in Dahlonega.
Above: Former head men's coach Mark Howarth poses with several of his former players.
Above: The women's alumni.
Above: The current Saint women take on the alumni women on the pitch.
Above: The 2013 Saints and alumni pose with Bentley.
Above: Coach Chris Adams and Assistant Stacey Balaam presented their alumni with jerseys. (Not pictured, Kelsey Martin, Sara Kate Rogers, and Natalie Douglass)
Above: Associate Director of Athletics Derek Suranie presents head women's coach Chris Adams with a plaque commemorating his 100th win at the helm of the program.
Above: Coach Adams poses with his family following his recognition.