BARNESVILLE — On the Barnesville campus, Gordon State College hosted its first alumni football game on Saturday, April 30.
The eventful day began at 1:00 p.m. with a blue and white scrimmage featuring the current members of the Highlanders women’s soccer team. After the kickoff game, GSC soccer alumni along with current players and GSC’s first soccer coach, Herald Henderson, attended the alumni reception held at the GSC Collaborative Learning Center in the Nursing, Health and Natural Sciences building.
Display tables lined the reception hall which highlighted the achievements of the soccer program since its inception in 1988. Trophies from the 1993, 2018, 2019 and 2020 regional championships were also displayed along with a slideshow of photos and clippings of newspapers from the last few years of the soccer program. Jeremy E. Monroe, GSC Alumni Affairs Coordinator, opened the Alumni Celebration meeting with words of welcome.
“The purpose of today is to remind football alumni that no matter where you are, Gordon State College will always be your playground,” Monroe said.
Current coach Scott Henderson, the son of GSC’s first soccer coach, Herald Henderson, announced at the reception that he will be leaving the team in the coming months to pursue a coaching opportunity at another institution.
“I will do everything I can to make sure this remains a top football program in the future. It has been an honor to train and guide you all here at Gordon,” said Scott Henderson. “It’s thanks to your hard work on and off the pitch that we’ve been able to build this program to what it is now with back-to-back regional titles.”
The football alumni traveled to GSC Highlander Field after hosting their first Highlander Nation game since graduating. Monroe recapped some of her memorable highlights from the game.
“The game started as a group of blue jerseys regrouped and formed into two cohesive teams on the pitch. In the top half of the pitch was the ‘away’ team with their red pennies on [scrimmage vests]. On the bottom half stood the ‘home’ team wearing their blue alumni shirts,” Monroe said.
Coach Scott Henderson served as the referee for the game, which was divided into four 15-minute quarters.
“The first quarter started strong with an early goal from the home team at 1-0. They held that lead until the middle of the second quarter when the away team scored two goals in a row. The lead was short-lived as the home team tied the game 2-2 with another goal just before the end of the second quarter. The game was tied 3-3 going into the final quarter,” Monroe said. The game was ultimately decided by a last-ditch fast break that resulted in a one-on-one between home team striker Ritchie Jules and away team keeper. Ritchie landed the easy shot and sealed the win for the home side.