Beaver Falls, PA - It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and to forget the true meaning of what makes it special. At Geneva College, the birth of Jesus Christ is first and foremost in the celebration of the season. The Lord has blessed Geneva College and the Golden Tornadoes athletic department.
We are blessed with a group of student-athletes who work extremely hard for the prize, in and out of the athletic arena. The student-athletes are driven to succeed for teammates, for Geneva and for God. The message from the coaching staff has been received loud and clear that our mission is to honor Jesus Christ in all things. There is so much to be grateful for at Geneva during this holiday season that it seems only fitting to give thanks for many blessings that have been received during the past year.
After 36 years as a head coach, Ron Galbreath announced his retirement in the summer. Although we will no longer enjoy him on the sidelines, Coach Galbreath has made a miraculous recovery from a severe stroke less than two years ago. He is set to begin his well deserved retirement in January and we are all very grateful for his time at Geneva College.
Anthony D′Ambrosia, a sophomore football student-athlete diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of football camp, has been deemed cancer-free as of December. Courageously fighting throughout the fall, Anthony has proven to be an inspiration to not only his football teammates, but the entire Geneva College community. God-willing, he will return to school in 2010 and maybe even put that #54 football jersey back on next fall.
The Geneva softball team adopted a young cancer patient by the name of Meranda Carsey just a few months ago. Through the national organization "Friends of Jaclyn", the softball team was able to form a relationship with Meranda as she continued to deal with a brain tumor that was only diagnosed last spring. Becoming a friend and teammate to the Golden Tornadoes, Meranda has become an inspiration to all of us. A few weeks ago, Meranda was given the news of her body being cancer free and she was able to go back to school where she will also have the chance to play on her high school softball team this spring.
Over the past few years, the Geneva athletic department has been blessed with some of the finest facilities in the region. From renovations to Reeves Field, to improvements inside of Metheny Fieldhouse, our coaches and student-athletes are grateful to all of those willing to contribute financially to help move athletics forward at Geneva College. We are amazed every day by the unending generosity of so many willing to give of themselves to help Geneva College.
Other blessings to reflect upon during this Christmas season include the opportunity to work with student-athletes every day. Coaches as Geneva College do not take these gifts for granted. Coaches understand the commitment that each of their players make on a daily basis. Because of that commitment, Geneva′s fall athletic teams enjoyed one of the most memorable athletic years. The fall sports teams of cross country, football, women′s and men′s soccer and volleyball were each able to compete in the NCCAA post-season. Many student-athletes were honored for outstanding achievements on and off the field.
With much joy and celebration in the last year, Geneva College and our athletic department has also suffered much pain and loss. During this time we think about the losses of two former student-athletes, Brandon Lewis and Jessica Vojnovich DeMarco. We thank God for their lives and for the incredible support offered by former teammates, friends and families. We continue to pray for their families as they live through the loss of a loved one during this holiday season.
Each day our athletic department members and teams pray for strength and safety as they practice and compete in this new chapter of Division III athletics. We pray that God will continue to lead prospective student-athletes to Geneva College. We also pray that each of us will continually seek to honor our Lord and Savior through the arena of athletics.
Celebrating Jesus′ birth is indeed the reason for the season. Through His birth, His death on the cross for our sins and His resurrection, we are able to be restored to fellowship with God.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).