GT softball players reach out beyond the field

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Softball players bonded quickly with the children during their community service time.Beaver Falls, PA - When the Geneva College softball team looks back at its 2011 season and in particular its trip to the NCCAA national tournament, there will be many highlights and memories to call upon. While most of those highlights would be remembered for on the field achievements, perhaps the most enjoyable memory came while the team was off the field.

As a part of the 2011 NCCAA national tournament, each team was given a challenge to go out amongst the Roanoke, VA community and make a difference in some lives for two hours of community service. The Geneva softball team was given the opportunity to visit the Alpha Day Care, which opens its doors for nearly 150 pre-school and school age children each day. On the morning of perhaps the greatest victory in Geneva softball history, each of the student-athletes received a wonderful gift of love from nearly 50 pre-school children that simply didn′t want the time to end.

"I was blown away by how quickly our ladies connected with these children," said head coach Van Zanic. "After just a few minutes, these children were surrounding our student-athletes as if they had known them for years. It was maybe the most rewarding two hours I have ever spent coaching. If the goal was to make a difference in these young lives, it was mission accomplished."

From reading stories to singing songs and giving testimonies, the two hours simply flew by way too fast for both the players and the children. The final minutes were spent outside playing games with the children as each player seemed to quickly pair up with one or two of the children. Several of the Geneva players spoke with the children and spread the message of how important it is to have God in your life, while the children sang songs of Jesus and love. It was a perfect match.

The children were fascinated by the Geneva charter bus so each one got a personal tour of the inside before a group picture was taken alongside the charter. As the Geneva College team pulled away from the day care, there were over 20 children chasing after them and hoping for just a little more time.

The day began with hopes of touching some young lives in the community and that was clearly a success. The day ended with Geneva upsetting the top-seeded and defending national champion Central Baptist in the first round of the national tournament. At the end of the day, it was truly difficult to pick which feat was more impressive or for that matter more enjoyable. What was clear was that it was a great day for a bunch of God′s children, both college age and the ones in pre-school.

For more pictures from the day, click here.

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).