Beaver Falls, PA – It was listed on the schedule as any other softball doubleheader for the Geneva College softball team. It was a doubleheader scheduled against Presidents’ Athletic Conference foe Waynesburg University. At the end of the day, the Golden Tornadoes prevailed for a pair of victories, but it was the other events throughout the day that left an indelible memory for the Geneva College team and for those in attendance.
Following a game-one Geneva victory, both teams surrounded the home plate area for the first of two very special ceremonies. Last year, the Geneva College softball family lost one of its alumni members as 2006 graduate Jessica Vojnovich DeMarco was killed in a car accident. Last Saturday, Jessica’s family was on hand as Geneva dedicated a plaque in her honor that will sit directly outside of the dugout for all to see.
“Jess was a special student-athlete,” said head coach Van Zanic. “Her lead-by- example attitude is one that I would hope spreads through our program like wildfire.”
Following the presentation, the entire 2010 Geneva team hugged each of Jessica’s family members in a show of respect and love.
The Golden Tornadoes took care of Waynesburg in game two of the doubleheader, and then the two squads stayed for a post-game ceremony in which Geneva’s team officially adopted Meranda Carsey as an honorary GT. Carsey was diagnosed with brain cancer one year ago, and through the national organization “Friends of Jaclyn,” Geneva was able to bring her into the program.
“Meranda has been a part of our team from day one this year,” explained Zanic. “The adoption was just a formality and I was so excited for her and her family to have the opportunity to join our program.”
Carsey was given a scrapbook from her new teammates as well as an official Geneva softball jersey.
Following the presentation, both teams formed a circle around the pitcher’s mound to pray for Meranda’s continued recovery and for her family. Geneva and Waynesburg, now wearing similar “FOJ” t-shirts, bonded together for one final picture that featured Meranda front and center.
At the end of the day, Geneva College had won two softball games but the student-athletes within that program had won a whole lot more. They had gained the respect of a grieving family who lost a loved one way too soon and they gained a new teammate that is going through the fight of her life.
Winning is fun, but life off the softball field is much more demanding. When the 19 Geneva College softball student-athletes look back at their Saturday, they surely won’t remember the final scores of their victories, but they will remember the looks on the faces of the Vojnovich family and on the face of a young lady by the name of Meranda Carsey.
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).
Geneva's Communication Disorders students have attended graduate programs all over the U.S., at schools such as the University of Iowa, California State University - Fullerton, Gallaudet University and University of Pittsburgh.