As the first few weeks of the spring semester unfold, the itch for bright sunny days and fresh green grass is getting stronger. Many of the students and staff at Albion College are optimistic about a semester not only in the classroom but also on the field. In just a few short weeks, a number of Briton athletes will be competing.
Here’s a quick look at what’s to come this spring for Albion athletics.
The men’s baseball team, led by long-time head coach Scott Carden, will begin their season on Feb. 26 with a three-game series against Franklin College. Last year’s ball club was fairly young with the bulk of the roster being first-years.
And with another group of first-year players joining the team this year, the team will still be relatively young.
Last season, the Britons finished with a 15-24 overall record, sitting in the middle of the pack in the MIAA standings with an 8-13 conference record. Sophomore infielder Austyn Stephens from Trenton believes that this team will surprise the league.
“I would say the main goal this year as a team is to make it
to the MIAA tournament in May,” Stephens said.
There’s an overall feeling of confidence in the baseball program, and last year’s results seem to be a catalyst for the team, eager to take the field again.
Men’s lacrosse is coming off a very successful season in 2021. The team placed second in the regular season behind Hope College but got the last laugh by defeating the Flying Dutchmen in the MIAA tournament finals, winning 8-5.
The Britons’ successful season would come to a close in the second round of the NCAA tournament in New York after losing to Rochester Tech.
The theme this year: keep the trend moving. The MIAA standings last year prove how competitive the conference will be this season with teams such as Hope and Adrian showing no signs of getting weaker. It will be a tough fight for a talented team.
Speaking of talent, Albion brings back fifth-year attacker Jace Conley from Waterford. Last year, Conley put together one of the best individual seasons that Albion and the MIAA has ever seen. He’s recognized on a nationwide scale.
Being named MIAA player of the week multiple times, breaking the school record for most career goals and goals in a game, and receiving All-MIAA first team with an Honorable Mention All-American, Conley makes the Britons that much more dangerous.
Albion will start the season on Feb. 18 when they travel to Westerville, Ohio to take on Otterbein University.
The women’s lacrosse team looks like they will continue their domination in the MIAA conference. Last year’s team grabbed the regular season championship, a goal they’ve had since the year prior.
Finishing with a 6-1 record in conference play and a 13-4 record overall, the Britons also turned lots of heads with a number of outstanding performances against non-conference opponents.
Unfortunately, the season ended shorter than expected with a tough first-round loss to Trine in the MIAA Semifinals.
According to Lake Orion sophomore Julia Ames, the team’s goal for the season is “looking forward to keeping the legacy up that we’ve maintained throughout our program.”
Despite losing some key midfielders that have generated lots of offensive attacks, Albion returns with a core group of girls that will bring the fire and desire to bring back another regular season championship while shooting for more. The Britons will travel to take on Hanover College on Feb. 18 to begin the year. Look out, because this team is destined for success.
After closing last season with a pair of losses to Saint Mary’s, the Britons plan on starting fresh for the 2023 season.
This year, the team will know what to expect. They return all but a small group of girls from last season’s senior class. A highly anticipated first-year class will also be joining the Albion roster this year, bringing a hint of what’s to come in the program’s future.
One of them, infielder Delaney Diment from Clio, is eager for the season to begin.
“I am pretty excited because this is the first season I am playing college ball and I will be experiencing opportunities while making memories,” Diment said.
Keep an eye out for the Britons this year because one offseason could make the difference in the MIAA standings. Albion will take on Oberlin College on March 13 after a stretch of exhibition games in Myrtle Beach during spring break.
Men’s & Women’s Track & Field:
Both the men’s and women’s teams’ plan to take another leap toward success for the 2023 year with both seasons already underway. Some already have witnessed a sneak peek of the men’s team at the Indy Winter Break Invite Dec. 10.
The men’s team looks to build upon last year’s impressive turnout. Lots of key returning players will be making another push toward competitive schools like Trine and Hope.
In the 2022 season, the Britons took fourth place in the MIAA Championships with a total of 92 points. Albion concluded the year by making the top 75 teams list in the NCAA Division III Championships.
The roster this season is led by a small group of seniors that have learned what it takes to win in a very competitive conference.
The women’s team aims to keep their spot at the top of the MIAA standings. Finishing second overall in the conference championship with 171 team points, there’s a lot to be excited about.
It is beneficial to have Avery Campbell, a junior from Waterford, as a member of the team again. Last year, she claimed two individual championships in both the 100m and 200m dashes while also being named one of the most valuable players of the season by the MIAA.
It will be tough, but the team hopes leadership and commitment from both groups will make 2023 another year of success.
The MIAA Championship will take place for both teams on Feb. 25, a date that is circled on their calendars.
Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Last year, the women’s tennis team played good tennis, but not enough to take the conference. This year, they hope to change that, despite losing some of their core upperclassmen.
Rochester sophomore Josie Dunn said the team is rebuilding after some of their best players graduated, but the team’s goal this year is to “win as much as we can.”
The men’s tennis team is facing a similar challenge, hoping to build on a rather average 2022 season. Led by seniors Brent Gurzell of Rochester Hills and Matt Czarnecki of Bloomfield Hills, the Britons are looking to win more matches this season.
Dunn said she enjoys how much time the two teams spend together.
“I love everyone and I love how close the women’s and men’s team is,” Dunn said. “It’s almost like one big team instead of a separated group.”
That “one big team” will begin their seasons on Feb. 11 with home matches against the University of St. Francis of Indiana, before they take off on their yearly spring trip down to Orlando.