By Chris Mackowiak
Saturdays are always a big day on the Salisbury University campus, but tomorrow takes on extra importance. Tomorrow two of most important games of the fall season will take place alongside multiple ceremonies before and after the contests.
In the ‘Around the Nest’ column, The Flyer sports staff highlights the events going on around campus and some more unusual and special things that the community may not know about.
New plaque for the SU football locker room
In the middle of all the excitement of the football game, Salisbury is hosting two ceremonies to celebrate accomplishments in SU Athletics. First, the Sea Gulls will honor a former head football coach critical in its early days of the 1980’s.
Coach Mike McGlinchey led the Sea Gulls from 1982 to 1986 while amassing a 44-11-1 overall record. Most notably, Coach McGlinchey was at the helm of two NCAA Tournament semifinals appearances alongside a Stagg Bowl appearance in 1986. The Stagg Bowl is the NCAA Division III football championship game.
The new plaque will hang outside the locker room on the north end of Sea Gull Stadium. The ceremony will be conducted prior to the start of the game.
Track & Field National Championship ceremony
The second ceremony will occur at halftime of the football game, involving the Salisbury track & field team. The track & field team put together an impressive 2016 spring season that culminated in four national championships.
One of the national titles came in the 4×400 meter relay in which the Sea Gulls came from behind to take the top prize. As underdogs in the tournament, Salisbury’s team fell behind Wisconsin-La Crosse early in the race, but the Sea Gulls did not let up. An excellent final run by senior Luke Campbell got the Sea Gulls back in the race, finishing with a two meter win over the competition. It is the first Salisbury national championship in the event in program history.
Campbell will be honored for his three individual national championships at the ceremony too. The now graduated Sea Gull finished his collegiate career with a record 11 national championships (10 individual and one team). This is an NCAA record at all levels for national championships by an individual athletes. Campbell is now training for a potential run at the World Championships and the Olympic Trials
SU football vs. Wesley, Sat. at Noon
Both of these football teams have had this game circled on the schedule since the start of the season.
Last year, Salisbury spoiled Wesley’s senior day and No. 4 national ranking when the Sea Gulls went into Drass Field in Dover, Del. and upset the Wolverines 38-35. The deciding factor was a 36-yard field goal from SU junior kicker Alex Potocko with 2:23 left in the game. It was the first time Salisbury had defeated Wesley since 2004.
This year on top of the redemption Wesley seeks are the playoff implications of the game. Frostburg State, Wesley, and Salisbury are all tied at 6-1 at the top of the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Wesley does hold the tiebreaker over Frostburg State after beating them 43-7 in the second week of the season.
On Saturday, Frostburg State will be hoping for a Salisbury win while the Bobcats face Montclair State on the road. If SU and Frostburg State both win Saturday, it will set up a de facto NJAC title game in Frostburg, Md. next week. If Wesley wins Saturday, barring an upset by William Paterson next week, Wesley would be the NJAC Champions.
CAC Championship: SU field hockey vs. Mary Washington, Sat. at 6pm
After one of the top football games of the season, the action and tension does not let up. Taking over Sea Gull Stadium next is the SU field hockey team, hosting the Capital Athletic Conference Championship Saturday night. The Sea Gulls defeated York (Pa.) 5-0 Wednesday night to advance into the championship game. Mary Washington went on the road to take down Christopher Newport in an overtime thriller 3-2.
Now the two teams meet once again. They last met Homecoming Weekend here at Salisbury when the Sea Gulls defeated the Eagles 6-1 in a top-20 match-up. The larger story is the relationship between the two head coaches.
SU Head Coach Dawn Chamberlin has put together a legendary career coaching at SU, and along her journey, she has coached and tutored plenty of talented players and now coaches. Mary Washington Head Coach Lindsey Elliot is a former player and assistant coach for Coach Chamberlin. If the game needed anymore tension, there it is.