Grove City College is welcoming 2023 by looking back at the top 10 stories of 2022. This story was published in June.
Grove City College student-athletes collected six Presidents’ Athletic Conference championships, six All-American titles, a host of conference awards and other accolades, and saw the launch of a new women’s varsity program in their 2021-2022 seasons, delivering on the promise of the “Wolverines Together” approach to collegiate competition.
“The past year has been filled with exciting examples of the quality of the Grove City College athletic program,” said Athletic Director Todd W. Gibson ’02, who oversees the College’s 23 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III programs.
In addition to taking PAC women’s championships in swimming and diving, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field, and men’s titles in lacrosse, swimming and diving, and tennis, the College captured the PAC’s Women's All-Sports Trophy for the 19th time in program history and set a conference record for the most students earning Academic Honor Roll recognition.
Six Wolverines earned Division III All-American status, including Cody Gustafson (football), Reese Trauger (water polo), Tate Ostrowski (baseball), Cody Adams, Brett Gladstone, Grant Evans (men's lacrosse.) Dozens of other student-athletes collected major PAC and Eastern College Athletic Conference honors through the year, including PAC Player of the Year soccer forward Sam Belitz, All Region cross country standout Lydia Bennett, and ECAC Rookies of the Year Brooke Stoltzfus (women’s lacrosse) and Mally Kilbane (baseball.)
“As proud as we are with the wins, championships, All-Americans, and, of course, bringing the women’s All-Sport trophy back to GCC, the moments that stick in my brain are the countless examples of student-athletes displaying leadership, courage, character, and humility around not only our campus but around the country,” Gibson said.
That’s part of the program at Grove City College. As well as delivering outstanding performances on the field, Grove City College student-athletes build community through service projects, bible studies, mission work, and a shared “Wolverines Together” culture that pushes them to compete at the highest level in pursuit of more than just the win. “We ask our athletes to exhaust themselves in the pursuit of glorifying God in all that they do – athletically, academically, socially, and spiritually,” Gibson said.
“We recognize that how we operate may appear counter-cultural to some – focusing not only on what we are trying to do, but specifically on how we do it and why we do it,” Gibson said.
The past year presented challenges and opportunities for the College’s Athletic Department. Continuing Covid concerns and the resulting NCAA requirements loomed over the fall sports season but coaches, administrators and the student-athletes focused on training, preparation, and developing the mental toughness necessary to ensure successful campaigns throughout the year.
To win the PAC All-Sports Trophy, the women’s sports programs accumulated a conference-record 87.5 points during the academic year. Coupled with a runner-up total of 87.5 points in the Men's All-Sports Trophy competition, Grove City finished with a conference-best 175 total All-Sports Points – the highest combined All-Sports Trophy point total in conference history. To earn the conference’s Academic Honor Roll record, 83 Grove City College student-athletes earned a grade point average of 3.6 or better – the most ever for the fall semester by any conference member.
Highlights of the year include the Wolverines 49-7 victory over Utica in the 2021 ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl; the men’s soccer team earning a top seed in the conference tournament; Gustafson earning NCAA Division III's active leader status in receiving yards; Ostrowski finishing the season as NCAA Division III's active leader in earned run average; and the women's soccer program received 2021 United Soccer Coaches Platinum Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award.
Other 2021-2022 stats of note include: seven PAC Player of the Year selections; four PAC Newcomer of the Year honorees; three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans; 11 CoSIDA Academic All-District selections; six ECAC Player/Rookie of the Year selections; seven All-Region performers; and 17 All-ECAC honorees.
“It has become clear to us the special opportunity our athletes have to stand out by standing for something and competing for something greater than themselves. We believe that this attitude will continue to attract young people that are looking specifically for this opportunity to our programs and lead to more success. This is a special place with special student-athletes,” Gibson said.
Fore more about athletics at Grove City College, visit athletics.gcc.edu.