NEWBERRY — Newberry College had its third best enrollment year last fall with 329 new students coming onto campus. The record for best enrollment is currently set at 348 students.
President Maurice Scherrens said the school’s ultimate goal is to reach 1,110 students next year. They currently have about 1,040 students.
“Our goal at Newberry College is to host as many events as possible to help our economy,” Matt Finley, director of athletics of the college, said to guests at the Newberry Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly breakfast meeting.
Finley announced the current record of the college football team, which is 8-2, and that both football and volleyball games would be held this weekend on campus. Finley said the Friday night volleyball games have had 400 to 500 people in attendance.
Newberry College will be hosting the South Atlantic Conference volleyball tournament from Nov. 22 to Nov. 24. Finley said eight teams will be coming into town for the event.
Russell Triplett, Newberry College’s head baseball coach, said the team just finished up its fall ball, and practiced similar to the regular baseball season.
According to Triplett, the baseball team will have every starter from last year’s season returning this year.
“We’ve got a lot of good guys in the program,” Triplett said.
An honor for the baseball team this year Triplett said was that they won the conference GPA.
“That’s proof that they understand as a team that there is a lot more to this than just baseball,” Triplett said.
Sean Page, head women’s basketball coach, gave chamber members and guests a preview of their upcoming season which began Tuesday at Morris College in Orangeburg. Page has been coaching the team at Newberry College for six years, and has an overall record of 55-10.
Page said the team is picked as the number one team in the pre-season this year. According to Page they have 22 games in the conference this year, with 11 of them being home games.
“We have a fantastic home court advantage,” Page said.
Dave Davis told guests that the men’s basketball team began its season Sunday and he is excited about their upcoming season.
“It feels great to have returners this year,” Davis said. “We have a good mix of new guys and those returning.”
Davis said he believes his team’s style of playing is the most exciting way to play.
“Even if you dislike basketball, I believe you’ll love watching us play,” he said.
Head football coach Todd Knight said the reason they have had a successful season this year wasn’t because of “x’s and o’s,” but because they really took the time to get to know each member of their team.
With the final game this weekend, Knight said the Newberry Wolves have a record of 8-2.
New things the team has done this year to get to know one another better included having a free-throw shooting contest, bowling on Friday nights, and even playing putt-putt at Frankie’s Fun Park the night before the homecoming game.
Knight said another big bonding experience for the team was simply taking time out to talk together as a team. They also had a night where they washed their teammates feet.
“You’ll play harder for a guy and want to win for him when you know more about him,” Knight said.
Knight said that at the end of the day, his team loves one another and cares about each other, and that’s why he believes they’ve had a successful season. “We’ve enjoyed being a team,” Knight said.
Currently, the football team is ranked number five in the region, with the top six teams making it to the playoffs.
After listening to his colleagues, Scherrens said that was what Newberry College was all about.
“I wouldn’t trade these last 15 months I’ve been at Newberry for anything,” he said.
Scherrens described Newberry College as a family. On the first Sunday of the academic year, Scherrens said they took their 300 plus new students into Wiles Chapel for a candle lighting service, where each candle was lit by the person next to them in the chapel.
Scherrens said the purpose of the activity was to show them that in leadership and in life, you need someone to help you get through. Ending the activity, Scherrens said along with the students, they repeated “Newberry College is a family.”
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.