Personal stories of growth at Eckerd College

Thomas Donald Phillips ('69)

One of my fond memories was being on the newly-formed soccer team during my senior year of 1968-69. We had just attained membership as an officially recognized NCAA team, and wins were hard to come by. We all loved playing, but there wasn't a lot of experience on that squad. Our coach, Tim Webb, was a great guy from Australia, who taught us the joy of the game as well as the joy of communing at the Chattaway over some cold beer after particularly hot games or practices. On the day we played Florida State, the sky opened up and unleashed a deluge which continued throughout the entire game. I remember the FSU guys rolling onto campus in their big fancy bus, and being a little slow to get off and get instantly drenched.

We were already running around kicking the balls, and laughing like little kids in the rain. We had no expectations except to play hard and mainly enjoy ourselves, weather notwithstanding. On a nice day, we might get a few fellow students out there to cheer us on, but on this soaking day, the only cheerleader on the sidelines was X Grahn, a saucy frosh who didn't seem to mind the rain, as she ran up and down the sidelines cheering us on. It must have been enough to inspire us to great heights, because we kept trading goals with FSU. I remember kicking a penalty kick that was headed straight for the goalie, hearing the groans from my teammates, until it hit a puddle at his feet and miraculously squirted through his legs into the goal. The groans were quickly replaced by cheers, and we went on to win our biggest victory, 5-4. It was especially fun to walk into a crowded cafeteria afterwards, dripping wet, announcing to all there that our little college had been victorious over the big state school. How sweet it was!