Crowning Moments

With 105 Centennial Conference titles to its credit, Gettysburg College has no shortage of spectacular championship memories.

In 1981, eight like-minded institutions banded together to form a football-only conference. Play began in the fall of 1983 and the Bullets promptly captured at least a share of the first three football titles, winning the title outright in 1985.

Centennia lConference Football

In 1992, the league became the all-sports Centennial Conference (CC). A former member of the Middle Atlantic Conference, Gettysburg was one of 11 charter members sharing the vision of a well-rounded educational experience and strong academics.

It didn’t take long for the Bullets to assert themselves as a force to be reckoned with, racking up nine conference titles in the CC inaugural season in 1993–94 and another nine the following year.

Since then, Gettysburg teams have earned the College a reputation as a consistent winner, earning multiple CC championships every year. Gettysburg became the first school to win 100 CC titles, when the women’s golf squad captured the 2015 league crown.

Gettysburg teams have performed well across the board, with 18 teams winning at least one title. The Bullets have won the most CC championships in men’s lacrosse (15), men’s swimming (14), women’s swimming (14), volleyball (11), and women’s lacrosse (10), and are tied for the most titles in women’s golf (7).

“As one of the founding members of the Centennial Conference, Gettysburg College has shown that rigorous academics and athletic success can go hand-in-hand,” remarked Steve Ulrich, executive director of the Centennial Conference. “Bullets teams have represented the College and the conference in the best light on and off the field, and the Centennial could not be more proud."

With 105 Centennial Conference titles to its credit, the Gettysburg College athletic department has witnessed no shortage of spectacular championship moments.

Seven current Gettysburg College staff members have coached the Bullets to a conference team title and shared some of their most vivid championship memories and reflections.

Football 1985

“We went into the game undefeated and looking to gain a spot in the NCAA playoffs. At that time, there were no automatic bids and only 16 teams were selected. It was rainy and sloppy, and the field was not in great shape. We threw the ball several times in pretty bad conditions, and their defensive coordinator told us after the game ‘I give your team a whole lot of credit for putting the ball in the air—you could have just sat on it and taken the tie.’

I wasn’t even thinking about that—we wanted to win. For a game that ended 0–0, that was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever coached.”

Coach Barry Streeter, on football’s 0–0 tie at Franklin & Marshall in the 1985 regular-season finale that clinched the title for the Bullets outright and capped an undefeated (9–0–1) regular season. The team would gain an NCAA Division III Tournament bid and eventually reach the national semifinals.

Centennial Conference Soccer

Men’s soccer 2001

“What sticks out in my mind is that in the championship game against McDaniel, we didn’t allow any shots on goal. I remember looking up at the scoreboard and someone took a picture of it—I have it somewhere in my office. We had quite a few and they had zero. It was a real dominant performance by us defensively.”

Coach David Wright ’08, ’13, ’16
(now assistant vice president for athletics) on the team’s 2–0 victory over McDaniel College in the 2001 championship game.

Men’s golf 2002

“The men’s golf championship used to be held at a course in Ocean City, Maryland. At one championship, we were in total darkness, waiting
for the sun to come up, to finish the second round. It was a rain-shortened conference title and we won.”

Coach George Petrie on the CC men’s golf tournament in 2002, which the Bullets won by 14 strokes over McDaniel College.

Centennial Conference MBB

Men’s basketball 2002

“[I remember] Curtis McNeil ’02, with that Magic Johnson smile, knocking down the free throws at the end of the game as we became the first team to win back-to-back Centennial Conference men’s basketball titles.”

Coach George Petrie, on McNeil making three free throws in the final 2.7 seconds to seal the 50–47 victory at Franklin & Marshall College and the 2002 men’s basketball title.

...and 2009

“In 2009, the two most memorable things are Dan Capkin ’09 knocking down shots and Chris Nevolo ’09 hitting a late 3-pointer from the corner that was dramatic.”

Coach Petrie on the 73–65 victory at Franklin & Marshall to win the 2009 title. Capkin set a CC tournament record with eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points.

Centennial Conference

Women’s golf 2014

“Kara McNulty ’14 had a tough first round and it was her senior year. Lauren Sobotka ’15 had a great first round and played in the number one spot the second day. I believe a player from Dickinson was in the lead with Lauren second and Kara third. I talked to both that night and Lauren handled the pressure of playing number one fabulously and finished second while Kara made a great come-from-behind individual victory. It was a great 1–2 finish to lead the team to victory.”

Coach Sue Konstalid, on the 2014 title. McNulty shot a career-low 77 on the final day to rally for her third-straight individual title. Konstalid has led the Bullets to seven conference titles since 2008, including the last six in a row.

Centennial Conference Golf

Men’s lacrosse 2015

“We hadn’t won it in a few years, and it was a little bit of a long time coming. Our kids had a vision before the season of winning the Centennial Conference title on a beautiful day at a sunny Muss. To do that, we would probably have to go undefeated in the conference to get home field, and we did. It was really exciting to see that vision come through for them.”

Coach Hank Janczyk, on the 11–10 win over Ursinus to win the 2015 title at home, under sunny skies on Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium. Janczyk has led the Orange and Blue to 15 CC crowns.

Field hockey and women’s lacrosse

“They’re all incredible in that it’s so exciting and so fulfilling for them to reach the goals that they’ve set and to see the fruits of their labor be materialized through a conference title. It gives you goosebumps to see their celebration and their joy. All of them have their own unique memory, but the commonality is it’s just the kids all achieving what they set out to go do.”

Coach Carol Daly Cantele ’83, who has led the Bullets to 15 conference titles (5 field hockey, 10 lacrosse).

Men’s and women’s swimming

“It has been a real privilege to have been a part of a number of Centennial Conference championship teams over the years at the College. Each one was uniquely different because it is always as much about the people and the journey to the championship meet, and each year, the people and journey are a little different. There have been exceptional swims, occasional heroic swims, and some lousy swims—but for the most part, good solid swims. Those are what win championship meets. For my part, I have always enjoyed watching a group of people work together to achieve a common goal. It has never been dull!”

Coach Mike Rawleigh P’14, who has guided the Bullets Men’s and women’s swimming to 28 conference titles (14 men, 14 women).

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

—Braden Snyder

Posted: Tue, 7 Feb 2017


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