By Jensyn Hartzell
According to the Washington College Athletics page, WC has been participating in athletics since the 19th century.
The athletic mascot is Gus the Goose. All student-athletes at WC sport the school’s logo, which is a goose flying above George’s Washington’s own signature.
Although the WC mascot is a goose, athletes are not known as “geese.” WC athletes are formally known as Shoremen and Shorewomen due to the College’s location on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
WC student-athletes are also commonly called “the flock” or “goose nation” by other students on campus.
“I love when Gus attends our games, he really does get the crowd and student section more excited,” senior WC men’s basketball player Cole Storm said. “It’s also funny to see a giant goose walking around.”
Also according to the WC Athletic’s webpage, the first teams for the College were the baseball (1871) and men’s basketball teams (1912), even though WC is most well known for their men’s lacrosse team.
The WC Athletics web page also shows that the first women’s varsity sports were rowing, tennis, and volleyball; all inducted around the 1970s.
The WC men’s lacrosse team has brought many traditions to the College though, like War on the Shore, the long-awaited lacrosse game every year versus Salisbury University. These two teams are usually ranked extremely high in Division III collegiate lacrosse.
WC men’s lacrosse was ranked 20th in the US in 2018, according to the WC Athletics webpage.
Also according to the WC Athletics webpage, the winner of the game receives the Charles B. Clark Cup award. Charles B. Clark coached men’s lacrosse at both Washington and Salisbury.
“The War on the Shore was a big reason why I came to play lacrosse at Washington,” freshman WC men’s lacrosse player Grant Thomas said. “It’s really well-known in the lacrosse world and such an honor to win.”
“All athletes go to War on the Shore to support the lacrosse team, it’s one of my favorite days of the school year,” said senior WC women’s volleyball player Laura Cochrane.
According to statistics from the WC Athletics webpage, the WC men’s lacrosse team has been to the NCAA Division III Championship game eight times since the team was created in 1929, making them one of the most successful teams at WC.
Another long-standing tradition for WC athletes is ringing the McLain Victory Bell outside of the Cain Athletic Center on campus after a winning game.
According to the Washington College Athletics page, the Victory Bell was made for former College President Joseph H. McLain, who was known as the College’s “most fervent sports fan.” After wins, players on the team — usually the seniors — ring the bell, which can be heard from any part of campus.
“Some of my favorite memories are ringing the bell after wins, the entire team runs out from the gym to do it,” said former WC women’s volleyball player Maggie Pietrucha. “And even when I wasn’t in season, I could hear from my dorm room and it would always make me smile.”
Featured Photo caption: The McLain Victory Bell, found outside the Cain Gymnasium at Washington College. Photo by Marah Vain Callahan.