In this week’s In the Paint blog, three LC seniors describe what it was like to end their career by grasping the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship.
#11, Senior, Sammi Goldsmith
Senior year had arrived, and it was time to set a goal. The empty banner in Turner gymnasium served as a daily reminder that we wanted to win an ODAC Championship, and it caught my eye after every single practice. We started and ended every single preseason workout under that banner, because the best way to motivate is to envision the ultimate goal. I asked my teammates to meet together under the banner one last time on the night before we left for the ODAC Tournament. They all came, we sat in a circle directly underneath the banner, and we talked. We talked for an hour about our journey as a team. As each person went around and said their piece, I felt unbelievably lucky. It was obvious that each person in the circle was fighting to win a championship for the person next to her. Winning happens when a group of people is determined to prepare and sacrifice for a common goal.
For my fellow seniors and I, a year on the banner meant so much more than winning, it meant leaving a legacy of hard work and persistence. My first three years ended with locker rooms full of tears and seniors wishing for more time in their jerseys. Although I wish we could have won sooner for those seniors before me, their legacies added fuel to the fire and pushed us closer to capturing the ODAC title. I learned the value of hard work, and that no sacrifice is ever too big if you are truly determined to reach a goal.
Coach Pyzik Smith came to Lynchburg with the goal of instilling a championship culture. Winning our first ever ODAC Championship this year was a stepping-stone for the program, and I am overwhelmed with pride to be a part of laying down the foundation. It was my goal to leave my mark, but simply being a part of this program has positively impacted my life and for that I am forever grateful.
#30, Senior, Chaney Forbush
It is hard to describe what it felt like when that final buzzer went off in the ODAC Championship game. I think I was also a little shocked that we actually did it and conquered our biggest goal. It feels amazing to know that all of the hard work and sacrifices that were made over the last four years finally paid off. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my basketball career than making history and getting to hold up the ODAC trophy with my fellow seniors as our teammates did the signature LCWB chant around us.
Happiness and satisfaction will always come to mind when I think about having won the ODAC Championship; it feels good to have finally done what we said we were going to do four years ago. It’s exciting to see how far LCWB has come in the past four years and I can’t wait to see how it will continue to grow and how new goals will be set to be conquered.
#34, Senior, Sarah Coon
It has been about 1,200 days since I committed to playing basketball at Lynchburg College; 1,200 days of dreaming of winning the ODAC Championship and cutting down a net. To be able to say that dream came true is an amazing feeling.
Fulfilling this dream is an extraordinary achievement in and of itself; however, accomplishing this dream — winning an ODAC Championship — with the group of people we did is what makes it a completely priceless and an incredible experience. I could not have imagined a better culmination of my basketball career with any better people by my side.
Throughout the four years of my collegiate career I have shared the court with a total of twenty-nine teammates, all of whom contributed to my memories of basketball at LC. Each team worked toward a goal. Each year we got better and pushed the program to new, uncharted territory. The last two years especially were no exception. Together, we fought through rainy mornings of preseason track workouts, countless weightlifting sessions, boot camps, and “Friday Fun Runs.” We showed our hard work in the beginning of the season by testing ourselves with the timed mile (after listening to “Eye of the Tiger,” of course) and the Manchester Run (a grueling series of 20 100-meter sprints).
On the court we triumphed in victories and learned from losses; we steadily climbed to the top of the regional and conference rankings. Together, we won an ODAC Championship. Outside of the gym, we chased waterfalls in Puerto Rico; bonded with alumni during Alumni Weekend; engaged in prank wars over winter break with the men’s team; won intramural volleyball championships; and explored the great outdoors on many different hikes. We grew together as a family, as a program, and as young women on and off the court. The memories made with my teammates are my fondest memories I have of my time at Lynchburg College. I would not have wanted to go through the years with any other people.
To all of the twenty-nine teammates, the managers, and the coaches; to the alumni and foundation of Lynchburg Basketball; to all members of the Lynchburg Basketball family; and to my classmates, roommates, and best friends: Chaney, Sammi, and Jaimie: Thank you for making my dream a reality, for allowing my fellow seniors and I to conquer an ODAC Championship; thank you for teaching me about myself and supporting me through my growth; and thank you for being my family.