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The Scarlet & Black

Family weekend brings wins, losses and parents to Grinnell

Simona Bambi ’19 moves the ball across the field. Contributed.


From Friday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Sept. 30, the Grinnell College campus filled with families visiting to celebrate Family Weekend. As a part of the weekend, families attended collegiate athletic events to show support for their favorite Pioneers. 

The men’s and women’s soccer teams claimed three victories. Lake Forest College on Saturday defeated the men’s soccer team by 3-1, while the women’s team won 1-0.

On Sunday, both teams stood their ground, defeating Lawrence University with wins of 7-3 and 2-0, respectively. The men’s team registered 43 shots in the game against Lawrence — just two shy of the school record of 45 against Eureka College in 2010 — and the women’s team maintained a perfect record in the Midwest Conference, winning both of their two matches so far.

“It is a thing of comfort,” said Henry Cladouhos ’22, a wing forward for the men’s soccer team, when asked about having his family watch him from the sidelines throughout the weekend.

“Back in Seattle, my hometown, they would always come to my games — no matter how I played, I felt like I played well, I knew that they believe in me as a soccer player and as a human being … When I am playing in front of them, I feel better when I play well, as I know that they are there, watching me.” 

The men’s soccer team in a huddle during Family Weekend. Contributed.


Meanwhile, the men’s football team faced Ripon College on Saturday and were defeated 53-7.  

The women’s golf team continued to keep top form, beating William Penn University 5-0 in a match play event Saturday at the Grinnell College Golf Course.

All of the players managed to leave the course with a win, preparing them for the Midwest Conference in Rockford, Illinois, this upcoming Friday.

Currently, their performance has placed them at eighth place in the national Division III rankings. 

Other teams spent their weekends participating in conference and tournament matches away from Grinnell. 

The men’s golf team participated in the Wartburg College Invite at Waverly, Iowa, ranking seventh out of the seven participating teams.  

The men’s tennis team traveled to St. Peter, Minnesota, competing in the ITA Midwest Regional and 2018 Midwest Open over three days, with Ben Cobin ’20 and Bowen Mince ’22 advancing to the quarterfinals of the ITA doubles tournament.  

The women’s tennis team played against Cornell College and Coe College on Sunday, defeating them 6-3 and 7-2, respectively. These two most recent victories now elevate their season win rate to 75 percent. 

The men’s and women’s cross country teams also spent their Saturday at the Wartburg College Invite, placing seventh and third, respectively, out of 19 participating teams.  

The football fell to Ripon College last Saturday. Contributed.


The remote location of these athletic competitions did not deter family members from showing up to support their student-athletes, as shown by the father of Melanie Holst ’22, a runner on the women’s cross country team. Her father came from Sacramento, California to watch her run.

“[F]or many college sports, there are not that many parents and spectators, unlike in high school. I  is fun to have people cheering you on during the race; it becomes different from the other races,” said Holst.

For some, including Holst and Cladouhos, their love for their sport and their continued athletic pursuit in college also stem from their families.

“I think [cross country] was a way for my dad and I to bond while I was growing up,” Holst said. “He was my coach a lot of the times, in soccer, softball and lacrosse … So, [him] watching me compete has been a special connection that we have always had.”

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