Welcome back, everybody! I’m this year’s Sports Editor. What you’re about to read is a new weekly column where I’ll talk about the latest happenings with Emory, Atlanta and national sports stories and will be discussing my thoughts and disclosing my opinions on sports topics.

We’re about a week removed from the start of the new school year, and I can already tell it’s going to be a great semester and year as well. Personally, I’m really looking forward to exploring the new Emory Student Center (ESC), which includes the DUC, I mean Dobbs Common Table (that’s going to take some time to get used to), a great year at the Wheel and what’s to come from Emory’s sports teams.

If you didn’t know by now, Emory’s athletic programs are some of the very best in not only Division III but the entire NCAA. Let’s recount the accomplishments racked up by Emory teams and athletes last year: the women’s swimming and diving team won their 10th consecutive NCAA Division III Championship; Jonathan Jemison (19C) of the men’s tennis team and junior Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico won the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Singles Championships, respectively; the softball team finished as runner-ups at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship; and Dilys Osei (19C) won the 400m hurdles in the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships by 0.4 seconds. Did I say that all happened last year? I meant last semester.

So yeah, Emory has great athletes, teams and coaches. As fans, we should expect the Eagles to continue to dominate the competition en route to presumably several University Athletic Association (UAA) and NCAA championships. In most sports, at least in the fall, opponents are looking up at Emory’s teams, who find themselves near or at the top of many preseason rankings.

National rankings are clearly confident in the Eagles as well. The defending national champion volleyball team is rankedNo. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll that was released on Aug. 14. The men’s and women’s cross country teams are both ranked in the top 30 in the nation in addition to holding the No. 1 and No. 2 rank in the South/Southeast region for the women and men, respectively. In addition, the Emory women’s golf team is beginning its inaugural season this fall, led by Head Coach Katie Futcher

As students at Emory, we should be looking forward to the new ESC, new majors and Blue Donkey Coffee in Cox Hall. As Eagles, we should be ecstatic for the upcoming athletic year. Every one of Emory’s 19 sports teams are set to be extremely competitive in the UAA, and some are inevitably going to find themselves competing for an NCAA title. 

Emory is known as a premier academic institution with exceptional faculty and dedicated students. What flies under the radar is the excellence of our sports teams, who feature some of the most dedicated student-athletes in the country. While  we desperately try to crack the top-20 in the national university rankings, we can be sure our athletic teams will bring home banners year after year. So let’s give credit where credit is due and finally recognize Emory’s amazing athletic program.