"Front & Center" w/ Candace Rushing
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
First and foremost, thank you to all who have kept up with my blogs. I am so grateful that this has become a tool for friends, fans, and families to use when you have not been able to attend the home games and especially when we have had road weekends. Sadly, this is my last blog for the year as our last game was this past Sunday in Brookings, South Dakota.

Before I begin to recap the weekend, let me briefly recap the season. From the beginning to the end, these past three months have been eventful. After all of the obstacles thrown our way, we have managed to remain a cohesive group of friends, sisters rather, through it all. I never expected a season to be so unpredictable. A new coach, a short pre-season, Division III rules, Division I expectations, injuries, unprepared hosts, close games, challenges, and triumphs have all made this a season I will never forget.

This season has been especially significant for me due to the fact that I came in with the original graduating class- Catie Depew and Emily McManus. Kortney Causey and Erika Rautio have their own special stories, one playing her fifth year and the other transferring from Louisiana Tech. Each has played an important part in the success of this program throughout her time here at Centenary. Not only have they made an impact on the soccer program, but they have also left an unforgettable mark on my life. Speaking for more than myself, these four will truly be missed. This past weekend marked their very last games as Centenary athletes.

Friday in Fargo, North Dakota and Sunday in Brookings, South Dakota were both full of difficulty. Not only did the cold and the wind get the best of us, but so did the other teams. There is not much to say about the Friday game except that we did not walk on the field ready to play. From the beginning to the end, North Dakota State wanted to win more.

Sunday started out differently. We opened up the game playing very well, the best we have all season. We were finding feet, moving together, and communicating throughout the entire first half, going into halftime tied 1-1. Sophomore Allie Cortes was able to find the back of the net, deflecting Laura Immenschuh's shot for our only goal of the game. Starting the second half, we fell apart and South Dakota State took advantage of it, walking off the field with an easy win. Although we were disappointed, we were pleased with our effort. This proved to be a memorable game for our seniors and for the rest of us playing in our last Division I game ever.

For a very long time, I will hold grudges about Centenary's decision to become a Division III school for obvious reasons. I was recruited as a Division I player and came to Centenary expecting to graduate as a Division I athlete. A big reason why I will never forget this season is because it was my last season as a Division I soccer player. This season has been terribly trying for our program. From being ridiculed and made fun of, to being insulted by players on the field about moving to Division III, we have been through it all. After this season, however I am ready to win again.

For the first time, I am looking forward to next season. After tearing my ACL last year and red-shirting, I was apprehensive about staying a fifth year and playing my last year of eligibility. When the Division III decision was finalized, I had already decided to stay a fifth year and could not take it back unless I did not want to play. Through this season, however I have realized that athletes are athletes no matter what level we play. College sports are a privilege, regardless of your school's affiliation. I am proud to be a college athlete at Centenary and will continue to be proud up until the very last day as a Division I school and into the very first day as a Division III school.

Thanks again friends, fans, and families, for continuously reading and supporting Centenary soccer. As mentioned above, I will be back next season, ready to play in our new conference. Please stay updated with other Centenary sports throughout the year here at gocentenary.com.

Although last week's blog mentioned two of the last teammates I had to introduce, one fashionably late freshman decided she wanted to grace you all with her presence. Meet one of the most willing, kind, and giving people I have ever encountered: Destiny Skinner.

Destiny Skinner- Freshman/Haughton, Louisiana

CR: You find yourself daydreaming about...
DS: Caramel apples!

CR: If you could sing a duet with any musician, who would it be?
DS: Zach Efron

CR: If you could be sisters with anyone on the team, who would it be?
DS: Payden

CR: Favorite quote?
DS: "Life's like ice cream, enjoy it before it's gone."

CR: Laughing is...
DS: A must

CR: Favorite professional team?
DS: Manchester United

CR: A TV show you can't miss?
DS: The Kardashians

CR: Something you fear most in life...
DS: Being alone.

CR: If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
DS: David Beckham

CR: You daydream a lot about...
DS: The fabulous future that is to come

CR: If you could be the star in any musical, what would it be?
DS: Hairspray

CR: If you were any animal, what would you be and why?
DS: A bird. So I can fly anywhere.

CR: When you need to laugh the hardest, you turn to...
DS: My mom

CR: Centenary soccer is...
DS: Exhausting

CR: You are most happy when...
DS: I am wrapped up in blankets watching movies with friends.

- Candace Rushing