It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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It’s that time of year again.

It’s time for everyone to complain about how early holiday decorations are popping up all over the city. At least “Jingle Bells” hasn’t started playing in every store yet.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is the classic Andy Williams song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

While it may be a little early to start humming the jingles on a loop in your sleep, right now is the most wonderful time of the year for Point Park sports.

It’s the time of year when the winter and fall sports seasons overlap.

Basketball is just starting up and soccer, volleyball and cross country are winding down.

We got our first look at both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at home last Friday. The men dropped a 95-90 contest to the No. 17 ranked Northwestern Ohio Racers.

The women picked up their first win of the season against the Racers 64-55. Both the men and the women open conference play Nov. 18 at West Virginia Tech.

Basketball is here.

At the same time, we are in the middle of a playoff run for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams.

The women’s team earned a first-round bye after finishing second in the conference this year.

They host the number three seed Rio Grande (Oh.) Thursday night at Highmark Stadium.

The men had a dominating 5-0 win over Cincinnati Christian in the quarterfinals Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. Sophomore Alan Ramos scored four goals in the first half alone to bring his season goal total to 11.

With the win, the men advance to face the number two seed West Virginia Tech Thursday on the road. The Golden Bears own a 15-1 overall record and defeated Point Park at Highmark Stadium in the regular season 2-0.

It’s definitely an exciting time on the Point Park sports calendar. The most exciting event over the past week did not happen on a soccer field or court. It happened at the Rio Grande cross country course.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams claimed conference titles Saturday at the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) Cross Country Championships.

They’re going to nationals.

First year head coach Kelly Parsley, who received KIAC Coach of the Year honors, is taking his runners to Charlotte, N.C. Nov. 21 for the national championship meet.

Six of the top seven runners on the men’s side are freshmen. Six of the top seven women are underclassmen. Sophomore Katie Guarnaccia was the women’s KIAC individual champion and freshman Brian Moore was the men’s individual champion.

Both received runner of the year honors and Moore also received the KIAC Newcomer of the Year award. In the KIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, neither team was selected to finish first. The women were chosen to finish second and the men were picked to finish fourth. They proved people wrong and now, they’re going to nationals.

The Point Park cross country program established itself as a top program in the KIAC this past weekend and will be for the years to come. They’re all smiles as they head to Charlotte.

This is a fun time of year, isn’t it? Fresh starts, playoff runs and championships.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.