Sawyer Strelnieks – staff writer
This past weekend was an action-packed couple of days for Dordt. Campus was hopping with friends and family enjoying each other’s company. Defender Days was filled with sporting events and fellowship. Many alumni came back to visit campus and catch up with old classmates.
Families drove to Dordt for Defender Days from all over. Defender Days is an opportunity for families and graduates to see how their sons, daughters and friends are adjusting to life in Northwest Iowa. For some, it was the first time parents had seen their children since they had said goodbye at the beginning of the school year in August.
“For first-time parents like us, it’s really cool getting to know what goes on at Dordt a bit,” said Colleen Vanderschee, who was visiting her son, Spencer, from Canada. “It gives you a good sense of the community here.”
The weekend was packed with enough events that it was not physically possible to attend all of them. Even if parents didn’t come for the sports games, there were still plenty of events to attend. Although Defender Days seems to be very sport-oriented, the weekend had something for everyone. Here’s a recap of some of the other events that went on this past weekend:
Friday, parents arrived on campus and were able to attend classes with their children. There was a Small Music Festival concert, the Goheen Gallup cross country race, a men’s volleyball game, the Fall Music Festival band and choir concert and a Blades hockey game.
The Small and Fall Music Festivals were quite successful, with a sizable crowd that showed an ecstatic response to the music the students performed.
“It was good to finally perform in front of a live crowd and hear their reactions to our performance after months of practicing,” freshman Selena Munson said.
Saturday was a full day of sporting events, with multiple alumni games in additional to regularly scheduled games. Although it was dreary outside, Dordt fans were not deterred from supporting the teams who played through the weather.
In a hard-fought victory, the football team won against Hastings Saturday afternoon. The Defenders were down for most of the game, but pulled out a victory in double overtime.
Later Saturday afternoon, the Dordt Blades took on Augustana. Down 3-5 in the third period, the Blades scored three unanswered goals, giving them the lead of 6-5 and their first victory of the season. Fans called the game a “legendary comeback that they wouldn’t forget” as they walked out of the arena.
“It was nice getting to see the coaches and getting to know the people interacting with your kid,” said alum Lenard Vanderschee.
Other events included the Saturday showings of the Fall mainstage “A Wrinkle in Time,” as well as an organ recital of students and faculty members on Saturday morning. Finally, a worship service and CD release party for the Dordt summer worship band, New City, was followed by an ice cream social in the evening.
Every year, Defender Days does its best to give families a time to peek into their students’ lives and see what they’re up to while at school. And this year, after these busy few days, most parents and visiting alumni walked away pleased by what they found.