The North Central College Athletics Department hosted its ninth annual Huddle on Sept. 19 inside the revamped Gregory Arena, with President Troy Hammond addressing more than 700 student-athletes, coaches and faculty mentors.
The Huddle is North Central College’s annual opportunity for student-athletes to “formally gather to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year,” said master of ceremonies and assistant vice president for external affairs Jim Godo ’93.
In past years, the Huddle was held in the spacious Residence Hall/Recreation Center, but this year was held in the new and improved Gregory Arena. Earlier this week, final touches of the bleacher installation were completed, a project that added 1,320 seats that surround the basketball court.
“We wanted to showcase the new Gregory Arena,” said assistant director of athletics Sue Kane ’02, “and bring everyone together in a more intimate space.”
The Cardinal Athletic Band, directed by Langston Hemenway and now 75 members strong, and the Spirit Squads, which are headed to the Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships in April 2014, provided some entertainment. A highlight video, produced by Naperville Community Television, featured each of the 22 Cardinal athletic teams.
Finally, President Hammond spoke to the student-athletes and staff about the importance of the athletic teams at North Central.
“There is an incredible energy and spirit on this campus and you all are a big part of that,” said Hammond.
Hammond also highlighted qualities that are brought out by athletics, including teamwork, competition, pride and commitment, and what can be learned from participating in Division III sports.
“You learn to excel not only on your team, but in the classroom and in life,” said Hammond. “I look forward to seeing all of our teams compete this academic year.”