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Men’s basketball team displays team spirit during impromptu retreat

Jan 7, 2020
by Jayda Barnes, '19

When Hurricane Dorian hit Florida at the beginning of the semester, Flagler men’s basketball team packed their bags for the experience of a lifetime. From Sept. 1-6, the team spent their hurricane break in Rome, Ga., making the most of their unexpected trip together.

Men's basketball team crowded around Coach Warner.

Photo by Saint Leo University Athletics Communications.

With the hurricane veering toward St. Augustine, the players struggled to determine where they would seek safety, particularly the many international and out-of-state students. In order to keep the team together and safe, Chad Warner, head men’s basketball coach, reached out to a friend in north Georgia about potential refuge. He assured parents that their players would be best off together and piled the team into a van on the road to Rome.

“We’re going to make this as much of an adventure as we can,” determined Warner.

When word got around that the team was on the way, supporters emerged to offer food and comfort upon their arrival. The team then made the experience into an athletic retreat. They slept on the floor of a farmhouse gym, shared stories around campfires and soaked in a cave spring after workouts, in lieu of ice tubs. Warner even motivated the team to push their van down the road with an invented scenario that it had broken down.

Support for the team only grew as they stayed in the area. Berry College, a private institution in the area, invited the team to work out in their gym and offered them meals for a few days. Upon their return to St. Augustine, Jersey Mike’s Subs donated food for the road.

When the team returned to Flagler, they brought with them a bond stronger than ever. They had tackled a hurricane, making them ready for whatever the season threw at them.

The Saints will take on PBC squad UNC Pembroke this Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Come help cheer on the team, as most students will not yet be back on campus from the holiday break. 

For more information about Flagler College Men’s Basketball, visit their athletics page here.

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