To the Editor:
A national collegiate championship is a rare honor, and we in North Carolina are blessed occasionally to enjoy said honor. We most recently applauded UNC’s national basketball championship and anticipate Duke achieving said applause this time around, while our neighbors south of the border hope Clemson repeats in football. On Nov.7 , I was fascinated to read that our St. Andrews Equestrian Western Team was a two-time national champion, had over the weekend won the regional conducted right here in Laurinburg, and was training in the hope of winning the national championship for the third year in a row.
I am stunned that there is so little publicity attending such an achievement.
Because so few colleges and universities support equestrian teams, there is only one level of equestrian competition and not the several divisions of play to which we are accustomed in other collegiate sports. Thus the St. Andrews athletes must compete against everyone, and it is remarkable to realize that in our small town we have athletes who consider their competitors from NC State or Ohio State, for instance, as simple fodder to be chewed up and spat out. We should be reading profiles of the stars of this team on a semi-regular basis, and the coaches should be almost as well-known as family. Certainly we should have repeated advance notice of competitions held right here at the St. Andrews Equestrian Center.
Earlier in my career, I was involved with both undergraduate baseball and softball teams going to NAIA as well as NCAA Division II College World Series, and I know what a significant moment this was for the athletes playing on the teams, for the college population in general, and for the larger community. With the St. Andrews equestrian team, we not only have athletes going to the national competitions, we have them winning national championships. We should be honoring them and their achievements loudly.
I write to urge greater coverage in your paper of this outstanding local athletic program. Thanking you for tour attention, I remain
Malcolm C. “Mac” Doubles