Members of the ETBU 1998 & 1999 National Christian Collegiate Athletic Associaiton National soccer championship team held a reunion at homecoming. Pictured left to right: (front row) Ken Morris, Trey Carlile, Clint Carter, Ike Awagu, and Buddy Ogletree. (Back row) Antonio Encarnacion, Justin Cooley, Jonathan Cardenas, Cody Carter, Stu Morrow, Gonzalo Gonzales, and Head Coach Jose Alonzo. Photo by Jason Soles.
There are many reasons people fall in love with East Texas Baptist University. One would only have to look at the many different groups who come back for homecoming to learn why. Last year, alumni of the signing group, Innerview came back and performed the national anthem at the Homecoming football game.
This year along with the different class reunions, a group of accomplished student athletes reconnected on the Hill to celebrate the 15th anniversary of ETBU’s first athletic national championship.
In 1998, Tiger Soccer coach Jose Alonzo, led his team to win the National Christian Collegiate
Athletic National Soccer championship. One year later, with many members of the ’98 team back to put on the blue and gold Tiger uniform, they won it all again.
Members of the back-to back championship teams gathered Saturday afternoon during the 2014 Homecoming weekend in the Phillips Great Room to visit and recall the two championship seasons. Members of the national championship teams were also recognized at the Tiger soccer match played that afternoon vs. Ozarks as well as the Tiger football game vs. Howard Payne that evening.
Two members who were on the team were brothers, Clint and Cody Carter, from Whitehouse, came to play for the Tigers. Clint, the oldest, came first, and then was followed by his younger brother. Both Clint and Cody are medical doctors today.
“We always played together growing up since we are only a year apart,” said Cody. “But still, it was a blessing to play collegiate soccer with my brother at ETBU.”
When asked what it was like to play for Coach Alonzo Clint shared, “Coach was good at recruiting guys that were motivated to want to win and work hard.”
“Coach Alonzo was such a laid back guy, shared Cody. “All my memories of him getting mad at our play on the field really stand out because the episodes were few and far between.”
“He was very good at putting us together on the field at the right place and the right time. It was an honor to play for him,” concluded Clint.
Both had an enjoyable experiences seeing past teammates and visiting Coach Alonzo. “It was fun watching the videos and seeing the pictures back when were skinnier and had hair,” laughed Clint.
(ETBU Director of Admissions Jason Soles contributed to this Tiger Pride posting)