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  • Brendan Donoghue

Coastal Carolina athletes reflect on extended road trips caused by Hurricane Florence

For the entire Coastal Carolina community, the past month has been a whirlwind. With Hurricane Florence hitting the Carolina coast, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an evacuation order and both students and faculty of the Coastal Carolina community left campus for nearly three full weeks.

With some students and faculty members returning home and others evacuating to nearby areas, members of our beloved Chanticleer athletic teams still had games to play and practices to grind through.

Lauren Dabner, a senior from Christchurch, New Zealand and defender for the Coastal Carolina women’s soccer team, talked about her time away from campus and balancing everything going on amidst Hurricane Florence.

“Well, right when we had to leave we headed down to Georgia and wound up staying there for five days,” Dabner said. "We were supposed to play Little Rock at Coastal, but instead they wound up coming to Georgia for our game so that was helpful.”

Once the team finished their stay in Georgia, the team traveled to Alabama.

“We had a few games scheduled to be played in Alabama anyway so we got those games in and wound up staying in multiple hotels throughout the state,” said Dabner.

The Coastal Carolina football team had a jam-packed first week of the near-three-week weather break. Coastal’s home opener against UAB ended just before 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sep. 8 and not even 48 hours later, the team had found out that not only had their game against Campbell was moved to Wednesday, Sep. 12 but that they also had to travel to Buies Creek, NC to play the Camels. The game was originally scheduled for the evening of Saturday, Sep. 15 here at Brooks Stadium. However, Florence had forced the team to make other plans.

Senior quarterback Kilton Anderson talked about the evacuation process and about how the team has handled the past three weeks.

“When we found out that we had to evacuate, we bused up to Campbell to get that game in,” Anderson said. “Following the Campbell game, we took an eight-hour bus ride to St. Augustine, Florida where we stayed for a while to practice. Eventually, we played University of Louisiana-Lafayette and following that game we flew back to Myrtle Beach. We have been staying at the Sheraton in Myrtle Beach and practicing at Myrtle Beach High School until campus reopened.”

Anderson opened up about the experience and the adversity that everyone faced.

“Obviously it has not been ideal,” said Anderson. “However, the team has done a great job looking at the bigger picture. We knew that once campus reopened and everyone was back that things would get back to normal.”

Dabner also opened up about how her and the team handled the 20-day road trip.

“It has been difficult since we have been on the road for a while but the longer it lasts, the easier it gets,” said Dabner. “One of the more difficult things is that we do have coaches and players who are from the area and are concerned for the safety of their families and the damages to their property, so they have to be in contact with their families a lot which leads to some anxiety, but we are making the most of it.”

Anderson shared his thanks and appreciation for those who continued support the team during their ordeal and for being able to remain safe during the long break.

“I am thankful to God for the opportunity to get out of harm’s way,” said Anderson. “Obviously, there were people in the Coastal community that weren’t as lucky. And there still are people that are suffering. I hope we can help those who need it but I am very thankful to be have remained safe through it all.”

Coastal Carolina football returned to the field this weekend as they took on Louisiana-Monroe at Brooks Stadium. The Chants fell to the Warhawks 45-20.

As for the women’s soccer team, the team has gone 6-2 since their 3-0 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 9. And while senior night was held on Sunday, Oct. 7, the team will make up their match against Arkansas State that was originally scheduled for Sept. 16.

The rescheduled date is Thursday, Oct. 25 and the game is set to kickoff at 2 p.m.

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