Randolph-Macon celebrates after cinching first-ever D3 title: 'We're so proud of them'

Randolph-Macon communuity celebrates after cinching D3 title: 'We're so proud of them'
Posted at 8:15 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 20:15:34-04

ASHLAND, Va. -- The Randolph-Macon College men’s basketball team had designs on a big season with talent and veteran leadership returning. Monday, seniors on the squad spent time in the campus store designing their national championship shirts.

“Excited to be back talking about putting national champions on the shirt. That’s for sure very fun,” said senior forward David Funderburg with a grin.

The Yellow Jackets secured the school’s first-ever Division III National Title in any sport on Saturday in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Their 75-45 win over Elmhurst University ties for the largest margin of victory in a men’s basketball championship game, regardless of division, RMC officials said.

At the beginning of the season, Funderburg was confident that this team could bring home a national championship, but once they returned to campus Sunday, he and his teammates had little knowledge of what to do next.

“Buzz [Anthony] and I were like, what do we do?!” Funderburg said with a laugh. “I went to his house, and he was like what do we do. And I was like, well, we’ve never been a national champion before; it’s kind of up to us!”

The Ashland campus buzzing with excitement Monday morning, the first day of classes since the team’s big win.

“Came to class this morning, and my professor was like, ‘crazy weekend, we won a national title!’ And everyone was like, ‘yeah it’s awesome!’” said sophomore Catherine Kagey, who was at the national title game.

Unlike bigger-name programs at larger schools, the Yellow Jackets on the floor know the other students well.

“It’s not like they’re strangers that just won the championship, these are our friends. We get to say my friend won the national championship, and I got to be there when it happened. That’s the sweet part about it,” said junior Lizzy Lawrence, who traveled to Indiana too.

Barclay DuPriest has worked at Randolph-Macon for 37 years. Campus officials said her personality is legendary, and Barclay might be one of the bigger RMC athletics fans around.

“We’re so proud of them,” Barclay said. “One of our old mantras used to be, ‘believe in the moment of connection,’ which I still believe in. These guys are so great because they know they have the connections. They know they have the facility behind them, they know their coaches, they know their fellow students.”

Barclay calls Randolph-Macon College the best small college in the world, and she said the 2021-22 men's basketball team exemplifies that point.

“It’s such a family here. This will put us on the map forever. We can say, ‘yes, Randolph-Macon College produced national champions,” she said before taking a deep breath and smiling. “Makes me want to cry. I’m excited!”

The RMC community gathered to celebrate Monday night at Crenshaw Gym.

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