By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 7, 2003 General Dunker had a blast.
On Thursday night, October 30, Down in the Bunker at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC), basketball team mascot General Dunker (aka Jeff Jefferson, a Liberty High School grad) had a ball cavorting before more than 1,700 people as the local two-year college introduced its mens and womens 2003-2004 basketball teams.
The rhino-like mascot was left over from the Mike McGuire hoops era.
As fans hooted and hollered in Paul Gerry Fieldhouse during the annual kickoff event, the crowd was treated to a special birthday celebration in recognition of SCCCs 40th anniversary.
In the hotshot competition, which paired up a player from the Generals and one of the Lady Generals on the same squad, Ellis Coleman from New Paltz High School and Livingston Manor graduate Nicole Argent walked off the court as the winners.
Sophomore forward Joseph McLeod of Pacific High School won the slam dunk contest.
The evening even featured a Trekkie dressed up as a vampire who just missed sinking a backwards shot through the rim.
People came out to see the guys dunk and watch our fantastic cheerleading squad, said Christopher DePew, who is the SCCC Athletic Director and mens basketball coach.
The newly revamped and expanded cheerleading program is coached by Jesyca Murphy and features four local high school grads.
It was a good way to kickoff the season, DePew added.
The Generals first game of the 2003-2004 hoops season is scheduled for Sunday, November 9 at Lehigh Carbon Community College.
Their first home game is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18 against Ulster County Community College at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
The SCCC Lady Generals, under the leadership of third-year coach Kyle Walter, take to the floor for the first time this season in an away game on Saturday, November 15 when they square off with Monroe College.
Their first home game will tip-off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 11. The Lady Generals will face rival Orange County Community College that evening.