Collegiate sports across the nation demand a certain amount of attention and passionate support that few other athletic categories can compete with. Need some examples? March Madness dominates network television in the spring. The College World Series adds a boost of fun to summer’s slowest days. College football takes the spotlight every fall, showcasing both energy and tradition. Thanks to James Madison University, Harrisonburg isn’t immune to the infectious excitement of college athletics. Featuring 17 men’s and women’s NCAA athletic programs, JMU sports bring can’t-miss competition to the Shenandoah Valley every year.
JMU Sports and What You Need to Know
A member of the CAA (Colonial Academic Alliance) conference, James Madison University offers exciting NCAA Division I competition across multiple sports. Tennis, football, field hockey, or volleyball: regardless of the sport, the JMU Dukes bring a high level of competition to the field, court, or track. Men’s programs include baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, and tennis. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
2016 has already brought a considerable amount of success to JMU sports. The women’s basketball team finished the 2015-16 season in first place in the CAA conference, and the softball team took first place in the CAA as well, finishing with an impressive 50-6 record overall. 2016 marked the second year in a row that the JMU softball team was crowned the National Club Softball Association National Champion!
In 2015, the Dukes football team finished second in the CAA, reaching the first round of the FCS playoffs. With the 2016 season quickly approaching, the Dukes plan to replicate and improve on 2015’s success. Former Dukes football stars have found success beyond the gridiron in Harrisonburg, too. Gary Clark, a wide receiver legend for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, played for the Dukes in the 1980s. Clark would later go on to win two Super Bowls with Washington. Arthur Moats, current linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was drafted out of JMU in 2010. According to the JMU sports website, there are five former Dukes on current NFL rosters!
On the pitch, James Madison alum C.J. Sapong represents the Dukes as a member of the Philadelphia Union, an MLS club. According to jmusports.com, Sapong has scored six goals and two assists so far this season, ranking third in scoring for the Union.
However, not every JMU sports success story spent time in a jersey. Lindsay Czarniak, the popular ESPN Sportscenter anchor, graduated from JMU in 2000.
JMU also features a roster of highly successful club sports teams. Since 1999, JMU club sports programs have been building an impressive resume of success. This includes multiple NIRSA Open National Championships for the both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, as well as national championships in field hockey, rugby lacrosse, and more. A full list of club sports championships can be found on the JMU website.
JMU Sports 2016
With a national championship already in the books, 2016 is gearing up to be another exciting season for the Dukes. Here are a few home games that you won’t want to miss:
Football: JMU vs. Rhode Island (Homecoming game). Oct. 29, 2016.
Women’s Basketball: JMU vs. Tennessee. Nov. 11, 2016.
Men’s Soccer: JMU vs. Lehigh (Season opener). Aug. 26, 2016.
Volleyball: JMU vs. North Carolina Central, Georgia State, Holy Cross, and Washington (JMU Invitational). Aug. 26-27, 2016.
For all things JMU sports, including rosters, schedules, standings, and tickets for all the school’s teams, visit the Dukes online.
Visiting Harrisonburg For a JMU Game? Stay At By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
Football season, volleyball season, soccer season – no matter the season that brings you to Harrisonburg, the best place to stay is By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages. Less than three miles away from James Madison University, our rooms are the perfect place to relax after the excitement of a Dukes game. Reserve one of our suites or cottages, and you’ll enjoy spacious accommodations, privacy, and great amenities. Queen-size beds, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, WiFi, and more – a stay with us is a guaranteed win! Download our free Shenandoah Valley vacation guide, and then contact us by calling (540) 801-0430 to book your stay with us today.