FORT MYERS, Fla.- We have finally reached the top moment of the 2018-19 FSW Athletics year and what a year it was! We have counted down championships, and records, and firsts and today as we get to #1, we look back at arguably the most impressive streak for any school, at any level, in collegiate sports history. Our #1 moment is the Bucs' combined 57 game winning streak across their four sports.
1- December 11, 2018- The run for the Bucs began inauspiciously enough with an 89-51 win for the Women's Basketball team at home in Suncoast Credit Union Arena. There was no way to tell then, as folks were more worried about their Christmas shopping than FSW's record at the break, just what that seemingly meaningless win would be starting.
5- December 16, 2018- The Bucs Women's Basketball team went on to win twice more, unchallenged, before the break while the Men's Basketball team, ranked 6th in the country at the time, took back to back road games to close out the first half.
9- December 29, 2018- FSW's hoops squads returned home after the holiday layoff and each breezed to a pair of easy wins before the start of the new year.
21- January 23, 2019- As the calendar turned to January, conference play began for the FSW basketball teams as they both continued their domination of their Sunshine State competitors. Four weeks into the new year both the men's and women's teams found themselves untested in four conference tilts while sprinkling in victories a couple of non-conference tune-ups to stay sharp during their bye weeks.
31- January 27, 2019- With the rest of the country trying to thaw out from a bitterly cold winter, the FSW Baseball and Softball teams were ready to get their seasons going in late January. The Bucs Baseball team, coming into the season off of three straight losing campaigns, had far different expectations than the #3 Nationally ranked and perennial powerhouse FSW Softball squad. However, the two had similar results on opening weekend, getting dominating pitching and enough runs to back their arms, with baseball going 3-0 in a sweep of ASA Miami and softball going 5-0 in their opening tournament to make the streak 29. Add to that a pair of 100 point performances on the hardwood at Hillsborough and the 10-0 weekend for the Bucs pushed the streak past 30.
34- January 31, 2019- Bucs Baseball took a 1-0 pitcher's duel to close out their January schedule and FSW softball won a pair of 8-0 run rules to close theirs, each adding to their unbeaten starts in 2019.
38- February 3, 2019- Admittedly, few thought that the streak would continue too far into the month of February as FSW's Baseball team faced a murderer's row in their schedule, playing three straight games on the road against the two teams that played for the National Championship in 2018, #1 ranked Chipola and #2 ranked Walters State. The Bucs upset Walters 9-6 in their first game of the weekend, the first win over a ranked team in program history, but didn't stop there, taking down the defending National Champion Indians twice the next day to get out of the weekend unscathed. In Fort Myers, the Bucs Men's Basketball team continued their march through Suncoast Conference play, earning a 16 point win over State College of Florida in their first game as the NJCAA's #1 ranked team.
43- February 6, 2019- Two more wins for the steamrolling Bucs Softball team and another win for FSW's Baseball squad pushed the streak past 40, but there were some questions if it would survive the night of February 6th where both FSW Basketball teams were pushed to their limits before emerging with close wins on the road at Eastern Florida and Polk State.
52- February 10, 2019- The weekend brought more tests to the Bucs as softball took on perennial power and #14 Salt Lake and basketball faced conference road battles at St. Petersburg. Softball took care of their business, dismissing the four-time national runner-up Bruins in a 12-4 run rule before sweeping through the rest of the weekend 4-0. Men's Basketball came from behind to take down the Titans and Women's Basketball shook off a slow start to earn their 21st straight win while Baseball improved upon their already best start in program history with a home and home sweep of Indian River to push the streak past 50.
57- February 14, 2019- The streak continued as the FSW Women's Basketball team demolished Hillsborough 103-66 and the men won their 15th straight by a score of 107-66. Baseball scored three times in the ninth to hold up their end of the bargain and Softball picked up two more run rule wins to remain unbeaten on Valentine's Day.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and that the streak did one day later as the Bucs dropped an 8-6 decision on the baseball diamond for the school's first defeat in 64 days.
The streak finished as impressive as anything that has ever been done in college sports history. While official records aren't kept on this particular type of streaks, extensive research was unable to find anything close across any level of collegiate athletics.
The Bucs finished off an incredible year 154-24, the highest winning percentage (.865) of any NJCAA team in the country… by a large margin. The next highest for a school that had three or more sports was Florida Panhandle rival Chipola, who finished with an .800 mark.
Year five of FSW Athletics kicks off in exactly one month, on August 19th at Suncoast Credit Union Arena, when Bucs Volleyball debuts against Ave Maria at 6:00 PM. Admission to that game is free to the public.