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The Carthage College spirit team reveals Ember, the new Firebirds mascot, during Homecoming Weeke...

Competing in one of the strongest NCAA Division III conferences provides a first-class test that Carthage athletic teams frequently ace. Need proof? Just look at the shiny new hardware in our trophy case.

“I’d be shaking in my boots if the team I was up against was called the Firebirds.”
— Grace Gattorna ’22

At Carthage, we’re firm believers that the best education combines all of your passions — not just the academic ones. About 40 percent of our students compete in 28 different sports: 14 for women, 13 for men, and coed esports.

Firebirds don’t settle for participation ribbons, either. In 2021 and 2022, the men’s volleyball team cemented its place as a perennial power, winning back-to-back national championships. Over the years, individual student-athletes from multiple Carthage sports have also brought home 19 NCAA titles.


A Carthage football player stands on Art Keller Field during the Homecoming football game, Oct. 1...

“I chose Carthage because I had the opportunity to get large-school experiences at a small school where the professors can get to know me personally, as well as the opportunity to continue playing football at the next level.”
— Clayton Markech ’24, Football

“I chose Carthage because I am able to continue my passion for playing highly competitive soccer and obtain two degrees in fields that I am interested in.
Also, as a Chicagoland native, Carthage is a perfect distance away from home.”
— Patrick D’Alessandro, Men’s Soccer

We Are Firebirds

More than a team name, “Firebirds” represents a unifying Carthage spirit. The quest for knowledge has burned continuously at the College for more than 175 years.

A legendary creature made of living fire or light, the firebird appears most prominently in Slavic folk tales. Its mythological ancestors, from the Greek phoenix to the Chinese fenghuang, can be traced back thousands of years.

The name and imagery evoke words like:

“The image we want to portray, as a program, is that we will always fight,” said Brady Lindsley ’95, head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. “To me, that’s exactly what a Firebird is: rising from the ashes, unable to be held down.”

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FAQs about Carthage Athletics

“Not only do I get to play a game that I love, but I also get to play with people who I consider to be my close friends.”
— Nadia Musaitef ’25, Esports

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VIDEO: Majestic and powerful…