Thursday, December 23, 2010

The World's Most Famous Arena?

By Lauren Biggers
St. John's/St. Francis
December 20 & 21, 2010

Escorting Will Reigel and Nik Cochran back to the locker room, after climbing 17,000 stairs to the radio booth, after Davidson defeated St. Francis, 76-69, I ask them what they have been doing since they arrived in New York.

Just staying around the hotel. Sleeping. I watched three movies yesterday. I think some of the guys went out and walked around a little. You?

I went to Jimmy Fallon yesterday.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the difference between a working trip and a non-working one.

Last year after six months of planning, I missed this trip due to snowstorm. So you better believe, it wasn’t going to happen again. THIS travel party arrived on Friday.

We spent the first few days catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and exploring the city that really doesn’t ever sleep. If you have seen New York at Christmas (and I hadn’t), you know how much there is to see. And if you haven’t, well then, put it on your bucket list.

It’s worth it. And why it is a little too easy to forget that we were actually in town to play some basketball games. So you’ll excuse my sister when she accused the Wildcats of ballroom dancing in the upper room of the Hotel Affinia. “UM, that’s a walk through,” corrects AT Ray Beltz and former ‘Cat Chris Clunie. Oh snap.

But that’s what was so great about this trip. The location was perfect. So many friends and family around. The City has never looked better. The Arena is historic. And the games, not just a side dish, but for yours truly, this trip was about so much more.

Captain Morgan Clark, former assistant director of marketing and current D.C. resident, flew in Friday, complete with five-day, color-coded itinerary, produced on Excel and aptly titled NYC Davidsonapalooza. We spent the first two days traipsing around the city sans other Davidsonites, until meeting SID Marc Gignac and party for shepherd’s pie Sunday, after walking back from Brooklyn by way of the Manhattan bridge (and through the Lincoln Tunnel... obligatory Elf reference).

On Monday, our travel party expanded again when former field hockey assistant coach and current England resident Becky Van Zee arrived, and yet again when after another day playing in the City (and ultimate tourist on the 30 Rock tour, where I got all the SNL trivia correct), we met Andrew LOVEdale (!!!!!) and Director of Alumni Relations Peter Wagner (! ... kidding!) at the pre-game gathering. This trip! Just! Keeps! Getting! Better!

Eventually, I made my way over to the Garden, self-billed and widely debated as the World’s Most Famous Arena. Since it was (and probably, is) obvious that my expectations for this trip were off the charts, I was warned by former SID assistant and current St. John’s GA Will Bryan (MIA because of illness. Sad face.) not to expect too much from the Garden. Don’t tell him I said so, but he was right.

The only really nice thing about the Garden is the video boards, which to be honest, aren’t even as nice as the ones at the Bobcats’ Arena. (How do you like us now, Raymond?) The seats are purple and teal, though I never got around to asking why, and the stats monitors are impossible to read. (We’re shooting 17%?! No, that’s 37. Oh, well, that’s better.) But it is charming.

I didn’t make any notes on the first half of St. John’s-Davidson because I didn’t have a pen. In fact, I didn’t have anything except my blackberry. Which I used to snap some pictures instead. Sorry, boss. I couldn’t shake the tourist act. Despite making a friend on press row (Here, you can have this program. You’ll look busy.), I relocated by Gignac and the Davidson bench for the second half. (All the better for overhearing refs. And to get on TV. Kidding?)

The second half played out much like the first: Close. BMcK made three huge treys in a row, the second of which tied the game for the fifth time, and the third of which prompted the woman beside me to ask, “Does McKillop ever miss a three?”

Neither team could shake the other, but the Johnnies built their largest lead, 51-46 with 8:18 to go on a pair of Justin Brownlee free throws. JP Koolman hit a three of his own and converted the four-point play to cut it to one with just over six to play. Jake Cohen took a nasty fall, got up bleeding and made a dramatic exit (“that was really gross in HD”), and BMcK’s fifth three-ball of the game knotted the score for the eighth time, 55-all.

A jumper from Paris Horne and two freebies by Justin Burrell was all the scoring St. John’s would get over the next five minutes, but Bootz’ layup at 5:15 was all the ‘Cats would get at all. The WL, stranded in Chicago and forced to watch the Bears on MNF, needed an update. With 16.8 seconds left. Brendan comes off a screen, gets the ball from JP at the top of the key, gets a good look... in-and-out. He misses. Johnnies win, 60-57.

A missed opportunity makes for a subdued post game, but the Wildcats had about eight hours to mourn it before focusing their attention on St. Francis. And that ballroom dancing. Me? Well, there was shopping at FAO Schwartz (look, a Real! Life! Toy! Soldier!) and Jimmy Fallon... See you in a few boys, I’m on vacation.

Trying to stick to THE ITINERARY and having the early game meant nearly running 20 blocks back to the hotel for a quick change before a business dinner with Captain Morgan, the Big Cat and lawyer-in-waiting Molly M. to discuss Access 2 Success (Andrew’s charity to bring his philosophy of faith, sports and education to Nigeria and beyond... stay tuned) before heading back to the Garden one last time. Only it’s cold out, and my feet hurt (LOTS), and the media entrance is ALL the way around the other side. Think I’ll just go in this way. Is that OK, sir? Yes? Thanks. That was (way too) easy. When I finally get around the arena, up to the media room, down to the media entrance, I am trapped in an episode of Southern girl meets abrasive New Yorkers, and I love it. And I am really starting to regret these shoes.

On the inside, it is warm, and things are off and running. St. Francis gets a quick steal, but Jake Cohen is back to swat it away (with authority) before scoring the game’s first bucket. Soon enough, though, SF has taken a 12-8 lead on an Akeem Johnson basket five minutes in. Behind an 11-0 run, including three-balls from Jake Cohen, JP Koolman and BMcK, Davidson re-snags a 19-12 lead with nine minutes left and will not trail the rest of the half, leading by as many as eight.

After a “quick” trip to the media room (So. Many. Steps.), the Wildcats open a nine-point lead out of the break. Two gimmies from Jake Cohen make it 10, one of three times the ‘Cats would lead by that many in the second half. And while, to me, the game never really felt out of hand, SF would tie the lead at 46-all and take a one-point lead on a pair of free throws by Dre Calloway with 12 minutes to go. But just like that, an 11-0 Wildcat run for another 10-point lead (told you so), and this one is all but over. Though you wouldn’t know it from watching the Davidson coaching staff.

Two free throws by Jake Cohen give Davidson its third 10-point lead, 67-57 with three to play, and the senior captain is sidelined after getting tangled up with a SF player. To Nik Cochran, finish it off.

But it is JP Koolman who is fouled one last time, standing at the line with only four SF players on the court, and Coach McKillop feeling good enough to haggle the refs a little (throw the flag!) as Davidson finishes off the 76-69 win.

Gignac’s gotta take players to TV and then Coach the to post-game presser, so I’m tasked with taking guys to radio.

Nik and Will you’re with me.
Biggers, what are you doing on the court?
UM, we usually go to the locker room first.
Are you sure?
No. Are you?

They go to the locker room. Which is where they are supposed to be. (Sorry, boss. What do I know? I’m on vacation.)

An eternity later (Will, stop fixing your hair... It’s radio), we are all wrapped up at the Garden, and I am (really, really) close to taking a cab across the street to the hotel. I pick up Peter Wagner, alone at his own little post-game celebration, to go to the hotel, where we find a much larger and dare I say, jovial (it IS Christmas) group this time.

If I know anything, I know Davidson will wish for that St. John’s game back when they watch it back. But batting .500 is pretty good. And we’re in New York at Christmas.

I’ll toast to that.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rivalry Renewed

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Charlotte
Dec. 11, 2010

Last time I wrote about lessons learned. About how I was going to take each game at face value, enjoy it, learn some stuff, apply it and move on. And this – this Davidson 82-68 victory over Charlotte in what was the best atmosphere at Belk arena in a long, long time, was the perfect game to start. But for the face value part.

Because with this one, you gotta mention the history.

The last time Charlotte-Davidson got together was memorable. I REMEMBER trekking over to Halton Arena with my entire family of newly-minted Wildcat fans and sitting in the nosebleeds (as you can imagine, I don’t enjoy that much) only to have Leemire Goldwire (hall of fame name) repeatedly drop daggers through my soul. The one before that was memorable, too, you know, because “HE’s... a ... freshman.” I haven’t personally been involved in any beyond that, but I’ve been told this holds true. That you are supposed to want that trophy, no matter how ugly it may be.

So when Charlotte came back to Belk Arena last night it was a big deal. I mean, Coach McKillop wore a three-piece pinstriped suit (!). Sure, the BlackOut game always creates a little bit of buzz, but the conversation and anticipation surrounding this one was a throwback to the TV lights era.

And at face value, it didn’t disappoint either. From the time the UNCCharlotte, er, Charlotte (right @bmckillop1?) cheerleaders came running out of the tunnel (no freaking way... they! brought! cheerleaders!) to the last of 10 late-game fouls (what? You can’t score 17 points in 2.5 seconds?), this one was entertaining.

Charlotte hit the court with a fury, and nearly a 1:1 coach to player ratio. Head coach Alan Major started following me on twitter this week, because I’m sure he thought I might spill a secret or two. Instead, as he took his seat next to me on the end of the scorers table, I imagined him shaking his head, ‘child, you watch too much bad reality TV.” He did not, of course, but a girl can dream.

When Jake stood in for the jump ball with “Jump Around” blaring, I wished aloud I had gotten him a fake tattoo or two. But once again, the black unis proved karmic (though konfusing... hey, I told you. Too much Kardashians...) enough. He scored the game’s first five points, and the Arener was rocking. A jumper from An’Juan Wilderness (I submit to you, a great last name) put Charlotte within one, 7-6, and soon enough, behind foul trouble and shooting woes, Davidson fell behind, 18-14.

Coach McKillop took a timeout after Jamar Briscoe’s three with 8:44 remaining, and the head official dropped off a stray ladybug at the table. I could argue that either was a turning point, but the game shifted for good after a MONSTAR fast-break dunk from Charlotte’s Javarris Barnett. It put the Niners up one, 28-27 with just 1:31 to play in the half, and could have been a real back-breaker. But BMcK was up the court in a split second, burying a three-ball and tossing off a look to the crowd that simultaneously killed the Charlotte momentum and created a near riot in the D-block.

The Wildcats took a one-point half-time lead and turned it into 10 as Nik Cochran went coast-to-coast with 13:40 left to play. From there, it was all Wildcats, with Big Ben Allison getting in a thunderously avenging dunk of his own, the Davidson Village Inn Santa Bike bringing some holiday spirit and the D-block doing a fantastic rendition of “Jingle Bells.” A rim-rattling dunk from De’Mon (Bootz) Brooks pushed the lead to a game-high 19, and the Niners ran out of gas right in front of 5,000 impressively vocal fans.

It’s easy to say it’s a good night when you win. But when its your job to escort a literally limping 19-year-old kid down the hallway to the media room, where he must sit and answer questions about why his team couldn’t do more/enough/anything to win, you do it without too much judgment. “I think it’s pretty obvious, we don’t have a lot of depth,” he apologizes.

Instead, you give the Niners and Major some props (come on... he tweets!). They never quit, fouling til the last tenth-of-a-second with the cheerleaders working hard to get a reaction out of the crowd (surely by now, they have realized they were in front of the Davidson staff/parents/coaches section? no?).

By contrast, the Davidson players come bouncing into the media room. Really, JAKE?! You couldn’t get one more rebound? He smiles, glances at the box score, sighs, “MAAAN.”

But no one wearing black is disappointed this night. Now, where do we hide that trophy?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Beginning

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Monmouth

“Hey, are you gonna write the Bleacher Report again?” TI asks, while munching on chicken fingers at The BH after the Wildcats’ 69-53 win over Monmouth Monday night.

The what?

The View from... you know... whatever.

OH? That. Well, yes. It’s a pretty well-documented fact, at this point, that I started writing this blog mostly as an excuse to follow Stephen Curry and the traveling Wildcat circus around the world. (What? You did it too.) It was a way for me to earn my Chick-fil-A on the road, and a fun way to connect the team with the fans. And Stephen Curry will always cast a shadow over this blog. This team. This program.

Last year... last year was the start of the After Stephen era. Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine anything but a letdown. There was plenty of good to be sure (TWO rookies of the year?!) but just not. quite. enough. Fitting that Matt Matheny would put an end to it.

We all learned lessons last year. Me? I learned that each game is its own story. And if you get too caught up looking for the end, you might miss the beginning and middle.

This year is already full of ups and downs, and we’re only six games in. A disappointing loss at Penn. A disastrous shooting performance against West Virginia, followed by two resilient wins against Nebraska and Western Kentucky. Another road loss to a pretty good Rhode Island team.

So when the Wildcats finally came home, we didn’t quite know what to expect. Call me crazy, but with this team, I get the sense that that’s a good thing.

With nine minutes to play in the first half, I said to @gwagonmcfarlin, that we should be winning this game. But nope. Not til Brendan put the Wildcats on his shoulders, hitting one of his five three balls to put the ‘Cats up, 24-20 with seven minutes to go in the half, on his way to scoring a team-high 17 points.

From there it was all Wildcats.

And my favorite part? It wasn’t Frank Ben-Eze’s (who got an impressive ovation every time he breathed) MONSTER BLOCK (“that looked like Sarabeth Peele”). It wasn’t Jake Cohen finishing one rebound shy of a double-double or JP making a three despite getting fouled and then getting fired up about it.

I did really enjoy that the mascot is wearing one of my all-time favorite Wildcats’ numbers. (LOVE!) And when the D-block shouted “AHHHHH!” to mimic one of the Monmouth players disappointment over losing the ball out of bounds. I did not enjoy that really loud opposing fan screaming over my shoulder all night (except when she observed that the refs can’t see #!$! here. Because that $#!# is funny, lady.).

I love that Alvin and Clay got to play in this game. I love that Coach McKillop was so fired up over a phantom call on JP that he nearly threw his water on the bench (but I would have loved that more. Sorry guys.)

But my favorite part was when Jordan (“We call him the microwave”) Downing got the ball behind the line with the shot clock winding down. I think he was so surprised by how wide open he was that he nearly dropped it. But with two ticks left, he calmly buried the three right in front of the bench with a confident surprise.

It capped off a five-point run to push Davidson’s lead back to 14, but it didn’t mean much in the course of the game. Except for the smiles. And in the post-game afterwards, “I’m just really enjoying coaching these guys.”

So as the players enter the SID office en route to the media room, a high five for the captain.

“Thanks. We’re 1-0 at home.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Season to Remember

By Courtney Tobe

Finley Amato scores against Cal

Each season the Davidson Field Hockey team has about 32 games on our schedule, which adds up to be roughly 128 games in a four year career at Davidson. While each and every individual game is unique and special, there are only a few that have a lasting impact and last Friday’s NorPac semifinal game against Cal Berkeley was one of those games.

While the outcome of Friday’s game was heartbreaking and not what any of us were hoping for, the fight and the effort that we put in was one that we only dreamed about before. For 70 minutes of regulation time and through two sudden victory overtimes we were perfect. Every player gave everything they had on and off the field. The character and the heart of this 2010 team were on full display as we played for our teammates and played for the love of the game and we hung with the Golden Bears. Before the largest crowd of our season, and one filled with parents, friends, alums, and a team of rivals we made a statement – Davidson Field Hockey plays with commitment, opportunity, and heart and we are not to be taken lightly. This team set a precedent, breaking all kinds of school and individual records. We defined the new face of Davidson Field Hockey and set the expectations high and I know that future D.C.F.H. teams will follow in our footsteps.

On behalf of the seniors, I would like to thank the team. We could not have asked for a better way to spend our senior season than playing with a group of girls that love, support, and challenge each other on and off the field as much as we do! Keep up the hard work, because you girls are amazing and we can’t wait to see you all represent D.C.F.H. in the years to come! Thanks to all the parents, alums, and fans for the support and for following along with Behind the Scenes with D.C.F.H. I look forward to reading about the amazing success of D.C.F.H. teams for years to come. –Tobe #7

Monday, November 8, 2010

A New Story

By Lauren Biggers

Davidson vs. Lenoir-Rhyne

I’ve been asked lots of times (no, seriously!) over the last few weeks if I was going to write this blog again. The answer was always “OF COURSE!!”, but in the back of my mind, I had some doubts. As much as I struggled at times to write about last year’s team, how would I ever write about this one?

Like most of you, I had gotten emotionally connected (and thrown all objective journalism standards out the window in the process...) to this Davidson basketball story. I wasn’t quite sure how to write a different one.

But before the first jump ball of the 2010-11 season, I heard from three of four members of the “Class of 2010.” One showed up in the doorway, unexpectedly, on Friday. One twittered. One called. As I answered, I said “OH MY GOSH. You are literally supposed to be running out of the tunnel right now.” And we listened to “Welcome to the Jungle” together. It was as if they were telling me, in their own ways, it’s OK. You can get emotionally attached to this team, too.

And so I will. Of course. If you have read my stuff for long enough, you know you won’t find a whole lot about basketball here. I’m not going to break down the defense, or discuss how many minutes so-in-so played or didn’t and why. There are other avenues for that, and also... you must know by now, I’m just not very good at it. Instead I will, as Richard Terry said, help you get to know this team, and I will try to be entertaining in the process.

But you will have to bear with me, because I am getting to know them at the same time. So much so, that when I got the starters from the man-in-stripes Lee Jones, I had to refer to the roster to see who #23 and #40 actually were. (And to Ms. Downing, a big apology from the SID department. #31 is definitely on this team.)

And our first chance to see them in game-time action in 2010-11, sure, the result wasn’t quite the one we all hoped for. Though, as I overheard Big Ben Allison say to a fan after the volleyball game, ever-so-politically correct that it made me smile, “It’s always nice to get a win.”

After the game everybody wants to know, why did we only beat LR by four points? Literally, everybody. A glance at the box score shows some pretty obvious answers. Make more shots. Hit more free throws. Give some credit to #23 in black.

In the press room after, the question: So Coach, when you play an exhibition, are you just messing with your lineup for the regular season?

“Well, I don’t mess with much.”

See, there’s a picture we found this off season that has now made it to the Wall of Fame on my bulletin board, showing a family of five McKillops. The high-school daughter, the middle-school brother, the youngest in elementary school. Everybody looks dramatically different. Except one. Probably 15 years earlier, same perfect suit, same perfect hair. Because he doesn’t mess with much.

PS. I think we’re going to have some fun this year.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Costumes and Championships

By Courtney Tobe

The Class of 2011 as the Golden Girls

This past Saturday was one of my favorite DCFH traditions, Halloween Practice. Each year the competition is extremely fierce, as each class chooses a costume that remains a secret to the other classes until it is revealed on the day of Halloween practice when we show up at the turf. Although there is never an “official” winner of the costume contest, our team gets very into it and the pressure to impress is always high. This year the coaches were Carebears, the freshmen were a six-pack of Natural Light, the sophomores were the starting five from the Davidson basketball team, the juniors were the racers from Mario Kart, and the seniors were the Golden Girls. It was extremely successful and everyone looked great, but if I had to pick a winner I would say the seniors took the cake (ok, maybe I’m a little biased, but we did look great!).

The weekend was all about the seniors anyway, because senior day followed Halloween practice on Sunday. The team always does a great job of making the seniors feel special by making beautiful signs and writing a short speech for each senior girl. The senior ceremony before the game was great and the day was even better as we secured a 6-1 win over Appalachian State and clinched the NorPac East Division regular season championship. We had a ton of fans and family members who came out to show their support and it was a great way to finish up our regular season.

Now it’s NorPac time. This year, our conference tournament will take place on our home turf right here in Davidson, and we could not be more thrilled! Competition starts tomorrow and we face our first opponent, Pacific, at 4 p.m. Games continue Thursday through Saturday, and we believe we have a chance to make a big statement in NorPacs this year!! Come out and show your support! Keep following along for more behind the scenes moments with D.C.F.H. Go Cats, Take NorPac!! –Tobe #7

Monday, October 18, 2010

D.C.F.H. Goes North

By Courtney Tobe

About a week and a half ago the Davidson Field Hockey team set off on the whirlwind adventure that is a D.C.F.H. fall break.

This year we crossed the Mason-Dixon line and traveled all the way up North to Providence, Rhode Island for three games of competition. With senior forward and co-captain Jennie Mostellar on our team, the trip became an adventure as soon as we made it to the Charlotte airport. Although she has flown many times, Jennie has an intense fear of flying. From the moment we set foot in the Charlotte airport, Jennie was a nervous wreck, but thanks to her teammates distraction techniques Jennie made it through the flight and our plane safely landed in Providence.

Given the conservative nature of our budget, the hotels that we stay in for our away trips are more typically along the lines of a Holiday Inn rather than the Ritz Carlton, but this trip we lucked out! As we pulled up to The Biltmore Providence and saw the Chandeliers that hung from the ceiling in the lobby we all thought that the vans had taken us to the wrong place. Ginny assured us that we were, in fact, at the right hotel and that it was not a trick, but when we saw the rooms we still couldn’t believe we were staying there. There were two king sized beds, a sitting room, a walk-in closet, and most importantly a plasma flat-screen T.V. We enjoyed three nights in this luxurious hotel, and it was the perfect resting place to prepare for the big weekend of games ahead of us.

We played three games in Providence and walked away from the weekend 1 and 2. We had a great win against Brown on Saturday and nearly everyone off the bench got a chance to play, which was really exciting to see. We also had several Davidson students, parents, and alums make the trip to Brown to watch us play on Friday and Monday. Paul and Jan Willis, parents of D.C.F.H. ’08 alum Jen Willis, drove three hours just to come to our Saturday game against Brown, and Mrs. Willis brought with her a batch of her famous chocolate caramel brownies (a treat that the seniors enjoyed at every tailgate our freshmen year and have missed them dearly ever since).

Although we didn’t come out with as many wins as we would have liked, the trip was a great team bonding experience and a nice chance to get off of campus for a bit. When we got back from the trip, we went straight back to work because we had a huge game against VCU on Saturday. We put up a hard fight, but unfortunately couldn’t pull out a win and moved our record to 10-5.

Losing is never fun, but we are coming up to the part of the season that truly counts, conference play. We only have four regular season games left and they are all conference games. We start with two away games, one against Appalachian State this Thursday, and another one against Longwood this Saturday. We are extremely excited to take on these teams and try to hold on to our lead in the East division of the NorPac, but we know that they are going to be extremely tough. Both teams are going to be out to get us, but we are ready to do whatever it takes to win.

Keep following along for more behind the scenes action with D.C.F.H. Go Cats! –Tobe #7

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mediocrity, McKillop, and Midterms

By Courtney Tobe

Being a Davidson student athlete is always hard work, but some weeks are worse than others. This past week the entire Davidson Field Hockey team has been struggling with an amount of work that requires more time than there are hours in a day, making midterms week one of those more challenging weeks. Stress levels rise, sleep becomes compromised, and the last thing you feel you have time for is practice, but out of commitment to your team you go anyways.

Commitment is a core value of D.C.F.H. and this past Friday Davidson Basketball Coach Bob McKillop came to talk to us about the important role that commitment plays in building a successful team. He emphasized how Davidson students continually wage war on mediocrity in the classroom and on the field and stressed how important it is to hold ourselves and our teammates accountable of accepting nothing less than the best at every practice and in every game.

Coach McKillop’s words definitely struck a chord with our team in our game against NorPac rival Longwood. We had a slow start and at halftime found ourselves down 2 to 1. Longwood’s lead increased to 4 to 2 early on in the second half, but after Longwood scored their fourth goal something clicked in all of our heads. We knew that we were settling. We knew we could play better, and rather than letting the score keep us down we decided to rage war on mediocrity and put 5 goals in the cage in the second half alone to win the game 6 to 4.

Our never give up attitude is a classic example of what makes this D.C.F.H. team standout. Coach McKillop challenged us to make history and we are well on our way to doing it. With midterms over and Fall Break finally here, we hope to catch up on some much needed sleep and continue our winning streak with a trip to Providence, R.I. where we will face Brown, Maine, and Sacred Heart. Three games in four days will be challenging, but we are excited to face some new opponents and to spend some time together as a team outside of Davidson. Keep following along for more behind the scenes action with D.C.F.H. Happy Fall Break and Go Cats! –Tobe #7

Friday, October 1, 2010

Team Together

By Courtney Tobe

Every season has a defining moment, one that challenges everything that you’ve worked for and changes the course of the season, but this past weekend was one for the record books.

Maybe it was junior forward Christine Rua’s goal with only one second left on the clock, or Sarah Fisher’s save in penalty strokes against Georgetown, or maybe even the intensity felt from the DCFH sidelines, the weekend was filled with so many memorable moments to point to just one would be impossible. The whole weekend was a defining moment, and people noticed. The team has received several texts, e-mails, and facebook messages from various members of the DCFH community, all expressing their excitement for our team.

Although to know that we’ve got people talking is a great feeling, I don’t think anyone is more excited than the team ourselves. One of the most noticeable things about this DCFH team is that first and foremost we are a TEAM. We are not defined by a superstar, but rather we are a group of 23 individuals with different strengths and weaknesses that fit perfectly together to form who we are. Our desire to see our teammates thrive on and off the field has taken first priority this season and is the reason our team has been so successful thus far. We keep improving because we keep challenging each other and demanding more from each other in practice, and the intensity is going to have to be taken up a notch once again as our season continues. With a record of 8-2, teams are going to have it out for us. We are a target and we are going to have to work extremely hard to not allow any let-downs.

This Saturday, our conference game against Longwood will be a huge test for us. We hope to have several fans out on Saturday because not only is it a huge game for us, but it is also our STICK IT TO CANCER promotional game. Please come out and show your support for the Davidson Field Hockey team and cancer awareness. Keep following along for more behind the scenes action with DCFH. Go Cats! – Tobe #7

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Return to The Glory Days . . .

By Courtney Tobe

Belk Turf Field. There is no place like home!

The Davidson Field Hockey team met up with an old friend again this past week, grass.

A surface that most of us haven’t played on since our high school glory days came back into the picture this past Wednesday evening as we traveled to Radford, Virginia for our first conference game of the season. In order to prepare for this match-up we abandoned our extremely nice and extremely fast turf for two days of practice on the grassy knoll behind Baker. Although the change of scenery was nice, it only took a couple of hits and missed stops before we were begging to go back to the turf and wondering how on earth we ever played on such an awful surface.

Playing on grass is a completely different game. The skills and strategy that we practice on turf is often ineffective on grass because it is a much slower paced game that is much more unpredictable. You never know when a perfectly hit ball is going to hit a ditch and pop over your stick, or a ball that looks like it might be going out of bounds decides to stop right on the end line, or even worse, when you are dribbling the ball and it just decides to stop instead of staying on your stick like it’s supposed to.

Despite two extremely frustrating days of practice, our hard work paid off when we beat Radford 1-0 on their home field. The trip to Radford has normally been a struggle for us as we couldn’t get past the frustrating surface to carry home a win, but this year it was different. We hope to carry the excitement of our win into this weekend as we return to the turf (thank goodness!) to face Richmond and Georgetown. Both of these games will be great matchups as we look to extend our record to 8-2. Keep following along for more behind the scenes D.C.F.H. action. Go Cats! –Tobe #7.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Battle Wounds

By Courtney Tobe

A broken nose, a busted lip, a bruised chin, and scarring turf burn were just a few of the products of two intensely fought games this past weekend at William and Mary. It is part of the DCFH culture to take pride in our battle wounds. We don’t typically mind a decent bruise from a tough practice or a black eye from an intense game because it illustrates a dedication to our sport and a sense of fight. Junior defender Steph Meador is a prime example of someone who loves the fight. In our practice at William and Mary on Saturday, Steph took a ball to the face while defending a penalty corner. The result was a broken nose and two very swollen black eyes, but the pain didn’t stop Steph from playing in our game on Sunday. She played the whole game - start to finish - without even wearing a mask.

Sophomore midfielder Annie Evans also had her fair share of battle wounds this past weekend. In our game against William and Mary on Friday Annie got hit in the mouth with a ball and developed a very swollen lip, so swollen in fact that assistant coach Catherine Somits decided to give it a name because it appeared to be taking on a life of its own. “Toni,” as her lip came to be called, lasted for a few days and has now developed into a nice bruise.

Our accumulation of battle wounds was not the only adventure we had in William and Mary. On Saturday, we had plenty of time to explore colonial Williamsburg. Several DCFH members toured the colonial shops, chatted with colonists, and took their pictures in the stacks. We also had a nice lunch at The Cheese Shop, one of Ginny’s favorite restaurants at her alma mater.

Even though this past weekend brought us our first loss it was still very successful. We learned a lot from our game against William and Mary and we finished out the weekend with a win against Penn. We hope to take what we’ve learned from this past weekend and apply them in our game against #7 Wake Forest on Friday. The game is home at 6 p.m. We have an extremely good chance against them this year so please come out and show your support! Keep following along for more behind the scenes D.C.F.H. moments! Go Cats! – Tobe #7

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Commitment, Opportunity, Heart

By Courtney Tobe

The tears in senior Clare Perry’s eyes said enough after we defeated Lafayette 3 to 0 this past Sunday.  Two weekends into our season and still undefeated, something that Clare and I and the rest of this year’s senior class has never experienced before.  In our four years of Davidson hockey we have been through some difficult seasons.  Seasons full of tough losses and great successes, but we have never experienced anything like this, 4-0.  If I’ve learned one thing from DCFH, it’s that winning isn’t everything, but our recent success has brought a new sense of confidence to our team that didn’t exist before.  We finally believe in ourselves and are realizing what we are capable of, and we won’t let anything stop us from reaching our potential.

This past summer, Ginny and Catherine came up with three core values for our program to focus on: Commitment, Opportunity, and Heart.  The goal being that these three words will embody the spirit of D.C.F.H. and reflect the attitude of our program.  Wednesday evening, Sandy Helfgott, Davidson’s Director of Physical Education and Recreation, came to talk to us about the importance of maintaining these three core values and living them out throughout the course of our season.  Sandy’s speech was extremely motivational and a good thing to hear leading up to our weekend at William and Mary.  We are in a good place right now, especially after receiving 4 votes for the top 20, but we need to make sure that we don’t let up and this weekend will be a good test for us.

Keep following along for more behind the scenes D.C.F.H. moments! Go Cats! – Tobe #7

Thursday, September 2, 2010

D.C.F.H. Season Underway

By Courtney Tobe

As I took to the field for our first game of our 2010 season this past weekend I could not help thinking about preseason. The 9 days of intensive conditioning, three a day practices (yes that’s right … 3 a days), sweltering temperatures on the turf, cold whirl pools, and a soreness that can’t fully be comprehended unless you have experienced it. Everyday tasks like getting out of bed, getting dressed, and even sleeping all felt impossible, and yet even while our bodies were in such intense pain, we somehow found a way to make it back out to the field for the next session. Our fans didn’t see the hard work that we put in during camp and neither did our opponents, but together we worked, struggled, and survived all to make it to this moment, when the referee blows the whistle and our season begins.

My name is Courtney Tobe, and I am a senior from Louisville, Kentucky, on Davidson College’s field hockey team. I have officially survived four D.C.F.H. preseason’s (something I never thought I would be able to say), and I have never felt as proud of the work that we put in during preseason as I do right now because we had an amazing opening weekend.

The weekend started out with a seven and a half hour long bus ride to our nation’s capital. Seven and a half hours is a long time to be on a bus, but we managed to pass the time pretty easily with an impromptu J.Lo movie marathon, good conversation, and a lot of snacks. Although there were moments when the bus ride felt like it would never end, the trip was definitely worth it. We brought home two wins, a 5-0 win against Bryant on Friday and a 5-0 win against St. Francis on Saturday, and we had an amazing crowd turn out for the games.

One of the great things about D.C.F.H. is the amount of support we get from our fans. We had several parents make the trip to D.C. and two D.C.F.H. ’09 alums, Sara Stevens, and Tyler Kirkland came out to show their support. To top things off, Darrel Young, a RB/LB for the Washington Redskins made an appearance at American University to watch our games and cheer for the Davidson Wildcats (all of the Davidson Dad’s were extremely excited about this one). The weekend was a great way to kick off our season and has really inspired us to work hard this week in practice.

We have a lot of potential as a team and a lot of goals that we have set for ourselves this season. The next step we have to take toward reaching them comes this weekend with two games. We open up at home on Saturday against Towson at 12 p.m., and play Lafayette at Wake Forest on Sunday. These are two really good match-ups for us and we can’t wait to hopefully add two more W’s to our record.

Throughout our season, I’ll be checking back in with game updates, funny stories, player interviews, and much more. Keep following along for more behind the scenes D.C.F.H. moments and please come out and show your support on Saturday! Go Cats! – Tobe #7

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back in Davidson

By Yannick Pilgrim

Back at Davidson. My plane touched down in Charlotte around 2:00 am on Friday the 7th. Even though I was coming back to the familiar, I was nervous. Maybe it was because I was excited to see my friends, teammates and other Davidson randoms who brighten my day, or maybe it was because a wonderful semester abroad had finally come to an end. Costa Rica had really become a home to me and leaving beautiful Central America was almost as hard as leaving my beloved Trinidad on my first trip to the US.

My last day in Costa Rica was an emotional one. My host family had problems of their own but still managed to keep it together in order to give me a very special dinner and farewell. Their kindness and unselfish ways were part of the reason I really enjoyed my time in Costa Rica. Not only did this family open their house to me but they let me into their home. From babysitting my host brothers to occasionally cooking dinner, I always felt like I was actually a member of their family. They introduced me to nearly all of their relatives and went above and beyond in terms of hospitality. If I had to suggest one thing to someone going abroad it would be to form a bond with your host family. Have conversations with them, surprise them from time to time with small gifts, and treat them as if they were your real parents or real siblings.

Before I stepped on the bus to leave the town of Puntarenas my host family stopped me. My host mom put her hand in mine and gave me a key. My host dad then explained that it was the key to the front door of the house. They said that I could return to Puntarenas anytime I wanted and would have a place to stay at their house. Back in my soft days I would have cried, but now hard and experienced, I just looked up to the sky and avoided the tears from leaking out. This exchange was truly symbolic of the relationship I formed with this family. To be honest I cannot picture my future without seeing them again.

My trip to Costa Rica has afforded me the opportunity to take a step outside of my hectic life in the States and recognize the more important things and the things about myself that I need to change. Sometimes we are too busy to actually think, and living what the Costa Ricans call ‘pura vida’ for the last four months has allowed me to approach obstacles in a very calm way. I feel rejuvenated and ready to take on my senior year at Davidson. I formed some great bonds in Costa Rica and I know that my friends there will be awaiting news from me in the future. The thought that a group of people cares for you is enough to produce a motivation within that inspires one to live a life that revolves around making these people proud to be associated with you. Knowing that someone stands with you through the good and bad inspires you to live for the good. “Para siempre” I will remember this far away family and “para siempre” I will carry with me the lessons learnt on our journey together these last four months ... “Gracias por todo,” and thank you Davidson for giving me the opportunity to experience this eventful semester abroad.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Adeu Barcelona!

By Josh Zipin

Hello Davidson family. My semester in Barcelona is coming to a close and this will be my final blog entry as I will be flying out back to the US of A this Thursday. The semester has flown by and I can’t believe my time is up here.

The last month has been very full with visits from Wildcat star athletes and friends from home. Showing friends the city has really allowed me to get to know the city much better. At the beginning of the semester I felt a little bit lost, not knowing how to get to places, especially with any kind of punctuality. But I’ve evolved into a real tour guide here, with walking and metro routes of the city that I’m comfortable with. It’s different than Davidson or my hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland, because I go so many places by foot so often. I feel almost as if I know my way around this city better than either American ones.

The weather has been incredible here for the last month, and one of my favorite activities during that time has been playing ping pong outside in the Ciutadella park. It’s a huge park, but in the corner of one of its many entrances there are 6 outdoor tables lined up. It has actually been a great way to meet local Catalans, just by goofing around and playing small, very informal tournaments. Small things like ping pong helped me feel much more connected to the city and its people.

It is a bit bittersweet because I feel so comfortable here now, but I am so excited to get home and get back to Davidson. I’ve developed a genuine affection for everything Barcelona, and it is almost like I am a real citizen now. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to study abroad, and especially choosing to study here. My Spanish has reached a level of fluency I did not anticipate reaching and I have become much more independent here. I’ve also experienced some completely new cultures, and of course, been privileged to be inundated in a soccer-crazy environment, home to the best team in the world, FC Barcelona.

I just finished my last exam of the semester, and am now officially a Davidson senior. That is really weird to think about. My flight is scheduled for Thursday morning but knowing this city, there are probably a few twists and turns left for me before I leave. It’s been great connecting with people at home through this blog and I hope everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have. Make sure to catch the Barca Champions League game today! Visc a Barca y Visc a Catalunya!



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nicaraguan Adventure

By Yannick Pilgrim

Hola Amigos,

Life is good over here in Costa Rica. In fact it rained yesterday for only the third time since I’ve been here. The temperature is still easily 95 degrees and higher on a daily basis, and I’ve gotten used to waking up in my own sweat. If the ocean was not so close, I probably would be going crazy right now. Well enough with the weather update; I have much to tell since my last blog entry.

Studying abroad is an experience, and anyone who has done it can tell you that some days are harder than others. With the travel and exploration of a foreign country comes certain risks, and for me, I learned a painful lesson crossing the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Let me first say that I have nothing against Nicaragua as a country. In fact it is a beautiful place with remarkable geography and an interesting culture. The problems I experienced in Nicaragua were limited to the border crossing.

The people that know me well can tell you that I am the kind of person who loves to do stuff on their own. Despite the warnings from my host parents, I decided to head to Nicaragua by myself for four days. I did sufficient research and planned my trip accordingly. I also spoke to some students on my program that had gone to Nicaragua in February in order to have an idea of what to expect at the border. From Puntarenas it took me 5 hours by bus to get to the border at Penas Blancas. The Costa Rican officials handled my paper work quickly and things were moving along faster than I expected.

After being done with customs in Costa Rica, I had to walk about 100 meters to a gate that was the crossover point for both countries. When I entered Nicaragua I felt a difference in the atmosphere. People were shoving customs papers in my face, asking if I needed a guide or a taxi, and telling me that if I didn’t have either, I would find myself in some trouble. I guess it was a moment in my time abroad where I really felt like an outsider. I had grown so accustomed to the “tranquila” life in Costa Rica. After breaking through the barrage of hustlers, I had to deal with a different problem. I have always heard of corruption on the border, but now I can say that I was a victim of it. The corruption practiced by police officers and custom officials at the border has become so common place that they can now do it in plain sight. I had a minor physical encounter with the border authorities who requested that I pay extra money to get into Nicaragua. They also told me I was not allowed to speak to anyone besides them. My Spanish deteriorated as my anger increased, making the situation even worse. I was outnumbered and with the law on their side I had no choice but to pay the price.

It was a tough lesson to learn and I really did not plan on using a blog entry to talk about the problems I had crossing the border. But I figure that while studying abroad a person is going to experience good and bad. Hopefully if you were planning on crossing the border to Nicaragua soon, this testimony can be of some assistance. I am doing fine now and have long since moved on from the incident. In fact, while in Nicaragua I spent time in San Juan del Sur, a beautiful beach town about 1 hour from the Penas Blancas border. While there I visited Playa Madera, a secluded beach great for surfing. It was a bit hard to find, but after hitchhiking a ride on the back of a tractor I finally found it.

I spent two days in San Juan del Sur and then I went on to Isla de Ometepe. Nicaragua has one of the biggest freshwater lakes in the world. Isla de Ometepe is also a world phenomenon, being one of the largest fresh water islands on the planet. But what makes this place so impressive are the two volcanoes located on either side of the island. I have grown very fascinated with volcanoes during my time here in Central America. They truly are magical to say the least. Beautiful yet dangerous. On the island I rented a dirt bike and went on one of the most fun adventures of my life. I stopped to see waterfalls, crystal clear streams, and to let cows cross the road. Everyone there was really friendly and was always interested in where I was from. A guy there was also kind enough to tell me that my name was a woman’s name in Nicaragua and I should change my name to Geoffrey for the duration of my stay. What a nice guy…

My Nicaraguan adventure. I must say my time at San Juan del Sur and Isla de Ometepe sure did make up for the trouble I had on the border. The thing is I had to cross it to go back. I’ll save you the details and just say that my exit was no greater than my entrance.

I am enjoying my time here in Costa Rica but I would be lying if I said that I was not missing my team and playing for Davidson. I get to play soccer here almost every day but it’s not the same. For the most part I miss the organization and scoring countless goals on Chip during practice. Too easy…

Until the next time…

PuRa vIdA

Monday, April 5, 2010

Touring and Tour Guiding

By Josh Zipin

It’s been too long since I checked in last, and I’d like to say I’m sorry, but it’s not like I’ve been sitting at home doing nothing. Since the last time I wrote I’ve been real busy, including taking trips to Paris, Spain’s Costa Brava, and the South of Spain with my parents for my spring break. I’ve also been lucky enough to play host to some Davidson friends in Barcelona.

Paris was an exciting trip that I made with two of my best friends from home who also study here in Barcelona. Other than getting food poisoning in transit (not pretty), the trip went smoothly and we experienced what Paris is all about: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Mona Lisa, the Orsay Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomph, and of course, crepes.

We spent roughly the first ten minutes of our time at the Eiffel Tower looking for the perfect Heisman trophy pose on the Tower, but after a few puzzling looks, and of course, the perfect picture, we went to the top and got a view of the whole city. I felt like I was in a Google Maps screenshot with the view we had. We could see all of the other major destinations we were visiting from the top. We even picked out our hostel from the top. A few incredible art museum visits (I saw Van Gogh’s self-portrait and the Mona Lisa in two days!), an Arc de Triomph, Notre Dame Cathedral trip (to see the Hunchback of course), and roughly 3 banana and Nutella crepes later, we headed home to Catalunya.

For my spring break, I was lucky enough to spend about a week and a half with my parents. We spent the first couple days in Barcelona as I led them around and saw some things I’d been waiting to see and experience, including the Picasso museum, Montjuic, and Barcelona’s best restaurants. We were even able to go to a Catalan seder for Passover here, which was quite an experience. I was also lucky enough to have my parents over to my host family’s house for lunch. My host mom cooked for my real mom and asked her quite seriously how she was able to feed me at home. I had to do a good deal of translating as I was the person at the table with the best knowledge of both English and Spanish. It was great to introduce my family for the last few months to my blood family and vice versa.

After our time in Barca, we headed to the South for sunny beaches and the freshest paella. We spent time in Malaga, Granada, Nerja, and Cordoba. While some people might think that spending a week and a half alone with their parents would be nothing short of the most boring time ever, I realized that I actually really enjoy spending time and travelling with my parents. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen them since January, but it was great fun teasing my Mom and catching an FC Barcelona basketball game with my dad, among other fun excursions. The weather in the South was perfect and actually reminded me of what it is probably like in Davidson right now.

I have less than a month left here in Barcelona but it still feels like I just got here. I feel like I really know the city well and it’s almost like I’m a real Barcelona citizen now (minus the mastery of the Catalan language). I realized how comfortable I am with the city and getting places when I’ve had people visiting. About three weeks ago I had my first long visit from friends. Wildcat field hockey stars Courtney Tobe and Ellie Syzkowny came and stayed the weekend here. Besides seeing the local sights including the famed Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, I showed them some of my favorite food and night spots. I also showed off some of my much improved Spanish and cultural knowledge by steering them clear of the petty thieves and teaching them the tricks of living in Barcelona (watch your purses closely ladies!). It was an epic visit and it felt surreal to spend time with people I’ve known so well for three years, albeit pretty much exclusively at Davidson, in Barcelona.

With my time left here I really want to get to the Barcelona aquarium as I hear it’s one of the best in the world, and of course I need to see another FC Barcelona game. Barca plays Arsenal in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, the competition that crowns the best club soccer team in Europe. The whole city is on pins and needles in anticipation and I’m still holding out a sliver of hope that I’ll be able to score a ticket somehow. I’m not done with travelling as I still have one free weekend, as well as a trip to Amsterdam planned. In addition, this weekend I’ll be welcoming volleyball stud, Anna Bradbury, another Wildcat superstar, to Barcelona. It should be another great time. I miss Davidson a lot, including my team, my friends, the weather, lake campus, and of course girls in sundresses. That’s all I got for now. Hope everyone is well and healthy in Davidson. Hasta luego!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Episode Four: The 100 Free Prelim Swim

By Lauren Biggers
Prelims, 100 Free

One final blog from the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships. You'll hafta forgive me for not being lengthy (or maybe you'll be grateful?), but I've gotta be up at 4 a.m. to leave for the airport, which is only four hours from now, so I need to wrap things up here pretty quickly, so as my college roommate used to say after a near all-night of studying, I can sleep fast.

We've seen plenty of fast here in Indiana, with Lindsey turning in two personal and Davidson-best times in three swims. There were hopes of finaling in an event, but for Lindsey to finish 30th in the 50 free and 28th in the 100 free (in the whole country!) is really really awesome. And to set a new personal best in the 200 free, a race she doesn't love swimming, is pretty cool too. There was no disappointment amongst this crowd.

After her morning swim, we grabbed lunch at Chipotle (I'm pretty sure Lindsey's been thinking about Mexican food ever since we mistakenly thought we had discovered an On The Border Tuesday night) with Lindsey's parents and sister and headed back to the hotel for an afternoon of napping/studying/basketball watching.

We went back over to the finals, which came down to the final relay in exciting fashion. Florida finished as they needed to in third in the final 4x100 relay to win the 2010 NCAA Championship, and the Gators were chomping to "We Are The Champions." Seriously, great song.

Below, you'll see the video of Lindsey's final swim and one more interivew, where she discusses her race and her overall experience.

Thanks for following along on our journey. I've had a great time, and I hope that I have given you a little window into what it's like for a student-athlete to compete on the highest level. Looking forward to seeing what next year holds for Lindsey and Davidson swimming (John already wants a 160-page media guide like Auburn. So there goes my July.)

Swim Number Three Results: 100 Free

By: Lauren Biggers

Once things start rolling, they just roll. Lindsey won her heat in a personal and Davidson-best time of 49.55. Swimming in heat four with five left to go, it was unclear how it would hold up.

But there are a lot of fast swimmers here, and Lindsey failed to final on the final day. Auburn's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace won the prelim out of the seventh heat with a time of 47.74, one of two swimmers to go under 48.

Check back later... I'll post complete results when available, and video of Lindsey's final swim and a final interview on her championship experience.

Suit Em Up: Third and Final Day

By: Lauren Biggers

Because of some (not-so) routine wear and tear, my cell phone battery lasts only one day. So if I forget to plug it in at the end of the day, it dies in the middle of the night. I forgot to plug it in last night, which as tired as I am feeling today, could have been tragic. But we have a pretty good relationship, so my 7 a.m. alarm went off, I snoozed it and it died. Thanks, buddy.

I don't know exactly what that means, but I'm taking it to believe the gods are on our side. The coffee fairy (sorry, John) came with the good stuff again, and Lindsey and Jessica joined us in the lobby, and we were off for the final morning of competition at the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships. Today's competition is the 100 free, an event that Lindsey and John have been very excited about all week.

Lindsey will swim out of heat four in lane three. With nine heats and only 16 spots, making the final will be a challenge, but that's what we are here for.

With Oasis' Champagne Supernova setting the tone, the lanes are full of swimmers getting ready to go. As far as team standings go, through 14 events, Stanford is leading the race followed by Georgia, Arizona and California.

And for all you swimming junkies out there (and I know you are out there), we met Pablo Morales yesterday on our way out the pool. He won gold medals at the 1984 and 1992 games, and I'm told he's a really big deal (per John, naturally).

John got up the courage to speak to Pablo, now coaching for Nebraska, yesterday a.m. so on the way out of the pool, he passed Jessica and I waiting for John. He musta noticed our Davidson gear, because he asked Jessica if she was the 100 sprinter from Davidson. Jessica did not stand in for Lindsey, so Pablo turned to me. Is it you? Nope, sorry she stayed at the hotel tonight. Oh, well tell her I said good luck. I think this means good things, too.

Will be twittering live updates all morning @DavidsonWildcat, and updating here with results asap. So ya'll come back now. Also, check out the video of yesterday's 200 below.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Day That Was

By Mark Brumbaugh - 3/19/2010 - 3:06 p.m. Central

Wrapping Up

By Mark Brumbaugh
If I had to sum up the experience in one word, “bittersweet” might be the best descriptor. However, it implies that there was an equal helping of bitterness and sweetness, which I would disagree with.

Let’s get the bitterness out of the way first. From the start, Alex has made it clear that he wants to be an All-American and that he expects to win. He was disappointed that he did not do better. Davidson students, staff, alumni and fans all wanted to see him accomplish his goals, but it turned out that it was not meant to be this week. But that’s sports, and for that matter, life. If winning was easy, it wouldn’t be so sweet.

In a tournament with 330 participants and 10 winners, 320 were destined to go home thinking about what they could have done better. That’s just the way it is.

Putting things in perspective though, Alex did a lot more winning than losing this year, so he has no reason to hang his head. He earned the opportunity to compete against the best in the nation, an honor that very few college athletes get to experience. His season record of 17-6 was among the best ever at Davidson, and as we’ve said a lot here, it had been awhile since the wrestling program had seen such success. He’s yet another example of a Davidson student-athlete proving that you can have it all – a challenging academic experience, a phenomenal community, and the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of collegiate athletics (is it just me or does it seem like we’ve been having a lot of these lately?)

Alex eventually he will realize he is richer for the experience. He now knows what it is like to be competing with the eyes of 15,613 passionate wrestling fans upon him in such a high-charged atmosphere. He now knows what he needs to work on in order to earn a win here. He can now be a tremendous leader by example for his teammates.

Essentially, he now has a season of sweetness to boost his confidence and a touch of bitterness that will remind him not to get complacent.

Alex Radsky proved that he is a champion, and the Davidson community couldn’t be prouder for all that he has accomplished as a student-athlete.

That, I would say is nothing but sweet. I’m looking forward to doing this all again next year in Philly.

We’re still here in Omaha so check back for updates.

Episode Three: The 200 Free Prelim Swim

By: Lauren Biggers

If I'm being honest, I'm starting to lose track of my days just a little this week. In athletics, we don't really operate on a traditional work week schedule anyways, and I have very little understanding of what a "typical" American weekend must feel like, but when you're on the road for an extended period of time with a team, things just start to blur together.

After this morning's prelim session, our group sort of went its separate ways. Jessica went to lunch with a friend in town, Lindsey went to eat with her family, and John and I were successful in locating a place to eat with tvs to catch some of the NCAA men's basketball tourney.

Post lunch we all went our separate ways, which for me meant checking in with work and beginning work on Episode Three of our video diary. And of course, a little more basketball (WOFFORD! so close. And Jim Nantz cannot remember how to say Stephen Curry correctly any longer.)

A few hours later, Jessica, John and I headed back over to catch the finals session. The swimming pair watched from the pool deck, while I took my seat on press row (media snob remember) to watch the finals and the live stats of Davidson baseball at Furman simultaneously. Once the finals wrapped, which included a new NCAA record in the 100 breast, we swung by the hotel to pick up Lindsey and hopped over to Noodles and Co. for dinner.

After a quick interview with Lindsey on this morning's 200 free prelim, we parted ways til the morning, and I made my way to the hotel restaurant because I needed the social interaction to pull me through the work I needed to finish before the evening was over. While completing Episode three and writing up the
Davidson baseball's comeback win over Furman in the opening game of the series, I met a group of Tennessee swimming parents who wanted to know what school I swam for.

No, I'm the SID for Davidson.

Davidson, Davidson... Carolina? A parent offers.

Yeah, you might have heard of Stephen (or Stef-on, if you're Jim Nantz circa 2010) Curry?


I tell them all about how much I have enjoyed the atmosphere this week, especially my seats next to the Georgia fan section. They do not seem amused.

A little while later, go to bed, they tell me.

I would love to, I respond. But you all take for granted when you go home and read those stories on Somewhere, there's an SID sitting in a hotel restaurant writing a story.

And tonight, that SID is me.

Swim Number Two Results: 200 Free

By: Lauren Biggers

Lindsey finished second in her heat with a new personal best and Davidson record time of 1:48.76. The plan was to swim aggressively and go out fast, to prepare for tomorrow's 100, one of her strongest events. Lindsey burned her heat on the first 100, finishing with a 51.71 split. I haven't talked to either yet, but I gotta assume they are pretty pleased with that swim. @J_young's twitter certainly suggests as much. Overall, Lindsey finished 55th in the event.

Check the website for complete preliminary results, which I'll post when available, and check back later for video of the morning's swim. Lindsey's got one more shot to final, swimming the 100 free prelim tomorrow morning.

Exploring Russia- Day 18

By: Erin Lycan
The team concluded the 2010 Kuban Tournament on Tuesday, March 16th, by watching the Final match, played between the national teams of China and Russia. Because our team (both coaches and players) got to know the Chinese, we were pulling for them to beat the host team. China did indeed prevail, beating the Russians 2-0.

Following the match, the tournament awards were presented and we were very proud that our very own Jenna Gibney was awarded the tournament’s “Best Midfielder” award. We knew we had a tough group in the tournament and this was confirmed when 3 of the 6 awards were awarded to teams in our group (Best Midfielder: Region 1, Best Defender: Ukraine National Team, Best Goalkeeper: Krasnodar Regional Team).

Following the awards ceremony, all of the teams returned to the hotel where the coaches attended a banquet for the coaches and members of the Russian Football Federation, and the players attended the final night of presentations by the various teams.

During the coaches’ banquet, the coaches were able to interact with the coaching staffs of the other teams and we learned some very interesting things including:

*The Krasnodar Regional Team we had played twice (tied 2-2 and lost 0-3) was actually a professional team and had several players over the age of 24

*In Uzbekistan, they have only 100 registered female soccer players

*In Estonia, they have only 600 registered female soccer players

The following statement was printed in the tournament program and expresses the sentiments from the coaching staff, that are representative of our entire group:

On behalf of Region 1 ODP, US Youth Soccer, and the United States Soccer Federation, we are honored to have earned an invitation to this very special tournament. We would like to thank the Football Union of Russia and all of those who played a part in organizing this important event. The hospitality and accommodations that were provided to us were first-class and this event, both on and off the field, has been a life changing experience for all who are a part of our travel party. We were honored to meet such great people and learn about so many different cultures from around the world. The tournament itself is provided a high standard of play that has helped our players grow and we hope to be considered when planning this event for years to come.

To all of our followers throughout this event, we appreciate all of your help and support – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Suit Em Up: Day Two

By: Lauren Biggers

Good Morning blogosphere. John brought coffee again this a.m. (!), and we're back at the pool for day two of the action at the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships. Back in my front row media spot, which in typical SID fashion, I have claimed for the week. It's a pretty good location, Georgia fans not withstanding, on the aisle side directly above lane one on the side of the pool opposite the starting blocks. I think I shall keep it.

Lindsey's swimming the 200 freestyle today, her self-proclaimed least favorite of her three events on her program this week.
If you read the Q & A I did with Lindsey before the championships, you learned that, like any good sprinter, she prefers the shorter 50 and 100s to the 200. But she and John have been discussing strategy since the prelims wrapped up yesterday and she's ready to do it again. Excited for her 100 tomorrow, too.

The 200 free will be the fourth event of the day, and Lindsey is in the third lane of the first heat along with Katie Radloff of William & Mary, a regular-season opponent. The 200 medley relay kicks off the day, followed by the 400 IM and 100 fly. After the 200 free, the 100 breast and 100 backstroke wrap up the morning session.

Check back later for updates on Lindsey's finish and later in the day for Episode Three of our video diary. I'll be twittering throughout the morning as well, sometimes useful information, like lanes and times, sometimes entertaining (IMO) and fun facts. Like how Hootie and the Blowfish's "I Only Want To Be With You" will always be an awesome song.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clair Prevails 4-1

By Mark Brumbaugh - 3/18/2010 - 8:55 p.m. Central

Sean Clair of Eastern Michigan defeated Alex via a 4-1 decision.  Complete story to follow.

Starting in a minute

By Mark Brumbaugh


On Deck

By Mark Brumbaugh - 3/18/2010 - 8:40 p.m. Central
Alex is on deck! The match before has two periods to go.


By Mark Brumbaugh
I'm thinking it will be more like 9:00 p.m. CT/10:00 p.m. ET. We're still in the 184 and 197 matches, so we need to get through those, heavyweight, and then 125 pound wrestlebacks before Alex.

Stay tuned!


By Mark Brumbaugh

My bad. Turns out they don't go in chronological order on the brackets. They are doing all of the Championship brackets before the wrestlebacks, so Alex probably won't go until 9:30 central / 10:30 eastern.

Back in Action

By Mark Brumbaugh
SID Row - We're back!  Alex should wrestle within the next half-hour.

In the meantime, enjoy this interview with Bobby P:

Back at the Hotel

By Mark Brumbaugh
Doubletree, Omaha, Neb. - We're back at the hotel resting up for Session II tonight.

Some random thoughts . . .

-The atmosphere is INCREDIBLE in the arena. With eight matches going on, there are just waves of fans cheering.The arena is packed  Pretty cool when you have multiple sections yelling twoooooo!

-The rivalries are pretty intense, as well. A big cheer went up when Oklahoma State got deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

-It's good to see some familiar faces. Plenty of SoCon people around and a couple of the officials who are regulars at Davidson matches.

-For those reading my tweets or trying to follow the action online at, you may have noticed there was quite a delay before Alex went. There was a protest of a call during the prior match that held up the action.

Stay tuned! I'll put together a video of today soon. Things get back underway at 6:30 p.m. central/7:30 eastern.

Go 'Cat

Alex Drops Opener

By Mark Brumbaugh
Alex got pinned in 3:38 in his first match. He'll face Sean Clair of Eastern Michigan in the wrestlebacks which start tonight at 6:30 central/7:30 eastern.

Alex to go soon

By Mark Brumbaugh
SID Seating, Qwest Center, Omaha, Neb. - Alex about to start!

Alex Weighs In

By Mark Brumbaugh
SID Seating, Qwest Center, Omaha, Neb. - Alex successfully weighed in and the mats are filling up with wrestlers warming up.

He and Joe Privitere are jogging now to start their pre-match warm-up.

Less than an hour away from the start!

Feel free to send me an email at with any questions or comments.

Go 'Cats!

Episode Two: The 50 Free Prelim Swim

By: Lauren Biggers

Lindsey finished the 50 free ranked 30th in the country, which didn’t final but is still pretty awesome. More than awesome. It's really freaking awesome. I don’t know if Lindsey or John really knew what to expect, but I think they both came out of the day pretty pleased. Not content, but pleased.

After the prelims finished up, we caravanned to Chili’s, which in my humble opinion is always a home run. I would use a swimming metaphor, but I can’t think of parallel. A splash? Since it was around 2 in the afternoon, we did not have much competition for 10-person tables, a nice benefit to a late lunch, as Lindsey’s parents, sister and grandparents joined John, Jessica and I for bottomless chips and salsa, etc. etc.

Post lunch, Lindsey and co. made a Target run (how did I not end up in that car?! Probably for the best, says my bank account) and John and I hit up RadioShack for an adapter for the radio (so we don’t have to listen to Indiana radio anymore, even though he doesn’t have any Lady Gaga on his iphone) and (more!) Starbucks.

We spent the next few hours watching basketball (seriously?!) and making the second episode of our video diary. John went to take a nap and Lindsey and Jessica were (supposed to be) studying. The four of us met back up and went over to watch the evening finals.

This is easily the largest and fastest swim meet I’ve been to, and I really like my front row media seat. John, Lindsey and Jessica watch from the pool deck with the other swimmer people, but I need to be able to access my e-mail, twitter and Facebook and well, I think we already established I don’t have a smart phone. I am also a media seating snob it would seem.

And I had to finish Episode Two of our video diary, which includes footage of Lindsey’s 50 free race and a post-swim interview. I think I could get into this iMovie stuff. Watching basketball in the hotel restaurant and working on my “film,” a pair of Stanford swimming parents was wowed by my movie making skills. I’m sure they haven’t seen a lot of people make movies, though.

Once finals wrapped up, the four of us head back towards the hotel with a quick pit stop at the Applebee’s located a convenient stones throw away. Yes, Lindsey’s interview is filmed in an Applebee’s booth. And no, boss, James Cameron probably won’t make this decision. My apologies. We work with what we got.

Signing off for the day. Lindsey kicks off competition in the 200 free tomorrow morning in the 11 a.m. prelims. Follow along on twitter at @DavidsonWildcat for the most up-to-date updates and check back here later for some more of my witty banter. And as always, thanks for reading.

Blog on Davidson Athletics

Welcome to the official blog of the Davidson Wildcats! Take an inside look at the world of college athletics from Davidson players, coaches and staff.

Search This Blog