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

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