Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hard Work Pays Off

In Albany, NY the team found their dream ride!
By Meg Jarrell

After splitting games during our trip to Albany, New York, and then splitting games again against Robert Morris and #2 UNC, we were all ready to start a winning streak. And what better time to do it than the beginning of conference play?

Last Saturday all of the hard work we’ve been putting in really paid off with a 2-1 win against Longwood. Not only was the win a great way to start off conference play, but it was a well-earned victory. The team battled schoolwork, fatigue, and even a few colds throughout the week, but we persevered and pushed through to play some really great hockey. Finley put up two goals including a beautiful unassisted one near the end to win the game. A goal that pretty and solid really messes with a team mentally, so with some solid team defense we were able to cruise to our first conference victory.

Sophomore Sydney Schreiner works hard while working
out in the athletic training room. Nether hard work nor
injuries keep DCFH from working hard.
We had to make a quick turnaround to get ready to play App State on Tuesday on their field turf. Since we play on AstroTurf all the time, field turf is a big change for us. Luckily the football team had the day off on Monday so we were able to use their field to get used to the different surface. Field turf is slower and seems to almost stick to the ball at times so playing on it can be very frustrating. Also, the small black pellets that come with field turf get EVERYWHERE. Two days later we are still finding them in our shoes and bags- even our laundry! I don’t know how the football team deals with playing on it all the time. It’s a beautiful field, but we’ll stay on our own beautiful turf field from now on. :)

Normally when we travel to App it’s super cold and there’s a lot of wind. Their stadium is only really open at one end so the wind will whip through and make it really cold. Luckily for us App State was warmer than usual. We still brought Under Armour to stay warm, but a lot of us took it off when game time came around. As usual, App State’s sound system really blasted through the stadium and pumped us up. Ginny got some silly videos of us dancing during our stretching that are sure to be included in the end of season video. The fun didn’t end with warm ups though. Finley followed up her Longwood performance with another two-goal performance and Tyler added another to give us a 3-1 win. It may have been a long night, but the late bus ride back is always more pleasant when you’re coming home with a win!

Next weekend while the rest of our classmates go on Fall Break DCFH will head up to Richmond to play St. Louis. Then on Tuesday we head over to Winston-Salem to play Wake Forest, a usual powerhouse in college field hockey. We want to continue with our winning ways so wish us luck!

-Meg #10

Don’t forget to follow us @DCFH on Twitter if you haven’t already!

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Week of School, First Road Trip, and First Home Game

Freshman Julia Guthrie shows how prepared she is to beat Georgetown…. 24 hours in advance.

By Meg Jarrell

With classes starting, we’ve all been super busy, but every day from 415-645 we get to take a break from school to go out on the field and focus on the game we love. It’s always hard to get back in the swing of things right away, but DCFH hit the ground running the first two weeks of school with our first road trip and our first home game.

The focus we were able to keep through preseason and the first week of school paid off right away. We opened up our season up in Washington, D.C. against Georgetown. Georgetown is always a big rivalry for us, so we were all pumped to play (and beat!) them. Even though the freshmen didn’t quite understand the rivalry yet, they caught on to the excitement. Almost all of them showed up for our 6-hour bus ride dressed in their warm up gear, even though our game wasn’t until the next day!

The view from the back on the bus, where I sit. It may have been bright and sunny outside, but most of the team was asleep!
On the bus ride up we hit a little bit of bad weather and a lot of traffic, so it was longer than expected. However, we all were able to catch up on sleep and homework and watch a bunch of movies. Bus rides, even the long ones, are one of my favorite parts of being on the field hockey team. If you have to drive 6+ hours, doing it with 20 of your best friends is the way to go. Along the way we helped teach our coach how to work Twitter since Davidson Field Hockey just got an account. Follow us on Twitter @DCFH!

We ended up coming away from the Georgetown game with a 2-0 win. The first half started a little slow, but we held on and, after some key adjustments during halftime, we dominated the second half. It’s a really good sign when a team can listen to their coaches and teammates at half time and then go on to make the adjustments on the field right away. Our ability to do that will really end up taking us far this season.

Unfortunately the hurricane that took the east coast by storm caused our game against LaSalle to be canceled. We were all disappointed we didn’t get to play again, but it was nice to be back on campus early to rest up for a full week of practice. After 5 days out on the field, we felt fully prepared to face off against #16 Louisville in our first home game.

Normally facing off against such a highly regarded opponent would set nerves on edge, but after the great season we had last year and all of the hard work we’ve done so far this year, we couldn’t wait to measure ourselves against a top-ranked team.

Support for each other is a special part of being a Davidson Athlete. A nice note from the football team now hangs in our locker room on the team bulletin board.
At the game we had a ton of fans, which really helped keep the energy going the whole game. Since we only have 6 home games to enjoy this year, it really meant a lot to our team to see so many friends and family members in the stands.

Although we lost to Louisville 5-3, it was a really hard fought game. The game was tied up until the last few minutes, and although we were disappointed we didn’t come out with a W, we played some absolutely phenomenal hockey. Like our coaches said afterwards, if this is where we start, there’s no limit to how good we can become. VCU and William and Mary better watch out next weekend when we head up to Richmond for a doubleheader on the road!!

-Meg #10

Monday, August 22, 2011

And it beings…Preseason 2011

One of our nightly scrimmages was sadly cut short, but it was almost worth it for this awesome view of our field!

Meg Jarrell in the Dunk Tank at Fan Day
My name is Meg Jarrell and I am a senior on the Davidson Field Hockey Team. With the season underway, it’s time to bring the DCFH blog back to life. Hopefully DCFH alumni and the original blog-writer Courtney Tobe left if in good hands…

Check back here for updates on how our season is going, interviews with players, and pictures of our team throughout the season. We are going to be out on the road together a lot this season, literally going coast to coast (Albany, NY and Stanford, CA!), so I expect there to be plenty of DCFH memories to record.

The first challenge our team faces is preseason. Preseason is a time before class starts when the team is able to get together and really jump start our season. We have over 15 practices in a little over a week to prepare ourselves for the season.  That many practices might seem like a lot, but that is because it takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication to push our team to the level we want to reach. Coming off one of the most successful seasons in DCFH history, we all have a lot of expectations for the upcoming season. It’s hard, but we all know how much it can pay off, so we’re excited to be back out on the field.

Freshmen and seniors alike have some pretty bad nerves at breakfast the first day. We all wonder how we’ll do in the conditioning tests, how our team will look on the field, and how our bodies will survive the physical challenge we will put them through.  But, that’s one of the good things about having 3 practices a day I guess. By the end of the first day, you’re too tired to be nervous. You just eat, sleep, and play field hockey. Our coaches give us a summer running program to prepare us the best way possible, but there’s nothing quite like playing for over 5 hours a day. However, after a few days your muscles begin to adapt to all the running and playing and you get into what we call “field hockey shape.”  Once we all reach that point, our playing really takes off and we begin to fine-tune our individual skills and team play.

Sore muscles, bumps, and bruises are inevitable as well, but our athletic trainer, Pam Stephens, keeps us in pretty good shape. Every night we’re required to take ice baths that cool down our muscles and repair them for practice the next day. Sitting in a tank of ice water after a long day out on the field might sound nice, but the water is usually less than 55 degrees! Despite the shivers, everyone still jumps right in after we shower because we can’t imagine how sore our muscles would feel if we didn’t take them.

Wildcats signing autographs for their fans at Fan Day
The best part of preseason is that you finally get to train with all of your teammates. Conditioning, even if it’s a never-ending series of sprints, is much more enjoyable when you have your teammates running next to you.  We also get to do things together off the field. The second day of preseason we had a short break in the afternoon to meet with and sign autographs for our fans. There are games for all the kids to play, including a dunk tank. This year I was put in the dunk tank. Luckily for me the water was pretty nice because I was dunked by every kid there it seems like. 

On Wednesday we scrimmaged Appalachian State. It was nice to be able to all play together against another team instead of the inter-squad scrimmages we have every night. We tied 2-2, but it was really great to see how well our team is coming together. Everyone is contributing and I was amazed to see how poised and confident the freshmen played in their first college game. I think it means some very good things are in store for our team down the road!

Next up we scrimmage Limestone before heading to Washington, D.C. for our opening weekend against Georgetown and LaSalle. Wish us luck!

-Meg #10

Monday, August 1, 2011

We're home!

We didn’t realize until after we left how much we’d miss all the people that made our trip an incredible experience!  Hasta Luego (see you again soon) meant something different with each good bye, so we refused to say Adios (bye) hoping it won’t ever be true!

Volleyball Friends: Throughout our weeks in Cádiz, we had the opportunity to play beach volleyball a few times each week with some native gaditanos (citizens in Cádiz).  Our host mother, María, always encouraged us to make new friends from Cádiz, and this group was the closest that we got to her goal. We skipped a few intercambios (language exchange student classes) to play with them by claiming that we were still getting Spanish speaking experience, but mainly they just taught us new slang expressions.  By the last week, we actually felt like we knew the guys and one girl, Marta, on a personal basis, so they invited us to celebrate the last night playing with them! Lina got to play with them until we saw a gorgeous sunset but left to finish her final paper, and Tindall got the chance to stay out with them playing until midnight then enjoying an American burger and hanging out with them into the late night.  We got everyone’s Facebook information, so hopefully we will be able to keep in touch with them! Appeasing María, we really did become friends with them, who are truly genuine people that we will dearly miss!

Pepe (María’s soon to be husband) and Abuela Loca:  Whenever these two characters joined us for lunch, we knew that we were in for a good time.  We spent the majority of our time laughing at Abuela for ridiculous things like her yoga moves at the dinner table or on the other hand, trying to crack a joke with Pepe.  Our last lunch together, we got the best of both of them- Pepe, who always speaks the truth, declared that Abuela is the main part of María’s crazy family meanwhile she refused to stop feeding Poncho, our dog, like a little kid.  No wonder María refers to her mom as hija (daughter)!  By the last lunch, we figured out a few cues to our meal- the blender noise equaled gazpacho, Pepe wearing the apron hinted at fried fish, and the Abuela Loca wore the same dress every lunch.  We always enjoyed their company throughout the week!

María (our mom):
Claaarrrro.  This soothing word coming from María’s mouth always put us at ease.  We could say so much about this amazing woman, and she ultimately made it the experience of our lifetime!   Chatting for an extra hour at the lunch table every weekday, we learned about her life, compared Spain and the USA, or pondered about our ideal place to relax.  She always encouraged us to go out, but we rarely made it back later than her staying up to watch Supervivientes (Spain’s version of Survivor) until 2:30AM, which is too late for our American standards on a school night.  She’s such a free spirit, who has a sense of joy for all aspects of life!  For example, she told us the solution to ending world hunger was selling one of the Pope’s sinks made of gold. Giving her the last besito was the hardest part of leaving Cádiz!

She went out of her way to make sure we were always happy and comfortable and without a doubt treated us like real daughters!  Although she always joked about us needing to find friends, with her we always had a friend at our side. From visiting her store, watching movies with her, treating her to a dinner on the town, listening to her sing as she cooked our lunch, feeding us like giants, enjoying beverages in the Plaza, and Skyping our families with her (impressed with the Brown’s Spanish skills and thought my dad was guapo plus loved that he’s a political man), we will miss every laugh, language misunderstanding, joke, or smile together!

Davidson Group: Although we only knew about half of the people in this group before arriving in Spain, we have new friendships that we’ll keep forever.  We spent the first week together touring Barcelona and Madrid, but we kept growing closer throughout our weeks in Cádiz.  Whether it was a required Salsa class, playing with Profesora Willis’ adorable daughters, spending a day at the beach on Playa Victoria, eating ice cream in Plaza Mina, or starting the night out together at Nahu, we made many memories together along the journey!  We’ll see y’all at Davidson soon!

Looking back on our experience, we had THE TIME OF OUR LIVES and built unforgettable relationships!  As for us, it is a summer that we will be able to share together for the rest of our lives, and we know that these memories will remain with us forever.  God has really blessed us with this opportunity, and we couldn’t have asked for a better journey together!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting a Grasp of Granada!

By Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown

We loved visiting Granada, and the city had many new experiences to offer! Honestly, I’m surprised we left the hotel after sleeping our first full nights without the church bells every 15 minutes in Cádiz! Also, I now know why there are stereotypes in Spain about Americans loving breakfast! Scrambled eggs, crepes with chocolate, cereal, various meats, fresh fruit, and a coffee machine filled us up for the weekend. Ultimately, we did leave the hotel to wander the narrow streets with a Muslim-influenced flare! Before leaving Cádiz, we finally met our mom’s daughter, who lives in Granada, so we switched places with her for the weekend! She gave us a few recommendations, but we’re jealous of where she lives because Granada is definitely an ideal place…forty minutes from the snow and beach!

Following our Americanized breakfast at the hotel, a majority of the group went to go see the La Catedral of Granada and the Capilla Real. Although somewhat similar to other cathedrals and capillas (small chapels) we had seen, it was very unique in the fact that it houses the marble tombs of Los Reyes Católicos, Ferdinand and Isabella, along with Ferdinand’s sword and Isabella’s crown and scepter. These Catholic Monarchs had an incredible influence on the history and unification of Spain!


After seeing the Alcazar in Sevilla last weekend, we had high expectations for the Alhambra in Granada! This “palace-fortress” is by far Spain’s most popular attraction. Again, the scenery blew us away, but we probably only observed portions of it outside of our camera lenses. We had a set time to enter the most famous Nasrid Palace, but we were easily able to entertain ourselves with the gardens and palaces scattered throughout the mountainous land! The main garden, called the Generalife, was our favorite, which was full of bright colors and flowers galore. Our moms would have been in heaven! Because of the many different plants, trees, scent, and smells, all of our senses were put to use. When we climbed to the top of the Alcazaba, the castle at the tip of the Alhambra, we could see a 360-degree view of the city. Once we entered the Nasrid Palace, we had déjà vu from Sevilla’s Alcazar, but this original masterpiece surpassed all comparisons. Besides admiring the tiles and intricate designs on the walls, we kept looking up to find our favorite ceilings! Sadly, the Court of the Lions was under construction, but we got to see the Court of the Myrtles, which the Alcazar tried to copy. Overall, we were in awe of the Muslim’s original design!

Another handy experience: Every tapas bar in Granada combines a free tapas with each drink usually for around three Euros, so the norm for dinner is to hop from each place to place. On Friday night, we started with the group at Bar Minotaur, but twenty people overpopulated the tiny tapas bar, so we switched to the oldest tapas bar in Granada, Antigua Bodega Castenada. On Saturday night, we searched the Arab streets for Mr. Brown’s best friends’ daughter, but we got lost in the maze and joined other friends at the Beauty and the Beast tapas bar for the night. The longer you stay at a tapas bar, the bigger the tapas become, so we eagerly anticipated each dish! We ended the night at a discoteca, Camborio, that overlooks the Alhambra illuminated at night and appears a shimmering gold in the mountains. There’s no words to describe it besides that it was gorgeous! We can’t believe that we’ve come to our last week in Cádiz, and even though we have exams and final papers, we’re hoping to live it up as much as we can!

Monday, July 18, 2011


By Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown

We have been living in Cádiz for a week and a half now and have had the chance to get situated, embrace the culture, study Spanish, and explore the city. Although every day brings something new, we have developed somewhat of a daily routine. Clanging bells from the church wake us up around 8:30 every morning. We get ready for school and usually have juice, cereal, and some sort of fruit for breakfast. Although we try to leave the house as quietly as possible, we usually hear a ¡Buenos días! or ¡Hasta luego! from María’s room.

It’s only a 5-minute walk to the university. We are both taking the same 2 culture and art classes for the first 2 hours. Then, a 30 minute café con leche break to wake us up for our 2 hour grammar class…long, but it flies by, and next thing we know we are back at the house to meet María and Pepé for lunch, the biggest meal of the day. A typical meal includes some kind of meat or fish, a salad, side, and of course—the famous gazpacho (pronounced “gapasho” in Southern Spain). The gazpacho definitely took some getting used to, but now we pretty much expect it every day. Lunch has been our favorite meal, not only because of the delicious food, but also because of the relaxed, yet entertaining conversations we have had with both María and Pepé. After lunch we have a daily bible study and then, depending on the day, either rest, siesta, go to the beach, play beach volleyball, or have other activities planned by the program. One day this week we had the chance to visit the “Torre” to see all of Cádiz, while other nights we learned how to sevillana dance and attended a flamenco show.

Beach volleyball has been one of our favorites. After receiving a name of one of the professors at the university who played beach volleyball, we tried to contact him, but didn’t have the best of luck. One of the other teachers talked to him and gave us a sheet of paper with his name and a time to show up to the courts. So, we show up to La Playa Victoria (a beautiful beach just a short bus ride away from where we are staying in Cádiz) in our sporty beach attire, hoping to give them the impression that we are serious about playing. We knew this beach was longer than the other one we had visited, but we didn’t know it was miles longer!  Not knowing where the courts were, we asked this boy that looked like he might be playing beach vball. We lucked out, and he showed us the way. We arrived right at the time that was written on the paper and started asking around if anyone knew a man named Rafa, the professor we were supposed to meet. No one had any idea. So, we waited for a while, and about 20 minutes after they had told us to arrive, we were about to leave, when we saw this guy walking up to us. It was Rafa! I guess it wasn’t hard to find 2 tall, pale American girls. We realized that Spaniards take their time with just about anything, except for talking really fast. We played some super intense 2 on 2 matches and have even been invited back to play more. Since then, our communication has improved, as we are now on their beach volleyball league e-mail chain, wooo!

If we don’t have the chance to play beach volleyball one day, we’ve continued to make up our workouts depending on the circumstances.  Also, we joined the Millennium Gym, where we’re the only Americans and girls.  The humidity seeping into the hot gym and rampant smell of testosterone covering every machine create an undesirable atmosphere, but it’s got all the machines we need! If we don’t go the sweat chamber gym, then we usually make up a circuit with sprints in Plaza San Antonio just outside our apartment.  People have stopped to take pictures of us, just stare, or one day these little kids tried copying our pushups.  Whenever we pepper with the volleyball in the plaza, the little boys surround us and beg to be on our team!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hola from Tina and Carrol!

By Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown
We’ve finished our first week in Cádiz and can’t believe it’s flown by so quickly!  Our host mother, María, is so sweet, and we’re finally getting to know her better, closing in on the communication barrier every day.  Because she only knows “Ok,” “Wow,” and “Oh my gosh!” in English, we’re forced to speak Spanish in the apartment.  Hence our new names, Carrol and Tina.  Who knew Tindall was such a complex name and Caroline was too long to say? We’re begging to respond to them, but these names will NOT travel back with us to the US.  Our apartment looks out onto San Antonio Plaza, one of the oldest in Cádiz, and María owns a hippie clothing shop directly across the plaza.  People watching is easily done from our balcony, and one night the yearly theatre parade happened to be performing below on the plaza.  Despite the gorgeous view and prime location, the church bell ringing and loud kids hanging out through the night disturbs our sleep.  Why would the bell ring 57 times at 8:45 AM? Neither one of us can answer this question, but it’s our alarm.  Also, Pepe, María’s partner, doesn’t understand our sense of humor, but we keep trying to crack jokes with him every lunch and starting to warm up to him.  We can’t forget to mention Pancho, our guard dog Chihuahua, who lives like a king and uses a liter box.  All in all, we love our family and couldn’t be more blessed to be here!

María promised us the first day that she’d cook “operation bikini style,” and we’ve fallen in love with her food, except gazpacho!  The clumpy, cold, vegetable soup has become a cuss word between Lina and I because we both hated it before arriving, but now it was somehow lost in translation that it’s our favorite.  Even María’s mom claims that María’s gazpacho is the best around, so we gulp it down every lunch.  She prepares wonderful fruits, vegetables, cheese, and of course bread to go with our main course of every meal!  She’s also fascinated by how tall we are, so she feeds us twice as much food! One lunch, we had to try to find all the spines of the fish then spit them out, which is harder than you’d think!  Before we realized tuna, tomatoes, and onions were components of every meal, we switched salad plates to help each other join the clean plate club when María walked out of the room.  Luckily for us, María praises us for eating everything she puts on the plate, and most of it we normally love!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


By Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown

During our two bus trips to Zaragoza and Segovia, we’ve noticed Spain’s beautiful countryside, covered with fields of sunflowers and mountainous towns.  Zaragoza had a beautiful Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar with frescos by Goya.

Fun fact: In Zaragoza, we made it onto the Spanish television as an example of viewers judging suggestively dressed people, which somehow translated into the difference of showing versus teaching.  We ate lunch on the Main Plaza of Zaragoza and relaxed during our bus ride from Barcelona to Madrid.

We also took a bus from Madrid to Segovia, to spend the day in the quaint town with windy cobblestone streets and unique architecture.  The Cathedral stands out with its gothic architecture and classy décor.  But the main draw of Segovia is the Alcázar Castle, which Walt Disney actually modeled Sleeping Beauty’s castle after this gorgeous sight.  Following the lead of Lina’s friends, we’ve been planking in famous town squares, but we decided to plank on the monstrous Roman aqueduct in Segovia too.  What better way to see the view than perched on the edge of the wall?!

We’ll finally be traveling to Cádiz tomorrow and can’t wait for the slower paced lifestyle.  Although we’ve been here for a week, we have not slowed down to take a real ciesta.  We can’t wait to meet our mom and get into our new routine life for the next month!

10 facts we’ve learned so far in Spain:
1. Water for free does not exist, so 1.5 liter bottles are sold everywhere.
2. Ham and cheese sandwiches replace turkey and lettuce.
3. We’re taller than the general Spanish woman’s population, garnering extra stares.
4. White bread or French bread comes with every meal… I don’t remember what wheat bread tastes like.
5. Spanish tortilla is the best thing you’ll ever eat until you realize that it’s served all the time and everywhere.
6. This past week was Gay Pride week in Madrid: rainbows covered the city giving us a different perspective on the culture.
7. McDonald’s hamburger and fries is 7 Euro’s (around $10.50), so there’s no such thing as the Euro (Dollar) Menu.
8. Don’t try to take a picture down the middle of the street because cars don’t follow the red stopping signal.
9. Starbucks are internationally on every corner.
10. The maid comes to remake your bed around 6pm after ciesta time, which are necessary.

Imagine trying to do an exercise circuit on a City’s busiest street…. People stopped to watch us do each station from planks to sprints.  Our overview tour of Madrid, a walking tour through the historic district, was informational but an overload of Spanish to start the day, trying to understand the tour guide. Eventually, each city’s Cathedral seems the same, but this one stood out as our favorite.  Madrid’s Cathedral de la Almudena has painted ceilings, vibrant stain-glass windows, and intricate stonework. Why did citizens in the sixteen or seventeenth century put so much money into this creation? At the same time, no building during my lifetime compares to the innovative architecture of the Cathedrals, palaces, and basilicas. The Plaza Mayor, Retiro Gardens, Plaza Sol, theatres, Plaza de la Villa, and Palacio Real were other highlights of the tour! 

To get around, Spaniards walk everywhere and public transportation is always the second option, easily one Euro to get anywhere.  For lunch, most restaurants have a standard price, 10-12 Euros, for three courses and a drink.  We dined at VIPS, which is a similar chain to TGI Fridays and popular lunch spot.  For the afternoon plan, we quickly walked through Reina Sophia to see Pablo Picasso’s famous painting, Guernica.  Then, we walked through the rooms of the Prado with some of the most recognized artwork. Rafael, Velasquez, Goya, and many other early Spanish artists are some of the few we stopped to see.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

¡Hola desde BARCELONA!

Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown continue to explore Spain

Part 1
The past three days we have been in the beautiful and historical city of Barcelona. After arriving in the airport around 9 AM on Sunday morning, we settled in at the Colon Hotel in the plaza of central Barcelona, directly across from the cathedral and surrounded by little shops and restaurants. Although jet-lagged after an 8-hour flight out of Atlanta, we had the chance to explore the city on our own. After dodging several cars, Tindall and I quickly realized that the lights telling pedestrians when to walk and don’t walk across the street are actually the same as in America. We walked down many streets, including Las Ramblas, one of the most known streets in Barcelona. We weaved our way through a flood of people, while holding our purse close to our bodies, as Las Ramblas has the infamous reputation for having thieves and scam artists. Although dressed in gym shorts and a t-shirt, we tried our best not to look too much like American tourists, while observing the cafes, vendors, and musicians along the sides of la calle.

Monday morning! Trying to adjust to the time difference, we woke up at 7:15 a.m. for a nice run/sprints along the port with the soccer girls. After breakfast, the entire group went on a biking tour to explore the city. We had a very entertaining guide from Australia, who gave us a good idea of what Barcelona is all about. One of the things that surprised me the most was the cultural diversity. Even though Barcelona is part of Spain, the Catalonia roots are still very prominent. Not only was this seen through the language spoken in Barcelona, Catalan, but also through the presence of buildings and parks built by the Spanish to show their authority over and suppression of all Catalan culture. It is very interesting to me how so many of the places and sites we saw are influenced by the Spain/Catalan conflict. The Catalan identity is still present, and to this day, many people do not feel as if Catalonia is a part of Spain.

The bike tour was not on the hardest terrain, however, there were still several obstacles in our way. Whether we were going up narrow streets, riding in the bus lane, ringing the bells on our bikes, or being distracted by the beautiful views and unique architecture, we had to watch out for people because they were everywhere! We stopped by the cathedral, parks, a bullfight arena, and towards the end of the tour we ate lunch out by the beach. Later that day we visited one of Barcelona’s most famous attractions: La Sagrada Familia. This church is very unique, as it is the unfinished masterpiece of the famous artist and architect, Antoni Gaudí. It is a representation of Jesus’ life, as Gaudí shows the birth, crucifixion, and the 12 disciples in some form through his architecture. We were blown away. I have never seen any sort of church like this.

For dinner we had tapas - a new experience for both of us! At the countertop there were plates and plates of different tapas, similar to appetizers. Each was a piece of food on top of a piece of bread with a toothpick through the top.  Depending on how many toothpicks were on your plate at the end determined how much you had to pay. Half the time I didn’t even know what I was eating, but I guess that’s what makes the whole cultural experience worth it!

Part 2
Wednesday we traveled to Montserrat (meaning- serrated mountain), a side trip from Barcelona. Here we took a gondola up to a small town, where we saw the Catedral de la Virgin Negra. We also went on a beautiful hike up to a cross. The views at the top were incredible; looking out over the hills and mountains to the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees.  After this we took a metro back to the city of Barcelona. Tindall and I would agree that after a workout in the morning and a hike up a mountain, we were exhausted and ready for a nap. However, we still had not seen Park Güell, another one of Gaudi’s projects. While most of the group went back to the hotel, Tindall and I and a few others decided that we would just make a quick visit there to see what it’s all about. Well, little did we know that it would take over an hour to get there.  We think we took the wrong metro because we ended up having to walk a long ways and had to walk up a super steep street just to get to the entrance. This definitely challenged our navigational skills. Although it was like another hike, when we arrived, we were so glad we had decided to go. Park Güell is another representation of Gaudi’s incredible work and his influence on Spain. It was originally built to be a private garden neighborhood, but because it was so out of the ordinary, the government decided it would just be a park open to the public. There are houses (that kind of look like gingerbread houses) with colorful broken tiles, gardens, flowers, and structural design that looks like dripping sand castles. We took advantage of our time there, and on our way back, we stopped to get some ice cream and to buy a Spain soccer jersey. They knew we were Americans and tried to rip us off at first. Who knew that bargaining in Spanish could actually be kind of fun?

Now we are on our way to the great city of Madrid! We are stopping in Zaragoza on the way for lunch and to see the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. El Pasoans reading this—this could be where we got the street name Zaragoza. We are excited for everything yet to come…We are in love with Spain.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Volleyball Sophs Headed to Spain

Rising sophomore volleyball players Tindall Sewell and Caroline Brown (a.k.a. Lina) are studying abroad in Spain for five weeks this summer and will be blogging about their experiences. Check out their first entry!

Family, Friends, Davidson kids, random people stumbling upon our blog, or Lina’s thousand cousins,

Whatever brings you to this blog, I hope we can recapture our trip to Spain for you.  Whether it’s a long, short, thrilling, boring, or funny post, stick with us as long as you can over this five-week adventure (our parents need to know that we’re alive). We’ll update you as often as we feel necessary, and we can’t believe this day has finally come for us to leave!

I have a few expectations for the first day of our adventure: Lina will not need sleeping pills for the plane (she’s a veteran napper) and I will devour all Delta Biscoff cookies in sight (the best part about flying).  For now, Lina’s flight is on time (the first time these two phrases have been used in the same sentence), and she’s stopping in Atlanta for a brief layover before our 5:55 p.m. flight to Barcelona.  Willy’s with friends, west paces shopping center, Westminster, and the Sewell house will be the brief schedule for Atlanta, and then the journey begins to Spain.  We will be staying in Barcelona for 3 nights, Madrid for 3 nights, and then Cádiz (on the southern coast of Spain) for a month with a host family.  Our new mom’s name is María and we will have a 29-year-old sister, Chepa.  We’re technically there to earn two course credits, but I couldn’t tell you the names of them at the moment.  This is the preliminary information that we’ve received, but we’ll take each day as a surprise (it’s tough to translate the Spanish itinerary)!

Sit back, relax, and try to laugh at one of our stories!  We will miss all of our family and friends, thinking of you often on the trip!

See you soon America,
Lina and Tindall

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Final Thoughts From Oxford

By Allen Page

Page on the beach of St. Malo in France
Well, it’s my last full day in Oxford.  This semester has been really great, and I am so glad that I got to study abroad – I’m especially thankful that our program is one that enables us, even as full time student-athletes, to participate in study abroad programs.  Having been away for so long, I’m really excited and rejuvenated to return to Davidson for this last year and for what promises to be a great season.

Notre Dame in Paris
The last few weeks of my stay here have been pretty action packed!  I think that I (and others) realized how little time we had left, because things had flown by so quickly, and decided that we needed to get all the traveling in that we could.  I went with three friends on the big trip to France that I had been looking forward to for a long time.  We went to Paris and got to eat a real French dinner with a real French family, which was great, along with doing all the great tourist things that Paris offers – the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the great museums.   Afterwards, we went up to the northern coast, and got to see the cool cities of St. Malo and Mont St. Michel.  We finished up our trip with a visit to the American Cemetery at the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, which was really cool as an American. 

I also got to take a shorter day trip to Bath.  I went by myself, just to get out of Oxford for a bit and see something new.  Bath is the location of the only natural hot spring in Britain, so it has been an attraction for (literally) thousands of years.  The Romans built a bathhouse and temple there, which was rediscovered relatively recently, and now it is turned into a museum where you can go and see what’s left of the ruins.

It wasn’t all travel though.  Sometimes, I just needed some time to catch up on Oxford.  I got to take a day and do a lot of cool stuff around the city, like visiting museums and touring some of the many colleges.  Magdalen College, for example, has a unique deer park inside its gates along with the more common college features like the massive chapel and many beautiful school buildings.  New College (which I believe dates to the 15th century – don’t quote me on that – and yet retains its title) is renowned for their choir, and I got to hear them perform a service, which was really cool.  Finally, the day ended with a meal and drink at the Turf Tavern, which is very likely the coolest bar or hang-out place I have ever been to.  That will probably be my last fish and chips for a long time.

Island Abbey of Mont St. Michel
My eighth-week tutorials marked the final academic challenges of junior year and witnessed the completion of the final of the eighteen papers I have written in these three months.  Talk about a lot of writing; I’m considering just combining all of them into a giant psychology/Shakespeare/modern literature dissertation … that’s legal right?  So, now I am officially a Davidson senior, which is really wild.  These college years have flown by so fast; I hope we can prolong this upcoming season as long as possible.

There hasn’t been much ado about soccer around these parts since the season ended.  A few stories about transfer rumors, a few tabloid scandals, but no real games to watch, and considering the Oxford students are swamped with exams, not much playing going on.  Last night though, I sat up until 2 a.m. and watched Freddy Adu (who would have thought?) guide USA into the Gold Cup final.  Mexico, here we come.  Also, at our last night at the house, we had a fun pickup game in the backyard, but I am looking very much forward to getting back in a real game again.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to the heat though, but I guess that’s the tradeoff.

Anyways, it’s been a pleasure sharing bits of my trip for you.  For those of you who ever have the chance to visit England, a trip to Oxford is definitely worth it.  It’s way cooler than London.  For my younger teammates, or future recruits.  If you have the opportunity to study abroad, I encourage you to be brave and try it.  I have missed playing soccer so much, but the time away has really motivated me to come back and do everything I can to make this season our best yet.  So, now, I get to travel for a few days in the Cinque Terra in Italy, and then it’s back to the States.  Even in Oxford, though, it’s a brilliant day to be a Wildcat. 

Signing off,

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Halfway Through Term and Soccer Season Concludes

By Allen Page
Page, far right, with classmates in his backyard in Oxford.

Hi guys! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! I know I mentioned this last time, but it is so strange to think that it is summer back home, not only because I am still in school, but also because the weather has remained essentially the same since I’ve been here – between about 55 and 65 most every day. I’ve heard reports that temperatures are beginning to creep up into the 90s back home.

Anyways, we are well into the term here, just past the midway point. It’s fifth week according to Oxford students, who describe each of the eight weeks of term likewise. It actually makes planning much easier – you don’t have to worry about dates when you know you have an engagement Tuesday of sixth week, or Saturday of eighth week, etc. It reminds me a bit of how, at Davidson, we refer to the highway exits not by the name of the road or town, but by the number. Mooresville isn’t Mooresville; it’s 36. Each place has its own idiosyncrasies, I guess.

School here has been moving along as usual – two classes a week, two papers a week. However, I must mention I had an off week this go-around and only had one paper. One would expect that the extra time would enable me to get ahead on work; in reality, of course, I actually procrastinated more than usual for my one paper and condemned myself to doing all the reading and writing in about six hours. I generally do not recommend this approach.

I still haven’t travelled too much, although I am planning to go with a few friends to Paris and the northern coast of France this weekend. We will actually get to see the beaches of Normandy and the American soldier cemetery on D-Day, which I anticipate will be really special and cool. I have been to London a few times in the last month, though. On one of the trips, we went to see a play performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (notice my nifty British spelling), which was very cool. It is an outdoor theatre with a big standing area, where we stood for 3 hours, much of which was in pouring rain, and watched. It was a really unique experience, and nothing like I had ever witnessed before.

Page at Stamford Bridge
The other trip, a few weeks back, was to see Chelsea play their last home game of the season. They were playing Newcastle, and true to Chelsea form (remember I am a United fan), the blues totally underachieved. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, with Newcastle snatching a late goal to pick up the point. I must say though, of the few stadiums I have now been to on this trip and a previous one (Old Trafford, Wembley, The Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Craven Cottage, Loftus Road, and Kassam Stadium), Stamford Bridge might be my favorite. We were crammed underneath an overhang in the end-zone section, but it was still very cool.

As most of you know, the soccer season is now unfortunately over. The Champions League final in London showed that Barcelona is still without comparison. I had hoped to get tickets to the game, but it was nearly impossible, and incredibly expensive too, so I had to content myself to watch in the Dew Drop Inn, a pub near our house where I have watched most of the games so far. All this watching has me itching to play again, and though I am thoroughly enjoying my time here, I’m also looking very much forward to getting back on the field with the boys!

Cheers for now,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tutorials Commence, the Royal Wedding and Old Trafford

By Allen Page

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since I last posted. Since then, a lot has happened! The main change is that term has finally started, meaning that all the students have returned to Oxford and that tutorials have commenced. In fact, I had my first one yesterday – and I have the rest of the week off, which is great. Of course, I still have to do a ton of reading (maybe even more reading than…. Davidson? – am I allowed to say that?). It’s so strange for me that my teammates are finishing school so soon, and the seniors are preparing to graduate while I still have half of a semester left!

This past weekend, Britain has been abuzz with the Royal Wedding, the marriage between Price William and Kate Middleton. The wedding took place last Friday, and thousands of spectators flocked to Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park, and Westminster Abbey in London to try and catch a glimpse of royalty. I tagged along with a number of people in our group and made the early morning trek to London to get a good spot to witness the festivities. It involved a lot of sitting around, but it was pretty cool to see the Queen of England and the other members of the Royal Family, even if for a brief moment. Fortunately, despite the overwhelming presence of the Union Jack, I never forgot my dedication to good ol’ America.

Though I’ve got to visit a number of cool places around Oxford and London, one of the highlights of my trip so far was my recent trip to the Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford, home of the self-proclaimed world’s greatest club, Manchester United. There, I got to see the Red Devils go up against Tim Howard and Everton. Indeed it was a glorious occasion, especially since I am a United fan! As the game played out, it seemed that they were destined not to score, but just when the fans were beginning to lose hope, the young and energetic Javier Hernandez, called “Chicharito”, scored in the 88th minute to go ahead! And my, my, did the stadium erupt. It was unlike anything I had ever witnessed firsthand! By the time the crowd had settled down, my throat and arms were sore from cheering for so long. The goal had huge implications for the rest of the season, as Manchester United is only leading the title race by three points. Getting to see a game at Old Trafford had been something I’d always wanted to do, and the experience did not disappoint!

Besides that game, I got to see Oxford’s local club, Oxford United, play twice. Both games were a lot of fun; both were full of goals. The first one saw Oxford drop a 2-0 lead to one of the top teams in League Two, Wycombe Wanderers, to end in a 2-2 draw. In the second game, which was their last home game, Oxford went down 1-0 to Lincoln but rallied in the second half to win 2-1. The team draws pretty good support from the city – not quite the 75 or so thousand that Manchester United gets, but still a good 7-9 thousand, depending on the game.

To my teammates, good luck on finals. To the seniors, congratulations for a diploma well earned. To the rest, enjoy the summer.


P.S. It can’t possibly be better weather at home than it has been here – if anyone tells you that England is cold, wet, and dark, don’t believe them! It’s only rained once for the month I’ve been in Oxford, and the temperature has hovered right around 60 for most of the time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Live Blog: Davidson vs. Presbyterian (Baseball)

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The Wildcats' Roar live blog continues with baseball tonight. Mark Brumbaugh of the sports information office is at the keyboard, so follow along below and feel free to send in your comments and questions!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Live Blog: Davidson vs. Duke (Baseball)

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The Wildcats' Roar live blog continues with baseball tonight. Mark Brumbaugh of the sports information office is at the keyboard, so follow along below and feel free to send in your comments and questions!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Live Blog: Davidson vs. App. State (Baseball)

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The Wildcats' Roar live blog continues with baseball tonight. Mark Brumbaugh of the sports information office is at the keyboard, so follow along below and feel free to send in your comments and questions!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Live Blog: Davidson vs. UNCG (Baseball)

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The Wildcats' Roar live blog continues with baseball tonight. Mark Brumbaugh of the sports information office is at the keyboard, so follow along below and feel free to send in your comments and questions!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Allen Page Blogging from England

By Allen Page

Hi everyone! My name is Allen Page, and I’m a junior on the Wildcat Men’s Soccer team. Right now, I’m studying abroad at Oxford in England, and things are awesome here! I’m taking English and Psychology classes here (I’m a psych major back at Davidson). When I found out that the University of Georgia (I’m a Georgia native after all) had a program that spent a term at Oxford, I jumped on the opportunity. Even though I’m going through a different school, Davidson was so great in helping to get me set up with the program. I always knew I wanted to study abroad. I thought for a long time that I might go somewhere to practice foreign language skills, but ultimately, the chance to study at one of the most prestigious schools in the world was too good to pass up.

I’m living in a house with about twenty other students, all on the same program. It’s a little bit of a hike to downtown Oxford where the majority of the colleges are, but the walk is very pleasant. One of the most striking things about being in Oxford, and in England in general is the antiquity of everything. In the states, we consider something to be pretty old if it has been around for fifty or one hundred years. But here, there are very often buildings and institutions dating back five hundred years; some reach back close to one thousand! So, even from walking around town and exploring the old chapels, libraries, or pubs, the sense of history and tradition is palpable.

If you are wondering why this first update is coming so late in the semester, let me explain. Unlike schools in the States, Oxford operates on three eight-week terms. The third and final term of the year begins in May and runs through June. So, we are here about a month before that for some seminars to get us ready for the rigorous Oxford "tutorials." That’s what they call classes here, although “class” doesn’t really fit. Oxford students meet their dons one on one and only once a week to respond to questions, defend their opinions, and often present that week’s paper. The rest of the week is filled with extensive reading and writing to prepare for the next session. It’s very different from what most of us are used to!

Of course, as a Davidson student-athlete, I’m excited for much more than the educational opportunities here. England is a nation crazy about football (soccer); it’s all over the papers and all over the sports stores. In fact, in a brief trip to London, I found a four-story sports store, and the third floor was entirely devoted to jerseys from teams around the world! I’m hoping to catch an Oxford United game this weekend. They are the local club here, and although they are only a League Two team, they draw a lot of support from the city. Here at the house, we have a great backyard for pickup games and the like, so I’m looking forward to playing as much as I can.

That’s all for now, and let’s hope the Wildcats keep winning games!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Live Blog: Davidson vs. UNC Asheville (Baseball)

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Monday, April 4, 2011

‘Cats tear through Gamecocks

By Thomas Zimmerman 

The guys followed their mid-week victory over USL PRO league team Charlotte Eagles with a 4-1 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks (who finished the 2010 season ranked No. 12 in the nation) on Saturday, March 19. It was a hot affair, with temperatures reaching close to 80 degrees for the first time this spring. Although only having three field players to rotate in throughout the game due to injuries in the squad and one player abroad for the entire semester, the Wildcats were able to hold on to the 4-goal lead built through the first 60 minutes.

It took the first quarter of the game for the Wildcats to find their rhythm, but not long after that the goals poured in. Davidson found the back of the net three times in ten minutes to build a 3-0 halftime lead. First, Greg Macnamara converted a penalty that was drawn by some neat footwork by midfielder Peter Paras. Minutes after, Dennis Shannon provided a 40-yard ball deep in the box for streaking Andrew DiLallo, who headed it off the back post and in. Even goalie Chip Sanders got involved in the scoring. His goal kick was flicked on by Andrew DiLallo and finished on a break away by forward Thomas Zimmerman.

The Gamecocks came out in the second half with a raised intensity, but the Wildcats handled it with confidence and extended their lead to four within the first 10 minutes. Quick combinations and fluid movement opened up a seam for Brian McGue to run onto a beautifully clipped ball from defender Hunter Hayes. McGue cooly headed it over the goalie to ease any worries about a comeback. The Gamecocks were able to pull a goal back in the last ten minutes, but it was too little too late.

Final Score: Davidson 4 – South Carolina 1

Goals (Assists)
·      27’ Greg Macnamara (PK)
·      34’ Andrew DiLallo (Dennis Shannon)
·      37’ Thomas Zimmerman (Andrew Dillalo)
·      55’ Brian McGue (Hunter Hayes)
          Starting 11

          Chip Sanders
          D Hunter Hayes Greg Macnamara Coleman O'Neill Dennis Shannon
          MF Garrett Bostwick Alex Givens Brian McGue Peter Paras
          Thomas Zimmerman Jake Keator

          Contributing Substitutes
          Andrew DiLallo, Chris Pettiglio, Nick Grube, Ben Gold.

            • The Gamecocks were an NCAA tournament team from last season and reached the final 16 before going out to Michigan.
            • Greg Macnamara and Brian McGue both scored for the second time in a week to boost the Cats
            • Fast fact: The last time Davidson and USC met (Fall of 2009), the result was the same with Davidson winning 4-1.
                Super Sub
                Andrew DiLallo came on with 20 minutes to play in the first half and contributed to both the second and third goals, scoring the second and assisting on the third. The Wildcats were up 3-0 at halftime.

                Head Coach Matt Spear’s thoughts:
                “It was a big, big win because it was on the road against a team that had won their conference tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 in this past fall’s NCAA Tournament… We told the team that USC was of course to come out with a renewed vigor after halftime. But our guys responded well and killed the match off… Overall, it was a comfortable, confident win – and a confidence boost for sure.”

                Friday, April 1, 2011

                Wildcats open up Spring 2011 season with win over Eagles

                By Thomas Zimmerman

                The Davidson Men’s Soccer team began their Spring 2011 season with a much-anticipated match against USL PRO league team Charlotte Eagles on March 16. Davidson has strong ties with the Eagles as Coach/Recruiting Director Kevin O’Brien used to play for the team. Also, current assistant coaches Greg Dalby (player) and Ryan Souders (goalkeeper coach) are both members of the USL PRO club. The Wildcats and Eagles match up every spring in preparation for their upcoming seasons.

                Sophomore midfielder Brian McGue put the Wildcats ahead in the 25th minute with a first-time shot that curled into the top left corner. The Eagles responded with a few chances but the boys stayed organized enough to keep the USL team at bay. For the second consecutive year the Wildcats owned a halftime lead over the Eagles.

                The boys pushed on in the second half extending the lead to 2-0 on a corner kick from Peter Paras. Junior defender and captain Greg Macnamara got to the ball first and flicked on the short corner towards goal. The ball just barely crossed the goal line before an Eagles defender was able to clear it, but it went just far enough to put the Wildcats further ahead.

                A late Charlotte Eagles goal caused for a tense final 10 minutes, but the boy’s fitness prevailed and the Wildcats held on for a 2-1 victory. This marks the first time Davidson has ever beaten the Eagles during Head Coach Matt Spear’s tenure. What a great way to kickoff the Spring 2011 season.

                Starting 11
                Chip Sanders
                D Hunter Hayes Greg Macnamara Coleman O'Neill Dennis Shannon
                MF Garrett Bostwick Alex Givens Brian McGue Peter Paras
                F Thomas Zimmerman Jake Keator

                Contributing Substitutes
                Andrew DiLallo, Chris Pettiglio, Nick Grube. 

                Coach Kevin O’Brien’s thoughts about the game against his former team:
                “It was a great display of collective defending and commitment to our tactical game plan…We frustrated a group of experienced and mature professionals by playing as a team and out working them in all honesty. There was not a player in our squad that held anything back…each guy exhausted himself for the greater good of the team. It was awesome to watch and an approach I hope we continue to emulate!”

                Super Frosh
                Freshman defender Coleman “The Hatchet Man” O’Neill got his first college career start for the Wildcats. He played all 90 minutes at center back and threw in several solid tackles throughout. Congrats to the young gun.

                Goals (Assists)
                · 25’ Brian McGue (Jake Keator)
                · 60’ Greg Macnamara (Peter Paras)

                Thursday, March 31, 2011

                Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

                By Thomas Zimmerman

                Thomas Zimmerman in action last season in the SoCon semifinals against Furman

                Welcome all Davidson College students, alumni, family members, faculty, staff, friends, and all others who share an appreciation for Davidson Men’s Soccer! My name is Thomas Zimmerman and I’m currently a junior forward on this year’s team. Off the field, I work with Coach Matt Spear and Coach Kevin O’Brien in my work-study job helping them out as best I can. During the season that included cutting film, creating highlights, locker room maintenance and any other miscellaneous tasks they had for me.

                Recently, I approached the coaches with the idea of creating an official online blog for our team. Fortunately, I found out that we already have space for a blog on the Davidson Wildcats website that had been used by past players who shared their experiences. For now, this will be plenty the room to accomplish what I had in mind.

                You may ask why? Well, knowing that we have so many great alumni and close followers of current players I thought it’d be great way to get a closer and more “behind the scenes” look at our team. A different perspective than maybe you get through the website.

                In the future, I want to include player interviews, spring game reports/analysis, any accomplishments off the field by our guys, and anything else interesting that comes up within the team.

                The direct link to the blog is: (Bookmark it!)

                Otherwise, it can be accessed through the men’s soccer page on “Multimedia” on the right-hand column under “Blog.”

                If you have any comments, suggestions, or any other feedback you can send them in below or contact Mark Brumbaugh in our sports information office at

                Thank you for the support! And stay tuned for upcoming reports on the Charlotte Eagles and South Carolina spring games.

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