Wow. That took a while. The first three blogs came quick and easy. Then we had both basketball teams playing and football in the playoffs. The holidays were rapidly approaching. I could go on. Time got away from me. But I am back and so is the blog. Since it’s been a while, I’ve got a lot to cover so I will hop around this week.
We had a great day this past Saturday. Our women’s team came out victorious to get back in the win column. It has been a difficult season so far, but the young women on our team haven’t given up and continue to represent Northwest in a first-class manner. After last year’s Final Four appearance, we are in the process of reloading, and our young players are getting very valuable MIAA playing experience.
The men’s team is off to its best start in years. Each spring/summer I sit down with our coaches and discuss their program, goals, etc. Coach McCollum had high hopes for his team and felt he had a strong core returning and had signed some very good players. I believe he was correct. His coaching staff has done a tremendous job meshing them all together. The team’s chemistry appears to be great. I believe there is a lot left to accomplish for this team.
We’ve enjoyed good crowds for hoops in Bearcat Arena but I can’t wait for the students to get back and get the ‘rowdy’ going.
First, I want to congratulate Pitt State on its national championship and a job well done. Head Coach Tim Beck and athletic director Jim Johnson are both class acts. We are proud of the way the Gorillas represented the conference.
I have stated several times how proud I am of our players, coaches and fans. This has been a tumultuous year for the program and one that many predicted would be a ‘down year.’ An 11-3 record, #5 final ranking and quarterfinal playoff appearance proved that the Bearcats aren’t going anywhere. We return a lot of players next year and our coaches are working harder than ever on the recruiting trail.
We will miss our seniors a great deal. To them I offer what I used to always tell teams when I coached. It is good to have an end to journey to, but it is the journey that matters in the end. This has been a wonderful journey, and I am honored to have been a part of it.
Track and Field
Track and field resumes its season in Lincoln, Neb. on Jan. 13 for the Nebraska Holiday Inn Invitational. I know we have many alums in the Lincoln/Omaha area. If you have free time, our student-athletes would greatly enjoy you attending.
During the holidays, my wife Heather and our daughter, Addisyn, traveled over 2,500 miles. During the trip, Addisyn started crawling and cut her first tooth. Her crawl is more of a wounded soldier scoot, but as a proud Daddy I am going to give her credit for crawling. All of our family got to see her for her first Christmas which was really special. I’m not sure how many more 2,500 mile Christmases we have left, but there are no regrets on this one. My brother, Wray, also made me an uncle. My niece, Alexandra, was born on Dec. 16. Next Christmas, she and Addisyn will be tearing up every house in the family, so we may travel one more year!
In closing, I’d like to thank friend and supporter Allison Hoffman for a couple things. One is the friendship she and her husband, Kori, have extended to our family. Heather and Allison were both pregnant and due almost the same day when we moved to Maryville. Heather appreciated a ‘townie’ showing her the ropes around town.
Allison also texted me Saturday and chastised me for my hiatus from blogging. I ignored the text, but she wouldn’t be deterred and looked me up at the basketball game to make sure I got her text. I’m glad someone is reading, and I needed the ‘encouragement.’ So thanks Allison.
I trust that each of you had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope 2012 is the best year ever for you, your families, and of course, for the Bearcats!