Archive for the ‘FP Sports’ Category

Making the team: The freshman varsity soccer experience

Monday, August 27th, 2007 | Ted Dwyer
Scott Bressler

This summer, as stories about dirty refs, dogfighting and doping unfolded, I realized that real sports are gone. That is until I saw the light. From my dorm room window I could see lights that burned the night sky over campus. I followed the lights past Francis Field, still hot from a hard practice, and followed eruptions of laughter into the Athletic Complex. Believe it or not, I would find what I had been looking for all along. This is “Making the Team” (and don’t worry, this story is Diddy free), the truth about being a freshman on Washington University’s men’s varsity soccer team.

The Wash. U. men’s soccer team posted a 12-4-2 record in the 2006 season and are currently ranked 23rd in the pre-season poll while returning every starter from last season. Although it may seem that the team had no room for incoming players, many of the freshman seemed to reiterate how easy the transition was from high school to a predominantly upperclassmen college team.

Tyler Bertroche from Cedar Rapids, Iowa added, “The upperclassmen are really accepting and all the freshmen are pretty comfortable with their situation.”

They began to talk about their summer preparations and the immediate adjustments they had to make during the first day of camp.

“The first day we got here was unbelievably hot, over 100 degrees at least. Nobody was prepared for that kind of heat, but for the most part, everybody’s in pretty good shape,” said Noah McMillan from Washington, D.C.

As the upperclassmen began to hobble off, ice bags nursing sore hamstrings and bruised knees, the freshman players continued talking about their pre-season experience.

“It is exciting to be a part of a team that has had success in the past and it is good being part of a team with high goals,” said David Klein from Bethesda, Md.

They come from all across the country and unite with the hope of being a part of a very strong Wash. U. soccer program. Two players even made the decision to stick together after high school. Nick Wilbar and Alex Neumann both attended DuPont Manual High School in Louisville, Ky.

“We both were on the high school state finalist team and grew up playing for the same club team,” said Wilbar.

Like all student-athletes here, the players said that they wanted a school where they could focus on academics as well as soccer.

“I wanted to focus on academics and pursue engineering and law degrees, something I could not do at the D-1 level. Wash. U. seemed like a good fit,” said Skyler Nathan Wills from Omaha, Neb.

Whether the players had always known that they had wanted to come to Wash. U. to play soccer or pre-season was the first time they had ever seen Wash. U., the freshman squad was comfortable and ready for a promising season.

“New adjustments” seemed to be the words of the day. This seemed fitting as all of us freshmen try to find our spot and be a part of the Wash. U. team. These athletes are real people playing real sports, the way it was supposed to be played.

Follow the beckoning light to Francis Field as I did and come support Wash. U. athletics. The men’s soccer team plays its home opener on September 6 at 7 p.m. against Westminster College.

Athletes advise new arrivals

Monday, August 27th, 2007 | Demarco Mitchener

Time management: two words that have been thrown at the freshman class so many times that the number would make one’s head spin.

In order for this concept to take root, it needs to be combined with familiar experiences. From two seniors come the experiences that relay the importance of time management when it comes to everyone’s favorite and most time-demanding pastime-sports.

In an interview with senior Scott Kaufman-Ross, intramural athlete and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Kaufman-Ross gave a new twist on an old theory.

“The more you do, the better [at time management] you get,” said Kaufman-Ross. “It’s easier to manage a schedule when you have stuff you know to you have to do,” he continued.

His theory seemed particularly applicable because students with lots of time seem more prone to waste their time. Kaufman-Ross says the key to successful time management is, “a good amount [of commitments], not too much.”

Many do not believe intramural sports to be true sports because a lot of teams are very lenient with practice and workouts. Classmate Noah Barboza, though highly involved with intramural sports now, was also a member of the varsity football team for two years. He is also a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, works in the admissions office and is a referee and competitor for a number of intramural sports, including fraternity and co-ed teams.

“I did not have many problems with my schedule,” he said.

According to Barboza, coaches understand that academics are important and professors know that students are not robots that are only programmed to write papers and do problem sets. Barboza also said that office hours are important, especially when he had to go out of town for games.

Both Kaufman-Ross and Barboza also encouraged getting involved. There are so many different ways to do so including freshman floor intramural teams, co-ed teams and, of course, the Activities Fair.

For those who want to try new sports, club sports may be the way to go because they are less time-consuming than varsity sports. Another way to get involved is to attend sports games.

“The night games are really fun, like the upcoming football game on Saturday, Sept. 1,” said Barboza.

Whatever you do, make sure to get involved. Managing everything, including sports, is not as hard as one might think.