Diary Entry No. 7
After a disappointing game on Friday it was good to see some of the guys out on the field this weekend. Our apartment looks out onto the game field and I saw around 10 of our guys out on the field at different times. There's no quit in this team.
I was a little tired today. Besides the fact that I had to get up early for the test, the stupid Red Sox and Yankees have been keeping me up. I'm not one that can sit down and watch a regular season baseball game from beginning to end when they still have 75 games left in their season. I can sit down and watch the playoffs, especially the later innings of these close games. The other series is fun because my roommate wants the Cardinals to win and they went up 2-0, and his girlfriend is from south Texas and an Astros fan, which has won the last three.
At practice today we started off with some 1 v. 1 exercise and moved into 2 v. 2. Then we did a drill where we practice running up and winning a ball over someone's back. Our next drill was one for the defense. The three backs were matched up with three forwards. One defensive midfielder was matched up with two offensive midfielders. The offense also had guys on the outside that would whip crosses in. The purpose was to increase the communication in the back, watch our positioning and deal with man-down situations. We ended with a couple of periods of 8 v. 8. The blue team got the ball anytime it went out of bounds no matter who kicked it out and their sole purpose was to score. The yellow team could still score, but their main goal was to keep a shutout. The two games moved at a fast pace and the coaches were happy with the play and the communication. Now, more homework to do and baseball to distract.
Practice today was pretty intense, much like the other practices this week. The warm-up got us moving right away. We were in groups of three and the player with the ball would play it into one of the other two players. They would play the ball into the space for him and run into the box where he would cross it into them. We worked on our crossing and our finishing off of crosses. Then we moved into a drill working on defending crosses. Defenders would start out marking the attackers about 35 yards out. The attackers had to receive a ball, combine with each other, then play the ball out wide. From there it was a race to the box and see who could win the cross. We changed the drill about midway through and simply condensed it. It was pretty much the same drill only we started right outside the 18-yard line. Everything was at a quicker pace and the offense had other players that could join in. We ended with an 8 v. 8 scrimmage. At first, the ball always started with the goalkeepers, who were to punt it into play allowing us to work on winning first and second balls. Eventually we ended with a normal game.
How about those BoSox?! The first team to ever go down 3-0 in a series and come back to win it, and they did it against the Yankees, in New York. That's pretty impressive if you ask me. And Johnny Damon couldn't hit a beach ball early on in the series, and he came back and hit two homers for six RBI. Just shows that team sports really do rely on every member of the team. If one guy is struggling, someone else picks up the slack. You feed off each other, and that's the only way you reach your goal- together.
At the end of practice they informed us that the NCAA is attempting to eliminate our spring season. We would no longer be able to play any games in the spring and all our practice would be reduced to weights and speed work. This is really frustrating because I'm on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and I know the representatives for Division I-A football are proposing a 5th year of eligibility for all Division I football players. I doubt that would get passed, but I don't know why they would want to take away half of our year.
There was no reason we couldn't have come out and done the same thing in the second half and won 4-0. We knew Southwest Missouri State was a team that wouldn't give in because they've always been a group to work until the end and never stop fighting. Well we came out and let our guard down big time. It was strange as how it seemed the whole attitude had changed. We didn't have the same drive on offense or defense. We let them determine the pace of the game and eventually the final outcome. We lost 3-2, giving up the last goal with around 10 minutes left to play. That's something our team should never let happen, and the fact that we were at home made it that much worse.
This was our last weekend at home, which meant it was senior weekend. This was the fifth or sixth year that we've had a banquet Saturday night for the seniors. The parents come, the coach talks a little bit, the seniors get a plaque with their picture and the years they played, and each senior gets roasted by one of his teammates. Joe (Wear) roasted Terry (Boss). Justin Roman came back and roasted Scott (Kincaid), and Jamie (Dabney) roasted me. I was pretty nervous going in, especially with Jamie's mom and girlfriend telling me to remember how much I liked him before the banquet. It ended up being pretty fun and I laughed nonstop through all the roasts.
I almost forgot! My parents were at the game on Friday, but drove home that night because of my dog. She had been sick to her stomach and had a pretty bad case of diarrhea. I had never heard of a dog having this condition, but she definitely did. My parents had brought up a lot of my winter clothes and they were in the back, with the dog. So they ended up driving home late Friday night and driving back Saturday just in time for the banquet. They left the clothes at home because they were a bit soiled and less than fresh.
We finish Missouri Valley Conference play off with Eastern Illinois and Bradley. Eastern has had their struggles this season, but they just beat Vanderbilt who proved to be no slouch when they came down to our place. Bradley is currently in third in the conference behind SMU and Creighton. We are in a three-way tie for fourth at 3-3-1 with SMS and Drake. We can finish anywhere from about third to eighth in conference, depending on this weekend. It would be nice to win out and have other games work our way to be able to host a first-round conference tournament game. We can only control what we do. These are the last conference games of my career. It feels pretty weird. We're ready to end the regular season on a high note.
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