Oct. 17, 2011
Only nine hours have gone by and the remnants of last night's Midnight Madness festivities remain littered throughout the Halas Center. It's a cold Saturday morning and the guys are slowly making their way into the gym, one by one. For me, the start of practice is a little different this year, because this is my first time playing after 10 months of being sidelined with a nagging broken foot. I'm nervous more than ever at first but as soon as I touch the ball the extreme exhilaration of being on the court again makes me forget all about being nervous. (Or as my teammates said, I was "hyped" to be back out there)
I don't know about you but after a three-hour practice I think just about anybody would be physically and mentally drained but not the coaches or the team. As we drove back to Gentile on Friday night in the "Gates Mobile" (a big white van Coach Gates drove us to practice in) with music blasting and everybody scarfing down the delicious goody basket that Coach Moser's family made for us, we were ready to go out and show the fans a whole lot to be excited for this season.
Midnight Madness was a little different this year compared to past years yet the excitement leading up to it and throughout it was better than ever before. The night kicked off with a very funny and entertaining dance put on by our dance team and a mixture of members of our men's volleyball, track and field, and soccer teams. I have to give a shout out to those guys for their illustrious dance moves (props! The caution tape was a nice outfit accessory too). Following an entertaining dance routine, members of our team - Cully Payne, London Dokubo, Christian Thomas, and Joe Crisman - performed a stunt for us with our terrific cheerleading squad. I have to give it to them, after a week of criticism and friendly clowning around, they stuck with it and came through in the end by launching London up and holding him by his feet.
After the thrills of having your name announced by the one and only Pat Schultz, it was time for Coach Simpson and Coach Moser to take over for the night. The coaches did not disappoint and after a showing of drills by each team there were some fun contests including one that gave a lucky fan a night to join us on our bench (I don't think Coach Moser was really expecting Joe Crisman to make that half court shot when he agreed to let a student sit on the bench, but between you and me, Joe had been practicing just for that!)
Well, it's back to the grind and all business as we prepare for the season. Hopefully, you didn't fall asleep on me and were able to make it to the end with me on my first post!