Nov. 13, 2012
One of the first things that I want to say in this week's blog is that I am a huge soccer fan. Whether it's playing on Mertz field with Bill and the guys or playing a game of FIFA on Xbox in one of our dorm rooms, I love the sport. I could not have been more excited and proud for the men's soccer team and how they finished out their year making it all the way to the Horizon League championship game. I went to as many home games as I could, and I enjoyed each and every one of them. You guys really brought out that age-old saying, "It's not how you start, but it's how you finish." You guys finished the season at such a high level, and it was really awesome to see.
Last Friday officially started another year of Loyola Basketball. We took the Toledo Rockets in our home opener and the first game of the season. I have to admit I had a hard time falling asleep Thursday night because I was just way too excited thinking about the game. We wanted this one. We needed this one. We prepared and prepared, and I could probably still draw up just about every one of Toledo's offenses because of the great scout by our coaches. After the win, people told me we won because of our great defense by the guys who played. We did play very good defense and we did out-tough and out-hustle Toledo, but we won the game because of a lot of hard work by the behind-the-scenes players on our team. The scout team, which is composed of some of the guys who do not see as much game action as the rest of us, did a fantastic job of getting us ready to guard a very good Toledo offense. If you ask me, the win goes to the scout team because they made it possible.
Now that the season has started and we have had our first taste of game action, you don't want to go too long in between games because the excitement and fun that comes with playing is such an adrenaline rush to the point that you just want more of it because you love it. We were very fortunate enough to have another game last night against a very good Division II team in Rockhurst. We knew that we could not take them lightly, and the only way that we were going to win was through another out-hustling and defensive effort. Ben Averkamp led us by controlling the offensive end with his strength and ability to finish around the rim and Jordan Hicks took three charges in the game to lead us on the defensive end. The leadership from these two older guys is growing and is becoming contagious throughout the team each time we step on the court with them. Last night's win was fun, and was again made possible because of our team's growing identity of defense and hustle.
This Thursday the team and I take off to Florida for some games to be played at the University of South Florida. I'm excited to play all three games in the warm weather of Florida, but I'm most excited to play Western Michigan first because one of my good friends from home plays on the team, and it will be good to spark up that rivalry once again at this level. My parents are going to make the trip down to watch the team, and I know a few of the other guys' parents will be there as well. I know each one of us thanks them for the support and cannot wait to see our families down in the sunshine of Florida.