Archive for August, 2010

Look Straight Ahead or in the Rearview Mirror?

August 31, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

It’s August 31 and it’s more than apparent that the 2010-11 school year is upon us.  The football team has been on campus and practicing for nearly two weeks, while many more fall sports returned to Lexington over the weekend and they are beginning preseason practices this week.

We’re busy working on student-athlete bios and roster pages and hope to have all of our fall season previews posted on by the end of next week.  It’s a busy time preparing for the opening of the 2010-11 athletic season starting with Saturday’s football game at Franklin & Marshall.  It’s an exciting time because each new season holds so much promise.  Before we push on, time to look in the rearview mirror one last time.

This month, we unceremoniously celebrated the one-year anniversary of the W&L Sidelines Blog.  By unceremoniously I mean that I failed to realize that it was approaching (let’s hope the same doesn’t happen next June 26 or my life may become a little less comfy at home).  I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading the content here, even if we didn’t update as regularly as I had hoped over the summer.

I began the blog last summer by looking back at my favorite moments from my time at W&L (1998-pr.) and I ended the last school year by posting the most memorable moments from 2009-10.  This year, I do nothing but look forward.  I think that we have some exciting developments upcoming, not to mention some teams that we expect to do very well.  First, the developments.

Last school year was the debut of the new athletics website,  I hope that you enjoyed it and that it helped you keep up with everything athletically related.  This year, we unveil the W&L athletics facebook page and twitter page.  You can find them at!/pages/WLU-Generals/140682352616536?ref=ts and If you haven’t already found them, sign yourself up and take advantage of any method you can to follow the Generals.

I have also become part of a promotions committee designed to promote school spirit and hopefully increase attendance at our athletic events.  Our first order of business is to promote Bleedin’ Blue Weekend on Sept. 11-12.  Classes begin on Friday and so do the Generals.  Volleyball kicks off the home schedule by hosting the W&L Invitational on Friday and Saturday.  The Generals entertain McDaniel and Averett on Friday at 5:30 and 8:00 pm, respectively.  On Saturday, W&L plays Southern Virginia at 10:30 am and Transylvania at 3:30 pm.  The Pioneers are coached by former W&L assistant Casey Dale.  Field Hockey will host Catholic on Friday at 7:00 pm and Women’s Soccer also hosts a tournament.  W&L plays Sewanee on Saturday at 12:00 pm and Methodist on Sunday at 2:30 pm.  Additionally, cross country plays host to the W&L Invitational beginning at 10:00 am.  It’s a full slate to begin things and we hope that you will attend wearing as much blue as you can in support of the Generals.

Some things to also keep an eye on during the 2010-11 school year.

• Frank Miriello is just two wins away from becoming the football program’s all-time leader in wins.  He is 75-73-1 overall.

• Wendy Orrison is just eight wins away from recording her 100th win as coach of the Generals’ field hockey program.  She is 92-72 overall.

• Head Women’s Soccer Coach Neil Cunningham is just five wins shy of 200 career wins.  He is 195-57-23 overall for his career at Savannah College of Art & Design and W&L.

• Head Volleyball Coach Bryan Snyder is just 15 wins shy of 300 wins at W&L.  His record stands at 285-75 at W&L.

• Head Wrestling Coach Gary Franke is just six wins shy of 200 career victories.  He will roam the sidelines for his 37th season this winter.

• Head Women’s Basketball Coach Mandy King is just 10 wins shy of 100 career victories.  King led the Generals to their first-ever ODAC title last winter.

• Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Gene McCabe is just one win shy of 100 career victories.  He is 99-40 for his career at Hamilton and W&L.

As was the case in 2009-10, W&L will strive to include more video content during the 2010-11 school year.  Jeremy Franklin continues to serve as host of the W&L Sports Weekly, which will again feature one coach and two athletes each week throughout the school year.

If your level of interest involves following the contests over the internet, we’ll also do our best to bring it to you at home.  You can watch video of home games through the newly-minted America One company (formerly B2 Networks), or via a number of other internet carriers for road contests.  Audio of numerous home and road contests will continue to stream courtesy of WLUR and live stats will be available for a number of home and road events.  For links to reach all three, simply visit each sport’s schedule page.  Just click on the link for video/audio/live stats and enjoy.

I’m excited for the 2010-11 school year, the athletic department is excited to get things underway and our athletes are geared up to maintain W&L’s spot atop the ODAC and Division III rankings.  Please join me in ushering in the 2010-11 school year by avoiding the rearview mirror and looking squarely ahead at what the Generals will accomplish this year!


Fall is almost upon us

August 11, 2010

The dog days of summer have arrived.  The temps are in the high 90’s and so is the humidity.  And, the excitement for the coming fall seasons is in full swing.  Case in point, this blog from former General Thomas Baynham III, Class of 1979.  Enjoy!

We are stuck in the August doldrums and there seems to be liitle respite from the heat and humidity. I found out this past Friday that the vents in my office are not connected to air conditioning venting. Apparently, the cool air created by the system has been dumped directly into the dark spaces in the attic, rather than being pumped onto my head. So, the squirrels that work their way from the trees outside my office into the attic are quite comfortable, while I am ingesting about three bottles of water and half a container of gatorade each day to survive the heat blasting through the walls and windows.

Football season is beginning all over the country. I guess there are some places where that is a pleasant experience with temperatures in the 70’s and steady breezes during two a days. For me, August football practice was heat and stress. I hated two a days in shorts. Too many agility drills and running around. Not enough hitting.

When we left two a days in shorts and had that first practice in the morning, with pads, and usually had Oklahoma drills as the climax of the practice.. Oh man. Beating my fists on the dry, dusty dirt, getting myself ready to take on some offensive lineman about six inches and fifty pounds over my size. After I got past all of the linemen who were roughly my size, they stuck me in front of George Berry, who was the biggest offensive lineman on the team and captain. I can’t say I stuck with him all the way. But I held him up for a little while.

I loved Oklahoma drills. I wish I could still get out there and beat on someone. My coach in college told my parents that someday people wouldn’t believe that a five foot eight inch one hundred sixty pound linebacker was playing college football.

Now I am older and fatter and am not near in shape. I don’t have the same reflex to hit back when someone comes at me unexpectedly. But sometimes… Sometimes I can think back and feel that electricity in my arms and chest and wish I could wait the movement of the offense and charge forward and have the vision to watch the movement of the ball and see the patterns coming into reality and plunging my body into the pattern to pull the skeins of the pattern apart and leave it all undone like so much ruined tapestry on the ground.

That is what is so perfect. That and working your way toward the backfield, to the apogee of the arc, where the prize awaits, and you hit that quarterback in the pocket so hard, so clean and drop him on the ground.

In the Emory and Henry game on Wilson Field in my senior year, the ball was snapped and the action of the play was going away from me. Carl Folcik, our strong side linebacker was blitzing toward the play and hit the quarterback square, spinning his body so he was facing me as I trailed the play and was able to slam the back of his head into the grass hard enough so that they took his inert body to Stonewall Jackson Hospital to check the concussion.

I laughed in the subsequent huddle. That was my last best game. My last game on Wilson Field. We had one more game at Georgetown in DC. That was always a fun game, staying in Alexandria on Friday night, beating on the Hoyas on Saturday, riding through downtown Georgetown on Saturday night, watching all the revelers going from shop to tavern to restaurant and so on. Heading back to Lexington and the Shenandoah River Valley under a November moon. Like JEB Stuart’s cavalry, riding around the Yankees.

W&L plays Sewanee on Monteagle on September 11th. Can’t wait.

Enjoy the memories.