Archive for September, 2012

Making History

September 28, 2012

By: W&L Women’s Golf

The Generals host their first-ever home event this Monday-Tuesday.

The 2012-13 school year marks the very first varsity season for women’s golf at Washington and Lee and several members of the squad have offered their thoughts and impressions about being on the first team and about their experience thus far.  The team will host its first-ever home event on Monday and Tuesday at the Lexington Golf & Country Club.  If you are in the area, come on out and support the ladies as they make history.

Elise Petracca
There are certain opportunities that present themselves that you can’t turn down; the first women’s golf team at W&L is one of them.  We are the 24th varsity sports team on campus.  You have to take the opportunity to be a part of history and that’s what this team is to me — the chance to make history.  Starting something new, being a first, leaving your mark.  It’s not just getting involved with the school, it’s being a part of something bigger.  Giving back and putting your energy into something that can grow.

Lydia Barit
Being on the inaugural women’s golf team is more than just being a part of a regular sports team on campus.  Not only is it completely new to us, but new to the entire Washington and Lee community.  Even though we are not as well known as the other teams on campus (especially since it’s not really common for students to go watch a golf match), it is up to us to establish our presence on this campus and I could not be more elated than to be in that position.  It is up to us to build our reputation, both as individuals and as a team, and it is up to us to make history.

Sara Moir
It is an honor to be a member of the inaugural women’s varsity golf team and the 24th sport at Washington and Lee.  I’m enjoying playing the game that I love with four great girls and I’m looking forward to the coming years as we improve each season.  Coach Pete and Coach Bowden are great coaches who are going to help each of us improve our game.

Nicole Kasica
The past couple of weeks on the W&L women’s golf team have been such a great experience.  I have really enjoyed getting to know the girls, and we all get along very well.  I am so happy that I decided to participate on the golf team because it has allowed me to continue doing something that I loved in high school.  So far, my experience on the team has been awesome, and I know that as the year goes on, it will just keep getting better.


20 Facts About Me

September 25, 2012

By: Chip Whipple
Assistant Sports Information Director

As many of you know from reading this blog, where my boss Brian mentioned it a few weeks ago, or if you frequently checked during the summer, I’m the new assistant sports information director at W&L. To find out more about me, you could read my bio and get all the information about what school I went to or what I did before I came here, but instead I thought I’d give you a little more insight into the life and mind of Chip Whipple in 20 tidy facts (in no specific order).

1. I’m a diehard Cleveland sports fan. I know what you all are thinking. It’s what everyone thinks or says when I tell people that – “All that’s too bad that you root exclusively for teams that are either terrible or find just the perfect time to lose a game.” But what else am I going to do. I’m 27 years in, and it’s too late to change now.

2. As much as I love all Cleveland sports, the Cavaliers and the NBA in general are my go to sport to watch and talk about. I’ll watch all 82 Cavs games if I can, which means I’m one of those fools who spends extra money so I can watch my team go 25-57.

3. I’ve been married for over two years to my much better half Lydia. She’s just wonderful. I could spend an entire blog post talking about how lucky I am to have her as my wife.

Lydia and I

4. I’m a family guy when it comes down to it. Lydia and I don’t have any children yet, but my family has always been the closest people to me. My dad has almost always been my best friend, my brothers and I were usually getting into something growing up (and still do even as adults) and my mom, well, she loves us all unconditionally. What more could I ask for.

5. I’m a Christian. I’m not the type of person that is going to throw my beliefs down your throat, and I also try to be as judgment free as humanly possible. There are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to Christians, and I just ask that you get to know me before lumping me in with everything you’ve seen and heard.

6. I’m a dog guy and not a cat guy. Listen, it’s not that I have anything against cats, but I just don’t like evil creatures walking around my house. I’m kidding I don’t have anything against cats, but seriously, if you have any questions email me at

7. As you can see from the above fact, I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor, and am usually pretty heavy handed with the sarcasm. It may not always go over the way I intend, but I’m probably not going to stop trying.

8. I try to not take myself too seriously. I understand there are lots of things in this world to take seriously, like my work, my finances, the score of the Cavs’ game, etc., but for the most part I’m pretty easy going.

9. My real name’s not Chip. Plot twist! You’ve spent the last eight facts getting to know Chip Whipple and it’s not actually my name. If you’ve received an email from me you know it is Nathaniel Whipple. Before you ask, I got the nickname Chip on the day of my birth from the television show My Three Sons. In the show, the third son was named Chip, and I also happen to be the third son. My aunt Beth thought it would be funny and the name stuck.

10. I go by a variety of nicknames. Odd right? You would think with one nickname already I wouldn’t need any more, but people throughout my life have called me Chipple, Chipster, Chipper, Chipple-Whipple, Chipotlé, Chippy, ChipDip, Whipster, Whip, Whipsaw, and many, many others. Let’s just say if you call me by some version of my name I’ll probably answer.

11. I’m an avid video-game player. I’ve had a lot of video game systems (and games) over the years, and whenever I get a chance I still like to have the sticks (that’s joysticks for those who don’t know the jargon) in my hands.

12. I really like reading. I know what some of you are thinking – BORING. I usually read between 10-15 books a year, and thank goodness for E-readers because I don’t think my wife or me wanted to buy another bookshelf. I read all shapes and sizes:  sports books, fantasy adventures, biographies, mysteries, you name it. I’ll read almost anything, except for romance trash like Twilight.

Perfect swing

13. I enjoy golfing but am horribly average at it. I can hit a good shot every now and then, and shoot right around 100 when I get a full round in. But as assistant coaches Brian Smith and Jonathan Webb can attest, sometimes I get in a bunker and am like a 4-year old in a sandbox (I move the dirt all around, but don’t get a lot accomplished).

14. I love chicken wings. By far my favorite food. I don’t mean battered and fried chicken wings. I mean deep-fried covered in buffalo sauce or some other fantastic wing sauce. If you make great wings or know where to get them I’ll try them, but I’m kind of a snob when it comes to wings.

15. I eat an apple everyday for lunch along with a snack pack. Here’s the thing, the apple has to be a Granny Smith and the snack pack has to be chocolate fudge. No substitutes.

16.  I’ve had the same haircut since kindergarten. Hard to believe I know, but whether at a barbershop or cutting it myself at home, I’ve had a shaved head since I was about 5 years old. It’s varied on how long I’ll let it grow before I cut it (I’m at the point where I shave my head once a week), but anytime I’ve gotten a haircut in the last 22 years it has been the exact same cut.

17. I do not own a pair of jeans. For whatever reason, I’m not comfortable wearing jeans. I’ll wear khaki’s, slacks, gym shorts, sweat pants (although not often), but have only worn jeans twice in the last 13 years. Each time I wore them it was to appease someone who wanted to know what I looked like in jeans.

18. I didn’t get my drivers license until a month before my 21st birthday. There are a lot of reasons for this, but mostly because I didn’t have any desire to pay for gas and insurance. I lived within walking distance of my high-school job, I bummed rides from my brother or girlfriend when I needed it other times and I didn’t need it for my first couple of years at college. I only ended up getting it at the time, because I had an internship the summer I turned 21 and needed to get the license because the television station I interned at was an hour from my parents’ house.

19. This is the farthest south I’ve ever lived. I grew up in Northeast Ohio in the small town of Madison, spent six years in Ashland, Ohio, two years in Lebanon, N.H., and now reside in Lexington.

20. Finally, I’m about as friendly and as open as they come. If you want to come say hi to me before or after a W&L game feel free (be forewarned if you try during a game or immediately before or after a game I’ll probably be too busy to say anything but hi). Working in sports for a living should be fun, and a majority of the time it is. Half the fun is the people you get to interact with and meet, so I look forward to meeting and talking with more of you here in Lexington.

On Island Time

September 21, 2012

By: Christine Clancy
Head Women’s Basketball Coach


I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Christine Clancy and I am starting my first year as the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach at W&L. I’m not new to W&L (I was the assistant last year), so I like to say that I am half new, half old. I was born and raised in a small coastal town in southern Maine about 730 miles (or 13 hours non-stop in a car) Northeast of Lexington. After hearing that I am from Maine, I often get asked, “how the heck did you end up in Southwest Virginia?”. I am a college basketball coach, I’m passionate about working at the NCAA Division III level, and I won’t settle for anything less than one of the top Liberal Arts Colleges in the country, and W&L matched all of my criteria, not to mention, a winter in Lexington versus a winter in Maine.

The ferry – Where island time begins

I grew up in Yarmouth, Maine. A town that is famous for it’s annual Clam Festival, Eartha (The world’s largest revolving and rotating globe), and for sharing a border with Freeport (home of LL Bean and known for it’s outlet shops). In recent years, my family has acquired a cottage on Peaks Island, a small island off the coast of Portland, ME. Although I grew up in Yarmouth, I now say I’m from Peaks. Peaks is a little slice of paradise. The best place to go for a summer retreat. The “islanders” are a special brew of artists, writers, lobstermen, fishermen, and out-of-staters that have migrated or retired to the island life. Between the pets and the people, there are a lot of unique and recognizable characters, many are known by a descriptor and not always by a name (ie: the Purple Lady, – a woman who always wears purple). My family has recently earned the rank of “islanders” – my mom is known as the lady with the camera (I like to call her the stalkerazzi) and my dad as the guy in the green golf cart (golf carts are the best way to get around the island). I am known to some, as the tall basketball coach.

Pure Heaven!

I got a chance to go home to Peaks the first week of August. The weather in the South is perfect from September-May, but once summer hits and the humidity is in full swing, this Mainer starts to melt!  I flew into the Portland International Jetport (the name is bigger than the airport) on Tuesday evening, my brother picked me up, and we hustled into the “city” to catch the 10:15pm Ferry. Once you step onto the ferry to Peaks, you are officially on “island time” (aka, you never know or care what time it is). My dad was waiting in the golf cart to take us to the cottage. It took me 2 planes, 2 cars, a boat, and a golf cart to get from Lexington to the Dragonfly (the name of our cottage) on Peaks! When I left Lexington, we were pushing 95-100 all I wanted to do was jump into the Maine ocean. My week on Peaks, it was 75-80, sunny, and there was no humidity. I swam in the ocean everyday (we’re talking 65 degree water on a good day!), ate lobster, spent time with family and friends, read, walked (it’s about 3.5miles around the island), and rode in the golf cart. There is truly no better way to recover from a month of recruiting than to go to Peaks!

Although I’m no longer on the Island a part of me is always on island time.  I think that has helped me adjust to the small, southern, slow paced town of Lexington!

Vertically Challenged Advantages

September 18, 2012

By: Brittani Sahm
Sports Information Assistant

As you can see, I’m always the shortest one in every picture.

With football season underway, wouldn’t it be great for me to boast about my beloved Packers dominating the Bears last Thursday? Maybe, but instead I’m going to talk about another great challenge I myself have overcome throughout my entire life: being vertically challenged. And by that, I mean I’m short. Probably shorter than the average teenager even before they hit puberty.

I would feel like the luckiest person in the world if one day I finally stretched to 5’ 2”. That’s not the case, but at 5’ 1.25” (Yes, the quarter inch DOES count) a girl can only dream. Most people only look at the downsides of being short, like my college track and field coach basically telling me I’ll never be faster than my tall competitors, because, well, they have longer legs. I’m here to break the stereotype and let the world know all of the benefits I’ve reaped from being the short one my whole life.

1. I can still fit into children’s clothes and shoes.

They’re cheap and cute and work just as well as the adult products. I have saved so much money over the years being able to buy these things. It sounds strange because adults wouldn’t normally venture into that territory unless they have kids of their own, but I can assure you spending almost 50% less on all of that stuff adds up over time. At size 6 in women’s shoes, I can buy size 5 in children. My friends were the suckers in college when they had to buy a new pair of running sneakers every four months and spent $80-120 on each. Me, on the other hand, averaged around $50 a pair. Not bad for a broke college kid.

2. I can sleep ANYWHERE.

Couches, beds, recliners, you name it. I really am never uncomfortable because my body can squeeze into any place it needs to. I’ve never had a problem with my legs hanging off the edge of the bed and most couches are longer than I am tall. I actually had no idea why college beds were extra long because I had never run into the issue of being too tall for something. Okay, maybe the Play Place at McDonald’s, but that’s more of an age issue as to why they probably wouldn’t let me go in.

3. Heels are my best friend.

I can literally wear heels whenever I want. I won’t look any different than the average person at that point and every girl wants to be able to have a full shelf of them. Unfortunately, I can’t buy those in the children’s section, but I splurge every so often on a cute pair of shoes.

4. I always have the best views.

This one sounds strange, but it is probably the truest of them all. I have been to multiple concerts, shows, games, etc. where people are trying to move to the front of the crowd to get the best view. Then everyone sees me, the poor short girl who literally can’t see over anyone. And then they feel bad, which means I move to the front and no one complains because I am obviously not blocking their view. Please keep feeling bad for me J

5. My size is always convenient (except when I try to reach the cupboards…).

Short people don’t have trouble with much, besides reaching high things. There are a plethora of other daily things I am able to do that most people find annoying. The most common situation would be fitting into cars. That is definitely never an issue for me. Whether it is the back of a two-door car or having to squish my legs in the middle seat where that annoying hump sits or even just getting into a short car. By the way, my dream car is a Turbocharged Mini Cooper, packing a lot of power in a small frame.

There are plenty of other reasons why being short is definitely not a bad thing. There are also plenty of reasons why its inconvenient, but I have learned to adapt to those situations over the many years of being just over five feet tall. I haven’t grown since eighth grade so I have had lots of time to practice.

A Combined Program

September 14, 2012

By: John Geissinger
Assistant Swimming Coach

Our combined team enjoying some time together.

As of my current estimate there are 205 combined swimming programs in Division III, with only five teams retaining separate head coaches. This trend exists at both the Division III and Division I level.  This fall, we enter a new era of Washington & Lee Swimming, as the University officially combines the program under Head Coach Kami Gardner. Coach Gardner led both teams last year from November onward, guiding the women to a fifth consecutive ODAC Championship and the men to a 16th-place finish at the NCAA championships. The excitement that both teams exhibited at having combined practices last year was surely a sign of good things to come. But even with the excitement, nobody could predict that it was to become one of the more successful seasons for both programs in recent memory.

When we announced that we were going to move forward as a combined program long-term, the excitement that the men’s team showed was astonishing. Fist pumps and exuberance were witnessed throughout the team– and it didn’t stop there! This fall I have seen the men’s and women’s captains working together to foster an environment of inclusiveness and community between the two merging teams. This is a great step forward for our program and for the University.

With a strong group of incoming freshman and an experienced collection of upperclassmen, I am confident this positive trend will continue.  With a combined NCAA championship meet at the Division III level, our combined program makes more sense now than ever.  Kami, Greg, and I are confident this season will be one for the record books.

Seeing Improvement

September 13, 2012

By: Scott Abell
Head Football Coach

It was a foggy day on the mountain last Saturday.

Starting the season with two straight road games makes you appreciate Washington and Lee and Lexington, VA.  Everyone affiliated with our great institution and program would tell you that Lexington and our campus is like no other place, and with two long road trips behind us (Lancaster, PA and Sewanee, TN) I can affirm it is great to be home.

Most coaches say that you learn the most about your team between weeks one and three and the 2012 Generals are no different.  In week one, we had a very good Franklin and Marshall team on the ropes and could not finish the job.  Week two saw a similar scenario unfolding, it was at this point we were able to see the growth from week one, great leadership stepped forward to push the Generals to a 28-6 victory.

I look forward to seeing how the team grows from here.  Take a look at the fog rolling in just before kick-off at Sewanee last week.

The Coaching Tree

September 7, 2012

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

What you are reading is actually my second attempt at a blog entry.  After crafting four paragraphs about how this weekend is the real “official” start to the athletic season (even though we had a few games last Friday and Saturday), I decided “why write another piece about the start of the year”?  I even had a cool analogy about a diver looking over the edge of the 10-meter platform and having butterflies, but I axed that too.  Truth is I’ve done this far too many times to get butterflies anymore.  What will be will be and the best attitude is to be prepared for anything to happen (as was the case with poor Nate Jervey, who apparently lost electricity to the press box for his first football game as the SID at Methodist on Saturday).

Another to tell the truth moment is that I wrote the above paragraph still without a clue as to what would be the content of this blog.  But after reading my own words about Nate’s unfortunate opening weekend, I think I’ve come up with a topic.

I learned of Nate’s predicament because another former W&L sports information assistant was also in the box that day.  Methodist’s opponent was none other that Washington & Jefferson College, whose SID is Scott McGuinness, my assistant in 2000-01.  Reading on Scott’s W&J twitter feed that something was amiss, I gave him a call on my ride home from F&M on Saturday to find out what happened.  Scott said Nate handled himself admirably amidst terrible circumstances and they emerged from the game with less than five minutes left on Nate’s laptop battery, but stats intact.

Members of the tree that attended my wedding. From left to right: Rachel Buck, Mollie Robertson, Scott McGuinness, me, Andy Krauss, Austin Calhoun, Nate Jervey.

I can’t express the pride that I felt, knowing that two of my own helped each other through circumstances from which I would have used every four-letter word in the book.  It got me to thinking about how proud I am of every former assistant who worked in this office.  Some who are still in sports information and others who have moved on to other careers.  People talk all the time about Bill Walsh’s coaching tree in the NFL and I feel like I’ve got a pretty good tree from my time here at W&L.  Let’s take a look at who they are and where they’ve been, starting with the original, Mr. VMI himself Andrew C. Krauss (a little inside joke there).

I arrived at W&L in the summer of 1998 and was told that the assistant was going to be returning for another year.  It was none other than Andy Krauss.  Andy had it rough from the sense that I was young, energetic and wanting to make my mark.  I wanted to prove to everyone that they made the right decision in hiring me.  I worked crazy hours and demanded that the assistant do the same.  I’m surprised Andy survived it all and that we remain friends, but it all worked out well.  A Maryland graduate and fan of all D.C. metro sports, Andy went on to work at the University of Florida, before returning to Lexington as the assistant SID at VMI.  Andy left the field and now serves as a communications specialist with the Easter Seals Foundation in his hometown of Silver Springs, Md.

My second assistant is the one guy that all the others claim never existed.  Mostly because none of the former assistants has really ever spoken to him, despite the fact that he was a part of numerous office fantasy teams, etc.  His name is Andrew Zapotoczny (Zapo for short), and he worked with me for the 1999-2000 school year.  Andrew had a great pedigree as a student assistant at William & Mary and was a native of nearby Fishersville, Va.  After one year with me, Andrew realized sports info wasn’t for him and he answered his call as an educator.  He’s currently an elementary school principal in the Denver, Colo., suburbs.

Scott McGuinness was the third assistant, working for me in 2000-01.  It was an interesting year to say the least.  A lot of practical jokes and sarcasm that year.  Former AD Mike Walsh likened Scott to Puddy, Elaine’s boyfriend on Seinfeld.  Probably wasn’t too far off.

Andy, Scott and myself at Scott’s wedding

I actually got Scott’s resume from Villanova after losing a potential hire to the Wildcats.  He was stunned to get the call from a school he never knew existed, but the Shippensburg grad was more than happy to come interview.

Scott remains one of my most loyal friends, and as a father of a 1-year old boy, we converse more about kids these days than SID stuff.  Scott left after one year for W&J and has been there ever since.

Scott was followed by Greg Murphy, who arrived in 2001 after graduating from John Carroll University in Cleveland.  Greg was a superstar as a student assistant and proved that he was talented from the very start.  Obviously, I also lost Greg after one year as he was hired as the SID at the Colorado School of Mines.  Might seem like a random location but his girlfriend was from Denver and this worked out perfectly.  Greg later moved to his native Cleveland where he began working at Cleveland State University.  Today, he is the school’s sports information director.  Greg seriously hooked me up in March of 2011 when CSU hosted the first and second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  My beloved Villanova Wildcats were sent there and Greg gave me the best job ever, writing notes about each game for the Cleveland site.  I sat on press row and got to watch every game in its entirety.  Greg recently got married and seems to be loving life more than ever!

My next assistant was a bit of a stretch.  I figured why not take a chance on someone with all the skills, but just needs experience.  Aaron Hatfield had been a lacrosse player at Connecticut College and was working in finance in New York City.  He desperately wanted to get involved in sports and appeared to be a good writer.  Aaron did wonderfully and fit in perfectly.  It only took one year before he began pursuing his dream of becoming a sports writer.  A couple of years later he realized sports writing doesn’t pay the bills quite like finance and he went back to working with Citi Group in New York.  He’s currently finishing working around the world with the organization, finishing in London before returning to New York.

Cory Thornton was with me for 2003-04 after finishing his graduate assistant SID position at Shippensburg University.  Cory had played soccer at Lebanon Valley and was an intern at Gettysburg for a year as well.  He had the pedigree and did a nice job though I think his year was more about figuring out what he really wanted to do.   His hobbies included raising chickens, if that gives you a sort of mental picture.  Cory went on to design websites for CSTV (now CBS Sports Network) in California and I got to spend some time with him at a Padres game while attending CoSIDA in 2007.  It was a nice visit and great to catch up.

Chris Hodgson was my first assistant to stay more than one year, serving from 2004-06.  A native of New Jersey and graduate of Lock Haven University, Chris started after completing his master’s degree at Old Dominion.  He had been an intern at SUNY-New Paltz and knew the job well.  Chris was a hard-worker and is one of the few former assistants who still lives in the area.  He and his wife Amanda have a 3-year old son Gavin and live in Waynesboro, just close enough to catch a W&L game every now and again.

Austin, Mollie and I before the 2008 Athletic Awards Ceremony

Austin Calhoun followed Chris and stayed from 2006-08.  Austin played basketball at W&L and I knew her well from all the hours spent hanging out in the SID office simply because it was the cool thing to do (sarcasm).  Austin helped us out as an undergrad, serving as the sound technician (what she put on her resume) for the baseball games, among other things.  She went on to get an SID internship at the University of Delaware before earning her master’s degree from the University of Miami.  She then returned to Lexington for two fun-filled years before packing up for the University of Minnesota, where she is now finishing up her doctoral studies in an attempt to become an athletic director/professor.  I recently attended her wedding in the Twin Cities, which was a blast and brought back a lot of great memories.

Mollie Robertson also stayed for two years, serving from 2007-09.  It was during the Calhoun/Robertson years that we actually had two assistant positions, which to put it bluntly, allowed me to have the semblance of a life again.  Anyway, Mollie was terrific.  Austin had remembered working with Mollie at a basketball game at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now simply Randolph) and when we needed a quick hire late in the summer, we contacted Mollie despite the unconventional spelling of first name (or the fact that her real name is actually Rosalie).  Mollie will always be known as the assistant that kept copious notes on every subject and did everything exactly as instructed.  She was also the person who probably reminded everyone of their own mother because of her nurturing ways.  She remains a close friend even though she fraternizes with the enemy on a daily basis as the assistant commissioner of the ODAC.

Nate Jervey was hired in 2008 and holds the distinction of having the longest tenure of any assistant.  Prior to leaving this spring, he had been a member of the office for four years.  A lot happened during this time period, but most notably were the addition of live and recorded video highlights.  Nate was also brilliant at layout and design work and significantly upgraded all of our publications.  Obviously better days are ahead at Methodist, where his gold handicap will undoubtedly improve due to its impressive golf facilities.

Rachel Buck was hired in 2009 and was sort of the second generation of the Aaron Hatfield hire — someone with all the pieces and just needing experience.  Rachel had pretty much worked with every minor league baseball and hockey team in the Midwest and just needed a shot.  She had graduated from Marquette undergrad and was finishing her grad degree at Georgetown (and to think she’s not even Catholic).  She was also assisting the communications staff of the Washington Capitals.  Rachel needed only to experience how communications were handled in a college athletic department before she would be ready for big things.  She supervised the addition of both facebook and twitter to the sports information office and also expanded our love for grilled meats and Wisconsin cheese and beer.  I never did pick up her love of hockey, but she did help to increase our awareness of the sport.  Rachel parlayed her time in Lexington in an assistant SID position at George Mason, where she is beginning her second year.

That brings me to the final two:  Brittani Sahm and Chip Whipple, my current assistants.  The pressure is on guys, there’s a lot to live up to.  No worries though, no butterflies on my part because the 2012-13 year has the makings of the best year yet.  Thanks to all my former assistants who has made my first 14 years with W&L so special.  Go Generals!

Surviving Fall Preseason: An athletic trainer’s point of view!

September 4, 2012

By: Alison Kapuska
Assistant Athletic Trainer

August 12th was the last day of our summer as athletic trainers here at Washington and Lee. Football reported to campus, began practice and life as we know it changed. We go from daily office hours consisting of going through athlete’s paper work, inventory, and CPR/Spine board/helmet removal courses to mass chaos in a blink of an eye. This year was my fifth preseason as a certified athletic trainer and I’ve learned nothing can really prepare you for the 2+ weeks of mayhem. This year I attempted to come into preseason with a plan to manage my athletes. It’s still up in the air if it worked.  I had my teams water bottles labeled in their lockers, my list of missing paperwork typed up and highlighted, my kit stocked ready to go, and most importantly binder full of schedules and injury reports. I thankfully didn’t start field hockey practice till Aug 18th so I had an extra week of prepping for my team’s arrival on campus.

Once they arrived on campus my life was full of two a days, treatments, taping, and practice. You know you’re scatter brained when your evaluating an injury and the athlete tells you mid-eval that it was the wrong leg you were looking at. I honed my skills at directing athletes in the athletic training room, which resembled a grounds crew member at the airport.

Yes, that is standing water on the field!

I have learned that two a days can become a time warp. You aren’t too sure what day it is, which can lead to some problems. This is why I always have my schedule with me, I’d be lost without it. My biggest issue was wondering why athlete’s injuries weren’t resolving. It would feel like they had been out for weeks when it only happened the day before or even just that morning.

The worst part about preseason is the things you can’t control — for example the weather. Will it be a blazing hot with 100% humidity or will it rain nonstop? This year we had a mixture of the two and I detest rain. We had one sudden downpour it was horrible! This leads me to my Preseason Survival Guide

* Anticipate anything hunger, outfit change, and weather concerns: I keep my locker fully stocked with food, clothes, and shoes.

* Take care of your feet: different playing surfaces may need different footwear. The Turf field is a little less giving then grass so I plan my shoes accordingly. Nothing is worse than your feet hurting from standing!

* COFFEE: enough said!  (I’m on my 2nd cup while writing this)

* Sleep: I may be guilty of an 8:30 pm bedtime.

* Hydrate: We preach about drinking water to replenish what athletes have lost during activity. I have to remember to do the same.

My locker at Wilson Field

* Write everything down: nothing is worse than trying to remember what leg was injured during an evaluation when writing the injury note.

* Remember to close the cold/warm whirlpool drains … shocking it doesn’t fill if open.

* And last if there is lemon cookies at D-hall eat 5 of them they are an explosion of flavor in your mouth. If they are on the menu any time soon let me know!

Well now that my fall preseason has officially come to a close with Field Hockey’s first game vs. Sewanee, I can say that I survived another preseason. It may take me till next year to gear up for it again. But what gets me through is my fellow staff members and knowledge its only 2 weeks!