RIVER FOREST, ILLINOIS - I’m not sure what there’s left to say that hasn’t been said, but I’ll give it a try. We’ll take a look at the last of the sports news you may not of seen, and I’ll wax a poetic a little more.
It’s ironic, really. Last Saturday, rather than going out and about in Clemson after our swim meet, I sat on the hotel bed, making a master outline of Yellow Jacket Roundup to make future editions faster to write. After all, it made sense - as the winter rolled on and spring sports started up, it was taking up three or more hours of my night to just get a column together. Well, now I wish this one would never end. Never have I ever relished being on the far end of the news cycle so much. When this column goes dark, so will the 2019-2020 NCAA athletic calendar. This one had so much promise, too. When we last checked in on the Jackets, we had two teams in the hunt for their respective top tens - Golf and Women’s Tennis. We had another sitting on the edge of their seat, hoping their name would be called for their One Shining Moment in March - Women’s Basketball. We had four swimmers and a diver anxious for their chance to get in that one last chance, that one shot that could vault them into the annals of a storied tradition, the premier short course yards championship in all the world, the NCAA Division I national championship. We had club programs that were on the edge of glory in their own right - men’s lacrosse could play with any team in the nation, bar none, and a club swimming program lying in wait for its third national championship in as many years. Softball was finding their groove. Track was waiting on their indoor NCAAs. I could ramble forever.
In one short - nay, long - week, all that was taken away. From the individual hopes and dreams as small as getting to run a single race, or having that ticket to watch the Final Four in Atlanta, even, to the team dreams of raising a banner, all of that was washed away. For those who feel they have lost something, trust me, I know your pain. This was a rare week in which the sportswriter, the fan, and the athlete in me was all put on hold for a little while.
When we needed these communal diversions the most, they have left us.
And that’s a fact. It’s not my place to veer into politics - the what should we do, the what could we have done, the what comes next - because I am but a twenty one year old mechanical engineer who just wanted to finish his capstone project and walk across a stage in McCamish Pavilion. It is not a matter of he-said, she-said. We all lost something this week, and what we lost mattered a lot to us.
I had to tune in online - those who know, know that I am the oldest of school when it comes to my consumption of religion; give me a hymnal and organ - to watch church this morning, and the pastor made an interesting point about this week. What happened this week wasn’t lost, really, as much as it was stolen. An interesting implication of that seems to be that we can’t get it back. I cannot get a senior spring of college back, much as one cannot get back their time, worry, or whatnot that this temporary time of social distancing requires. There’s a certain peace that comes with that.
Someday, we’ll look back on this as a phase. A hard phase, no doubt, but a phase nonetheless. How long, it remains to be be seen, but it requires sacrifice. It requires the sacrifice of the impulse to do and go wherever whenever. It requires the sacrifice of pastime. It requires the sacrifice of putting the needs of others in front of ourselves. It requires the sacrifice of sport.
Wash your hands.
We’ll be back soon.
Tech (11 - 5) defeats no. 14 Auburn (13 - 4), 6-2
You might realize that I don’t usually cover baseball outright here in YJR, but, well, today is not a normal day. And since I want to cover as much ground as I can before I sign off and I like to write about baseball but never have the time, well, here’s a nice opportunity.
The Jackets got off to a quick start at the plate, as they netted runs in each of the first three innings. In hindsight, that would have been good enough to do it, but one should never turn down insurance runs, especially not against the fierce Auburn lineup. Zach Maxwell got the start for the Jackets, and was rather shaky, walking six batters, including four straight. Fortunately, though, the bullpen was highly effective behind him, as Dalton Smith worked out of a jam in the third inning and proceeded to pitch two more scoreless frames, which got him his third win on the year. The rest of the bullpen combined for four scoreless innings, including the displaced Austin Wilhite, who tossed two of them.
At the plate, it was Baron Radcliff’s day, as the slugger muscled two extra base hits in three appearances and got a productive walk in his other at bat. The Jackets were more efficient than the Tigers, stranding just 7 to the Tigers 10.
I want to close with a link to this, the Sunday walkup song for Colin Hall. Even though it is a religious song, I most closely associate it with being out in the sun on a beautiful Sunday afternoon - it never rains on home Sundays in baseball season, change my mind - on the third base side of Russ Chandler Stadium, enjoying the day and the beautiful American game. Hopefully it brings some memories back for you all, too.
Tech (12 - 11) defeats Mercer (10 - 17), 11-1 (6)
This was the one where Tech’s bats finally came alive and feasted on a pitcher. They didn’t even need the full seven frames to finish off the Mercer Bears, ending the game in the sixth inning by run rule. Tech went down in the first inning, before putting up a big crooked number in the second when Bailee Zeitler brought Crosby Huckabay home before getting driven in herself by a big Lilly Hooper home run. Two innings later, Tech got four more off a Tricia Awald double and a Huckabay home run, before Breanna Roper put it firmly out of reach with a grand slam in the sixth, her second hit of the game. Blake Neleman was once again stellar in the circle, giving up one run on three hits in six innings of work.
Camryn Hidalgo was the story of the Zones meet this week, as she netted herself three finals appearances, representing all three events, the 1m and 3m springboard, as well as the platform. Not only that, she was able to wiggle her way into NCAA qualifying place in each of the events, which only three Tech divers, and one other Tech woman, has ever been able to do before. Congratulations!
In the Club House:
Last Week’s Results:
Women’s Basketball - The defending club women’s basketball national champions headed down to Gainesville for a tournament at the University of Florida this past weekend and came away the champions. In their efforts, Zariah Brown got named to the All-Tournament Team and Jen Harvey got named Most Valuable Player.
Men’s Rugby - In Savannah last weekend, the Men’s Rugby team was able to have a solid showing in the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament. Their second place finish was solid, losing only to a nationally ranked team in the effort. All in all, a moral victory for the Jackets.
Women’s Rugby - Women’s Rugby was also in Savannah, and took on two teams in the process. Their win was against a team called Darkhorse and the loss was to Buffalo State.
Ballroom Dance - Lots of results from Ballroom Dance in Columbus for the Arnold Dancesport Classic. The statistic I can best understand that they sent in was that they got fourth place overall. I’ll list everything else out, because I don’t know what’s important and what’s not:
Erin Wrobel and Faith Womack: 1st place Bronze International Standard, 3rd/4th place Silver International Standard, 5th place Bronze American Smooth Viennese Waltz
Elizabeth Ham and Ajanta Choudhury: Callbacks in American Smooth, International Standard, American Rhythm, International Latin
Matthew Oswald and Darye Ji: Quarterfinals in Bronze American Smooth Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, and International Standard Waltz/Quickstep
Daniel Boman and Tiffany Bouquet: Silver International Latin Semifinals
Walker Powell and Olivia Apergis: Semifinal in Silver International Standard Tango/Foxtrot, Quarterfinal in Silver International Standard Waltz/Quickstep
Chase Warner and Cameron Russ: 3rd place PreChamp American Rhythm, 3rd place Gold International Standard Waltz/Quickstep, 7th place PreChamp American Smooth
Megan Dufresne and Madeleine Pollack: Semifinal in Newcomer American Smooth Tango, Bronze callbacks for International Latin Jive and Cha Cha/Rumba
Baseball - It was a trip to beautiful, breezy Orlando for the Club Baseball team as they took on the University of Central Florida in a three game series last weekend. Luckily, their star pitcher’s arm still isn’t rubber after throwing 170+ pitches a few weeks back, but it was still a 1-2 weekend for the Jackets, who won the opener 5-3 before dropping the next two, falling 4-2 in the middle game and 11-0 in the rubber match.
Men’s Water Polo - It was another Florida trip lined up for the Yellow Jacket Water Polo boys, as they headed to Tallahassee for the Florida State tournament. They were sup[posed to play four games, but choose to skip one, so they wound up 1-2 on the weekend.
Runnin’ Wreck - The runners were in the Albany, GA Half/Full Marathon.
Boxing - Boxing headed all the way up to Richmond, VA for the Benedictine Boxing Smoker and had themselves a solid weekend. They were not knocked out at all, and Mike Sanchez and Liam Wilson netted two TKOs in the competition.
Sailing - Sailing was also in Clemson this past weekend, much like swimming, as we previously noted, for the North Points 3. The in-conference regatta saw eight teams on the lake that famously makes Clemson, well, Auburn with a Lake. North Carolina State got off to a stellar start in the 1A race, pulling in first, while the Jackets sat a little ways back in third. They dropped down to fifth after the 1B race, but it was all uphill for Tech from there, as they managed to pull back into a narrow second by the end of the last race, behind the Palmetto neighbors, the South Carolina Gamecocks. the hosts wound up in fourth, with the 1A leaders fell all the way to fifth. That’s why depth is important.
Full Results: http://scores.collegesailing.org/
Women’s Soccer - The women’s soccer team became the second team this column covers to face an NAIA varsity team this year, this one coming in the form of Brenau University, last weekend in Gainesville, GA. It was another shutout win for the Jackets, who continued their impressive undefeated season. Ultimately, it was again Tech’s consistent pressure and knack for keeping the ball safe that helped them pull away. Goals were scored by Maddie Cramer and Audrey Olenski. The end result? A nice 2-0 victory for the Jackets.
Women’s Lacrosse - Tech headed up to Kennesaw State University to face, well, surprisngly, not the Owls in their one game. A real nailbiter, the Jackets were able to barely edge out the Clemson Tigers for an 11-10 victory in Kennesaw.
For what FTRS is doing in the meantime:
This Week on the Flats:
BOLD for home, REGULAR for away, ITALIC for time and location