2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon: I along with many other Transylvania students and supporters packed the Beck Center to support the men’s basketball team as they played for the conference title. Now I am normally an avid supported of the sports, known from coaching from the bleachers, but conference title play brings out a completely different side of the coach. This brings out the volume and the yelling inside.
Unfortunately, I should have been a little more mindful yesterday, since I had a presentation to give at work on Monday morning.
The male Pioneers put on a good show as always. Playing some great defense, making free throws, grabbing rebounds, making their sideline coach very happy! Even better they avoided foul trouble. Now the second half was intense and I really had to coach and that is when the strain hit my voice. Rose-Hulman came out of the locker room fired up and ready to go and the Pioneers had to respond. As always these young men stepped up to the challenge. This second half probably gave me my first grey hairs.
As the clocked ticked away and the Pioneers were down by three, one of my residents Ashley Hatfield pulled up way behind the arch with a three that was nothing but net to tie up the game. I think I burst with so much excitement I may have almost assaulted President Williams with some fist pumps (this was completely accidental).
This shot sent us to overtime and my nerves through the roof. The crowd was on their feet, yelling and screaming giving the Pioneers support as they prepared for the most intense five minutes in Beck.
Unfortunately, the outcome was not in the favor of the Pioneers. But this team gave me one great season, to end my Transy career. In fact, in Saturday’s game Brandon Rash gave me what I asked for and that was to see another dunk in the Beck and less than 30 seconds later there his hand was on the rim.
As a senior and this being my last season as a member of the student section, I could not have asked for a better season. It was good basketball, it was excitement, it was energy and it was Transy. The hard work of these young men was rewarded Monday with an at-large bid for D-III tourney, so these guys will at least give me one more game in Beck. The sad thing is, I am scheduled to work Friday night, but I have a feeling I may have “a cold”, but who knows.