Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thought this year was great? Just wait

It's May again and time for these sports editors to wrap this thing up, turn off the lights and move into our summer housing. Every year the Davidsonian's sports editorialists wrap up the school year with a pithy recap of our athletic teams' accomplishments, a brief reminder of fun moments in fandom and an optimistic look toward the future.

Often, however, I feel like academics, life, and sports at Davidson don't ever really change much. We win a lot of games, we lose a lot of games. We all take these finals and move on. Great athletes graduate and younger athletes take their place.
This summer, however, I believe that we have something very unique to look forward to. The coming year will be one of those incredible transition years after which nothing will ever be the same again.

This new era begins and ends with the men's basketball team. The Wildcats return all of their scholarship players in a quest to make the postseason for the fourth season in a row, a new high-water mark for Davidson. Rising sophomore Stephen Curry '10 has already attracted national attention after his 30-point outing against Maryland in the NCAA Tournament.

Many national experts include Davidson in their projections for next year's Top 25 poll. With nationally televised games against UNC on Nov. 14 and Duke on Dec. 1 already scheduled, next year's team will have many chances to gain a signature victory while the whole country is watching.

The men's basketball team's success is important for the entire school, including the other athletic teams. Throughout the last month, prospective students and athletic recruits have heard about the electricity that now accompanies the men's basketball team.

Notable athletic teams around campus have also seen their share of success during 2006-07. Our football team recorded its first winning season since 2002 in front of record crowds in the relatively new Richardson Stadium. Our women's basketball team advanced to the postseason for the first time in team history after posting a record 23 regular season wins.
Our track teams have continued to bust up record after record as the men posted their best finish ever in the SoCon Championships.

Whether it's a former Davidson quarterback as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Super Bowl Champion Colts, or an All-American Davidson kicker heading to USC for his last year of eligibility, Davidson athletics really mean something America's often oversaturated sports culture.

Next season, Davidson athletes and fans will largely dictate what type of athletic institution Davidson is going to be. All around the country, there are talented high school athletes and scholars that look at Davidson and see something special. They see affordability proclaimed by the administration's move to eliminate loans from all financial aid packages. They see all of these incredibly smart student-athletes competing at high levels in their sports. Hopefully, they will also see a student body that supports athletics unlike any other college institution of its size.

Next season, Davidson sports will be covered at a level never before seen next season when all of the Wildcat home games are broadcast on all over the world. The ticket office also has a waiting list around the block for fans trying to get season tickets for men's basketball home games. Even the Charlotte Observer is making tentative plans to create a Davidson sports home page as part of its online sports news coverage.

So what does all this mean for yours truly and the rest of us here at The Davidsonian? Firstly, like all campus organizations, leadership will be a little different in the fall. Suzie Eckl '09 will be abroad and Patrick McArdle '09 will join me as co-editor. The Davidsonian will no longer be privy to the ramblings of Wilson McCrory '07 who has been a fixture around here for the last four years.

The Davidsonian will be cutting back its paper size which means that sports will only take up three pages on a normal week. As a result, we will be spending less time publishing game summaries and more time presenting features, editorials and graphics that bear importance to the College community. On a given week, our goal will not be to cover every single athletic event but, rather, to provide interesting and dynamic content that our readers can't find anywhere else.

So when you are lounging around this summer thinking about next year, allow yourself to get a little excited. It promises to be a doozy.

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