Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good Times

After a couple of days back on campus and back in class with professors explaining end-of-year projects and emails announcing the final senior celebrations in the coming weeks, I quickly realized that this incredible four-year journey is about to end. Over the next month, there will be a couple of long nights studying, hopefully a couple of long nights partying and plenty of reminiscing about all of the incredible things that we did and learned as students here at Davidson College.

For me, so many of those memories will revolve around Davidson basketball. As a student fan, Davidsonian writer and editor, Sports Information intern and live-blogger, I have been privileged to see this team and its surrounding community from so many different angles.

I was absolutely thrilled during my freshman year when I made friends with several upperclassmen purely based on our mutual love of basketball, and they ended up driving me all around the Southern Conference as I watched Conor Grace and Logan Kosmalski lead Davidson to a perfect conference season.

I spent sophomore year as the crazy "involved kid with no real title" who dated a team manager, filmed most of the games, wrote about the team in the student newspaper and cheered in the student section as that incredible group of seniors led us all to our first (well, my first) taste of the NCAA Tournament, taking second-seeded Ohio State down to the wire in Dayton.

By the time junior year rolled around, I was too busy as the editor of the Davidsonian to travel to too many games, but I watched in awe as this team made up of former bench players and an undersized shooter with NBA genes took the Wildcats to the mountaintop. They set a school record for winning 29 total games, secured a consecutive SoCon title and made some noise in the NCAA Tournament as they pushed Maryland to the brink.

Then there was 2008. With exclusive blogging privileges and the full backing of Davidson's Sports Info department, I traveled everywhere and wrote about the team that never got knocked to the mat. These Wildcats came in highly touted as ESPNU filmed the season-opening Night with the Cats. But then the close losses just kept adding up. Students, fans, national media...they seemed to fade away slowly. But Davidson kept building its tower and fortune, brick by brick, penny by penny. Close calls at Elon and UNC-Greensboro begat yet another undefeated conference season and the Wildcats rolled into the NCAA Tournament riding high. And we all know what happened then. I was privileged enough to blog it all from the epicenter.

I wish that I had the time and space to thank everyone that ever cheered alongside of me, that ever picked up the paper or clicked onto the blog. I have tried numerous times to capture in words how special this entire community is to everyone that has some investment in it, to all of the people that reached out both arms to someone else and formed this impenetrable web of support that binds all things. These players and coaches and students see it every day. These alumni invoke it even when they are halfway across the world. And these town members have made the physical sacrifices to place this web in a physical setting where it can flourish. Over the last two weeks, we finally got to share it with everyone else around the world.

As you may have realized by now, this will be my last post on Will's World. I graduate from Davidson College with a history major in just over a month, and I will be working next year in Charlotte for the Carolina Panthers.

It would seem that I should continue the blog and just write about the Wildcats whenever I get up to campus to see a game, but I realized that this blog was about the perspective of a college student more than anything else. I will continue to love and cherish Davidson basketball next year and the year after, but it will be undeniably different. I don't want that difference to overly flesh out a blog that so nicely encapsulates for me my last four years at this wonderful college.

So "Thank You" all. You know who you are. Heck, we all know who you are. This is Davidson, isn't it? The place where every Day is a Great Day to be a Wildcat.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hope you don't give up the blog, Will. I have really enjoyed reading your take on the Cats--I've even got this page bookmarked!

Trust me when I say it is just as much fun following the Cats as an alum as it is as a student.

Anonymous said...

April Fools'?

Will Bryan said...

Nah, I'm done here. The author of Davidson Basketball Update is planning on creating a new blog next year that I will contribute to, but Will's World is finished.

Will Bryan said...

I will also be writing about random subjects over on Somewhere in the Middle...the blog that is linked to the right.

Jarred said...

Will, your blog let me continue to feel like I was still on campus in this first year out. You've been tremendous in your support of the 'Cats and of Davidson, and they're lucky to have had you as a quasi-unofficial spokesman. Enjoy these precious few days that remain as a student for you, and look forward to a rich alumni experience. Good luck in Charlotte, and thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I met your mother in the Fox Sports Grill in Atlanta after she picked out my DC sweatshirt. My family and I were traveling from MS to NC and they were traveling from AL to SC...
She mentioned that her son was blogging, and I think she was surprised when I asked if her son was "Will!"
I have enjoyed your blog and wish you good luck.

Brady Daniels said...

You are an extremely gifted writer Will. I just happened to stumble on this site as I was reading about the Davidson basketball team. You must keep writing, you are very good at it.

No Intro 77 said...

Will, the 2006-07 team got me reconnected to Davidson after being out of touch for ten years. Will's World, your pieces in The Davidsonian, and your posts at DavidsonCats.com helped get me back up to speed.

So, thanks for that, congrats on your upcoming graduation, and Godspeed as you move forward.

Claire said...

Thanks, Will. Your blog is awesome and has always been so great to read. I can't believe y'all are getting ready to graduate. It won't be the same next year with 08gone. Thanks again for your dedication!

Anonymous said...

Will,

As an alum who has been gone from campus for many years (class of 1970), a season ticket holder, and follower of the Cats to 4 away games, the So Con. Tournament, Raleigh and Detroit, your blog postings have helped me put what I have seen into perspective. You are a great writer and I truly hope that someday I will see your byline on a sports column somewhere. You helped make this a special season for those of us who followed the Cats! Good luck with the Panthers!

mbain1 said...

You will truly be missed!
Best of luck to you. You are a gifted writer.

Andrew Ruth said...

Congratulations Will on four years well spent. You have done a spectacular job as a Wildcat Fanatic. I have loved watching you answer phones during the game and blogging every week on every game for four years. All I have to say is that the underclassmen don't know what they've inherited and how big the shoes they have to fill truly are. You did a great job stretching out those shoes for them.

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王藝文 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

WB said...

2015 Atlantic 10 Conference Champions! How 'bout those Wildcats!