Loyola Men's Club Soccer: An Anomaly in the Making
Loyola Men’s Club Soccer is not your average collegiate club sport’s team. Head Coach Tom Durkin’s official player roster alone indicates the exceptional talent his team embodies. With twelve of the club’s eighteen players having had varsity experience, the team hopes to make its mark in the northeast region of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). “Having two-thirds of our team being ex-varsity members is obviously a huge advantage,” Durkin admitted. “But all of our guys can play, regardless of whether they played for [Varsity Head Coach Mark] Mettrick or not.”
Although the team achieves success with the help of its non-varsity players, Durkin understands that those who bring varsity experience to the club team are highly valued. “Many of our guys were cut or chose to leave the team for various reasons,” he said. “But they’ve played soccer all of their lives, so joining the club team is a way to continue their collegiate soccer careers.” Rather than quit soccer altogether, Durkin stated, these athletes continue to play in an environment that gives them more freedom and flexibility. Having top athletes in a division that includes schools like Johns Hopkins, Navy, and Syracuse is a tremendous advantage.
The team, which is one of the more successful Loyola club programs, practices three nights a week with games on the weekends, most of which are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The regional tournament in November and the national tournament in March, held at Clemson University in South Carolina, are two of the major highlights each season.
Junior co-captain Todd Stone has played under Durkin for the past three years, as well as alongside many talented players, but none more so than this year. “These guys are some of the best I’ve played with,” Stone said. “Most of them were All-State in high school and were heavily recruited by Division-1 schools.” Stone acknowledged that one might think that a club team full of varsity-level players is a full-fledged anomaly. Some would even argue it shouldn't be allowed, and that a club team of that caliber would crush all of its competition. However, judging by recent athletic trends, according to Stone, this is not such an unusual occurrence. “Many teams are just getting better, plain and simple,” he said. Stone added that the addition of former varsity players appears to be the “wave of the future” of club soccer, evident in several of Loyola’s competitors. “I know some kids from other schools like Villanova and Towson that were on varsity but now play club,” he shared. “You’re not getting your pudgy C-list athletes anymore.”
Junior Goalkeeper and fellow co-captain Sean Dempsey is one of the twelve former varsity players and acknowledges the club team’s ideal balance of competition and fun. “When I was on the varsity team, it was a lot more work than I had anticipated. It didn’t really leave me time to take part in much else,” he admitted. “The club team allows you to actually enjoy playing the game, but at the same time, the guys you play with are fierce competitors who want to win.”
Stone accredits the team's mediocre fall record of 3-2-4 to injuries to many key players. However, two of the team’s three victories came against first-ranked Johns Hopkins University and second-ranked University of Delaware. “We underachieved, in our minds,” he said. “We had two big wins against top-ten teams, but between injuries and the fact that guys hadn’t really played with each other before this semester, it was tough.”
So, what can the Captain and his team expect for the spring season?
“Now that we have a semester under our belts,” Stone said grinning, “we’re going to be nasty.”
With a team comprised of varsity-level competitors, who would expect any less?
Dez Bryant Suspension
By Anne Marie Gochis
Why are you so concerned with who Dez Bryant ate lunch with? You’re seeming a little stalker-ex-girlfriend and might want to reevaluate your standards.
Seriously, though, think about it. The Oklahoma State wide-reciever was suspended for the remainder of his 2009 season after the NCAA discovered that he had lunch with former NFL star Dionne Sanders and lied about it. News reports of the investigtion add that Sanders sent Bryant inspirational texts almost daily.
Bryant has officially been charged with a violation of the NCAA’s code of ethical conduct since he lied to investigators. In an interview with ESPN, Bryant said he was surprised by the way the NCAA handled the investigation, saying “the manner they asked the questions led me to believe that I did something wrong when in fact I had not.”
The NCAA was investigating Bryant’s professional relationship with Sanders to see if he was violating a preferential treatment policy. At the time, Bryant was thought to be considering entering the NFL draft instead of continuing his education at Oklahoma State. Those intentions, coupled with discussions with a former NFL player, could have violated a recruiting or preferential treatment policy.
But why the policy? What is the NCAA so concerned about? If any normal student had a meeting with an employee or former employee of a company he or she wanted to work for post-graduation, that student would be encouraged and praised. The NCAA restrictions limit student-athletes’ ability to seek out post-graduation employment and unfairly limit the personal actions and personal relationships between student-athletes and professional athletes.
Why are you so upset? Are you afraid Dez is cheating on you? I think you’re being a bit possessive…
Athletes, Admissions and Academics
By Anne Marie Gochis
“Sometimes it just seems unfair that they [student athletes] get everything, especially the ones that aren’t here to advance academically,” said Melissa Rosvold, a senior at Loyola. Rosvold was reacting to what fellow student Abby Gotsch said “must be a common dilemma for college admissions officers;” is it beneficial to admit a less academically qualified student because of his or her athletic record even though it may mean passing up a more academically qualified student?
Loyola University senior Erin Bowman said she feels “the two cannot be directly juxtaposed because they each bring different things to the table.” The more academic student, explained Bowman, may devote so much of his or her time to studying that they do not have the time or the energy to be involved in other clubs or events on campus. Conversely, she continued, the athlete contributes in a different way, making up for his or her academic shortcomings by contributing to the overall atmosphere of the school and helping to foster a sense of community. A campus needs both types of students to be successful and well rounded.
Regardless of their admission, though, how much do student athletes contribute to the college community? Senior Eric Abrecht referred to student-athletes as “mere cogs in the college machine.” Lauren Savo, a sophomore at Loyola, added that “sure they’re contributing to our community now, but unless they go pro later on, how much are they going to be able to give back to the community after?” Rosvold said that “They do deserve to be here because they are as much a part of our community as anyone else, but it can be frustrating because they get everything for free.” Many student-athletes receive comprehensive scholarships that provide money, not just for tuition and housing, but also for books and food, said Rosvold. “And it’s annoying,” she continued, “when you are taking difficult classes and trying to learn and then you meet someone here on a full ride who isn’t even interested in anything besides sports and partying.”
Gotsch said she thinks admissions officers should “more carefully weigh the pros and cons of choosing an athlete over and academic.” And, contrary to Bowman’s statement that the two cannot be compared, she feels that they should be. “You have to wonder what they’re going to contribute in the classroom and on campus, not just on the field, before you admit them,” said Gotsch.
Legendary Coach Bobby Bowden To Retire
“Nothing lasts forever, does it?” Bowden said.
Bowden will end his career as the second all-time winningest coach in major college football, only behind legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno. The Florida State legend himself has won a total of 388 games in his career, which includes time at Samford and West Virginia, in addition to Florida State where he has spent the last 34 seasons.
Although the University has struggled in the past few years, overshadowed by National Champion and archrival Florida, Bowden helped make Florida State one of the most competetive and top-ranked programs in all of college football. The 1990s proved to be the glory years for Bowden, as his Seminoles won the national championship in 1993 and 1999, including 14 consecutive winning seasons from 1987 to 2000. Bowden racked up 152 wins in that span, losing only 19.
During his tenure at FSU, Bowden became the face of not only Florida State football, but of the entire university, as well. University President T.K. Wetherell emphasized this, saying, “Bobby Bowden in many ways became the face of Florida State. It was his sterling personality and character that personified this university.”
In a bizarre string of events, Tiger Woods has found himself in a bit of a dilemma. A story broke early Friday morning regarding a single car accident with Tiger being the driver. Apparently he was backing out of his driveway at 2:25 A.M. and hit a fire hydrant then a tree. He was hospitalized, then released with minor facial lacerations and bruising. Later that day more details surfaced and it was rumored that Woods’ wife had smashed the back window of their Cadillac with a golf club in order to drag him out of the car. A couple minutes later a concerned neighbor came out and called 911. Tiger was first seen lying in the street, drifting in and out of consciousness.
Now, first off let’s not take anything away from Tiger here. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. He is the most famous athlete in the world. He has been a model citizen his entire career and is very likeable from a fan’s perspective. That being said, there are obviously some missing details here in this circumstance. Currently, Tiger still refuses to talk with authorities and has released a statement that doesn’t clear up any fogginess from the accident. Two days before the incident, The National Inquirer reported that Tiger had been having an affair. Also, that him and his wife were fighting before and or during the incident.
A few questions must be answered here for people to be satisfied.
1. Where or what was Tiger doing at 2:30 in the morning on a Friday?
2. Why did he continue to drive after initially hitting the fire hydrant?
3. Why did his wife actually smash the back window of their Cadillac?
4. Was just a coincidence that his wife used a golf club to break the window? Is that all she could find in their garage? Kind of funny I think
5. Lastly, What club did she use to break the window? I think the putter or 4 iron would create a nice shatter.
Either way, Tiger has a long road ahead because this incident is far from over. His squeaky clean image could actually hurt him here, with everyone dying to know the truth.
- Celebrity Scandals – Tiger Woods
- 6,000 Seat Stadium
- NBA's Worst Team Fires Head Coach; Hopes for King James
- Sportsman of the Year
- Defending NCAA Champion Maryland Sneaks by Loyola
- Men's Basketball Opens Season With a Win
- Back on My Feet
- Intramural Sports at Loyola Proving to be a Hit
- Bye Bye Larry
- What Constitutes a Real Sport?
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