Blogs and Commentary

posted 02.20.2012 at 10.23 a.m. by JJ Gilbane

Getting Giddy For Season to Begin

JJ Gilbane

At this time of the year, everyone is itching for the season to begin. With our final scrimmage against Johns Hopkins last Saturday, we had a week of practice before starting our official "game week" for our first game against Hobart (1 p.m. Saturday). This is a week where there is no taking it easy on the legs, knowing that we have a lot of work to do before the season begins. With that week over, now begins our preparation to travel to Geneva to take on the Statesmen. For me, this is a big game not only because it's the first game of my senior season, but because my father attended Hobart and is always talking about "the mighty Statesmen" and how he still has an extra year of eligibility and he may suit up for "the boys in Orange."

One of the best parts about this time of year is not only the start of our season, but also the continuation of our tradition of Big Red Readers, which we do down at the local elementary school, Immaculate Conception. Friday mornings, about eight guys drive down at around 8 a.m., led by junior Ross Gillum, and go to a few different classrooms and read to children from pre-kindergarten to seventh grade. We read all sorts of stories; some that are educational, while others, my favorite ones, involve a little singing and dancing. Our most recent book reading of "If You're Happy and You Know It," involved the entire class singing and dancing; having a blast doing it. Everyone is usually fooling around, dancing and laughing, while other team members, such as Cole McCormack, get really into what moves they are doing and before you know it are sweating and panting.

Another great tradition that starts up when games begin is our pre-game dinners and post-dinner ice cream. After our practice on Fridays, if it is a home game or a close away game, the team will head down to one of Ithaca's finest dining establishments, Lucatelli's. The dinner always involves a mixture of seriousness due to our upcoming game, but also some laughs and looseness, which comes from having fifty 18-23-year-olds brought together at the same table. We always get the same dish of chicken parmesan, which you can always count on getting all over peoples khakis, polo shirts, and all over some people's faces (Tom Trasolini).

After we finish dinner and each go back to our respective homes, the freshman focus up for the team's big ice cream order. The freshmen usually call up a member of each house or apartment and ask what they want from Friendly's. This is a process that usually takes a good hour and a half, which includes calls to the freshmen from the upperclassmen about how long it is taking and how much the ice cream costs. Sometimes it seems that some of the freshman are a little too eager to go get the ice cream, in order to make a small profit off of the orders. Either way it's a great way to spend your Friday night with your teammates and your best friends before going to battle the next day against another opponent.

Thanks for reading,

JJ Gilbane