Warming up to the Season

John Murray (jomurray@ursinus.edu)

Finding the rhythm and energy to move past the slump of winter and into the spring season can be a challenge, especially for student athletes. Many teams on campus had a change of scenery this year traveling to different areas of the country to compete.  Finding motivation in nice weather, new competition, and famous places helped these teams catapult themselves into the spring season.

With seven different teams traveling to places like Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Carolinas, athletes found getting out of the cold in Pennsylvania a motivator for some good play.  Both Tennis teams got a chance to go to Kissimmee, Florida and had a great team bonding trip by playing all day and into the night under the lights.  When asked about her experience on the trip, Maddie Russell, senior captain for the Women’s team, said, “Spending the week with my team on and off the court is awesome.  We get a chance to spend a lot of time by the pool and relaxing, but most of our time is drilling and playing.”  Russell has now been on the trip three times and when asked what her favorite part was, she explained, “playing the night matches under the lights with your team cheering is just special and only motivates me for conference matchups.”  

Also while spending time in Florida, the softball team found a way to warm up their bats before coming back to Pennsylvania, securing a few wins and playing against strong teams. The team also found a way to make a real impact from the mound, striking out 21 batters on the week.  The baseball team had a very similar trip as the softball team, finding success in Myrtle Beach by scoring 52 runs on the week and winning five of their appearances. 

The last of the teams that had the privilege of going on a trip was the golf team, who took the eight-hour drive to Pinehurst, North Carolina, a site of the U.S. Open for the best golfers in the world.  The area is home to many golf courses and provided both the Men’s and Women’s teams with so many opportunities to prepare for spring competition.  Senior Jessica Lamarca talked about how this trip meant so much to the team saying, “Playing in such a special place, with so much history is amazing.  The course and conditions prepare us for the tough spring season while also giving both teams a getaway and vacation.”  

  Although they cannot stay on these trips forever, the athletes always find a way to continue their momentum even when back in Bear country.