As a sophomore, Kate Benz chronicled her experiences with the Cougar basketball team during the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, the junior forward from Portland, Ore. continues her accounts of life as a Cougar. Please visit wsucougars.com for future thoughts from Kate throughout the year.
August 29, 2005
No matter how much anyone tries to deny it, going back to school is fun. You get to see friends you haven't seen all summer, start fresh in new classes, and of course pick out a special first day of school outfit.
Beginning basketball after our short three-week break was kind of like that too. We had a welcome back barbeque at Coach Murrell's house, picked up our new basketball handbooks, and we got fitted for all our new Cougar gear.
Starting back at something that eventually becomes routine can also be a bit scary. As the words, "I am a junior" left my mouth when I introduced myself at coach's annual barbeque, the fact that I have two years under my belt finally sunk in. Gosh - I only have two to go? Time really does fly, and that is truly daunting.
I suppose this type of fright is natural, and I liken it to that anxious feeling you get when you first get your syllabus for class. Everything is written out - you know when your exams are coming and the materials you need. You promise yourself you are going to be super successful this time around - you are not going to procrastinate or get lazy. Your instructor has told you what he or she expects of you, and you are determined to show you are committed.
School and sports really do parallel, you see. Our team knows our tough game schedule and we know we have the materials we need…we have height, athleticism, seasoned veterans and sparkling fresh faces. We have seen the progress in the past couple years here, and a noticeably different feeling of uncharted success on the horizon is aflutter amongst our team and coaches. We proved over the course of this summer that we can put in more hours of practice than asked of us, and coincidentally it has been more fun doing it together than any previous year. Our coaches have told us exactly what they expect out of each and every one of us, and we can see in one another what a raging success we can and will be if we sustain unwavering commitment.
With a week of school and practice behind us, the nervous butterflies have vanished and the elbows are now flying. Everyone has sore muscles, some nice bruises are forming, and that sustaining feeling of exhaustion has set in. It's all terribly exciting, however. Each day is a step closer to our first game as a new team out to prove we've got the right materials to be victorious in the 2005-06 year.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS