Friday, March 20, 2009
I woke up today and finished packing a few items for our trip, I realized the next time we came home, we would be in the Sweet Sixteen or done with basketball. It was a very crazy realization and created a sense of urgency for our practice this morning and for our upcoming game. I can speak for the seniors in saying, “Where did the season go?”
Our locker room, as always on the day of a trip, was a mess of bags, practice gear, backpacks, and pillows. We practice this morning before flying out of Sioux Falls. I feel our team is one that thrives on routine. At times throughout the season, due to flight schedules, we would have to leave early in the morning and then practice later that night after a long day of traveling. These types of days are tougher to get ready and focused for practice. And so as we have throughout the season, practiced in the morning before leaving.
Our team the past two days has been focused and worked very hard in perfecting the little things that we can control within our offense. Our practice team, consisting of 6-7 guys that are students at SDSU that worked with us all year, did a great job to prepare us defensively for TCU’s offense.
These “guys,” as we call them during practice, are very tall, big and athletic, and they make us work very hard and keep us sharp when running our offense. Their long arms seem to stretch for miles and sometimes steal every pass we throw. It’s these instances, and many others, that are frustrating at times, but prepare us so well that at times during the actual game; it feels that our offense comes easier than it did during practice. Thanks guys!
We left Brookings on a charter bus filled with more people than usual (some administrators, Coach Nieber, media relations people, etc...) and received a “Jack Snack” bag of treats from the Admissions Department – thanks you guys!! It was a great bus ride down, the bag of treats also enclosed a disposable camera and a few players had fun with that nice feature. Our team enjoys the little things and I think we have the type of players that can turn a dull, slightly boring bus ride into a photo shoot filled with laughter and fun.
For the first time ever, we took a charter flight out of Sioux Falls. This was an AWESOME experience that saved so much time. Our flight even left early – which never has occurred in my four years of flight time. Our team spends so much time in the airport throughout the year, and this Charter flight allowed us to bus right next to the airplane and board the plane within 10 minutes of arriving at the airport. Like I said, AWESOME!
We landed in Lubbock and half of our team began to sweat immediately (yes, many of us have an issue with this topic). The weather was beautiful and we’re going to enjoy the hot sun, I didn’t even pack any sweatshirts or sweatpants. I thought about bringing a swimming suit and attempting to work on my tan – but I wasn’t sure AJ would be up for that. Oh well, I’ll save the swimming suit for this summer. The Jackrabbits have business to attend to on Sunday, and we can hardly wait!
P.S – I have the best roommate in the entire team this trip. (There you go Kristin, a personal shout out!).
Welcome to Lubbock! We arrived in Texas and are already enjoying the trip. Our day began with a practice in Frost Arena. We had another great day of practice and are getting anxious to finally play together as one team, rather than against each other.
We got cleaned up after practice and jumped on the bus for the Sioux Falls Airport. Normally, we all get our own two-passenger seat, but today we had special guests on our bus: administrators, the mascot and a very special past Jackrabbit Coach! To our surprise, each seat on the bus held a “good luck” bag full of goodies from the Admissions Office. It's amazing how fast we eat our lunch when we know we have a bag full of desserts in our possession.
We took a charter flight straight from Sioux Falls to Lubbock. Charter flights are definitely the way to fly! They even served snacks (not that we needed any more at that point). We arrived in Lubbock an hour and a half later and waited in the Pilots' Lounge for our bus. We were served fresh lemonade and chocolate chip cookies as we relaxed in leather recliners watching some NCAA basketball.
As we arrived to our hotel, we opened the door to our rooms to find balloons with Snickers & Gatorades attached! Soon after word spread that a banquet room in the hotel was set up with fresh fruit and water, the team rushed to the main floor for a snack, this time a healthier snack. Seems like this team loves their food.
Well you will NEVER guess what we did next... Yep, we went to Carino’s for supper. Our team also has a weakness for bread. We finished our night watching some film and enjoying some down time. Two days 'til go time!
Today was a long day, but it was a fun day. After a good practice this morning we got cleaned up and traveled on our first charter flight. It was super fun to see all the extra people on the bus down to Sioux Falls. There were a lot of similar faces on the bus. They’re the ones that we see in the crowd supporting us every game, so it was really cool that they got to travel with us and see what we go through during trips.
This trip was a little different than our normal ones though. We got to take a charter flight, so that means no security, no checking in, our choice of seats and no transporting our bags from one point to the next. IT WAS AWESOME!
Another part of the day that made it fun was all the treats that were waiting for us all over. First on the bus, then in the airport, then when we got to the hotel. They were just goodies from fans that are wishing us luck and letting us know they are thinking about us. It definitely made us all feel very special.
We just got done with dinner and a little more film on TCU, so we can relax and probably get some homework done with the remainder of the night. We are all really looking forward to seeing the gym tomorrow and getting into the groove of being here.