All good things must come to an end -dlh

Andy York

Beginning with this issue, I’m just your average sports writer again. After being sports editor for the last three and a half years, I’ve decided it’s someone else’s turn to give it a shot. Alex Weck is the new *******Lawrentian******* sports editor, and he will do a very good job. He even has an associate sports editor in Peter Griffith, something I could never get.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to look back at some of the highs and lows that have occurred in the three years I’ve covered LU sports in depth, and thank a few more people who deserve it very much.
As sports editor, I’ve seen a lot of Lawrence sports firsts, some good, and some bad. I saw the first-ever Lawrence football season in over 100 years where they failed to win a game. I only wish I could still be around to watch Coach Chris Howard turn this team into MWC title contenders in a few years. I saw the LU women’s soccer team win its first-ever NCAA tournament game victory, with a 2-1 win over Aurora in 2001. I’ve seen one of the best volleyball players in LU history in Lis Pollock. I saw the men’s and women’s tennis teams beat Ripon for the first time in who knows how long last season. Both teams can only get stronger under the tutelage of new coach Peter Nestel.
I witnessed the LU hockey team set the school record for wins in a season, and I saw the first LU hockey player to score over 100 goals in the form of Ryan Blick. I’ve seen an undefeated NCAA individual champion in Andy Kazik. I’ve seen what the perfect swimmer must be in the form of Daniel Hurley. I’ve seen a Midwest Conference long jump champion who in the NCAA meet jumped three and a half times my height, in All-American Kolade Agbaje-Williams.
I’ve seen the women’s basketball team reach the conference tournament, graduate one of its best players ever in Beth Pollnow, and then reload and again reach the MWC tournament with two 1,000-point scorers, and one who should finish as the highest scorer ever in LU women’s basketball in Felice Porrata and Claire Getzoff.
I’ve seen the softball team win two consecutive North Division Championships, and play in three straight MWC tournaments. I’ve seen one of the best Vikings ever to put on a baseball uniform in Jason Shanda, and then I saw all his records get broken by Andrew Wong. I’ve seen back-to-back individual MWC championships by Jeff Henderson and Joe Loehnis on the golf course, after no one had seen one in 50 years.
Of course, my favorite memories are those I’ve had with the men’s basketball team. I saw a team that made school and MWC history in back-to-back years. I saw fan support go from 150 to 1,500 in a few months. I saw quite possibly the two most influential graduating classes in the history of LU basketball back-to-back. I saw a school whose athletics department no one had ever heard of fly up the NCAA Division III rankings, and pull off some amazing road victories.
I saw the most amazing comeback I’ve ever seen at any level of college basketball and it was orchestrated by bench players. I saw the best college basketball game I think I will ever see in my entire life, played between two Wisconsin teams with three hundred fans combined in a 3,000-seat arena 2,500 miles from either of their campuses, and broadcasted it back to a campus where large groups of people sat around and acted like they were right there with me. I saw pride, I saw jubilation, and I saw agony. I thought what if.
None of this would have been possible without the support of the entire LU athletics department, especially these people in no particular order: I want to thank Moira Ruhly, Blake Johnson, Kim Tatro, Amy Proctor, Kurt Kirner, Korey Krueger, and most importantly, John Tharp. All these coaches have shown me the utmost respect, and I truly have respect for them.
One more person I must thank for all that he has done for me in both the writing and broadcasting aspect. LU sports information director Joe Vanden Acker has been a godsend multiple times, and has become a good friend. It would have been so much harder to do without him, and for this I eternally thank him form the bottom of my heart.
Now I’m not gone for good. I’m just not writing the entire sports page like I have had to do many times before. I’m still writing an article here or there, but my main work is done. Thanks to all of you who have helped me or commented over the last three and a half years. Go Vikes!