Sunday, September 9, 2012

Aloha from Hawaii!!

Hawaii



Senior Nina Carter from women's soccer talks about the team's travels to Hawaii

HAWAII -- Aloha! Our trip to Hawaii began at 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning with us packing up and waving good bye to the campus of UDM. After a long 14 hours of travelling we finally arrived in Honolulu after a layover in Phoenix, AZ. We arrived at 2pm local time which is 8pm back in Detroit. Although we were exhausted we still managed to make it down to the beach for a quick evening swim in the beautiful turquoise ocean. After some persuasion we managed to get a Coldstone pit stop on the walk back to the hotel. Nobody had trouble sleeping that night due to the jet lag and ice cream coma. Friday morning brought a tough practice to remind us why we were really here in paradise. After, our coaches gave us the rest of the day to enjoy the beach. 

The beach was amazing. Everyone went in the water, even though some had to be thrown in by Abby McCollum, including Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Toferri who didn't want to get his hair wet. Some of the girls left the beach looking more lobster-like than others (cough, cough, Martha Dunbar), but other than that it was a great day! We showered up and headed over to the stadium to scope out the competition and watch the Ball State vs. Hawaii game. We then went and had a great team dinner preparing for the game the next day.

Saturday morning began with a jog along Waikiki Beach and a stretch on the pier, even at 8am the sun was scorching. After a little shopping the team rested until game time. We started off a little rusty allowing Ball State to score a goal early in the game. We came out strong in the second half and Beka Dornbos evened up the score, eventually sending us into double overtime and ending with a 1-1 draw. We woke up and had an awesome breakfast on Sunday morning and are now relaxing and looking forward to facing the Rainbow Wahine today. Look for another blog coming soon about our awesome trip to Hawaii! Mahalo!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Summer at Chrysler



By Sheldon Keyte
Sr. - Detroit Men's Golf

This summer, I began a four month internship with Chrysler in their Corporate Accounting department. I was put in touch with Chrysler through UDM’s Career Education Center’s “Career Fair”. It was a professional event that allowed me to meet with company representatives and discuss my possible future with their respective companies. I would recommend attending this event to anyone who is looking for employment opportunities.

I began my internship on April 30 and it will end on August 31. I was very excited to start a new experience. I had worked at my local golf course in Kalamazoo for the last 4 years, but you can only clean carts and serve hot dogs for so long before you need something different.

My work at Chrysler has been more rewarding than I ever expected it to be. I had an image of what I thought working in corporate America would be like: strict, stuffy and constraining. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The people I work with on a daily basis are extremely friendly and always willing to help out. I have a flexible schedule and my work is interesting. I am actually contributing to the company, doing jobs that will continue to be done long after my internship is over.

I have enjoyed my time at Chrysler and hope to eventually turn it into a full-time position, but I am ready to join my teammates for one last run at a Horizon League Championship. I have not been able to practice as much as I would like to because of the internship, but I’m excited to get into the swing of things during our fall season.

We are going to have a young, talented squad this year and the guys have been practicing hard and playing well this summer. The expectation is always the same for this team, win a ring. Our coach and captains make that clear to us every year.

I look forward to being a part of our team’s journey towards this goal.

Go Titans!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Everything Happens For a Reason - Lindsey Lammers



Lindsey Lammers

Sophomore – Women’s Golf

Being unable to compete during the spring season has definitely been frustrating to say the least.

The spring season is a time for us to really hone in on our games and push each other to improve knowing that the Horizon League Championship is coming in late April. Not being able to play or practice with the girls has been difficult because I have felt so helpless. While they are all working hard to better their abilities on the course, I have not been able to hit a golf ball or even a putt in over a month. Instead of this, rehab has been my best friend. This consists of doing a variation of stretches four times daily, in effort to get my range of motion back as well as scar tissue massages. On top of this, I see a physical therapist twice a week where I do wrist exercises and ultrasound treatments.

My trainer has also been working with me every day to keep me in shape by doing cardio and core exercises. Training has been a great outlet for me to let out my frustration and push myself physically, knowing that I can’t on the course. Rehab has played a huge role in bettering my wrist, and it is clear why so many people have placed an importance on following these simple, but tedious exercises. It definitely has not been easy, but as I see my wrist recovering every day, I know I am doing what is needed to ultimately get back on the course.

My goal since the day of surgery has been to return and contribute to the team before the end of the season. Staying positive and optimistic has kept me mentally strong and is also pushing me to work hard in hopes to return as soon as possible. I have been trying to really apply myself in every area that I can because I know my teammates are working equally as hard on the course. Every extra exercise, workout, putt, or practice we do gets us one step closer to winning that championship ring.

Everything happens for a reason, and I believe with the support and help from my teammates, trainer, and therapist, I will return healthier than ever.

DetroitTitans.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Team Yellow Forever

Senior Matt Nedwicki
By Matt Nedwicki - Men's Soccer
April 10, 2012

This past winter was my fourth off-season with the men's soccer team and I have to say, one of the most difficult. On average, we lifted twice a week, as well as doing some sort of conditioning twice a week (stairs, long distance, etc.). In addition to our strength and conditioning regimen, we also played soccer three times weekly. It's not that I dislike running and lifting, but the highlights of my week were definitely the actual soccer practices. Two of these three practices were from 10-11:30 P.M. inside Calihan Hall playing futsal—a type of soccer played with a smaller, heavier ball. Futsal is intended to work on quickness of play as well as ball control.

At the beginning of the semester, we were divided into three teams of 7: Yellow, Green and Red. With these teams, we played in a mini-league every Tuesday and Thursday night. Each team would play the other two once a practice with the cumulative points leader at the end of the semester being crowned champion. The teams were divided with an eye for parity, but to be honest, Team Yellow was far superior in every aspect. Although dashing good looks don't often play much of a factor in sports, it must have been disheartening for the Green and Red teams when they compared themselves to the Yellows. I can only think that it was jealous rage that drove them to injuring 4 of the 7 Yellow stalwarts before the season was through.

With their far superior teammates out of the way, Red and Green could now focus on battling for the championship amongst themselves. It was a hotly contested title race that came down to the very last night of games. Team Red, who had held first place for every week of the semester but two, were able to hold off a charging Green Team to capture the first inaugural men's soccer Futsal Title. Although I was only able to participate in half the season due to injury, I looked forward to each of these Futsal nights. Enjoyment was had by all, and more importantly, we improved as a group. Team Yellow forever.

College Athletics Reality Check #1 - There is No Offseason

Junior Nina Carter
By Nina Carter - Women's Soccer
April 10, 2012

The Titans women's soccer team has been hard at work even though we are technically in our “offseason”. College athletics reality check #1: There is no such thing as an offseason. Since we play in the fall and typically that lasts until mid-November depending how far we go in tournament play, the majority of the school year is left preparing for the following season. Just because we don't have any games doesn't mean we're not playing. A typical week of training for the women's soccer team consists of 7 AM conditioning and weightlifting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:45-1:45 PM practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10:15 PM futsal games on Wednesday nights. For those of you who don't know what futsal is, it is a game of soccer played in a gym with a smaller and heavier ball. Futsal is aimed to develop player's ball control, and let me tell you these games can get pretty competitive.

Initially we had three spring games scheduled, U of M, Madonna, and Northwood. On February 12th we travelled to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines and were interested to see how we matched up to the Big 10 school. The game was a high intensity fast-paced game but we kept up and showed that we are not to be taken lightly. Our second spring game was against Madonna who we had various opportunities to score on during the game but we used it as an opportunity to play. against a local program. Our game against Northwood was rescheduled twice due to the crazy weather we have been experiencing and unfortunately we were not able to play them this spring season.

We still have conditioning twice a week along with other individual workouts. As the school year draws to a close, the team prepares to move back home which ranges from Thunder Bay Ontario to Toronto to Virginia to the very suburbs of Detroit. This doesn't mean a break from soccer though because now it is time to start preparing for the rigorous preseason in August that will come much too quickly for some. Because in all reality there is no offseason, no such thing as “down-time”, because when one season ends, the next begins.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Annual Titan Track & Field Handicap Races

The Handicap Races took place on March 22 at Titan Field. They are one-on-one races set up by the track & field coaching staff in which athletes are paired up with the faster runner being given a handicap (added distance to run) based on their speed.  Each athlete was tested over an 80m sprint the previous week and the distances were calculated based on those performances.  The top ten men and women were chosen to compete in the Handicap Challenge, with each pairing in the first round involving a woman v. man, with the winners advancing to the second and third rounds.  Jasmine Greene was the eventual winner in the final round with a time of 10.42 seconds for the 80m sprint, narrowly beating Joe Raffin who also ran 10.42 but had to cover 89.9m, Taylor Hennrick 10.57 covering 90.8m, Vince Lefler 10.59 covering 91.6m, and Ja’Quan Patterson 10.86 covering 91.5m.

Greene edged Raffin in the top left corner

By Jasmine Greene  - Women's Track and Field
Freshman
Coming into the handicap races I didn’t know what to expect, so I wasn’t that nervous, but as I walked onto the track that all changed.  I saw the coaches had brought the starting blocks, starting gun and automatic timing camera, that made my heart start racing and I started feeling the butterflies.  The pairings were announced and the smack talking from the guys made my nerves kick in, adding to the intensity.  Warming up I was getting more anxious to race.  Finally the prelims began, I had to run 80m and the man I was paired up with had to run 90.8m.  The first race was pure fun, I was able to win my race which was a relief, especially because my competitor was telling me he was going to smoke me! 
 
In the semifinal race I was strictly thinking about making it to the finals, this time I was matched up against another female. I had to overcome a handicap of 2.0m meaning I ran 82m and the person I raced against ran 80m.  I was able to overcome the distance and was the only female in the finals.  Even though the guys had an 8-11 meter disadvantage I was still worried.  Before I got in the starting blocks I listened to all of my teammates cheering me on, which made me pumped!  The gun went off for the finals and I just took off without thinking, all I wanted to do was get to the finish line first.  When I finally reached the line Joe Raffin was right beside me, and the others were closing quickly, it was such a tight race they had to go to the photo finish.  Finally coach announced that I was the champion, my time 10.416 seconds to Joe’s 10.417 seconds, I was ecstatic.  Overall the whole handicap race experience was fun and exciting and I can’t wait until next year to defend my title!

MAC Bites - #6


Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his sixth blog.


Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #6

And we’re rolling…

It has been an exciting last three weeks. It began with the win over Quinnipiac, which propelled us into the first game of conference play at Canisius. The one aspect of NCAA athletics that has stood out to me the most is momentum, which happens to currently be on our side and unless the world ends tomorrow, I don’t see it leaving the Detroit Titans.

We arrived in Connecticut that Friday morning before the game for our practice time on their field, which happens to be Astro-Turf. This is a crucial element to the game because it changes the style of play entirely. Every ground ball roles that much faster and further making ground balls rather difficult to those who are not ready. Even with the notable advantage, we exploded in the first half scoring ten goals and allowing four. Unfortunately we faltered in the second half and allowed Quinnipiac to try and get back in the game. With that said, we outworked them in almost every statistical category and were really confident throughout the entire sixty minutes winning 13-10.

The following week, the emphasis was put on our play in the second half. Entering the MAAC schedule, we could not afford to stumble or let the foot off the pedal in the second half if we want to be successful. Consistency was another key aspect of our game, which we relentlessly drill into practice each day. We left Friday morning and crossed the border to Canada, which cut off several hours of the trip due to the proximity of Detroit and Canisius College to the border in upstate New York.

The short drive was nice, but following our ride it was all business and we all knew what was at stake and what we must do. From the start of the week, I mentioned I wanted to send a message to the conference and show everyone that receiving the preseason vote was no hoax. Turns out, we really followed up on that message netting 17 goals and exploding in the fourth quarter for five goals. It seems as though our second half troubles and consistency issues had been erased considering we scored four goals in every quarter except the fourth.

As mentioned before, we received a huge momentum swing after beating a non-conference opponent and an even bigger one handling Canisius and starting our conference play 1-0. Last week however was of utmost importance. We couldn’t waiver and our hunger grew even stronger. The 1-0 start was nothing and we faced our biggest opponent yet in Marist, which is always a chippy game because of how heated the rivalry has become.

We split games with Marist last year, losing in the regular season, but winning in the playoffs to send them home and propel us to the MAAC Championship. The stakes were high coming into Saturday. We knew they would be looking for redemption after their season had ended in the MAAC semifinals. The entire game was a battle and the offense came up big when we needed them and the same went for the defense. The intensity of the game was unlike anything I’ve been a part of. It felt like a playoff battle and we came out on top once again in the end in an overtime thriller.

We are extremely excited as we head into our Saturday game at Manhattan. We are 2-0 and back on top in the conference and we have no time to look back. The boys are at an all-time high and we have no plans of stopping. If the MAAC has proven anything, it’s that each game will be a dogfight. Not one game is guaranteed and we fully understand this. Every week, we work even harder. The title may not be ours, but we fight like it will be.

DetroitTitans.com

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hitting The Links - Simon Reyers


Every year we look forward to kicking off the spring season with a trip down south and this year we began our trip in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We arrived on the first Sunday of spring break late in the afternoon and headed straight to the driving range at the PGA Village Learning Center. After an early morning jog on Monday morning we headed back to the Learning Center for a morning practice and played PGA Country Club in the afternoon.

On Tuesday we again practiced in the morning and after a quick stop for lunch we headed over to play the PGA Wannamaker Course for a match against Morningside College. We played well and were able to win all five matches. On Wednesday we headed south to play at The Fox Club, which is a very exclusive and challenging golf course. On Thursday we played a Disney course in Orlando called Osprey Ridge and on Friday we concluded the trip with a round at Grand Cypress with former Titan and winner of “The Big Break”, David Byrne.

This trip down south is very important for us to get the spring season off to a good start. We put in a lot of hours on the driving range and on the golf course so that we will be ready to take on the challenge of winning a Horizon League championship. With the guys that we have on our roster this year we are certainly capable of winning a championship and making another run at NCAA Regional’s. I am really excited about this spring season because I know we have the tools to win.

For our next two events we will travel to the state of Indiana. Next week we are playing in Butler’s invitational and the following week we play at Indiana University. After that we will host the Detroit Titans Invitational for our final regular season event, which is at Prestwick Village GC in Highland, Michigan. The Horizon League Championship will be held at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida at the end of April.

Be sure to follow our spring season on http://www.detroititans.com/.

Go Titans!

Simon Reyers
Jr. - Detroit Golf
Kingston, ON/Holy Cross

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Putting This Program On The Map – Megan Callahan


The women’s lacrosse team has been fighting the same problems since day one. We don’t have a big team, we don’t capitalize on our opponent’s mistakes, and we rely too much on one person to get the job done. This season has been different and we have played together as a unit unlike the past three years. Even though the outcomes have not been in our favor, we know hard work and dedication will put this program on the map.

We also know that to build a program, you have to take to baby steps and this year is the first step in the right direction. The past three years have indeed been some rough ones; we lost our previous coaching staff and some valuable team members. Everyone that has stuck through these rough times knew that this year was the year that we needed to prove ourselves and to others that nothing can knock us down. We have a new coaching staff that has the same goals we do with the main one being “Putting This Program On The Map”, and they have given us the tools we need to succeed with these goals

We have five talented freshmen this year and some of them have stepped up on the field and have become a threat, while others are just getting their time now and no other teams know about. The returners have seen the potential in this young team and are raising the bar higher and higher, making sure that everyone is on the same page and what this program’s expectations are for the future.

There is still work do be done with this program, but that is what we are working on every day on and off the field.

The women’s lacrosse team “Back and Better Than Ever”.

#23 - Junior - MF
Megan Callahan

http://www.detroittitans.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=1367&path=wlax

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Softball Played 10 Games in Kissimmee, FL March 4-10

by Hannah Klenk and Karyn McCarty - Softball
March 18, 2012

Hannah Klenk and the Titans played 10 games in Florida


Florida. Where foul balls hit palm trees and you can get a sun tan line from eye black, where memories were made and softball was played. At the beginning of our season, Coach Jones told us not to be so much result-oriented, but instead focus on the progress. Although we ended up with the same record in the Rebel Games as we did last year in Florida (4-6), there was a completely different atmosphere. After a tough loss, we were told that we were more competitive than in past years. Although we did play better, it was an understatement; we did not play to our potential consistently. When we were consistent with hitting, fielding and pitching, we beat Holy Cross, Lehigh, Lafayette, and Fairleigh Dickinson. 

There was complete team effort throughout the week. Everyone contributed and stepped up when it was their turn. Each of our pitchers took home a win including Kat Hoffman’s first collegiate win. Other high points included Alyssa Schaub taking home her first home run ball of the season, sweet plays made by our defense, and Sam Henderson hit two consecutive doubles.

Despite the fact that we went to Florida to win ball games, we did not fail to have fun along the way. A forgotten I.D. was a rough start, but everyone made it on the plane and we arrived safely. Starting the trip off right we enjoyed a team midnight breakfast upon arrival at IHOP. The following day led us to the tedious task of condo grocery shopping. We filled six carts with groceries and delightfully picked the slowest checkout line. Later that night we went on to have our late night team practice under the lights. 

For the first day we brought the cold wind with us, but still managed to win the game and Karyn McCarty got our first victory of the Rebel Games. On Monday we had team surprise activity fun day which included The Lorax, shopping, and a mystery dinner show. Making a pit stop at CVS for snacks, the team was ready to go on a 3D adventure with the Lorax!  Following our 3D fun, coach took us to our part 2 surprise at the Nike outlets.  As a team full of girls, safe to say we were overjoyed with that part and we got in some retail therapy. The last stop of the day was the biggest mystery of all, literally. Finishing an amazing team day off with some family fun trying to solve a murder mystery! Putting all of our minds together trying to figure out who the real murderer was (Nigel), and we found out that for looking the way we did, we ask pretty intelligent questions. 

It was back to work for the Titans the next day having some tough games against Lehigh and Penn. We fought hard and competed, but couldn’t string our hits together and get our runs across. Both Julia Maksym and Karyn pitched great games and our defense made some amazing plays, but our bats were just left on the vans.

The following day was family day where all the girls got to spend the day with their family. Some went to the beach, others went “gator hunting”, and naturally almost all of us went shopping. It was a great day to relax and unwind, and just enjoy the amazing Florida atmosphere.

After family day it was all business for us. Playing some great ball games we had fun in the sun, made some great memories, and ultimately played some great ball. We are looking forward to an amazing season and after a great week in Florida we know how much potential this Titan Softball team truly has!

10 Fencers Represented Detroit at NCAA Midwest Regionals on March 10-11

By Eva Berndt - Women's Fencing - Sabre
March 18, 2012
Eva Berndt (left) was one of 10 Titan fencers to go the NCAA Regionals
The NCAA Midwest Regionals this year were on March 10-11 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ten of our fencers qualified this year, four men and six women (including myself)! We left Friday afternoon and stayed in a hotel over the weekend. Us girls fenced on Saturday and the men fenced Sunday.

The competition was fierce! Many Olympic class fencers duked it out on the strip. Being able to fence such skilled opponents is an honor that I will treasure for a long time. Our freshman sabreist, Katie Lang fenced excellently, winning three bouts and scoring touches on Notre Dame and Ohio State fencing giants.

After one last team meal, we packed onto the bus and returned to campus on Sunday. The season is over and we have a small break before conditioning starts back up again. In the meantime, I'll be reviewing my bouts and figuring out how to improve for next year.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Titans in Omaha - Day Two

The second day from Omaha brought Friday evening's match-up with Kansas that much closer. With the first day of games on all day and into the evening, the Madness of March is now in full swing.

Today the team had its first practice since arriving in Omaha. It was closed to the public and was held at nearby Creighton University giving Coach McCallum and his staff a chance to further prepare the team for Kansas and the team an opportunity to keep loose.

The second practice of the day came later in the afternoon. At about 5:15 local time, the team left the hotel with a police escort. The 15 or so minute drive from the hotel to CenturyLink Center had the Titan bus completely surrounded by police cars and motorcycles. More of the same is scheduled for the commute when game day arrives. At the arena, the team was able to find its locker room, get somewhat acclimated to the (very large) lay of the land and a few athletes were also asked to speak at a press conference on the big NCAA stage.

Chase Simon, Ray McCallum and Eli Holman

After the press conference, the team had a chance to hit the floor. It was largely an opportunity to play on the floor and take in the new environment as best possible, but it was also a chance for local and national media to watch the Titans. The spirit groups were on hand and welcomed the Titans to the floor and even brought a little Calihan cheer while the team was shooting free throws as P-U-T-I-T-I-N could be heard from the stands. The TV talent for the game, Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager were all on hand as they were trying to get their tidbits on all the Titans.

The end of practice came and Doug Anderson threw down a vicious, acrobat 360' dunk to the delight of everyone in the arena. Some individuals seeing Anderson for the first time, were definitely able to enjoy a little bit of what the University of Detroit Mercy basketball fans have experienced all year. Anderson actually dunked it so hard a few bolts came off the backboard and arena maintenance had to be called in to fix it. See video below for a video recap of the day and also check out the photo gallery.




Be sure to tune into Friday night's game at 9:57 Eastern on truTV. The Titans will practice tomorrow morning as game day will have officially arrived.

Titans Make Trip To Historic Lambeau Field



Photo Gallery

A lot of players, coaches and teams draw inspiration from different things. Some have a lucky pillow, blanket, dare I saw underwear?

For the Titans, the day before they played in the Horizon League Championship, it was a fun trip to Lambeau Field as the Detroit student-athletes took in the sights of one of America’s greatest sports venues.

The women’s basketball squad got a private tour of the facility, in the locker rooms and even got on the field itself.

When standing on greatness and seeing all the trophies and championships that the Packers had in their history, it only made the dream of capturing a HL championship, that much closer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Titans Are In Omaha

The Detroit Titans men's basketball team has landed in Omaha, Nebraska in preparation for their NCAA Tournament match-up Friday evening with Kansas. Joining the team on this journey was the spirit groups as the pep band, dance team and cheer team members were also on the Charter flight to Omaha Wednesday afternoon.



Detroit landed after leaving the UDM campus around 12:30 Eastern as media and the men's lacrosse team gave the team a "proper" send off. The lacrosse team took a break from practice on Titan Field to run over to the fence where the bus was and the team started crawling up the fence and hooted and hollered as the Titans headed to the Metro Airport. The men's lacrosse team was a big part of cheering section at Valparaiso and they did their best to make sure the basketball team knows that lacrosse is right with them all the way to Nebraska.

Eli Holman had an opportunity to take a few videos from the people on the trip and as you can see below, the sun was shining bright and the whole group was more than happy about it. Of course, having someone 6-10 walking around with a video camera is bound to bring a smile to any basketball fan, especially if he's on your team. 



The team has settled into the hotel and everyone is preparing for tomorrow's meetings, for practice, and general NCAA Tournament 101 sessions. Stay tuned to the Detroit Titans blog for more videos, updates and pictures on the team and the group as Friday's game draws closer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

MAC Bites - #5


Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his fifth blog.


Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #5

I’d like to begin by congratulating our men’s basketball team for winning the Horizon League Championship against Valparaiso on Tuesday night. It was great to be a part of the win and was quite the team bonding experience. The bus left Detroit at 3 p.m., in which the entire team received a separate bus. It was an interesting experience because it seemed like we were hitting the road for a game, but the mood was much different. Everyone was excited to be able to invade Valpo and support our team. Overall, it was a great time and was much needed to get us back on the same page.

Not be forgotten however is our game on Saturday against Quinnipiac who always proves to be a tough non-conference opponent. We’ve been preparing heavily all week and have had some great practices. The offense and defense have been getting extremely chippy and it’s nice to see the fire back in the squad. I think we have started to realize that Canisius is in just two weeks, which marks the start of our conference play.

We’ve changed our travel schedule, which makes the ride much easier. Leaving each game at midnight the night before allows for everyone to sleep and wake up rested for a pregame practice.

Overcoming adversity has been one of our best attributes as a team and we continue to work our hardest. We’ve been struggling on both sides of the ball, but every week we work on the issue necessary for winning the next week. Come conference play, we will be more than ready for an exciting road back to the MAAC Tournament.

No one has forgotten about the let down last year.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Coach McCallum Shows Them How It's Done

You've heard the old adage "Those who can't, teach".  While it may be a misnomer at any level, it's especially untrue in collegiate athletics.  Take Detroit Head Coach Ray McCallum, for example, who teaches by doing as I've witnessed through a charity free throw contest.

The Titans' fourth-year head man was one of the most prolific scorers in his playing days, chalking-up 2,109 career points at Ball State University.  He did it with a smooth shooting touch that helped overcome any deficiencies that his five-foot-nine frame may have hindered.

"I tell the guys it's all about repetition and trusting your routine," Coach McCallum said in a recent interview regarding free throw shooting technique.

To say that Coach is a perfectionist when it comes to shooting free throws may be a bit of an understatement.  Through four rounds of shooting freebies against other NCAA Division I head coaches as part of the "Shots from the Heart" promotion to benefit the Skip Prosser Foundation, McCallum hasn't missed.  Not once.

And he's gone longer in a few sessions, beyond the 25 shots that each round requires.  In round two-- simply at the request of those watching-- McCallum continued to ripple the net with that same familiar sound.  And he kept going.  Until he reached 62 straight and fell victim to a peanut gallery of players and on-lookers taking him out of rhythm.
 
Each session starts the same each time.  A few side-to-side twists of the mid-section followed by a warm-up of several shots from inside the 15-foot free throw line.  It doesn't take long to gain a rhythm before he steps back behind the line and begins the methodical underbed of the ball effortlessly grazing the back of the rim and falling through with ease with the same pace each time.
 
While it's impressive that a man nearly 51-years old can still outshoot young men more than half his age, it's the message that when he offers a player tips about shooting-- said player should take note.  His team has taken his message and translated it into vastly improved numbers this season, especially at the free throw line.

Last year, the Titans-- and in particular then-freshman Ray McCallum-- started slowly and left empty opportunities at the free-throw line.  Take a Dec. 11 game at Eastern Michigan, for example.  McCallum, who would score a career-high 31 points in leading Detroit to an overtime win, made just 11 of a school-record 22 free throw attempts.  The younger McCallum made 44-of-71 (.620) in his first 11 games as a collegian.  But, following that EMU performance, McCallum would make 97-of-133 (.727) the rest of the way.
 
The game following that 11-for-22 was at Central Michigan University exactly a week later. 

Little did I know that a nonchalant conversation between father and son, player and coach, would still be remembered more than a year later. 

 

Detroit had just defeated the Chippewas in resounding fashion, 75-49, behind the strength of McCallum's first career double-double (23 pts, 11 rbs).  It wasn't until after the freshman and winning coach addressed the media and were dismissed back to the locker room that I heard some simple words that may have changed the mindset of the young freshman as he gained confidence playing in one of the top mid-major conferences in NCAA Division I.
 
"I made my free throws," the younger McCallum simply stated about his game that night.

Nevermind the highlight-reel steal and fast-break dunk with defenders in his wake, it was the unguarded 15-footer that McCallum smiled about in the glow of a win.  And not just any win, one in front of a national audience on ESPNU, on the opponent's floor and against fellow friends and father-son combo Coach Ernie and freshman Trey Zeigler.
 
Widely-regarded as one of the best talents to land at the University of Detroit Mercy, the former McDonald's High School All-American has showcased his athletic ability, court awareness and knowledge of the game from day one.  But, his improved touch from the free throw line has paid immediate dividends.

The Titans are shooting a league-best 73.4 percent from the line heading into Saturday's Horizon League semifinal game vs. Cleveland State.  Included in that total are four players that are in the top 10 in the league in free throw percentage, led by junior Doug Anderson's 80.4 percent clip.  McCallum has increased his proficiency since year one, making 75.9 percent while senior Chase Simon is at 76.3 percent and junior sharp-shooter Jason Calliste is right behind at 76.0 percent.
 
Look no further than Calliste for a lesson in repetition and rhythm.  It's not conventional-- but it just works.  With a good 12-18 inches between his right foot and the black stripe, Calliste goes through the pre-shot ritual the same each time.  Four rotations of the ball around his waist, a tribute to his family with four fingers on his chest and the same number of dribbles each time.  Then he'll unbend his knees and straighten out with pure shooter's form that produces positive results consistently.
 
If routines become habits and learning comes from doing, then Detroit-- who has won 11 of its last 13 games-- is poised to continue its winning ways for a fun run in the tournaments of March.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thank You Seniors



Prior to last Saturday’s home game against Youngstown State, Detroit honored its two seniors in Lauren Allen and Jalesa Jones, both of whom have been a major part of the Titans revival since they came to campus.

They came to Detroit in the spring of 2008 and were among head coach Autumn Rademacher’s first recruits. Prior to their arrival, the Titans were 5-26 in 2006-07 and 6-24 during the 2007-08 season, but they quickly helped turn that around with 12 wins during their freshmen season and a win over #23 Georgia at home, 70-66, on Nov. 22, 2008. At that time, it was the Titans first win over a ranked team since 1981. In that game as a true freshman, Allen had her only collegiate double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while Jones had five points, four rebounds and a team-high six assists.

As sophomores, they helped the Titans to a 17-14 record and a 14-4 mark in the Horizon League, where they tied for second place and advanced to the semifinals of the HL Championships. It was the most wins UDM recorded since 2004 and during that season, Detroit defeated another ranked team in #23/22 Green Bay, 71-55, on Feb. 4, 2010. That win ended a 15-game slide to the HL powerhouse Phoenix.

As juniors, they were at it again helping the squad to a 67-48 victory at Michigan. It was the Titans first win against Michigan since 1994 and the first in Ann Arbor since 1993.

Now as seniors, they have Detroit on a roll as the Titans have rebounded from an 0-6 start. Both were key contributors in the historic win at #9/9 Green Bay two weeks ago and both have etched their names in the school record books. UDM is currently tied for second place in the Horizon League, but owns a tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed with just two games remaining. The Titans are 16-12 on the year, 12-4 in the HL, only the second time in the last 10 years they have posted 16 or more wins.

Allen is ninth in school history with 326 assists. A consistent all-around player, Allen has 42 career games with five or more rebounds, 31 double digit scoring efforts as well as 26 games with five or more assists.

She has played in 116 games with 87 starts and is averaging 6.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. She has twice scored 19 points against Milwaukee as a sophomore and junior for her career high. Her 11 boards against the nationally-ranked Georgia Bulldogs as a freshman is still her career best, while she has tallied eight assists three times in her career. Defensively, she came away with six steals at Green Bay last season.

Jones currently leads the conference in assists at 4.9 per night and just broke the school’s all-time assist record with 487 – a number that stood for 30 years. She has started 95-straight games and 115 for her career, which is tied for the third-most in school history. Those numbers also rank in the top 15 in the nation among current players.

She is averaging 7.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. She has a pair of 20-point games with a career-high of 21 against St. Joseph’s as a junior. She handed out a career-best 10 assists in a double overtime win over Eastern Michigan as a sophomore and earlier this year, pulled down a career-high nine boards on the road at Western Michigan. She also posted six steals for her high watermark against Valparaiso as a sophomore.

The program will continue to build and maybe postseason play will arrive at Detroit for the first time since 1997. In any case, these seniors gave it their all and when the Titans rise to the top, no one can forget the class that came in to originally get them there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Softball Checks in at Evansville Tourney

Shelby Long
By Shelby Long - Softball
Feb. 28, 2012

With our games this past weekend we ended up going 1-3 with our first win of the season. Karyn McCarty had the first Titans home run for the year followed shortly by Sara Cupp’s two run homer to get us back in the game against Evansville. We fought hard against Evansville both times we played them and in the second round came out with a “W”. Winning the game 4-3, it was a full team effort. Julia Maksym got her first win of the year, throwing a scattered seven-hitter. We also turned our first double play against Evansville in the sixth inning. A couple of us even collected our first hits of the season. I hit a double knocking in two runs and Alyssa Gietl had a single knocking in one run. Renee Zaccagni’s go-ahead hit in the top of the 7th pushed us ahead of the Purple Aces by one where we held them in the bottom of the 7th.

The English accents are still in full effect as well as our constant quoting of the movies, “A League of Their Own” and “Anchorman”. The 8 hour bus rides gave us the opportunity to watch movies that we have seen many times and quote them together. We even got to watch my all-time favorite baseball movie, “The Sandlot”.

Getting to play the Butler Bulldogs was a good experience. Even though it did not turn out in our favor, we now have more scouting on their new players as well as their returners and can better face them when it comes to Horizon League games. The weather was chilly, but a lot better than the last games in South Carolina. These games are doing well to prepare us for the Florida games and the soon to come first home games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MAC Bites - #4


Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his fourth blog.


Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #4


Building, building, building…we’re constantly building. We build off each week and every game. There’s as much to take from a loss, as there is to take from a win. Last Saturday was a beautiful day, the sun was out and the weather was just right as we went up against UNC. We started off well, but slowly they began to take over. We cycled through a lot of players and saw some good things from the younger kids. We used the experience to tie up some lose ends on defense and find the proper personnel.

Moving forward, we have Mercer on Saturday, which will be quite the drive, about 15 hours or so. We still haven’t forgotten what it was like to be a young struggling program and we will not take that for granted or over look it. We’ve been preparing well and are very excited for the next few road games coming up.

Monday’s practice went well, finishing up with our favorite drill, basketball. In basketball, the nets are brought up to the restraining lines in which the team is divided in half and we play out a fast paced three on two. The player who takes the shot must exit the drill allowing the next team a one-man advantage. After each shot it’s a quick break to the other net allowing anyone from D-Mid’s to Long Poles to score. Once the ball hits the turf the play is dead and the opposite team goes on offense. The drill’s fast pace allows for quick decision-making, good hands in tight, and calm under immediate pressure.

Tuesday followed up strong as well, where players received a bit more input in the practice plan. We went hard for two hours getting a lot accomplished. Each practice has been followed by a tough full body workout and conditioning session on Tuesdays.

We are ready for our scout and anxious to get on the bus. We know we have made improvements and are ready to progress and only move forward from here on out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

For Detroit Softball in South Carolina... I'm Ron Burgundy

Alyssa Gietl
By Alyssa Gietl - Softball
Feb. 17, 2012


This past weekend the Detroit Titan Softball team traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina to start out our season. Even though we did not get the outcome we had hoped for, we still had many positive events that came out of the weekend. This weekend was a weekend of many firsts for our Titan squad. Sophomore Hannah Klenk got the first hit of the season along with three other freshmen who also got their first base hits of the season: Dani Holmes, Alyssa Schaub, and Sam Henderson. Freshman Kat Hoffman got her first opportunity to pitch at the collegiate level for the Titans and freshman Vanessa Garcia led the team with a batting average over .500 and was named to the USC Upstate All- Tournament team.

Our team also had the opportunity to bond together on our 13 hour bus trip. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was probably the favored movie amongst our team and was even quoted during warm-ups and during the game. Most players knew it so well that they could quote the entire movie. On the way back some of the team decided it would be fun to talk in British accents. While we were talking in our British accents Kelsey Hylen told us all about Nebraska, and some of the interesting places to visit if we are ever in the area.

This season the Titans have 10 returners and have added nine newcomers. It was nice to finally put our cleats on and play outside on the dirt. We were disappointed that weather was not going to cooperate with us for our fourth game. An NCAA rule will not let us play if it is below 32 degrees outside and before the start of our game it was 22 degrees. We are looking forward to our next set of games, which are a week from this Saturday in Evansville, Indiana. We even get the opportunity to play our conference rivals, the Butler Bulldogs in a non-conference match-up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Cardio for a Cause"

It's almost time! The 2012 version of "Cardio for a Cause" will kick off at 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning.


The stage has been set
The start time is scheduled so that the 36-hour ending point coincides with halftime of the 2:00 p.m. men's basketball game on Sat. Feb. 18. The Sears BracketBuster game will pit the Titans against James Madison. The majority of riding will take place in the Larry Bleach Weight Room in the second floor of Calihan Hall with the final three hours of riding set to take place on Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall.


Student-athletes, staff, coaches and faculty will all raise money by seeking sponsors for their 10-minute ride with a portion of the proceeds set to go to the American Cancer Society. The event will also support Detroit Titan Athletics and the Strength and Conditioning department.

Keep checking back for videos, blogs and updates throughout the event!

We're underway! It's 3am and we're in Calihan Hall kicking off the 2012 version of "Cardio for a Cause!"

Our first rider was Julia Fernandes.

Julia Fernandes - 3:00 a.m.
Given the time I got here, 20 minutes felt insignificant. With a little joking around with track runner Derek Baker, biking a couple miles at 3am was fun. It's great to kick off a cause that involves all of our athletes here. The sense of community that Calihan holds makes it all the more special to parttake in something I'm sure all of our athletes here are passionate about. Hope the other athletes will get some smiles out of their rides!

Beka Dornbos - 5:40 a.m.
Although it's before 6 o'clock in the morning, Mary Leone and I made our way over to Calihan Hall to ride the bike for a cause. In ten minute increments we are helping our school build together as a community and put something towards a good cause.

Oliver Walther - 6:10 a.m.
What are ten minutes in the big spectrum of it all and when helping a great cause?! Riding the bike this early was a great way to start a very eventful day. I am glad that I could support "Cardio for a Cause" and I am proud of the program to show its support and help others. Keep on riding the bike! #GoTitans

Alyssia Recchia - 6:20 a.m.
Waking up early to support a great cause was almost a no-brainer.  It's amazing to see all the people who signed up to help and who are following through with their goals to ride the bike for 10 minutes in order to help those in need.  This is a fantastic way to get all of the UDM athletes and students involved with the community. #GoTitans

Jillian Terry - 6:30 a.m.
Arriving only 30 seconds before my roommate (Alyssia Recchia) and I were suppose to bike, the adrenaline was definitely pumping. The ten minutes felt like a breeze. I'm glad that I could contribute to such a good cause, and is nice to see all of UDM's athletic teams, staff, and students come together to support the community. #GoTitans

Katelynn Hutnick - 6:40 a.m.
I think Cardio for a Cause is a great way to get student athletes involved and doing something all together to help raise funds for cancer.  It felt good knowing that because I am doing something so simple and small that I will impact someones life in a big way.  I am glad to say that I could participate in this.

Rebecca Mallender - 9:10 a.m.
Waking up a little earlier than usual was an easy decision to make, as I knew the extra ten minutes was supporting Cardio for a Cause. Cardio for a Cause is a great way to keep the student athletes here at UDM involved and active in charity, as well as a great way to give back to the community with my golf teammates. Go Titans!!

Daniel Morris - 10:10 a.m.
I have relatives that have had lung cancer, and relatives that have been taken by cancer. It feels extraordinary to be doing something to help them fight their illness and honor the memory of those that have lost the battle.  Cardio for a Cause is a great way to help show that you care.  It only takes 10 minutes of your time, and it goes by very fast.  It was 110 % worth my time and I'm glad I could participate.

Nathan Steinwascher - 10:20 a.m.
I think this is a great and easy way for all of us athletes to be involved in a charity event. I have also had relatives and many people I know with not only lung cancer, but all types of cancer. I feel great about helping out in this event, especially that it only took a quick 10 minutes out of my time, and I think many more people should continue to get involved in this event in the future.

Adam Bedell of men's soccer
Adam Bedell of the men's soccer team just after 11:00 a.m. We are past the first eight hours and 28 left to go! Did you see the LIVE WEBSTREAM of the event?? Barring technical difficulties, the camera will be running throughout the entire event so check in and see who is riding. You can also check it on your mobile device so check on your friends and favorite Titan athletes throughout the event.

Lindsey Lammers - 12:10 pm
This is my second year participating in Cardio for a Cause and I think it's a great event that allows the whole Titan Athletic community to get involved for a good cause. Hopping on the bike for 10 minutes is an easy way for us athletes to give back, and help make a difference. Being a Titan is all about the red, white and blue attitude through & through and I can't wait to help out again next year. GO TITANS!

Rachel Copple- 1:00 pm
I think this is a great opportunity for all of the Titan athletes and the Athletic staff to come together. It is a great opportunity for the entire Titan community to come together and raise money for a good cause, as well as our athletic program. I have several relatives that have battled cancer, and it feels great to contribute my time to help others who are battling cancer.I have participated in this event for three years now, and I hope to come back after I have graduated to participate.

VIDEO: We will have a couple videos to post throughout the next 24 hours that remain. Susan Kalkstein of the women's track and field team relays the bike to Chanahl Putnam of the women's basketball team.

We have video of our men's basketball head coach Ray McCallum who puts in a little "Cardio for a Cause." Women's basketball head coach Autumn Rademacher is scheduled to ride Saturday when the riding is done courtside on Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall.

Jesus Ginez (Mens Soccer) 6:50-7:10pm
This is my first year participating in the Cardio for a Cause event and I am really excited to take part in it. After chicken nugget day at TDR this is a great opportunity for me to burn off those extra calories. I arrived ten minutes early to support my teamate Joey K and I will be riding an extra ten minutes to fill in for my other teamate Patrick Soltys. Regardless this is a great event for a great cause that allows the athletes here at UDM to participate and contribute.

Abbey Troy and Victoria Sollestre (Women's Soccer) 8:38pm
So it's a beautiful Friday night in Detroit and Abbey Troy and I are experiencing our first Cardio for a Cause. The experience has been super rewarding to say the least. In total, all of the UDM athletes, faculty, and staff will bike about the distance from here to New Orleans. Being able to take part in such an experience has been rewarding for the both of us to help out with cancer research. Much love to everyone who has participated or will be participating. Peace and blessings.

What do you normally do between the hours of 10pm and 1am on a Friday night, members of the women's lacrosse team took over the weight room. What happened was... well the video will tell the story.



Alyssa Riley and Alyssa Lotito (Womens Soccer) 1:21am
It's now Saturday morning and snowing... Not impressed. Bonding with the team is always a good experience cause they is funny and stuff. Burning Calories, yet gaining a million more from all the food we're eating is fun. I'm really excited to be doing this and i think everyone should get the chance to bike sometimes.

The countdown is on! We are approaching 3pm and have moved the bike courtside. James Madison will take on the Detroit Titans at 2pm with 3pm to come as the game approaches halftime. Breanne Meyer of the cheer team was the first rider outside of the weight room.

Breanne Meyer from the cheerleading squad was the first rider courtside on Dick Vitale Court
Breanne Meyer - Cheerleading - 11:40 am
I'm a sophomore Cheerleader and this is my first time participating in Cardio For a Cause. It is a great experience to be raising money for such a great thing. Being the first rider outside of the weight room was a experience and I got to watch some of the local middle school basketball teams play.

Rachel Hofsess - Women's Cross Country - 11:50 am
This is my first time participating in Cardio For a Cause. I believe this is a great opportunity to bring all of our athletic teams together to support a great cause. Having the bike downstairs on the court during the basketball game is a great way to get publicity and grab a few donations for the event. I enjoyed breaking the seat of the bike, Eli (Holman the next rider) I'm sure will have a great time biking with the seat on the lowest setting.

Katie Weishaar - Women's Cross Country/Track - 12:45 pm
I'm a junior at UDM and this is my third time participating in Cardio for a Cause. I've signed up every year with my teammates. We had fun dancing and singing with the music playing on the court.

Brie Wilcox - Women's Basketball - 1:30 pm
Being a part of Cardio for a Cause, is an amazing opportunity, riding to raise cancer awareness. Along with my other teammates, I believe riding the bike for ten minutes is a small contribution we can make to support the cause. Being courtside the men's basketball game creates a great atmosphere allowing the fans the opportunity to see the dedication of the many student athletes.

1:45 pm - It's almost game time and the seniors from the men's basketball team were just honored. We're set to finish riding at 3pm so there are only a few riders left. Our last rider of the day is scheduled to be none other then the President of the University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Antoine Garibaldi.

Autumn Rademacher with Tom Ledyen
Associate V.P. & Athletic Director Keri Gaither took her turn supporting the cause. We have had Tom Leyden from Channel 7, head coach of the women's basketball team Autumn Rademacher and Yar Shayok of the women's basketball team all ride in preparation for the final rider of the 36-hour marathon. Leyden and Rademacher took time to pose for a picture during the men's game. LaMarcus Lowe and Doug Anderson have thrown down a couple of nasty slams early for the Titans!

President Garibaldi was the final rider of the day
The final rider is on! We're in the final 10 minutes after 35 hours and 50 minutes of continuous riding, President Garibaldi is about to close the book on a couple of long days for the folks in Titan Strength and Conditioning and early nights for Titan student-athletes. Money was raised to benefit and create awareness for the American Cancer Society and its causes while money also benefited Detroit Titan athletics.

A big thank you to all of the riders in this year's event. Without the help of the student athletes, staff, faculty and everyone who participated, this event cannot happen. We'll continue to grow the event and try to raise even more money to support the cause.

Go Titans!

MAC Bites - #3


Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his third blog.


Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #3

Sunday’s game was quite the experience. A lot of hard work behind the scenes was put into it and I would like to thank coach Kolon for his contributions. It was quite the turn around after a tough loss to Ohio State, having to play one of the most hyped games of our season two days later.

The first Division I game of our program’s career was extremely nerve racking and to play the “rival” team in your state adds to it tenfold. We appeared a bit sluggish at first coming off a tough week and really were not clicking, but began to pick it up as the game progressed. We began to take over scoring throughout the second half. It was the biggest crowd we’ve played in front of yet, announced as a sell out with 1,800 fans in the building.

Most of us got the chills as we waited and listened to the start of our warm up as the smoke rolled in, which was quite the experience and I recommend all teams try it at least once. We continue however to search for an identity on offense trying new players in different spots and continuously working on both our man up and man down.

Defensively, we are focusing this week on playing sound team defense as one unit. Our slides must improve as well as our positioning. Saturday begins our five-week road trip starting with 4th ranked University of North Carolina and ending with our first conference game in Buffalo, NY, vs. Canisius.

We were off on Monday, but were right back it on Tuesday and had a promising practice today as we finish up the week at our practice facility. Today pitted the offense against the defense, where we battled for points at the end of the practice. For each goal, the offense received one point as each successful clear provided the defense one as well. Healthy competition seems to bring out the best in our players and everyone left the field feeling good. Our scout meeting has been moved to Thursday evening where we will meet and receive any last minute adjustments to prepare for UNC. It is much nicer playing one game a week and not having to cram and switch gears to adjust for different teams.

Friday we will be leaving in the morning and it will be a pretty significant ride. I always enjoyed the bus rides though, and considering I’m a senior, I won’t have many more. The bus rides seem to help bring the team closer and on this trip we’ll have plenty of time for that. You can feel the excitement at practice as everyone waits for their shot against one of the top 10 teams in the country. “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best”, which is exactly what we will try to do come Saturday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fencer Johnson Spent Her Winter Break Helping Others

Freshman Jill Johnson of the women's fencing team spent part of her winter break in Tuscaloosa, AL as part of the University of Detroit Mercy's University Ministry Alternative Winter Break (AWB) Program. From Jan. 1-8, Johnson was with eight individuals, including six students, who helped provide tornado relief over the break. Johnson was able to recap her time in Alabama and shared it with the Detroit Titans Blog. For more information, including the background story on the Alternative Winter Break Program at Detroit, read the ORIGINAL STORY from DetroitTitans.com.

Jan. 1, 2012

Day 1:

Johnson (right) helping out
Our flight departed from Detroit at approximately 12:20 p.m. and we arrived, after a flight assisted by an incredibly unusual flight attendant, at approximately 2:10 p.m. Eastern time. The time is an hour behind here so I had to stay up an entire hour longer! We went directly from the airport to an AMAZING barbecue restaurant in Birmingham called Jim ‘N Nick’s Barbeque.  I have never experienced a barbecue meal like this one! The sweet tea was incredible not to mention the cheesy cornbread muffins to start off the large meal. After we ate lunch we departed from Birmingham and travelled directly through Tuscaloosa to find our destination. Camp Coker was a pleasant surprise. We were greeted at the housing facility by Virginia, her husband, their daughter Greta, and Josh. Josh will be our leader throughout this entire trip and will be our guide as we work in the city. The facilities are AMAZING! Three wonderful rooms full of bunk beds and a huge storage room that is used as a housing place for water and any type of tool or equipment used to build a house imaginable.  The kitchen was already fully stocked with tons of food and ingredients, making the Wal-Mart trip for our group ten times easier. Tomorrow we are heading off to help move debris from an elderly man’s lawn that has remained a part of his property since the tornado hit.  I am incredibly excited for tomorrow yet am terribly exhausted by this busy day. Can’t wait to see what Tuscaloosa has to offer. P.S… THE CITY IS GORGEOUS!!!! It is truly a perfect, college football town. The people are so friendly and nice. I could get used to this kind of treatment by strangers as well as friends.

A team project
Johnson taking care of business















Day 2-6:
We have met a ton of people from all around the city of Tuscaloosa. We followed the path of the tornado and met a group of people from each different neighborhood. It was super interesting learning about the different experiences through the same catastrophe. We also met the city planner and the mayor. I am so inspired by the strength of the mayor through this period in the city. His city has been torn from its roots and he has worked relentlessly to put it back together in a better way than before. He and the city planner have made intricate plans to build the city back into a more eco-friendly and economically efficient way to improve the city from what it used to be. I think that as a whole, the leading people in Tuscaloosa have taken this disaster and come back from it stronger and are now ready for anything. Over this week we have worked on a single house for a woman named Ms. Mack. She has visited the work site and it has been truly an honor to meet the woman for whom we are working so hard. We came to this work site with literally the concrete blocks laid on the floor and we are leaving with the rafters being prepared to be put up. We worked to lay the interior and exterior framework on the house and sheathed the entire house as well. I have loved serving the people of Tuscaloosa and Ms. Mack. They have been so grateful when in reality we are the ones that should be saying thank you. They are truly such an inspiration. They have returned from the ashes and have learned to become stronger.  I have felt like I should be saying thank you to the city of Tuscaloosa for this amazing experience. This trip has helped me to see that there is a purpose for me in this world and that I can help others in a meaningful way.

The group

Day 7:
Well we are leaving today. I am sad that I cannot stay for longer. This is the first trip, including vacation, where I have not wanted to go home at all. I have enjoyed every minute of this experience and know for a fact that I will be attending many more service trips to come. I have learned how to serve others and feel that I can take this feeling of service to the city of Detroit. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MAC Bites - #2


Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his second blog.
Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #2

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you decide to get back up” - Vince Lombardi

I believe the true test of a great team is how they respond to adversity. It is not until the chips are down and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel, do you see the true colors of a team come out. Obviously last Saturday was a bit of a setback when considering the end result. We had an exciting first half entering the locker room tied at 4-4, but found ourselves up against a wall for the third quarter and ultimately the rest of the game. Unfortunately like in life, it did not end in our favor, but we as a team must move forward. Congratulations to Delaware’s Head Coach Shillinglaw on the 300th win of his career.

Moving forward, we came back on Monday and had a great practice. We all met like usual and waited for the vans to arrive to take us to our indoor practice facility in Pontiac, where we will practice for the remainder of the week. Practice began with the dynamic warm up and then we got right into tight spaces ground balls. The intensity lacked a bit at first due to shaking off all of the traveling this weekend, but quickly picked up as the day went on.

Overall after today’s performance and talking to most of my teammates we are all excited and ready for the short week ahead. We take the field Thursday at Ohio State, who we fought a hard defensive battle with last season. Every year though comes with new challenges as personnel and schemes change, so a continuously changing game plan must be refined and polished as we implement it throughout the rest of the week. We changed some schemes defensively today, which we will continue to adjust and work on and come Thursday, we will be more than ready to execute.

As I mentioned earlier, the week is short so the learning curve and scout must be adjusted as well. We will implement the scout team by Tuesday and go over any adjustments in our meetings that night. We will leave Wednesday night around 7 p.m., for Columbus, where we will spend the night and prepare in the hotel for the showdown the following evening. Things will start to get interesting immediately following the game due to another scheduled match up with a team not needing of mentioning on Sunday in which yet another scout and game plan must be created. It will be quite an exciting few days leading up to next week after which, we embark on a five-week bender on the road coming into conference play.

We’ve approached this season one game at a time and will continue to do so. We’ve learned from our mistakes and improved on what we do best. Thursday is shaping up to be quite an exiting game and we are ready to win.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Women's Tennis Kicks Off Home Schedule

Sophomore Elena Strakhova

By Elena Strakhova -Women's Tennis
Jan. 31, 2012 

The women’s tennis team started their dual season campaign with a set of three home matches at the Franklin Athletic Club. It was a long week with three days of high-level competition, three days of hard-working practices and a day-off. This year we have only five girls while we need at least six. That means that each team has a small handicap on us – they automatically win one point due to player shortage. But I would not underestimate our “Outstanding Titan Five!” All of us are talented, hard-working and passionate, and I believe that despite all the small details that are not counting towards our favor, we will do better this year than we did last year.
All three home matches were scheduled to start pretty late (around 7-8pm), so we had plenty of time to “break the sweat” in the morning, rest at noon and have a nice team dinner before the match. It was very nice of our coach to go to the nice restaurants (probably that is the reason why we were fueled with energy for all three matches). We were not able to win any doubles matches against Western, Eastern and Xavier, but every match we were closer than the previous, and we left our best on the court in order to win those doubles. With an unbelievable support from fellow UDM students, Franklin crowd, men’s team and of course parents we were able to compete at a very high level. This year, I feel that we are a team as a whole – we are close not only on court, but off court as well. I enjoy it.
 Yesterday was our first doubleheader match with our men’s and women’s teams against Xavier’s men’s and women’s team. It was a lot of fun, even though the guys took the front courts (as usual :-). But I still enjoy any of the home matches, despite extra pressure from people who are coming to watch you and are expecting you to win. We were very close to taking a doubles point against Xavier – Amanda and I fell 6-8, but still we did not implement our chances. However, Raina and Chloe were even closer than we were as they lost on a tie-breaker, which was twice as impressive. This is only the second time they played together and they have improved so much already. Singles were close, even though the scores did not make that seem so.
We are heading to Ball State this Friday and are hoping to finally bring everything together and convert our desires into victories.