In some ways, a student athlete might seem to be the very antithesis of the archetypical research-university student – the clash between the safety glasses and the helmet, the library and the stadium, the geek versus the jock. But these concepts reflect the extremes. There is another side to this contrast; the presence of nationally ranked athletics programs at nationally ranked research universities such as Stanford, Duke and Georgia Tech. At many other universities, there are examples of individuals who excel at both academics and athletics.
UAH’s James Kodrowski finished an aerospace engineering degree in three years. In addition to being a walk-on defenseman for the Chargers, Kodrowski worked at the Propulsion Research Center, was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and served as Student Government President. [Disclosure: I was VP during Kodi’s term as President and was the guy who figured out how he could finish in three years. Crazy man.] Last time I walked through Huntsville International Airport past the gift shop before descending to the baggage claim area, I noticed that a photo of him working on a turbine is still a part of the UAH ad.
As Dr. Williams noted, academics is a vital thread in all of the University’s athletic teams, and all four captains for hockey this year had GPAs above 3.0. The coaching staff demands good performance in the classroom as well as on the ice. We should care as much about the academic performance of these young men as their athletic prowess.
Folks have asked how you can keep up with tonight’s and tomorrow night’s games with Mercyhurst. There isn’t any video, but there is a live-updated boxscore and there should be audio. Here are your resources:
Many of you may know that UAH-Wisconsin will be aired on Fox College Sports Atlantic on Friday night, 8pm Eastern. For those in the Huntsville area, I’ve put together a viewing party at Knuckleheads Sports Pub and Restaurant on Hwy 72 W in Madison. If you’re wanting to catch the Chargers on TV this Friday night, this would be a good place to do it. If you’re wanting to watch at home [and believe me, I get the attraction there], I know that Knology carries the FCS channels as part of its Sports Pak at $5/mo. I expect that Comcast and Mediacom may have some coverage as well, and all the Fox channels are a part of the DirecTV sports package.
I hope to see you there. If you haven’t joined the UAH Blue Line Club, I’ll be happy to collect your dues there; if you’d like to know more about the BLC, I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
The team played about as I expected them to play: still feeling their game out as a team. You wouldn’t expect a team this young and with this much turnover to play a ton better against a team that already had a game under their belt and had more experience on the ice. I liked the effort that I saw, but there was a bit of individualism at times in the third as guys tried to do too much to get the team back into the game after falling behind. A young team is going to do that.
Sebastian’s major/misconduct was a confluence of a couple factors: the player being turned the wrong way when the hit was made, the player being far shorter, and the emphasis on contact-to-the-head penalties in the NCAA this year. There’s no doubt that he deserved the penalty, but a half-second later and it’s just a good, clean hit.
Speaking of the Geoffrion brothers, Brice caught my eye a number of times.
I was pleased with what I saw from the defensemen last night. Having Burkholder and Baxter out there to lock down teams’ top lines promises to be effective this year. Talking to them both post-game, they were pretty frustrated with how the game came out, which you’d expect. I’m quite sure that they’re going to be pretty vocal in the locker room before and during the game today.
Speaking of defensemen, Nick Gatt really impressed me. I could tell that he had some skills from what I saw in practice, but in game situations, he had the right moves and positioned himself well. He passes well and doesn’t wait too long to make the pass. I like the deBruyn-Gatt pairing, but who knows if we’ll see it stay together once Uusivirta is eligible.
I didn’t know what to expect out of an Easton-Ruffini-Fairbanks line, but it was fun to watch. All three of them feed off of the others’ energy, and Easty was sticking his nose in there and digging pucks out like a player with another six inches and 40 pounds. If they stay together and get some more game experience, that could turn into a good scoring line.
Mac Roy and Alex Allan are this year’s Cseter and Desmet. Putting them out there with Bruni is a good call, because Vince has a good shot and will also bang bodies and protect the young guys.
Clarke Saunders was solid and made a number of good saves. There were a few rebounds that scared me, and he came out of the net a bit much for my taste, but he looked very good for a first-game netminder.
I would expect David Way to get swapped into the lineup tonight, but I’m not sure who he’ll replace. I’m not sure who will be in net, but I wouldn’t be surprised for it to be Saunders again.