For three days in August, I had the honor of hosting the Wabash Men’s Soccer Team Coaches and Players. What? I must be crazy!!
It all started about a year ago, when I approached Coach G with an idea to kick off the 2010 season. Yes, the Argentina trip was priceless, but the NCAA doesn’t allow that every year. And so, I offered our 10 acres and lake house in the suburbs of Cincinnati for a preseason camp. We talked through it, and then in May he made it happen. So it began with the arrival of players and coaches on August 17th, late in the evening. My observations……
They eat a lot: My first observation was that these guys need fuel, and lots of it. We went through three days worth of Gatorade and Chocolate Milk in the first 12 hours. Back to Costco to get three days more. That was gone by the middle of Day 2. Pans and pans of food from Oleg’s Tavern, a nearby restaurant that catered breakfast and lunch, were consumed. Dinner’s were my domain, and that means grilled meats, salads, fruit and veggies. Trust me, the guys do eat their veggies! Even the Caprese Salad was a hit!
They work and play with intensity: Two-a-day practices were held at the nearby Blue Ash Soccer Complex. They worked hard on drills and plays. Even though it was hot, that didn’t slow any of them down. The team looked solid. It didn’t stop there. A fierce competition broke out on Day 2 during an impromptu cannonball competition. The teams were relentless as they sought the elusive “second dip of ice cream” after dinner. Same story for wind sprints. It was hot; they were tired; but no one gave a second on the clock for that.
They really do go to sleep and wake up on time: Sleeping arrangements were like this… take a medium size house and a large barn, then add 22 players and 3 coaches. No cable TV. No telephone. No internet. While the barn was first considered the second class facility, those that slept there did not want to trade for a place in the house. Seven a.m. wake up, and all were up and at it, ready to go. There are no stragglers on this team.
My final observation:
These are not boys, these are men, and gentlemen to be certain: They pitched in when help was needed. They cleaned up everything. They were appreciative and said thank you each and every time someone served them. They are respectful, and know how to act dignified in public settings. I know that Coach insists on it. I know that Wabash insists on it. And so, I saw it during the preseason camp as I have seen it so many times on campus. These are men. These are Wabash Men!
In closing, I might add that these men often leave an indelible memory on people that they touch. They have done so with me, and for that, I will forever be thankful for their visit. Suzanne and I will insist that the team returns next year, and hope that perhaps some parents might even join us for a closing cookout before the team returns. I must also give my thanks to my wife, Suzanne, who worked countless days to ready the house for the team, and to our son David Rosborough (Wabash ’10), who helped me beyond measure during the three day camp. And finally, to our daughter Shelby (Ohio ’10) for her on time deliveries