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[3/1/09] On Sunday, the Bucs arose to a Sunny day. It was a day they had much to be thankful for and none of it had to do with lacrosse. At 7:30 in the morning my phone rang and one of our captains explained that one of our players had been hurt. He would give me more details as soon as he could. Not too long after that, I received the phone call from the player himself, distraught, and full of emotions. He woke up to sirens outside of the house he was staying in and the entire first floor engulfed in flames. After trying to get to the hallway only to be turned back, he and one other person were forced to jump from the second story of the house to escape. While the fall did manage to put him and the other person in casts, they were both safe...and alive. As the saying goes, we were all already winners and no one had stepped foot on the lacrosse field.

We still don't know the severity of the injuries, but we do know that he will be with us in some capacity the rest of the season. Right now, that is the most important thing for all of us. If he is able to come back this season, we'll be glad to take what we can get, when he can give it.

However, the Bucs still had a game that day, a conference game at that.

The Bucs attempted to play Centenary over 5 years ago at Centenary only to be told by the refs after traveling almost 6 hours, that the field was not regulation and that no game would be played. Fast forward to Sunday. Centenary has reinvented itself, has an up and coming coach, great University support, and is already making waves in the LSA D2. The team was even on the field before our guys showed up to play. As a first year team, they are really are doing some amzaing things. I expect that the team will not only continue to improve this year, but will be a strong contender for the Conference Championship next year.

The Bucs, full of emotions, still had much to be thankful for and many things to play for. The Bucs undefeated conference record of 25-0 was on the line, the first start of the season for "Jimbo" Walker was upon us, and the first career start for David Tomasz were all in the cards. The Bucs managed to fill the holes left by the player and were able to focus on the task at hand by taking control of the game from the beginning whistle. The Bucs were able to stifle most offensive opportunities the Gents attempted during the day and had multiple minutes on the offensive side of the field. They also spread the ball around quite well, with 7 players notching points and 17 assists on 22 goals.

Noteworthy was the moment in the 3rd quarter when Senior attackman, Andrew Webb notched his 200th career point, a feat only reached by 2 other players in the 25 history of Southwestern Lacrosse. What is amazing about this feat is that his sophomore year, he only played 4 games because of an injury. Webb led all Bucs on the day with 8 goals and 4 assists, and received a game ball for his effort.

Thompson again controlled face-offs all day long, losing only one the entire day, and Mock and Parker both also filled in to win multiple face-offs as well. Walker played brilliant in goal, only allowing in 3 goals on the day, and managing the game with ease all day with fluid passes to open players and barking out orders to the guys on the field. With all the work he does behind the scenes, this is a day he should be very proud of, even though he couldn't talk McDonough to come in for him in relief late in the game.

Mock and Sample both had break out days with multiple points. Their presence on the field will be needed over the next four games if the Bucs want to have a chance at winning. Faulk continues to play like a seasoned veteran, and Carney stepped up his play a notch to fill the gap.

Shug also stepped in on short notice and was able to do exactly what we needed him to do all day. Because of the injury, Shug will play a huge roll for us as the Bucs continue on in the season.

The entire defense played very well, including the return of Gette, who has been out the past couple of weeks. While the game was sloppy at times, the Bucs rose to the challenge and were able to once again move forward in the season not only in the win column, but also in the chemistry column. To win the big games, you can't have one without the other.

This weekend, the Bucs will face an old rival in Texas State. The Bucs have not been able to get over the hump and beat the Bobcats in over 5 years, although they have played each game very close. The bobcats are very well coached team and one of the bright young teams in the LSA D1. This game will provide the Bucs with a challenge as they get ready for their Spring Break trip against some of the best in the SELC in a couple of weeks. This will also be one of our last home games, ever, with only two more remaining after this weekend.

We appreciate Coach Brandt and the gents for coming out to play us and wish them the best of luck in the rest of their season. As for the Bucs, if we have all learned one thing, it is that you never know what twists and turns life will give you. What I am most proud of is how these guys come together when it counts, both on and off the field for each other, and how they continue to defy the odds with their work ethic, never say die attitude, and willingness to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful. It has served us well and is a testament to the character of these young men. It will be tested over the next couple of weeks as we head into the most crucial part of our season, and will have to find a way to rally around each other one more time to come out on top.

- Bill Bowman