Bailey: Hack reflects on moments, people who made his time special

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 29, 2014 at 1:00 am Bleary-eyed and filled with near-comical dread, I stepped out the doors of 744 Ostrom Avenue at 4 a.m. on Jan. 29 and threw my duffle bag and backpack into a cab.We were midway through a stretch of working 16-of-21 nights — the most daunting I can remember — and I would be covering the Syracuse-Wake Forest men’s basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C. at 9 p.m. that night.I was exhausted.On my way to the airport, the cab driver and I got talking about Syracuse basketball, and when he learned that I covered the team, he picked my brain on players and matchups.He too would be working a long night with little sleep, and for those few minutes we connected. He reminded me why I love writing and reporting on sports: the job allows me to take in experiences first-hand that most others can’t. And it allows me to share those experiences.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMany of my peers were inspired by family members or childhood experiences. I don’t have a sob story to tell or a sole inspiration to praise. Instead, I have a memory bank full of prized moments, as well as the close friends who I was lucky enough to share them with.From covering the final SU swimming and diving home meet, to the women’s lacrosse team’s furious Final Four comeback two springs ago. From standing up in shock at Tyler Ennis’ 35-foot stunner of the Steel City to having the chance to write a column off Jim Boeheim’s first-ever ejection.Through the semesters, I also covered the field hockey and tennis teams, and assisted on bigger projects whenever I could.This year, especially, was incredible. Reporting on a football season highlighted with a last-minute game-winning Texas Bowl touchdown, and a hoops season complete with more memories than I can recall today, I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t take back a wink of sleep for any of it.What a ride. What a f*cking ride.At one point — somewhere around Ennis’ buzzer beater at Pitt — it seemed like it would never end. Traveling up and down the East Coast with beat partners David Wilson and Trevor Hass. Chasing stories. Getting to meet some of the finest professionals in the journalism industry.The moment I turned to look at two of my fellow press members after Rasheed Suliamon’s buzzer-beater in the Dome is one I’ll never forget. Same goes for the seemingly endless 23.3-second span in which Syracuse missed six shots against North Carolina State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.But after spending more time driving to and from Greensboro, N.C. that weekend than covering the tournament, I watched from my couch as Dayton shocked Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament.Instead of going to Memphis, my next couple weeks’ schedule was wiped clean. Road trips were replaced by weekends with friends. Postgame interviews turned in to talks of graduation. Deadline writing became papers and projects.The end was jarring, but my time spent writing at The Daily Orange is treasured. Even the bleary-eyed moments during which the next rest point wasn’t even on the horizon yet.Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way — even that cab driver.Sorry if I forgot to tip you.Stephen Bailey is the sports editor at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at sebail01@syr.edu or on Twitter at @Stephen_Bailey1.-30- Commentslast_img read more

Senior Knight leads final charge into postseason

first_imgMegan McCormick / The Badger HeraldWinning back-to-back championships is an incredibly tough feat in any sport. It takes players with extraordinary skill and leadership to accomplish such a achievement.The Wisconsin women’s hockey team eagerly awaits that very challenge this postseason. The team will play just two more regular season series before seeking its second straight National Championship, which would mark an unprecedented five championships in seven seasons for the Badgers.If the Badgers hope to have success this postseason the team will look to lean on the leadership and play of senior forward Hilary Knight, who boasts incredible amounts of extremely valuable hockey experience at the collegiate and international level. Knight has been through it all during her career at Wisconsin, especially her freshman year when she was second on the team with 20 goals but endured the devastation of losing the NCAA championship game to Minnesota-Duluth.“I had that [loss] as a motivation coming in my sophomore year, knowing I need to work harder and bring more to the table than my freshman year,” Knight said. “I think looking back on my freshman year, it was a good learning experience, but I kind of feel like I let myself down.”Knight recalled the season as “exciting” but a “heartbreaker” at the same time. Nevertheless, she played a vital role in UW’s championship season the following year, leading the nation with 45 goals.“We were an unstoppable team that year and it was just a lot of fun playing with Angie Keseley (2005-09) and Erika Lawler (2005-09),” Knight said. “Those two really guided me through my collegiate career.”Knight played for the U.S. Senior National Team in high school and the annual Four Nations Cup, but she added to her international experience the following year by representing the U.S. in the Olympics. She took an entire year off from school to train and perform in the Olympics, assuring herself another two years of eligibility at Wisconsin.“It was a huge learning experience; definitely a lot of those girls took me under their wing and the Wisconsin combination [of players] over there definitely helped bring [my play] back to the collegiate level,” Knight said.“The Olympic year where she got to train and practice with the best players certainly elevated her game to a new height,” head coach Mark Johnson said.Johnson has seen vast growth and improvement in Knight’s game through the duration of her career.“She’ll be the first to tell you she’s gotten better,” Johnson said. “You got to give her credit. She’s been very dedicated to conditioning and off-ice training, working hard in practices. The nice thing for her is she’s gotten opportunities to play in the international level whether the Four Nations [Cup], the Olympics, those type of things.”Knight joked that returning to academics at Wisconsin was more difficult than returning to collegiate play from the Olympics. She certainly didn’t show any jetlag from her year away, leading the nation with 47 goals on her way to her second national title just one year ago.“Her preparation has been very, very strong for a long time and when she’s gotten opportunities she’s made the most of them,” Johnson said. “We’ve certainly enjoyed the four years she’s played at Wisconsin.”Knight now closes in on the end of her long career as a Badger, one marked with consistent dominance and development into a team leader. As the team captain, Knight will utilize her experiences to teach her younger teammates how to prepare for the high-pressure situations that come with the playoffs.“When it gets to playoff time, people try doing more than they’ve been doing all year,” Knight said. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can definitely take away from the steady play that we’ve been expecting from each player throughout the year. So [we] just make sure each of our players is calm and ready to go.”Even though Knight is the all-time leading goal scorer at Wisconsin and has national championships to call her own, the senior continues to eye the ultimate prize in college hockey with even more desire then her previous two.“I want to win a national championship, and I don’t think anyone in our room will tell you that they don’t,” Knight said. “As a senior, I think it’s even more memorable because it’s my last run at it and we definitely want to go out with a win in our last game because that’s important to us. Whatever we have to do, we’re going to do it in order to win.”last_img read more