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Welcome back to The Redshirt Senior, boys and girls. In this week’s news, Nike stock drops $1.1 billion, the University of North Carolina traveled down Tobacco Road and beat its most hated rival on the road, and the NBA is considering lowering the draft age to 18. All of this, believe it or not, originates from one incident.
Have you ever experienced that feeling when your favorite character gets phased out of a television show or maybe just gets mercilessly killed off? “Game of Thrones” fans, I’m talking to you (RIP Ned Stark — The North Remembers). It can be devastating to lose a favorite character, especially if they were your connection to the show.
If you haven’t been following the NHL season too closely, you may not have heard about the audacity of the Carolina Hurricanes, who have been so bold as to enjoy winning hockey games on home ice. After each win at PNC Arena in Raleigh, the Canes, led by their captain Justin Williams, perform some choreographed group celebration at center ice to the delight of their fans, whether jumping into the glass, sliding on their rear ends miming kayaking or — one of their most recent acts — re-staging a baseball home run trot, complete with a monstrous bat flip from Warren Foegele to make sure baseball purists were upset along with the angry old hockey men.
The Dartmouth women’s basketball coaching staff calls it the ABCD approach. Academics, basketball, cost, and Dartmouth: the mutual selling points between a recruit and the coaching staff that have to be in check to bring a student-athlete to Dartmouth.
With only one senior leaving after this season, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team has a promising outlook for the 2019-20 campaign. For starters, the team will return its entire starting lineup and all but one of its key contributors. Additionally, Trevon Ary-Turner ’21, a transfer from Weber State University, will be eligible to play next season and will be a huge addition to an experienced roster.
With the Dartmouth baseball team tying a program record last season by reaching 11 consecutive seasons with more wins than losses in Ivy League play, head coach Bob Whalen, now in his 30th season at Dartmouth, is hungry for even more. When asked simply what his goal for the season was, his answer was succinct: win a championship.
In a week that honored the Big Green’s seniors, it was a first-year who earned Dartmouth its biggest win in years. After trailing No. 4 Clarkson University by two goals after the first period, the Big Green forced overtime and Chloe Puddifant ’22 wristed in a rebound with 9.4 seconds left in overtime to deal a stunning defeat to the defending national champion Golden Knights.
Tied in a scoreless game against No. 11 Clarkson University with under one minute to go in the third period, Drew O’Connor ’22 tipped in a centering pass from Clay Han ’20 to give the men’s hockey team a signature win. The game was a bit of an anomaly for the Big Green: the team committed six penalties on the night, tied for the most times the team has gone to the penalty box since November. This season, the Big Green is sixth among Division I teams with fewer than nine penalty minutes per game.
The college basketball season is about two-thirds of the way through, and we’re that much closer to the Madness. It’s a great Saturday for me as I write this column since Syracuse doesn’t play, so my heart rate will stay at a reasonable level. In the spirit of relaxation, I now have the extra two hours vacated by the Syracuse game to take a look around the league and explore who the best players in the country are. I’ll start with point guard and move down the numbers to fill in every position in what I consider to be the Evan Griffith Completely Accurate All-Division I First Team.
Neither dance nor football is easy. Both take extreme skill and stamina. But while football is inarguably a sport, I wonder if dance can be classified as such. The 2007 movie “The Game Plan” intimates that dance is even more difficult than football. The lead female character, a ballet teacher, is getting ready to teach Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character, an NFL football player, how to dance. She proceeds to take him through a crazy workout that has him gasping for air and in desperate need of water. As he tries to shrug off his exhaustion, she says, “If ballet were easy, they’d call it football.”
By all accounts, the recent deal between the Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens appears pedestrian, almost so boring that it’s hard to understand how the involved teams came to discussing it. If you missed it, which certainly makes sense and is likely indicative of the fact that your life is fulfilling enough that you don’t need to forensically examine the dregs of the National Hockey League trade tracker, the trade sent veteran forward Nate Thompson and a fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft to Montreal, with a fourth-round pick heading back to Los Angeles. At 34 years old, Thompson has played a shade under 13 minutes a game for the lowly Kings, registering four goals and two assists over 53 games. In other words, we aren’t exactly talking about an All-Star.
Dartmouth women’s basketball dropped both games at home this weekend against the two teams that sit atop the Ivy League standings: the University of Pennsylvania (16-4, 6-1 Ivy) and Princeton University (13-9, 5-2 Ivy). The Big Green drop to 10-11 overall, and 3-5 in conference play.
In the midst of one of its better seasons in recent years, one might guess that the Dartmouth men’s basketball team would be senior-heavy. Generally, when a team gets better and better each season, it’s because it doesn’t lose many key contributors and its current players continue to improve all the way through their senior seasons.
As soon as the last hand hit the pool wall on Feb. 1 to end their regular season, all members of the Dartmouth swimming and diving team immediately turned their attention to the real challenge: the Ivy League Championship. After a successful season for both teams, including the women’s first .500 season since 2013-14, expectations are high as the women head to Princeton on Feb. 20 and the men head to Brown on Feb. 27. In his third year as the head coach of the swimming and diving team, James Holder expects school records and top finishes from his swimmers. The Dartmouth sat down with Holder to discuss the team’s preparations for Ivies and the season so far.
This year, the Dartmouth women’s Nordic ski team has benefited from its extraordinary depth — a depth that now makes an already complicated choice all the more difficult for coach Cami Thompson Graves.
The women’s squash team started the season with the goal of breaking into the top eight in the country and came very close, finishing in a tie at No. 9 with a 5-7 record. That ranking places the Big Green in the second flight of the national championship next weekend, the Kurtz Cup, where the team looks to improve upon last season’s runner-up finish.
As an old school with a very long history, it is very difficult for school records at Dartmouth to be challenged or even broken. However, Donovan Spearman ’21 is on the verge of doing just that. He is currently ranked second in Dartmouth’s history for the 60 meter dash and has plans to improve his position.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a pretty big homer when it comes to sports. I strongly believe that Syracuse University basketball was hit way too hard by the NCAA Investigation in 2015 and that has hurt the program’s recruiting to this day (while the University of North Carolina faced no penalties for offering fake classes). I also believe the relocations of the Rams and Chargers to Los Angeles within a year of each other was a plot by Rams owner Stan Kroenke to keep the most popular team in the area, the Raiders, out of town when it came time for that team to move so the Rams could build a brand in the city while having “competition” from a team with an even smaller California fan base.
When the Dartmouth women’s basketball team packed for its trip to New York this weekend, they packed grit. The Big Green came out victorious in two hard-fought battles against Cornell University and Columbia University, bringing the team to an even 3-3 in Ivy play and a winning 10-9 record overall for the season thus far.