WRITTEN BY DODI KENAN
It’s Thursday, March 3, 2011 and the Terriers men’s basketball are playing the first game of the 2011 NEC Playoffs v. the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State College in New Britain, CT.
The teams met twice during the regular season and the home field advantage statistic was in play — each team won the game at their home campus. We were hoping to reverse that trend.
“We’re on our way” consisted of family, staff, students and fans who were waiting excitedly at the corner of Remsen and Clinton for the Coach that would whisk us off to the wilds of central Connecticut.
The group was so excited that when David Wasinski, the driver, opened the doors to the coach, all 51 fans were on board, had their gear stowed in less than 15 minutes and we were on our way.
Akeem Bennett’s mother Joyce Bennett, was with us and she is “a loyal fan who comes to as many games as possible.”
Travis Nichol’s mother, Marcia Nichols, also comes to as many games as possible and since Travis is a sophomore she will try to attend more games in the coming seasons.
Ricky Cadell’s father and brother, his best friend,his girl friend and his grandmother, Jeryl Phipps were ready to roar and during the game Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Nichols and Mrs. Phipps were bedecked in SFC’s NEC red t-shirts.
Staff was represented by Deborah Seaton of Health Services, Harriet Dunn of SFC’s Finance Department — who will graduate from SFC in May 2011 — and the irreplaceable Ruben Gonzalez of Student Activities who had arranged the trip.
This illustrious group also included many loyal student fans, The Dance Team and Rocky and the group was joined at the game by Dean of Students Cheryl Howell, Athletic Director Irma Garcia and members of the Athletic Department.
David, the coach driver, took us swiftly up the Bruckner, then East on 278 to New Haven and then North on 95 to New Haven and we eventually went West on 287. New Britain apparently ain’t easy to get to!!!
We whisked past Rye, New Rochelle, White Plains, Westchester, Mt. Kisco and Brewster and David’s GPS gave clear and distinct instructions all the way along a highway tour of New York State.
All this speeding along apparently was soothing because at 4:15 pm there was almost total quiet on the coach — snooze time had set in. Twenty minutes later a sign welcomed us to Connecticut and we were heading due East … again.
Snooze time was over around 5 p.m. and thirty minutes later we saw the first sign indicating that we were on the right track to New Britain and eventually we found the campus of CCSU and the stadium.
Now of course everyone was hungry and the concession stand offered typical stadium food for a basketball game — pizza, hot dogs, pretzels and cold drinks which filled the bill nicely.
Finally, the game was underway and though the Terrier fans were almost lost in this huge stadium, 51 people can and did make a lot of noise. Rocky had help from an unexpected source. On hand were two longtime Terrier fans, Nicole Parascando and Chris Canovan.
Chris is an alum, class of 2007, and has been following the Terriers for eight years. Combined with Rocky’s vocally subdued cheerleading, Chris added a rousing, rocking vocal assist.
During a musical mix-up, the Dance Team showed that they were every inch ladies and demonstrated the Franciscan spirit of calm and grace and eventually performed better than ever later in the game.
The game was touch-and-go and the score was tied or within a few points most of the time but that home team advantage stayed true and the final score was Blue Devils 64 and Terriers 62.
It was a relatively subdued crowd who rejoined David and his coach and when the GPS announced that David should “take the next left, stay left and hit the freeway to Manhattan” we were decidedly on our way back home.
The 2010-11 basketball season had been a winning season but the Terriers NEC championship play was over and it was time to bid a fond farewell to Akeem Bennett, Ricky Cadell, Alexander Harrington and those team members who would be leaving.
But it was also time to let Coach Glenn Braica and the rest of the team know that we fans would be back in full force for the 2011-2012 season. Let’s go Terriers!