It is mid August and the RIT campus prepares for the 2012-2013 academic year. The summer just whistled by and here we are again, another school year. For some RIT student athletes that means an early return to campus to their respective sports. For me it means fall recruitment travel in western New York, western Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
I remember my college days, back in my younger years, when I would have to come back to campus about a month before all the other students. There were certainly some nice aspects to coming back to campus early. For example, the campus was empty, no lunch lines, and an opportunity to get dialed in before classes start. I also recall the days of barely being able to walk up and down stairs. Back in 1995 there was this new phenomenon called plyometrics. For onlookers it was a great chance to point and laugh at those funny looking people doing weird exercises on the turf field. For us, the student athletes, it was weeks of having trouble simply getting ourselves out of bed.
The extent of my athletic abilities at this point in my life has been reduced to golf. In order to get my thumb on the pulse of when athletics will return I had to call our Men's Soccer Coach, Bill Garno. I rung up Garno on my cell phone and we chatted. It is Friday so we both of course expressed our relief that the weekend has arrived. Then we talked about soccer for a minute or two. The men's soccer team will arrive on campus next Friday August 17th. They will check in, get moved into their living spaces and begin practicing on Saturday. There will be open tryouts for the men's soccer team on Wednesday August 29th @ 6pm on the RIT Turf Field.
The fall sports at RIT are Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Volleyball. These, however, are not the only student athletes that will arrive on campus early. Both Men’s and Women’s hockey will be here early to shake the summer rust off as well. I do not think that people realize the commitment that a student athlete has made to their sport. You have to love the sport you are playing to make the sacrifices that these young men and women will make in the 2012-2013 season. It is a grind, and I have not even mentioned the commitment to their education at RIT, which comes before any sport.
The RIT community is excited to get another season underway. We expect many more successes from our student athletes this year. There are many possibilities on the horizon. How will the Division III National Champion Women’s Hockey program begin their Division I campaign? Can Men’s Soccer get back to the conference finals? Will our beloved Men’s Hockey program return to the NCAA tournament? These questions and many more will be answered in the 2012-2013. Go Tigers!