Steve Englert is an assistant coach at Boston College. Each week, he will provide a journal of the previous week's happenings from Chestnut Hill.






March 18, 2003

Weather or Not... Eagles Battling Elements


$%!&?$% snow.


This year's New England winter has been relentless. It just doesn't want to end. Our indoor practice bubble has been deflated to make room for spring football. Our baseball diamond is a blanket of white, and our cages are drenched, so workouts have been limited to hitting in a local batting facility 40 minutes south of the campus.


Last weekend marked the beginning of conference play. It was a battle of the Big East Title IX teams - BC having three scholarships and Georgetown a whopping one. Man, I'm starting to sound like my buddy's wife.


Last Thursday, the team enjoyed a special pre-trip dinner at the infamous CherryTree (a favorite amongst all), where the usual orders of hot wings and steak tips were buried in bunches.


Of course, it was snowing as we boarded the bus, bellies full for the 12-hour trip to Newport News, Va., to play at old War Memorial Stadium. Kicking off the journey, it was Jack Nicholson as Randle Patrick McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," an all-time top-five favorite. A few of our guys fit the mold of some of the characters portrayed in this classic, from Martini to Taber right on down to the Chief. Hilarious flick.


Then the WWII series, Band of Brothers, shellshocks us for six episodes before everyone shuts it down for the remainder of the trip.


The next day, the team managed to sneak in a late-afternoon workout at the stadium, taking a solid hour of BP. The players worked on situational hitting, having a plan at the plate and ironing out any swing flaws. Defensively, we focused on getting live reads off the bat and fielding a ton of ground balls.


After practice we settled back to the hotel to watch the conference hoop tourneys, during which point the subject turned to bowling. After a little bit of chest-thumping, it is on! The staff jumped in a cab and headed to the nearest AMF Lanes once again. A new road sport has been found, and a season-long tour has been established. We caught a lot of funny looks from the good ol' boys in Virginia as we walked into the alleys sporting matching Under Armour shirts and Oakley sunglasses.


(Note: Biggie Smalls aka Notorious B.I.G. is alive and well, driving a taxi in Newport News. So, throw your hands in the air if you's a true playa.)


The guys were very excited to get into conference play. A doubleheader was on the slate, and it felt great to be playing outside.


Pitching and defense win ballgames, and they both showed up for us that day. Mix in some timely hitting and all of a sudden we're 2-0 in Big East play after 4-1 and 5-1 wins. Both games featured solid pitching throughout, stellar defensive plays - double plays, belly plays, throwing runners out - and some big hits. Off to a good start.


Sunday's game was bumped back three hours due to steady morning rain. The radar showed a two-hour window of dryness, and the tarp was pulled. The field was a little soggy in the outfield, but overall it was good to go. Hoping that our guys are mudders, the need for a sweep was stressed to the fullest. We could not afford a letdown.


The game was played under granite skies with sporadic showers mixed in. Our plan was to play small ball early and score a couple of quick ones because who knew how long the weather was going to hold up? Georgetown had the same idea and the score went back and forth, with each team answering the other in the early innings. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay out of the big inning. Georgetown took advantage of a few defensive miscues and put up crooked numbers in the sixth, seventh and eighth to pull away 11-4.                                                  


We were really hoping to get three and get a good jump on the Big East. But it is very difficult to sweep on the road. Two of three isn't bad. The team played hard, and we have some positive things to build from. There is always room for improvement, and we're expecting to get better each week.                                        


Our midweek game against Rhode Island has been postponed, and I'm sure we'll be scrambling to squeeze in workouts somewhere as we get ready to face the Hurricanes of Miami this weekend. !$#@&%$ snow.


Steve Englert


Previous Entries

Wins Bring Fun in the Sun (3/11/03)

Hanging with Nomar and the Gang (3/4/03)

Working the Kinks Out (2/25/03)


(photo courtesy of BC Media Relations Office)