Editorial: Field hockey shines, despite living in football’s shadow

vs UNC NCAA Championship 11-20-16 80 -X2

 

National championships, winning seasons and excellence are not terms usually associated with a conversation about Delaware athletics. This is about to change. Over Thanksgiving break, the Delaware field hockey team won its first national championship in 33 years. Unfortunately not many people, even students on campus, appear to realize this.

The vast majority of casual sports observers watch college football bowl season around the holidays or participate in the craziness of March Madness; they associate collegiate athletic programs with their success in these activities. This ignores any success universities enjoy in sports that don’t enjoy widespread coverage such as field hockey, soccer, swimming and many others.

All of the money and attention at Delaware is taken up by our football and basketball teams. While it is true that these are important sports that are ingrained in our culture, the lack of success Blue Hens have had in these sports does not have to define the entire program.

Two volleyball coaches were fired at the same time as Head Football Coach Dave Brock. Unlike the football team, our volleyball team bounced back to win eight of their last 10 matches to advance to the CAA championship, against all odds. Unfortunately, this remarkable feat has failed to receive any media attention or garner student interest.

Men’s soccer has finally gotten over the hump by winning the CAA championship after being bounced in the conference championship game in each of the past three seasons, led by senior Guillermo Delgado. Delgado led the team while simultaneously becoming the all-time goals record holder for Delaware men’s soccer.

Yet none of these historical seasons have been covered anywhere near as much as the troubles faced by the basketball team or the firing of Coach Brock.

Unlike football and basketball, many other programs have enjoyed tremendous success in recruiting diamonds in the rough, developing them and watching them blossom into superstars like Delgado, Greta Nauck and Taylor Hollingsworth. This, combined with the recent surge in support because of new athletic director, Chrissi Rawak, have propelled these teams to excellence. Basketball watched in horror as its top player left after the team operated without a coach for over two months and football has been notorious for fickle recruiting classes under Brock.

Football and basketball are not the only sports teams on campus. Their success or failure is not the defining characteristic of our athletic program. It is time we stop treating it as if it does.

Let us celebrate the successes of the blue and gold and trust Rawak to guide our less visible teams to many more. As she is fond of saying, “Winning breeds winning.”

Editorials are developed by The Review staff, led by Editorial Editor Jacob Orledge.

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