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Archive for June 9, 2013

BULLETIN: June 9, 2013 — Parnham makes a couple of aggressive changes to U.S. World League team

As befits a new United States women national field hockey team coach, Craig Parnham has made a couple of statements in his selections for the team as it prepares for the semifinals of the 2013 FIH World League in London.

While the team retains many of its offensive stars such as Katie O’Donnell, Paige Selenski, Shannon Taylor, and Michelle Kasold, there are some significant changes in the side. First of all, goalie Alesha Widdall has won the confidence of the U.S. braintrust, following on from last fall’s Champions Challenge, and will likely be the backup for Jackie Kintzer. Jill Witmer, the only member of the U.S. team who was homeschooled as a high-schooler, makes the roster on attack.

Stephanie Fee and Emily Wold, two of the final cuts from the 2013 Olympic roster, are in the side. So are a number of the usual suspects in the midfield and defense, such as Rachel Dawson, Lauren Crandall, Melissa Gonzalez, Michelle Vittese, Katie Reinprecht, and Julia Reinprecht.

But I think one of the most interesting selections to the team is the selection of Jamie Montgomery. The defender’s first appearance on the pitch in London will signify her debut for the U.S. team, 10 years after graduating from Richmond Collegiate (Va.) and matriculating to Wake Forest.

Montgomery has, because of her recent rise in the U.S. braintrust’s eyes, had to make some changes in plan. She had committed to play at this weekend’s Harrow Cup matches in Philadelphia, and was planning on being an assistant coach this fall at Bucknell University. But three days ago, it was announced that she was resigning her coaching position to go into residency with the U.S. team at Spooky Nook.

It will be a strong team, but the return to London for the U.S. side starts with a silver-medal Argentina team which has lost to the Applebees in the last two games that mattered, including the 2011 Pan American Cup.

Doesn’t get any easier.

June 9, 2013 — The Red Book, Part 12

One in a series.

Hi, all.

This virtual “red book” wasn’t supposed to go longer than 11 weeks, but there’s a lot more to say.

Since the reunion concluded a week ago, it has been a hard task processing all of the feelings that I had.

This especially goes for the feelings and emotions during the memorial service held on the last full day of the reunion.

It was a beautiful morning eight days ago, but one which required a black necktie and pants (no jacket, given the oppressive heat of the last few days).

As I placed my fingers on the bagpipe chanter, readying a four-song medley, I thought how fortunate we were as a graduating class that less than two dozen of our classmates have been reported dead out of a cohort of more than 1,600.

This was very much a contrast to the previous day’s memorial for the 50th reunion class. The programs from the previous day were still scattered amongst the pews. And it is a list that ran several pages long.

Seeing as the median age for American men is around 76 and women around 81 (figures which are anywhere from three to five years greater than they were when we graduated from college), our departures from this earth will become more frequent. And it is not going to be easy these next 25 years.

Though I tried to strike a solemn note at the beginning with “Amazing Grace,” my classmates talked amongst each other on the steps and inside the body of the chapel with laughs and some animation.

It was only later when the emotions hit home. As the names of the 22 classmates were read aloud, and candles were lit on their behalf, I started to cry.

The tears that came to my eyes came from the fact that I wonder about my own mortality sometimes. My older brother, who has much the same DNA I have, had a heart attack at the age of 47 — our age.

My approach to thinking about mortality has changed a lot in the last two to three years. There was a 23-day period in 2011 when I lost my mother, an aunt, the former headmaster of my school, a coworker, and a former schoolmate.

I resolved then that my mission in life was to do the most good that I could for as many as I could while I was still here.

As the hours ticked by after the memorial service, there were junctures where I felt some foreboding. What if this was the last time I was here in town? What if this is the last time I talk to someone in my graduating class? What if this is the last time I get to eat in a particular restaurant? Or to have an experience like this? Will I have regrets in not patching things up with old roommates, or telling people three decades later that I either mistrusted them or had a crush on them during Freshman Week?

I want to be around for the 50th.

And I want there to be no regrets.