Summer Update #2 (Joey Bosch; Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Hello!

ImageI had an amazing start to my summer! The week after finals were done I jumped on a plane to head to Europe on a backpacking adventure. All I could bring was one backpack with maybe a total of seven outfits—for a month. Yes, maybe it does seem doable to some, but when there aren’t many laundry facilities around those seven outfits begin to feel like three. But anyway we won’t go there :)

I went with my good friend Sam and we kind of decided to just play the trip out as it went. We had some set plans like which countries we were going to, but how long we were staying, what we were going to do there, and where we were staying was all up in the air. I can’t say that was the best idea we had at times but it all worked out in the end.

We started off in Dublin, Ireland for a few days and then headed to Paris. The food in Paris was my favorite! I would list what I had ordered if I knew how to spell it and if I even remembered it but I do remember one thing and never will I forget—Nutella crepes, but I am not listing the number of Nutella crepes I very much enjoyed. From Paris we went to Interlaken, Switzerland, which was breathtaking in every way possible including the price of food. Our hostel suggested a cheap burger place to go to…so we went and paid $25 for a burger and fries!!! We decided not to go to the cheap burger place anymore and went to the market where prepackaged baloney sandwiches became both our lunch and dinner.

ImageI went paragliding in the Swiss Alps, which I still look back on and have no idea how I got myself to start running off the mountain. We also climbed Harder Kulm, Interlaken’s home mountain with an elevation of 1,322 m (4,337 ft.). It took us about two hours and the name perfectly emphasizes the hike. Once we got to the top the rain stopped and a rainbow awaited us. We also rewarded ourselves with some chocolate cake at a restaurant that was at the summit of the mountain.

After Switzerland we ventured off to Venice, Italy, which is actually called Venezia in Europe so, if you ever go don’t get confused and get off at the wrong stop—twice. We finally learned that Venezia is the correct name. The whole time we were in Venice we were so sick that we had to stay in our hotel for two days straight. I only got two pictures the whole time I was there, but that’s okay because I’m determined to go back there someday.

ImageFrom Venice we flew to Berlin, and then headed to Potsdam where I have a few friends I met though an exchange program. We saw a lot of cool things in Germany: the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Holocaust Memorial, some palaces, and so many other cool sites! The last leg of our trip we headed back to Ireland and visited a small town called Galway on the western side of the country. We also traveled further south through a bunch of small little towns in Ireland, and saw a lot of other really fascinating places. My favorite spot was the Cliffs of Moher at the southwestern edge of the region. They were literally and figuratively breathtaking. There were no fences, gates or protection around the cliffs and tourists pass by a stone that remembers the people that lost their lives there. In spite of that, I crawled on my stomach out to the Cliffs and it was worth it!

After a month long journey of backpacking through five countries, getting lost a dozen plus times, and eating a dozen plus pastries (and Nutella crepes), it was time to head back to good old Sioux Falls. I learned so much on that trip about myself and about life but I won’t bore you with that stuff.

ImageI haven’t been home a week yet and still adjusting to the time change but I am super pumped for the rest of the summer! I am keeping busy with babysitting, being a part-time nanny and volunteering when I can. I am also having a lot of fun running a book club with my youth group girls. I’m also really looking forward to lake days (my favorite) because I just got my fishing license and nothing beats sitting by a lake in the summertime. Running and biking are other fun hobbies of mine so in hopes of good weather I’m excited to start both up again! And I’ll be playing tennis of course; it was a nice break in Europe but I’ll be playing the rest of the summer to prepare for tournaments this fall with the rest of my Cougar teammates.

All in all my summer has been off to a great start and I am excited to enjoy the rest of it :)

- Joey Bosch
Junior, Women’s Tennis

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Summer Update #1 (Tavia Rutherford; Bakersfield, Calif.)

ImageAs I am writing this, the US Men’s National Team just beat Ghana 2-1 in a nerve-racking finish to earn three points in the Group of Death. If you guys didn’t already know, I am a big soccer fan, so today was a great day! There is so much excitement in the Rutherford household.

ImageCalifornia has yet to disappoint me. I’ve been home for almost a month now and it has flown by. This summer has been filled with a lot of adventure. In this last month, I’ve traveled to Los Angeles, Pismo Beach and Monterey. I even went to a rodeo.

This is what a typical day looks like for me:

5:30 – Wake up, get ready, and head to work (I work at an electronic recycling company that is owned by the father of one of my friends)
6am – 11am Work, drive home, and shower
12pm: Eat lunch
12:30: Head to the golf course (practice, play)
3pm: Hang out with family and friends
5pm: Eat dinner
6pm: Watch TV
9pm: Sleep!

 As for golf, I’ve been practicing as much as I can. I’ve just returned home from the NCGA (Northern California Golf Association) Golf Championship where I finished T-14 out of 68 people. It was a two-day tournament with 18 holes played at Del Monte Golf Course and 18 played at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. I shot 73 (+1) at Del Monte and 79 (+6) at Spyglass. It was a lot of fun and a great tournament. It is always a good time to be able to play with fellow Californians and have the opportunity to share stories and talk to them about their experiences.
                                                                                                                                                             Father’s Day with my dad
ImageLooking forward to the rest of the summer, I will continue to work, practice golf, and hang out by the pool to restore my tan lines. The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and that means a family vacation. Even more exciting, my family and I are hosting one of our close friends from the Netherlands for six weeks! We are starting off this fun adventure by going to Pismo Beach and staying on the sand right by the ocean. I’m excited to show my Dutch friend around California as well as watch the World Cup together. While she is here, we will travel across all of California. Some major stops will include Disneyland, Hollywood, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Rounding out my summer, I have one more golf tournament on my schedule. It’s the    California Women’s Championship in Ojai, California. This golf course is a resort where many famous people have stayed. Jimmy Kimmel even had his wedding here last year when I played in this tournament. I’m excited for another opportunity to play this beautiful course.

It has definitely been great being home, but I also do miss my USF COO Family. I am excited to come back in August for my senior year. I am thrilled to compete one last time as a Cougar golfer. It will definitely be a year to remember.

With much love,
Tavia Rutherford

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All Business

Since arriving to Allendale, it has been all business. Nothing but business. We have established business nicknames, business jesters, and we have all taken part in business actions… If anyone knows anything about this awesome group, they would understand that what I just said was a complete lie. Maturity, at least on the mens vault side has hit an all time low. For Jagger and I, this is the last time we get to act like underclassmen before we will be mandated to wear a tie 24/7. President Mark Benedetto just treated us to an incredible meal at the famous Texas Roadhouse. The highlight of the night was when he gave us the go ahead to call him anything but “Late to Dinner.” Hopefully “Marky B” is included in the “anything” category.

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We have never been more ready to step out into competition. JB (Jordon Bents) has been looking solid this whole week, and even gave a lesson to other competitors on how to be a man in the weight room. As for Jagger and I, our rhythm on the runway could rival the rhythm that is spewed from Grant Watley’s drum sticks (He drums!) All three of us are beyond blessed to be able to compete tomorrow! Therefore we are itching to throw those righteous white jerseys on, and make shot puts fly as well as fly ourselves giving all glory to God! 

-Scott Greenman

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This morning I woke up knowing that this was my last competition as a USF Cougar. I reflected back on the past five years remembering my pole vault accomplishments. I have been blessed to be an all american 6 times, before today, 3 national championships, 4 conference championships, and 1 team championship. I knew that God has blessed me with this team and the talents that he gave me with the pole vault. It helped calm me down till the competition started. Even though I have been doing this for 11 years I am not exempt from butterflies. I’ve learned to focus that nervous energy into my vault. Focusing helps a lot but also the words of my teammate Samantha have also had an effect on how I attack the vault. About three weeks ago we were competing at Howard Wood Relays and I told Coach Chad that I was afraid running at top speed with a tail wind. And Samantha looked at me and said, “Why are you afraid of the wind? You should only fear God.” Boom! It hit me that my fear of God should be higher than my fear of anything, including the pole vault. Now I reminded myself of that and it helped me focus on what I needed to do to jump my best. I started jumping at 12ft 5.5 in and made it on my first jump! It was a great feeling and I continued on and made all of my heights on first attempts. I ended  my season with a jump of 13′ 5″ tying my outdoor record.

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It was a tough outdoor season battling injuries but I battled through and I am happy with my national runner up place. I vaulted against and with some amazing women and made some friends from other schools. But most of all I feel blessed and honored to have represented USF at the Nationals the last five years.  Also as a USF track athlete I have made amazing friends and have grown spiritually from those same people. I have loved every single moment that I have road tripped-cross country, danced anytime-ANYWHERE, been kicked out of a room because of my snoring (just kidding), and learned and played new games in hotel lobbies. Even though my championships are highlights of my career it is the memories that I have made everyday and practiced and at meets that I will remember the most. Even tonight, if you were a fly on the wall, you would hear laughter and smiling faces as we hung out after our team meeting. This is what I have loved about being apart of this team, because not a minute goes by without laughter and joking. I love this team! I love USF! Glory be to God!

Brigitte Gross

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Family

Well, the night before the last meet I’ll ever have has come. It’s been a crazy ride these last four years with USF Track and Field, and I cannot think of a better way to end than on this trip to Nationals. 

Allendale has had great weather— which we haven’t had in the last month for our track meets. Tomorrow is supposed to be high sixties, which is just about perfect for the women’s vault. The track is beautiful and everything seems almost too good to be true. We’ve only had subs once (okay, maybe twice) on this trip— an all time best for USF track. 

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But besides all of these small details, what is really crazy is that we get to be here enjoying all these blessings with our track family. There are five vaulters and one thrower (our honorary vaulter— or are we honorary throwers?). There has been a lot of laughter, reading, sleeping, and soaking in the sun together so far—oh and way to much techno music (thanks, Chad). We enjoyed the athlete’s and coaches’ dinner tonight at a museum along the river. Among the entertaining displays and interesting food was a carousel ride, attacks from the birds outside, goofy team photos, and some free gifts from the NCAA. 

However, I’ve been overwhelmed at how incomplete we are as a family. We are missing so many people who add so much to our team. We feel so supported and loved by all the team back home and could never have reached this point without their friendships. That’s the one thing that USF Track and Field has provided without fail: a family. Excited to compete at a great meet in great weather my last chance ever to compete as a collegiate athlete— I am so grateful for my track family. There is nothing like having people there to pick you up when you’re down and raise you higher when you soar! Now, I know this is far too cliché and sentimental, but bear with me: I’m a senior about to enter the real world.

But to everyone who is reading this I ask one thing: cheer loud at home, watch online, text-bomb our phones, send us pictures of your goofy faces, and let us know we have a family back home cheering for us! Because, I think I can speak for everyone, success or failure at Nationals means nothing without people to share it with.   

Oh and also, if you’re sitting at home, eat a few donuts and pieces of pizza for us! The girls at least will be stuffing our faces Friday and the men will be joining us on Saturday.

Also also, my team is awesome. They just bought me a shirt because I was too cheap to buy one and didn’t bring any money. My team is just plain awesome.

God’s grace,

Samantha

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The Road to Allendale

It’s been an extremely bumpy ride. We’ve ridden the rumble bars on the side of the road for about 40% of the trip. I’ve been learning a lot about inner beauty on this car ride, since the only movies I have are Casper and Beauty and the Beast. The weather in Michigan is superb! Seventy-six and sunny. Booch. According to our smart phones, the weather is supposed to hold out for the rest of the week, hopefully. We’ve only lost 2 pole bags (a personal best for us) and we forgot Scott at an Iowan farm, which turns out is where Field of Dreams was filmed, so it’s all okay. We’ll pick him up on the way back. I have no idea who this guy sitting next to me is, then. He claims to be Scott, but he smells like beef and cheese.

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The boys and I watched River Monsters last night in the hotel room, so we won’t be anywhere near Lake Michigan on this trip–but boy does it smell good! The aroma emanating from the Lake is infatuating. Mmmm. Pole vaulting should be a joy here. It’s so beautiful. The sun touches the landscape like a germiphobic mother touches a bathroom door handle: in a very specific, very particular way. Twenty miles more and then we can stop sitting down at 75 miles an hour. God has kept us safe so far and we’re thankful for that. We’re far enough away from home that we get some people questioning where “Sucks Falls” is. “Tale as Old as Time” is about to start, so I’m Audi.

 

Peas and Grays,

Jagger Gran

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Tennis season in review, looking ahead to the NSIC tournament

After transferring to USF I didn’t really know what to expect. It’s hard to just jump into a team when they already have a rhythm going and everyone knows each other. It can also be difficult to be the “new” girl, but I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming group of girls. Playing my first season for USF this year has been an Imageabsolute blast. I have never experienced a team that is all so different yet all gets along so well, we truly are family. Jumping in and playing number one singles and doubles was a challenge at first, especially with red-shirting the year before when I transferred to USF, but it has been an awesome experience. I have proven to myself many things I am capable of and have grown so much more mentally in the game. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just be thrown in to a spot and go along for the ride, learning as you go.

As this year comes to an end I think the whole team could agree we have had a good season. Many conference matches we played were very close and could have gone either way, and I think we all dropped at least one close match here or there that could have turned the win in our favor.

But those regular matches are over and it’s time to focus on now and this weekend’s NSIC tournament. I think that this is the time for redemption, to pull out those nail biting matches and come out with a big win. We play the University of Mary in the first round tomorrow morning and I have no doubt in my mind if we go out there with the winning mentality and don’t lay down we most definitely knock them off. We had so many close matches last time we played them it really could of gone either way. We have so much potential and so much talent on our team, and I can’t wait to see how we utilize all those strengths this weekend. My teammates and I have more weekend of some hard tennis before the season is over, and we’re ready for it because this is what we have been working for all season.

-Joey Bosch

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Bailey’s Thoughts about Senior Day

It has been a very exciting season so far for the USF Softball team. Believe it or not we’ve played in snow, gusting wins, freezing cold, and 90 degrees heat. You could say we’ve experienced it all. The season has been going very well for us and we have just scratched the surface of what we are capable of. With a mix of upper and lower classmen that have been huge assets to the success we are having, each person contributes whether they play all the time or not, we are a team and everyone has really bought into it. These girls have been a really fun talented group to play with, we have really gelled together and our team chemistry is a big help to our successful play this far.

Bailey Bouman

Bailey Bouman delivering a pitch.

With today being Senior Day, it is a bittersweet feeling. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you wish it would move as slow as possible. This has been the fastest moving year as a whole and it is crazy we are already playing our last home games. I know for Amanda, Kellen, and myself it has been a fun ride, but we are nowhere close to being done playing. In all of our years at USF we have never made a postseason run into the conference tournament and that is something we all really have been working towards. Being able to make a strong postseason run and make some noise to show the NSIC what USF Softball is all about! Come out to Sherman support our girls this weekend at 12 & 2 to watch some great games as we take on Upper Iowa! Go Coo!!!

 

–Bailey Bouman

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Cougar Tennis Spring Break Report: The Week That was in Hilton Head, S.C.

ImageThe Week That was in Hilton Head, S.C.

Saturday March 15, 2014 – I really don’t like traveling.

Sunday – even though it was our first full day on the island, we still managed to wake up early for a church service. The greatest part about being there was how welcoming they were to a group of tennis players from Sioux Falls, SD (we received at least 3 public announcements to the congregation of our arrival.) After church was the second annual brunch at Skillet’s Café followed by a nice long practice where we were not only able to play outside for the first time in months, but also eaten alive by bugs. Some of us (mostly Coach) have bodies that look like we have the chicken pox.

Monday – today was the only day we were scheduled to have an early match (8 a.m.). Thankfully we were rained out and allowed to go back to bed (don’t worry though, we rescheduled the match for later in the week). It literally rained all day. I don’t think there was one point in time during the day where it wasn’t raining. So we decided that this would be a good day to make our annual shopping day at the outlet stores. Some of us bought a little more then we should have (our suitcases are already a little too full to begin with but…oh well!). The rest of the night we sat in our condo and played a very lively card game taught to us by Coach T. It definitely was the most I laughed while on the trip.

Tuesday – when we woke up Tuesday morning it was still raining. However it cleared up by about noon (yes we did wake up before noon most days). Some of us ventured out to the beach and others went to the hot tub. There wasn’t a whole lot we did before our match at 6:30 because we wanted to save our energy for our matches! After a very nice victory at The Beach and Tennis Resort, we celebrated our win (and Stacey Beard’s birthday) with dinner at the Hilton Head Diner, and yes I did have a milkshake. :)

Wednesday – today was a lot like Tuesday where we just relaxed and did our own thing before the match. Some of us rented bikes for the day, others walked to the beach, and others went and shopped at the stores by the beach. Although we lost our match today, we still feasted like champions. Morgan’s brother, former USF tennis player, AJ, prepared a wonderful meal for all of us players and our parents. Pulled pork tacos weren’t something I expected to try on this trip but I certainly did like them (and had quite a few!)

ImageThursday – today was supposed to be our day to be free to roam the island but since we got rained out on Monday, we rescheduled our match for today. We all agreed that we wanted to play at 8 a.m. instead of later in the day because today was supposed to be the nicest day of the week and we wanted to be able to spend as much time as we could getting our tan on at the beach and playing sand volleyball. Did I mention that we did that on Wednesday too? We played a team of cheerleaders (both male and female) from New Jersey and definitely kicked their butt. We had a rematch today and held our title of champions. Some of us got a little redder then we expected (the sun was out but it definitely didn’t seem like we would get burned as bad as we did.) After volleyball and our beach outing we met back together for our annual team mini golf. Teams were broken up into grade levels. I’m assuming that us seniors won because we had the most experience, but I never actually found out who won. Besides, it’s about having fun and Coach buys both the winners and losers ice cream afterwards anyways (although we didn’t do that until Saturday). Anyways, after golf we arrived back at the resort with a wonderful dinner prepared for us by Stacey’s parents. Our families joined us again because there was a lot of food that needed to be eaten.

Friday – our last day here :( and it turned out to be a pretty great day. We got to sleep in until our match at 12:30 p.m. We played a team from South Carolina that was in Hilton Head for the weekend. We ended up winning 6-3. Once we were finished it was time to shower and get ready for our “formal” dinner at the Crazy Crab.  Just in case you ever plan on going there, go very hungry because you will leave incredibly stuffed. It turned out to be a really great night; all the girls got dressed up and we took some team pictures out by some very expensive yachts and left before more bugs could eat us up.

ImageSaturday – I hate traveling. But I love my team and we had a great week.

Thanks for reading,

Molly Seigenthaler
USF Tennis Senior

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Cougars Show Fight in Florida

ImageThe first day in Florida for us, the Cougars, couldn’t have been any better! Being able to play in such beautiful weather is a blessing. When we got to the fields, the games were a little behind so we were eagerly waiting for our time to step on the field to show how hard we’ve worked. The first game went well and we earned our first win of the week. The second game however, was the game that truly showed what our team was made of. We were down five runs and had no energy. Most teams in this situation would give up because it’s easier, but my team, the USF softball team fought hard to come back. It was the seventh inning, tied game, and the other team was up to bat with a girl on the third. A ball was hit foul, I caught it and threw it home and with the tag we got her out! Our energy was out of this world. With our team being aggressive a t the plate we did what we had to do to win our game. It took every single person on our team for us to win that game. I couldn’t be more proud of the team we have become.  

 

–Erin Scott
Junior Outfielder

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