Sunday, November 28, 2010

A GREAT Hunting Trip

Over the years, I have heard all kinds of stories about hunting trips. Many of the stories I have heard speak of the fun had by all, even though they didn't get what they went for. Well, the same can be said about our trip to Eugene. We set out to bag the Ducks, but we came back with nothing to speak of. The trip was great, with the exception of being delayed in the Eugene Airport after the game for about 5-6 hours. The plane flown up to get us from Phoenix had an engine go out at the end of the flight up to Eugene, so US Airways had to get another plane and crew up to Eugene at the last minute on a holiday weekend. Other than that and the outcome of the game, the trip was really nice.

First of all, a shout out to Kenny Farr, the new equipment manager for the Ducks. He and his student managers did an OUTSTANDING job of assisting us with our trip. That has not always been the case in Eugene. Kenny is a future super star in this business. The Ducks and the Pac 12 equipment managers are very fortunate to have Kenny up there for a long time. Thanks Kenny!

Once again, we took 5 tremendous student managers on a trip. Four of the five were seniors and those guys will really be missed! We will have a tough time replacing our six GRADUATING senior managers. I may shed a few tears this Thursday when those six managers are introduced before the game! I am extremely proud of these six young men! They did another great job for the Wildcats this past weekend. The game was cold and wet, yet the equipment staff did a great job all week in preparation, then also executing a plan on gameday to keep the players and coaches warm and dry during the game.

Now it is on to the final regular season game this Thursday against ASU. It is so hard to believe that this will be the last regular season game. As they say, time flies when you are having a good time. This season has been a blast and I am sad to see it ending so soon. Of course, we do have the bowl game to look forward to!!!!

It will be fun hosting my two good friends from ASU, Equipment managers Mark Zimmer and Paul Lopez. I always enjoy getting to visit with them, whether we are playing them at their place or at ours. As ugly as this rivalry game can be, it is nice to know that we can get along with each other! I am smart enough to know though, once that ball is kicked off on Thursday, each of us want to win the game!!! It will be tough to beat them again, as they are one of the best teams in this EXTREMELY TOUGH conference. It is hard enough to beat a team 3 times in a row, but especially when they are as good as they are. Great talent, and a legendary Hall of Fame head coach too. Should be fun!

Enjoy some pictures from our trip to Eugene:

John Landwehr, making his first road trip (excluding bowl games), was a really nice addition to the travel squad this past weekend! This Sacramento California senior will be missed when he graduates in May.

Mike Baranowski folding an empty player bag so it will fit neatly in the players locker:

Tim Pfennig putting out extra warm long game socks for the game:

Ben Hulka making sure Jovon Hayes has everything he needs for the game against the Ducks:

Ryan Ewalt putting out jerseys for the game:

Ben Hulka putting out jerseys for the game:

Mike Baranowski getting players ready for the game against the number one Ducks:

John Landwehr paying attention to every little detail!

Ryan Ewalt, working hard with a smile on his face! He has done this from day one when he started working with us. As far as I know, he has made every trip since he started. He is a solid worker, and a more solid person and will really be missed.

Mike Baranowski is only in his second season, but has quickly become one of our future leaders. He made every trip this year but one.

Ben Hulka is one of the six seniors that will be graduating in May. This Chicago native will really be missed when he is gone! Ben has traveled to many game with the Wildcats in his four years.

It was so nice to have John Landwehr on the trip. He is only in his second season, but he is a senior and a GREAT guy so we had to get him on a trip. We will really miss him when he is gone!

Mike Reed and Ben Hulka worked hard before the team arrived:

The managers did a GREAT job of setting up the players lockers for the game. We had everything they would need for a cold night in Eugene.

Some of the suites at Autzen Stadium. Oregon (Phil Knight) has done a great job with their facilities!

Benny Conger was in charge of setting up our 3 sideline heaters for the game. Tom Boesel ordered us 3 heaters in Eugene for delivery at noon on gameday. For some reason, the Ducks do not provide sideline heaters like the other 3 Northwest schools???

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