The year has come and gone and my time as the sports editor is over. It has been a pretty exciting sports year in some aspects and one of the most depressing in others.
Overall, the eight varsity teams that competed for season records at CSU posted an 81-80 record. There was one Mountain Conference Title, four winning seasons – all of which came from women's teams (basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball) – and five teams that advanced to NCAA tournaments (volleyball, women's golf, both cross country teams and both track and field teams), with three more still hopefully awaiting bids (men's golf, softball and tennis).
The cross country and track and field teams never ceased to amaze me this year. With every meet, more records were broken, and I will be proud to see senior thrower Loree Smith standing on the Olympic podium one day, sporting a shiny gold medal. These programs are the best coached, most successful and possess the most talented student-athletes on campus. It is a shame they don't get more credit.
Then there was the volleyball team, which was phenomenal. The Rams were amazing to watch as they annihilated teams and posted a 25-3 record. They captured the lone MWC Championship and earned a season-best No. 7 ranking in the country. Oh, but then they lost in the NCAA Tournament first round.
The softball team has compiled a 19-16 record to date and has a legitimate shot at taking the MWC title. These Rams have talent, but they could run into problems considering they only use two pitchers.
Subtract the volleyball and softball records and CSU drops to 27-60. Wow, that sucks. It makes you wonder how a university that is used to going to bowl games and NCAA basketball tournaments could sink so low.
Well, then there was the football team. I know the Rams had to overcome a lot of injuries and faced one of the toughest schedules in school history, but the 4-7 record that awarded no bowl game was disappointing. But only because I was used to watching them win. In the meantime, I can credit them for helping me increase my vocabulary by learning more synonyms for the word lose.
Then there was the water polo team. Hey, it was the Rams' inaugural season and they had to play more ranked teams than any other team at CSU. Congratulations on your first season. I'll take an 8-15 record any day.
The swimming and diving team pulled out an even 5-5 record, not too bad considering the swimmers have to share the pool and a coach with the water polo team and the diving team consists of all freshmen.
Then there was the men's basketball team. I saved the best for last with these guys. The team brings in some of the best talent in the nation, had three 7-footers on the roster and still only managed to squeak out 11 wins.
The team also possessed the longest streak at CSU right now, the famous 19-game slide in which the Rams have failed to win a single home game. As of today, the span stretches 503 days. Oh, well at least CSU is open to change and wanting to improve. Oh wait, never mind. It guaranteed head coach Dale Layer at least one more season.
So, I guess that's it: CSU athletics in a nutshell for the 2004-05 season. CSU may have some improving to do, but at least the women can win.
Joelle Milholm is a graduating technical journalism major. She is the outgoing sports editor for the Collegian.