After the apple cup this year, I listened to Softy on KJR just to hear him eat sock after the Cougs beat his Dawgs. What he said surprised me. He said: I am so Psyched, because there is a new era in UW football, and this 0-12 crap is done! He went on about how the natural universe will be restored and UW will again be on top. I laughed, as a cougar fan about how he could not face the reality of another cougar apple cup win and the fact that UW football is as low as low gets.
Yesterday, the cougs were ousted from play, and the last of the players that heavily impacted our three strait postseason run played their last game. It was disappointing to say the least as they underperformed against a WCC squad. But a few hours after the game, reality set in. And boy is reality exciting.
We have a future. We have a great coach that truly wants to be here. We have two players on the all-freshman team. One is a sweet, sweet shooter when he’s on and the other is an athletic big man who has a future on all-conference teams. Another freshman we rely on as our top guard defender. Late in the season, he actually showed some offensive promise. We have more depth that will be underclassman next year. Late in the year, Harthun showed his freshman jitters had passed, and he was a capable ball handler and shooter. Lodwick will get some playing time next year and he will have plenty of playing time to find his shot. And as anyone who has watched him in pre-game warm-ups knows, he has a great shot. Charlie Enquist has came in a few times and showed he has the ability to play center next year. We have some unproven guys, who could emerge as contributors eventually. Wetherill, Boeke, and Watson could fill that mold.
We’ve got a great class coming in as well. Xavier Thames could be an impact point guard with range. Then there’s Anthony Brown. He is a shooter, but he can also get to the hoop and draw contact. The 6-5 Shaddle Park grad could be a starter as early as next year. We have David Chadwick who seems like he follows the mold of Cowgill and Forrest. There’s also the aussie Motum, who sounds like another capable PF.
We will have growing pains next year, but boy is the future exciting. I can’t even imagine Thompson, Casto, and Capers as seniors. They seem so much more polished then the young guys we have had lately. Koprivicia will still be there next year too, and he could be valuable. Tony will be there too. Maybe he won’t play who we want, maybe he doesn’t get everything right. But he was a National coach of the year, and he has the potential to do it again some day. Thank goodness he wants to do it as a cougar. I will miss this senior class. I will miss Harmeling’s good nights, I will miss Baynes’ consistency, I will miss Forrest’s mid-range shot, and boy, will I miss Rochestie’s scoring and leadership. But without them, we’ll be alright. I can’t wait for the future of cougar basketball. Now I know how Softy felt after the apple cup. It’s not about ignoring the past and present. It’s about the raw excitement of the future possibilities that propels sports. Forget what just happened. It may be bitter now, but man is the future sweet.