All posts by Andrew Clark

Elizabethtown College Intramurals

 

To view the video, click here.

Tonight marked the beginning of the winter intramural season here at Elizabethtown college with basketball.

Thompson gymnasium was filled with athletes of all skill levels, staying active and having fun.

Intramurals also give varsity athletes the opportunity to play sports they may not be as familiar with in a more laid-back environment.

“I really like playing intramurals because they’re just so much fun. I get to show people why I’m so good at basketball. It’s just the best time of my life. I love it,” said first-year student, Wes Mills.

Here at Elizabethtown College, intramurals is more than just a sport for some athletes.

“Intramurals is fun, you know it’s a great time to make friends and compete at the same time. I enjoyed it my four years playing here. I’ve done basketball, football, I’ve just done everything … I really enjoyed my time playing with everyone, making new friends and stuff like that,” said senior Anthony Carter.

Elizabethtown college reports that over 40% of students take part in intramurals.

Intramurals also offer the opportunity to make some money, with jobs available such as referee, clock operator, and scorekeeper.

For more info, email intramurals@etown.edu or visit the HUB in the BSC.

In Elizabethtown, Andy Clark, Wetown.org.

The Study Abroad Experience With Etown Students

To view the video, click here.

Elizabethtown College’s study abroad program put on an afternoon tea session today for students.

In the Blue bean, students could enjoy tea and scones, while hearing presentations from students who have studied abroad.

These students shared some of their favorite moments from England.

“There was like live music and really good street food of different cuisines, starting from Indian, Chinese, Korean, so I loved it,” said Afsara Mirza, a senior who studied abroad in the Spring of 2018.

The goal of this session was to provide students interested in spending time across the pond with information and insight on experiences.

For some students, studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime

“I studied abroad in London in the spring of 2018. I think everyone should study abroad because it’s a really good way to get to see things in real life in the outside world,” said senior Claire Weckerly. “Things that you’ve learned about in history, different ways of doing art or culture, languages, you get to experience all first-hand for yourself. You can also learn a lot of independence, things like traveling and times and scheduling. A lot of those skills are easy just to practice on your own and study abroad is a good opportunity to do that.”

These students were more than happy to relive these memories and answer questions. For more info, email studyabroad@etown.edu.

In Elizabethtown, Andy Clark, Wetown.org.

COM 370 Recap

I have always been told that I was a pretty good writer. Throughout the several writing-based classes I’ve taken in high school and college, teachers would always say that I knew how to get my thoughts out in an efficient way. While that may have been true, I never enjoyed it. I still don’t. I’m not sure if I’m just lazy or feel that people don’t care what I have to say, but the whole process would just irritate me. With that being said, I didn’t exactly hate this class.

When I signed up for COM 370, I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed it would be an easy class and that I would be able to breeze through it. I was wrong.

This class turned out to be one of my most demanding classes between the writing and other assignments that were due every week. Early on, I still felt that I could coast my way through most of the semester with my writing skills. I was wrong again.

Our professor, Dan Connolly, is pretty familiar with the field of digital journalism and sports writing. He tried his very best to mold us into successful writers. He would constantly tell us that if you could write well, you could basically do anything. Of course, making us into good writers came at a price. Our work would constantly be torn apart with every dropped word and cliché we included. It was tough at first, but soon for me, it became almost a personal challenge to see if I could write something that was completely up to his standards.

We were then introduced to a legendary sports writer named Gary Smith. We never formally met him, but we read a book that had some of his best pieces in it. It was interesting to read his stories, because that’s exactly what they read like. Stories. You forgot you were reading about sports for a moment as Smith expertly set scenes and forced the readers to feel what the characters felt. It was eye-opening to me. I realized that sports writing was so much more than play-by-plays or game stories. From that point on, I wrote every piece with Smith’s writing in the back of my head.

By raising my own bar so high, I feel that I actually did improve my writing, and with some minor corrections or style changes, I had some of my best work come out of this class.

At the end of the day, I’m glad I ended up taking this class. It was really interesting to see another side of communications that I hadn’t thought of. I never thought I wanted to be a writer at any capacity, but this class made it at the very least not seem as terrible as I previously thought. I am going to take the things that Professor Connolly taught us throughout the semester and continue to work on my skills.

Concussions: Every Athlete’s Nightmare

It was probably the hardest hit I’ve ever delivered in a lacrosse game. We were at a summer lacrosse tournament at UMass with my club team. These tournaments were huge events lasting a few days that drew in teams from all over. Because of the size, teams would generally play around five games per day.

The player I was covering was receiving a pass, but mishandled it and the ball was at his feet. He began to pick it up, so I saw my chance. I ran as fast as possible at him and hit him with my shoulder, knocking the ball free. As soon as I made contact, I could tell there was something wrong. I immediately felt weak as if I couldn’t walk. I attempted to run for the loose ball, but my legs wouldn’t allow it as I fell to the ground. I quickly scrambled my way off the field as the play continued, stumbling the whole way. As soon as I made it to the sideline, I went down. A few teammates were quick to come up to me, asking if I was alrigh, but I tried to brush them off as to not make a big deal about it. My ears were still ringing as the pressure behind my eyes started to build. I was in unbearable pain, but no one seemed to notice after I told them I was fine. I paced back and forth on the sideline as my balance began to deteriorate. It was clear I had a concussion. I’m not sure whether it was the tournament setting or that the hit didn’t look as bad as it felt, but no one offered me medical attention. After a few minutes, I was back on the field.

I don’t blame anyone for not checking on me after the hit. In those types of tournaments, a lot of similar things go unnoticed. I know that in any other setting, especially in college, I would’ve probably been asked to sit for the rest of the game and enter concussion protocol afterwards. However, if I did get hurt again in the game, there would be a good chance I could never step on the field again.

Concussion protocol is a term that no athletes like to hear. It is an agonizing time that seems like an absolute waste for the athlete. It usually begins with a few basic questions including the date and maybe a series of numbers to be repeated, but then usually leads to the dreaded concussion test. This process usually begins as soon as possible once the athlete is off the field.

“The first thing that we do is what’s called a sideline assessment,” Elizabethtown College Assistant Athletic Trainer Madeline LaCesa said. “Essentially, you’re asking them basic demographic information; where are you? Do you know what happened? What kind of symptoms are you feeling right now? One of the other things that I usually do on the sidelines because it’s easy is you have to palpate the neck, make sure there’s no c-spine tenderness, but also do a balance test. There’s also VOMS which stands for vestibular ocular motor screening. That’s following and tracking eye movement to see how their symptoms respond to that, so if their symptoms increase with VOMS, its typically the sign of a concussion.”

These tests use both verbal answers as well as forms the athlete is asked to fill out. This helps the trainers get an assessment on how severe the athlete’s condition may be.

“Once they’re inside, I’ll run them through more concentration questions, you kind of want to get them away from the scene and actually concentrate, maybe 20-30 minutes later in a controlled setting,” LaCesa said.

The return-to-play process is how the athlete recovers from the concussion, allowing the brain to rest as well as the body.

“For the-return-to play process, we’ll explain to them what they should be doing throughout this time period and what kind of things to avoid. Typically watching TV, looking at your cellphone, sometimes increased brain activity, like doing homework, can actually increase your symptoms. We explain all of that to them and we have them sign the at-home care instruction form saying what they should do such as taking Tylenol, not to drink alcohol, not to exercise, things along those lines. We’ll have them track their symptoms three times a day until they’re symptom-free. Once they become asymptomatic for 24 hours, we’ll have them take the ImPACT Test which is compared to their baseline. Once they pass their ImPACT Test, they can begin the return to play process.”

Tyler Newman, a teammate from high school, is unfortunately very familiar with this process, suffering around six concussions through his time playing lacrosse. The process is slightly different between high school and college, and Newman sees this as a problem area that could be changed.

“Honestly, I don’t like [the ImPACT test] at all, because I found it monotonous and honestly when I would take I, it actually hurt my head more because I had to do memory tests and think. A concussion is basically just a bruise on the brain so I think honestly just like waiting until they feel that they’re better, the person feels they’re better and can play, then you start acclimating them back into the sport. Rather than putting their mind through like all these tests  and stuff that can honestly just make them uncomfortable.”

There seems to be a stigma against injured athletes in today’s sports culture. When the injury is visible and tangible, it is very easy to see why the player is unable to participate. Concussions don’t allow that luxury of being able to see what’s wrong. However, LaCesa believes that awareness has made this issue easier to deal with.

“In my experience, most coaches are pretty understanding because they know that it’s an increased thing right now, especially with general awareness in the public and the media. There’s always those one or two incidences where they don’t really want to listen to that, but for the most part, the respect the healthcare providers enough to listen to their recommendations.”

Concussions are a serious problem in sports at every level. However, there are protocols in place to ensure that the injury is correctly diagnosed and attended to. Whether they are effective enough is up for debate, but a concussion is a difficult injury to deal with. With awareness for concussions in the media at an all-time high, it is important to remember that they must be treated for what they are; an injury.

Our Date with the Hershey Bears

It all started with a video game. After winter break of our sophomore year in college, I brought back the game, NHL 2017. My roommates weren’t exactly huge hockey fans, and at the time, I wasn’t really either. We weren’t very familiar with the sport, but it seemed interesting enough to learn. This is where NHL ‘17 came in.

We were terrible at first. The controls were hard to learn immediately and we were still learning the rules of hockey at the time. Even through the painful learning period, we were having the time of our lives. There was just something about us all hanging out taking turns on the controllers that brought us together.

Eventually, the games started to be more respectable and we knew all the rules of hockey. At any given time, there were usually at least two of us playing each other in my room.

Hockey very quickly became a popular sport between us, and we were hooked. Luckily for us, the AHL team, the Hershey Bears, play only about 20 minutes from campus. We found a night that worked for us, and bought tickets immediately. It was the most excited we have ever been our entire sophomore year.

The night of the game quickly approached and we got more excited with every passing day. We looked into buying as much Hershey Bears merchandise as we could find, but unfortunately for broke college students, we decided it might not be the best idea.

Finally, the day was upon us. We waited around all day until we could finally leave for the Giant Center. We hopped into a caravan and made our way to Hershey, nearly shaking with anticipation.

We got out of the cars and we were overwhelmed. We walked in circles around the stadium trying to find our seats and were blown away by the number of fans at the game. Eventually we found our section and we got the first look at the ice. Between the sounds of the sticks on the ice to the cool air, it was unlike any of us had expected. At least until we got to our seats.

As broke college students, we wanted to get the best seats possible for the lowest price. Luckily, they were at a great value as we were only a few levels up in the corner.

The entire game, we were laughing and making jokes about how it was just like the video game and we were still blown away by how close we were. Between the sights and the sounds, it was some of the most fun we’ve ever had together. I still look back on that moment as one of my favorite experiences with my friends.