The hard-hittin’ women of the 9-1 Umpqua CC basketball team had a disappointment last Sunday that no team should have to face: they won a championship by forfeit. After driving all the way from Roseburg, OR to Seattle, WA and smashing their opponents in the first two rounds, the Riverhawks were told by Chemeketa CC women’s with less than an hour til tipoff that they were going home instead of playing, due to the snow storm.
Needless to say, both the players and Coach Dave Stricklin were pissed off. Stricklin elaborated eloquently in his blog, which I love:
What the coach didn’t mention was that after being outraged, and having families that had traveled from Idaho to see the game disappointed, the team piled into the van at 1:30 p.m. They got home 10 hours later.
“What is usually a five, six-hour drive turned into a nightmare,” Stricklin said. “Once you got over the Columbia River, there was a lot of ice.”
Division I teams have it good compared to junior college teams. Stricklin and his wife/assistant coach Linda get their players to the game by driving them in the school van. Now that’s heart and dedication – I respect that.
I also respect good student habits and good grades, and Umpqua guard Mykiea Russell has both. Los Angeles’ own just got a 4.0 in her first term at Umpqua, according to Stricklin. Grades came out yesterday at Umpqua, and there was tension because a player could be ineligible for the rest of the season if her grades don’t measure up.
“They were on pins and needles,” Stricklin said.
Umpqua plays this weekend in Salem, OR, before getting a break.