First of all, I’d like to thank the alumni; seeing the commitment they still hold to the program only reflects on the dedication they have to this team. It’s clear that there this team is not just about playing ultimate, although yes, it is the one thing we often excel at. Rather, I believe this team is about the two things that Kevin Crowley embodied: hard work and camaraderie.
If you asked me to describe what “Hodag” means to me, the first thing that would come to mind is the hours of grueling workouts in the shell, of waking up before the break of dawn in order to lift, and of running up Bascom Hill more times than most people are willing to do in a year. But that first time you look back and see your defender leaned over with their hands on their knees, it is instantly all worth it. All that hard work teaches you to invest in the long-term be it on the field or anywhere in life; a lesson that many very often miss out on.
After talking about hard work, the next thing I would describe is “Hodag love”. This motto is what allows us to take a deep breath on the field and look at the teammates standing shoulder to shoulder with us, the same people we’ve seen nearly every day for the past year. We can then look over our shoulder and towards the sideline, seeing all the parents, alumni, and friends all cheering us on. After all, there’s a reason why our motto is “Hodag love”. Because when it comes down to it, what matters isn’t the score or the fact that you should have laid out (but seriously you should have); what matters is the relationships we’ve built and the people around us. So, as I enter this next season, I hope to hold those two things close to my heart, but I also promise to never forget that the only way to truly win is by hucking it.
Hodag Love, Nick Ladas