March Musing

In case you missed it, I did my first podcast in over a year. It’s about the Trinity/Southwestern move to the SAA. I sound a little down in the podcast but I’m okay in real life.

I was going through the recruits awhile back and one of the players was from White Settlement, Texas. At least I thought she was as it was listed that way on one recruiting site but another had her from someone near there. Anyway, it reminded me of my first trip to Texas back in 1987. I was coming in for an interview fresh out of college at General Dynamics (GD). GD sits on the Carswell Air Force Base which is just north of White Settlement. For the record, GD is now Lockheed-Martin and Carswell Air Force Base is now the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base. I’m still me, if that helps. I get put up in a hotel in downtown Fort Worth and picked up by a taxi the next morning for my interview. For the kids out there, a taxi is yellow Uber or Lyft car. The driver happens to be black and as we turn off I30 in Fort Worth, there is a big sign welcoming people to White Settlement. I’m just a naïve kid from southern California sitting in a taxi driving by a black man entering White Settlement. I do a double-take on the sign thinking what kind of a backwards state am I thinking of moving to and the driver spots me and starts laughing.

“It’s not what you think. I could live there if I wanted to although I never would.”, said the driver.

For the record, in the last census, there were over 18,000 people living in White Settlement with 48% being non-white. The city got their name because it was the lone settlement of white colonists amid several Native American villages in the Fort Worth area back in the 1840s. In 2005, the city voted on a name change to West Settlement but it lost 2,388 to 219. So, it seems everything can have their name changed but the one place that made me very uncomfortable a lifetime ago.

Centenary Head Coach Ashley McDonough sent me a link to her new website that focuses on faith and sports but is done in a way that shouldn’t exclude anyone from checking it out. It’s Coached by Christ and it’s kind of annoying because it looks so much better than this site.

One of the changes that come with retirement is that I don’t have to do an NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket. I remember really enjoying them while working but I’ve come to realize that it was only because I disliked work so much. Now that I can do what I want, I wonder why I would waste my time on a bracket for a sport where I really only follow one team. Still, I’m sure most of you are filling out your brackets right now and don’t let me stop you. Don’t sleep on TCU is all I’m going to say.

I wonder how many of our DIII volleyball programs are leaving the country this summer? I know CMS is doing a European Vacation type of thing although they are playing volleyball. IWU is currently in Italy and will play their first of two matches today although it’s probably already over with the time difference. CMS is led by setter Georgia McGovern who is from Oxford, England so that will be kind of extra cool for her. She’s played in their national program so I wonder if she’ll have to play herself during their trip. I guess she could front row set for each team and just move under the net during the rallies. What other schools are making trips?

When the Trinity and Southwestern news broke last Thursday, I was heading out the door. I was really struggling with canceling my plans and writing more about it or just doing what I did. I guess I haven’t embraced the full journalistic side of this thing, yet. I do want to thank everyone that reached out to me about the news. It’s always helpful to get clued into things. I got some credit for being the first to really write about it a month earlier but truthfully that was just more people clueing me in. I guess I’m saying that you guys are the real heroes out there. Keep throwing me the clues and I’ll keep writing about them.

I mentioned the Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) financial issues in my podcast. It appears they are asking the state for $37.5 million to replenish their endowment, which they hope will get them back on track while they reach out to the public to raise $200 million over the next three years. As mentioned in the podcast, a number of BSC athletics have entered the portal as they look for other opportunities in the fall.

Finlandia, who played in the C2C Conference with UC Santa Cruz, has announced they will not enroll students for the 2023-24 academic year. They are working with other colleges to get their current students enrolled elsewhere.

A story from December is that the Colonial States Athletic Conference and the United East Conference intend to merge in time for the 2023-24 school year. From what I can tell, the merger would leave just one automatic qualifier for their programs. In volleyball, the new conference would sit at 17 programs. This merger appears an attempt to solidify their base as more and more schools bolt for other conferences.

A story from last month has Cazenovia College closing after this academic year. The school blamed COVID and low finances and enrollment.

I believe I reported on this already but Eastern Nazarene was the last school to leave the disbanded New England Collegiate Conference. They are heading to the North Atlantic Conference.

One of the best resources for DIII volleyball conference movement is from our own Ricky Nelson. He has a DIII Teams/Conference Page. I visit this page a lot when I want to quickly move around the nation to rosters or standings, but I need to visit more just for school and conference movements. It’s really impressive how he keeps up on all of this. Here are the schools he says will be coming to DIII volleyball soon: Warren Wilson, Asbury, Bob Jones, Hartford, Lyon, Mississippi Women, Carlow, Johnson & Wales (NC) and Penn State Brandywine.

I believe Redlands is still our only school in the West without a head volleyball coach. Hoping they can make a great hire there.

Let’s keep those recruits coming, coaches or parents or players!


One thought on “March Musing

  1. I’ve got several other interesting locality names: Toad Suck, AK (unincorporated); Scratch Ankle, AL (named because that’s what all the visitors did after they got off the train and were surprised by insects); Truth or Consequences, NM (named after a game show); Embarrass, WI (area where a river always got jammed up when loggers were trying to move their logs) and Broken Bow and Broken Arrow (on opposite sides of OK)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s