Sunday, November 22, 2015

Student Life On and Off the Field

As Division III athletes we have the opportunity to be involved in many activities off the field. We are students first, athletes second, and have the ability to become involved in other extracurricular activities that can be beneficial to our futures. We are able to pursue our career paths in the classroom while also playing the sport that we love. Randolph College offers an exceptional teaching program. One thing Randolph takes great pride in is its practicum experience for its teaching candidates at the elementary, middle and high school levels. A practicum is essentially working as a student teacher in a public school classroom. As a teaching candidate, you have the ability to be enrolled in field experiences every semester of your college career.

Practicum classes allow us to become involved in the community. For several hours, at least one day a week we are working with students from the area and getting college credit for our work. We get to know students on a personal level while practicing our teaching skills. This allows us to gain a better connection with the Lynchburg community. We are able to build relationships with the students, which enables us to talk to them outside the classroom when we see them on campus, at the store, or in a restaurant.

Addie Moore '17 reading during practicum classroom experience
Randolph’s practicum program provides us with hands on experience in the profession we hope to pursue. We are able to observe expert teachers in a classroom setting, create lesson plans, and be critiqued by a faculty advisor when we work with students. The experience is invaluable because it gives us a window into the occupation we hope to someday have. Practicum teachers have the chance to work independently with students as well as in small groups and whole group instruction under the supervision of a Lynchburg City teacher. We are able to build relationships with teachers and administrators in the Lynchburg School system. Initially, just a class we have to register for, a practicum can easily become a networking tool that will help us obtain jobs later on as a result of the connections made. We become close with our practicum teachers and sit in on faculty meetings with administrators and school officials. The practicum mentors have even been known to advocate on college students’ behalf for teaching positions.     

Another facet of the Randolph Teaching Program is its one year Masters program. The program takes place after your four years undergraduate studies at Randolph. The Graduate program is on a May to May schedule with intense classes in order to complete all of the course work in that time frame.  Upon completion students can obtain a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction. Many teaching candidates choose to take this path to make them selves more marketable and multiple Randolph Lacrosse players have completed or plan to be enrolled in this wonderful program.  The Master’s program accommodates teachers hoping to pursue licenses in both elementary and secondary education as well as special education. Practicum classes prepare students for the full semester intern teaching experience they will be required to participate in during the Masters program.

We are very fortunate to have such a vast array of opportunities available to us at Randolph College. Lacrosse is our passion but we have the ability to become scholars actively involved in our subject matter. The Education Department practicum classes is just one of many examples of the endless possibilities Randolph has to offer in addition to sports.

Written By: Carrie McCane ’16 and Addy Moore ’17 **Carrie McCane ’16 is studying Elementary Education with an endorsement in Social Studies and Addy Moore ’17 is studying Curricular Studies with an endorsement in Math**

Monday, October 12, 2015

An Eventful Weekend: Volunteering the Virginia 10 Miler and Hosting Fall Ball Play Day

Ever year our team volunteers at the Virginia 10 Miler race.  It is great way to get out into the community and give back. This year was particularly special as we got to witness many men, women and children cross the finish line of the 4 Miller event. The day of the Virginia 10 Miler, was a rainy day but that didn’t stop the race from happening or the participants from finishing.

When the team arrived, we were given instructions for the run. We were instructed that we would be giving out medals to the runners as they crossed the finish line. To prepare for this task we started to open up boxes full of medals and placed them on each other’s arms.  After fifty or so medals, they got heavy.  Arm Workout!  After we got as many medals as we could on each other’s arms we lined up by the finish line waiting her our finisher. 

When the first runner crossed, Donnie Cowart at 19:52 (official results obtained from it was exciting to see how happy he was after we handed him a medal and congratulated him. More and more people crossed over the finish line, but another special site was when disabled children and their parents crossed the finish line. The kids were so happy and it was great to see such enthusiasm of them and their parents.  Their innocence and happiness instantly brought everyone else happiness and peace. This was such a big accomplishment and it was so amazing to witness the joy on their face when we handed them their own medal. They forgot about the cold rain that morning and just pushed through.

The experience of volunteering at the VA 10 Miler was inspirational for our team.  You could see that the experience lit a fire in all our souls and helped us to keep pushing through congratulating people for the rest of the race.  It was fun and encouraging to watching everyone finish strong.  When the race was nearing the end, in the distance we saw the last two finishers of the race round the corner.  We ran to them and cheered them on as they ran their last couple of meters.  From experience we knew those last couple steps are hard after a long run and this is a practice that we take with our own team when someone is finishing their runs. As a team we try to encourage each other to push that last little stride so we run up next to the person and cheer them on for support. Seeing them cross the finish line gave us the best feeling anyone could have. 

After the Virginia 10 miler we headed down to practice.  We were all freezing cold, soaking wet, but ready to work hard due to the inspiration from all the finishers of the 10 miler that we saw that day.  We practiced hard and by the end we felt ready for our Fall Ball Tournament the next day.      
The Fall Ball tournament went very well the next day and a lot of our success on the field is attributed to the inspiration that we gained the day before by all the runners and walkers that crossed the finish line. Our success has made us excited for this coming season. Although it is always nice to be successful on the field, off the field our team enjoys giving back to the community. 

This volunteering experience made our team closer but also started a fire in us.  To see the passion, dedication, and hard work that these people put into running the 10 miler, made us reflect on how we could apply all those great qualities toward our team and a great season come Spring.  Go CatLax!

Written by:  Dana Cavallo '19 and Nicole Dorton '19 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Becoming a WildCat

Being a part of Randolph College Women’s Lacrosse, even in the mere four weeks of practice, has been an incredibly rewarding experience for the both of us. Make no mistake, we work hard, but that same hard work has created an incredibly tight-knit family that we feel lucky to be a part of.

Our first day of practice was nerve wracking, to be sure, since we weren’t certain what we could expect of our first college lacrosse experience. Every one of us was worried about making a good first impression, catching the ball, running a fast enough mile, and generally doing well. We did our warm up lap and stretched before our captain, Taylor Riccardi '16, pulled us all in for a pep talk that lightened the mood and prepared us for our first timed mile. The practice consisted of running, stick work, and a circuit, and was not nearly as scary once we got into it. Since then, we still find ourselves worrying about mile times, but we’re more certain that whatever we cover, as long as we push ourselves and focus on improving, out teammates will help motivate us when we’re having difficulties and cheer us on as we pick up on the concepts.

Pictured:Captain Taylor Ricarddi '16 and team

Team bonding and accountability has been a big theme during our time here, and has encompassed everything from frantically making sure everyone is at practice on time to seeing who can make widgets the fastest. That day, we had been broken off into 4 teams, and sat in circles, screwing bolts onto screws as fast as possible. We also teamed up with other groups on a separate occasion and attempted to throw balls in baskets to earn the most points. The catch was, we couldn’t cross past the midfield circle when throwing. We enjoy these drills, not just because they’re a fun way to cool off after practice, but because we’re starting to make memories with each other that will carry on into the future.

This is where we think college lacrosse differs from high school lacrosse the most. Sure, practices are more intense, rules are different, and games are longer, but the difference in mentality is the big game changer. In high school, it was more about how you could do better, how you can work to receive accolades. Here at Randolph, it’s about bettering the entire team and improving the group as a whole, making sure that everyone understands concepts and that we are all pulling the weight.

Our experience with Randolph Women’s Lacrosse has helped us learn a lot about ourselves and what it takes to succeed anywhere. We are so glad to be a part of this program and can’t wait to see where we go from here!

Randolph College Women's Lacrosse team at the 2015 Fall Play Day

Written by: Hannah Bradley '19 & Kathy Butler '19

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fourth Annual Fall Classic Tournament

We, Randolph College Womens Lacrosse team, hosted our Fourth Annual Fall Classic on November 9, 2014. A total of seven teams, or around 90 girls, came to Randolph to play in the tournament. Teams showed up from multiple different areas in Virginia and from Georgia. The games were twenty five minutes long with a running clock and took place on the turf of Wildcat Stadium. The first games started at 1 PM and the last games ended at 5 PM. After a full day of playing, the coaches of each team picked two players from their own team that they thought exemplified a talented, hard-working athlete. These two players from each respective team came together to be split into two team for an All-Star game. This game, to end the tournament, was played under the lights in Wildcat Stadium.
Each player on our team was assigned a job, and most rotated to do different jobs throughout the day. Our jobs included Sign-ins/Registration, selling concessions, managing the clock, refereeing, and coaching some teams. Many members on the team refereed at least one game. Alyssa Umberger ’17 from Hershey Pennsylvania is a certified referee and worked most of the games. Afterwards she said “It was lots of fun seeing all the players enjoying themselves. It’s awesome to see the enthusiasm and passion for the game in the next generation of lacrosse players.” One of our teams’ captains, Taylor Riccardi ’16 from Lexington Virginia, got to coach one of the local teams playing in the Fall Classic. Riccardi coached the only middle school team in the tournament, all others were high school level. “While coaching the middle school team their carefree, fun-seeking attitude made me remember why I fell in love with lacrosse.” Her favorite part of the day was watching her players as they improved throughout the day; and was also how surprised her players were with themselves in how they were playing. “I think I can speak for my girls when I say that we all had a great time whether they were goofing off or begging for more playing time.”
(From Left to Right Casey Coleman '18, Taylor Riccardi '16, and Addie Moore '17)
The fall classic is definitely one of our favorite events. It’s a great chance to be involved in lacrosse in a different way than just playing on the field. It’s also a great learning and bonding experience for everyone involved including visiting teams and my own team. Based on the success of the Fall Classic I know I’m not the only one that can’t wait for it to come again next year!
(Leah Hughes '17 and Taylor Klevenz '15 pictured with JAB team they coached for the day)

 Written by: Erin Campbell '17

Friday, October 24, 2014

Women's Lacrosse Volunteers at the Virginia 10 Miler

The Genworth Virginia 10 Miler celebrated its 41st year of racing on September 26th, 2014 with over 4,000 participants. The races included a 10 mile run and a 4 mile run or walk with competitors of all ages. Several of our Randolph college student body organizations decided to take part in the community with this historic and exciting event. Randolph College served as the finishing point of the 4 miler event and the Randolph College Women’s Lacrosse team was able to volunteer and have the honor of handing out medals to the finishers of the run and walk portion of the 4 miler event. Two of the members of our team talked about their volunteering experiences.  
In yellow from left to right, Samantha Fagone 15', Alyssa Umberger 17', and Kristiana Kuqi 18' are handing out medals at the finish line
For many of the members on the team this was their first time volunteering for this event, like Addie Moore 17' from Lexington, VA. She said, “This was my first experience volunteering for The VA 10 miler event, but a lot of my older friends and teammates had previously volunteered for this event and said the experience was really amazing. Now that I have volunteered for the event I completely agree with them on what an amazing experience it was and I look forward to doing it again!” As an all around consensus on the team everyone had a great time and loved the positive environment that the event brought. Casey Coleman 18' stated, “As a team, we stood at the finish line and distributed medals to the runners and walkers who participated. It was super fun and rewarding because seeing people finish something that they trained for, pushed themselves to complete, and maybe even never imagined themselves finishing was inspiring. I really enjoyed giving them a reward to acknowledge their efforts and seeing the happiness and satisfaction on their faces!”This event was also a great team building activity for us because we were able to have this gratifying experience together and have the satisfaction of congratulating these amazing people for their finish. Another rare occurrence that the race brought us was the experience to see four people from Nigeria run in the race and also members from our own Randolph cross country team who competed and did very well. We enjoyed watching Dani Hill 17' who was Randolph’s first Women’s XC runner to cross the finish line. She posted the second-fastest four mile time in program history and she was the first finisher for the 15-19 age group.
Coleman 18' later stated, “Because I am a student at this small Liberal Arts school, I am provided with numerous opportunities to take a part in community events and help out with local businesses.” Having this opportunity at our fingertips as a team and a school community to be involved in Lynchburg and this event was a perfect way for helping Casey, as a freshman, to get settled in at Randolph, a new town, and new environment. She also said, “When I was moving to Randolph in August for freshman orientation, I was worried about how many friends I would make, but within the first couple of days I had made so many friends right away thanks to the lacrosse team, the Community Service day that all of the first years did, and orientation.” Moore 17' also agreed with Coleman saying, “I remember when I first got here and right away I had a group of about fifteen automatic friends on the lacrosse team that no matter would be there for me.” They both agreed in saying that being a part of Randolph’s Women’s Lacrosse team and having these great group of ladies and coaches supporting us helps us to reach out into the community and give back, but also to grows us as a team. 
Taylor Riccardi 16' and Chelsea Marciniak 17' waiting to honor participants with  medals
Written by: Addie Moore 17' 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Summer Coaching Experience

I am Taylor Klevenz a Senior Captain on the Randolph College Women’s Lacrosse team. Our team is full of players with different life aspirations such as doctors, teachers and nurses. Ever since I was a little kid I was always outside playing sport’s which has had a big impact on why my personal life aspiration is to become a Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach.  This past summer I was offered an opportunity coaching for a travel team, Ultimate Lacrosse. Ultimate Lacrosse is a high level travel program located in Pennsylvania. They have team ranging from sixth grade to twelfth grade. I was the coach of the sixth and seventh grade team. I have coached in the past for small clinics and JAB lacrosse in Lynchburg,Virginia but this was my great learning opportunity because it was my first experience being a Co-Coach of my very own team. Joining me on this coaching experience was KarlaAne; a graduate from Chestnut Hill College.Practices were held twice a week.   

 Practice planning was something that was new to me and I quickly realized that I needed to be strategic as well as put the time into developing practice. I learned that planning practice is a lot more difficult than I had imagined. I came to realize that it is really important to make sure to incorporate drills that will benefit your team on their strengths and weaknesses. Since my team did not have the best stick skills I made sure to include a lot of wall ball, passing and dodges. With this being a young age group, I knew with practice I wanted to stick to the fundamentals of lacrosse. One of my favorite practices was when I brought water balloons to practice to have the girls learn how to give with the ball. Using water balloons is a good idea for this age group because it keeps them interested and focused on not breaking the balloon but at the same time they are learning how to give with their sticks. Seeing the improvement of their stick skills from the first practice to the last was one of my biggest accomplishments of coaching. 

My team went to tournaments every weekend for two months out of the summer. Attending tournaments was my favorite thing about coaching. I got to travel to different places such as  New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and one tournament even took place in my hometown Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  A typical day at the tournaments starts off with registering your team. Once everyone is registered we can start warming up, which usually consist of a warm up lap, stretching, shuttles and three v twos to goal. We would play around three to four games in a day. Each game would last an hour thirty minute halves with a five minute half time.  While we had breaks the girl’s parents would have a tailgate set up for them with food and drinks. This was a good place to rest and refuel throughout the day. The tournaments had a great atmosphere and we were able to be surrounded by lacrosse all day long. One of the best experiences was when we played in our first tournament, The Round Up which took place in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and we went undefeated on the weekend. As coaches we were very happy to have gone undefeated in our first coaching experience and it gave the girls confidence going into the rest of the summer.

Part of my responsibility at the tournaments was to be in charge of making substitutions during the games. Since we had a young age group everyone was guaranteed playing time. I still had to make important decisions during close games of who should be taking the draw or having our best defenders and attackers on the field. This was a key aspect in some of our wins. There was a lot of pressure to make these decisions but towards the end of the summer I found out what girls worked well together. This taught me an important aspect of coaching, knowing your team.

Overall this coaching experience really opened my eyes to a lot of new aspects to coaching. Watching the girls develop into better lacrosse players and knowing I helped make that possible was one of the most satisfying feelings. It was hard work and required long days and hours of planning but it was all worth it to see the smile on my teams face after a big win. From planning practices to subbing on the fly there is nothing else I can picture myself doing than coaching the sport I love. 

               Taylor Klevenz 15' (right) pictured with Co-Coach KarlaAne (left)

 Written by: Taylor Klevenz 15'