Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Yachting, squash set to become newest University varsity sports Beer pong rumored to be on the docket for inclusion next year, frats rejoice Akil Mitchell Senior Fourth-year
Athletics Director Craig Littlepage made headlines during the weekend for his new plan to foster enthusiasm and participation in sports “that aren’t basketball and football.” Starting in 2015, Littlepage announced, the University will introduce two new varsity teams: yachting and squash. The Cavalier Athletics Department is widely touted for its continuous success in soccer, tennis, baseball, rowing, field hockey and lacrosse, but its main revenue sports and media darlings are football and basketball. After yet another disappointing football season and the abrupt end to a spectacular year of basketball, athletics officials were left wondering how to maintain the spark that the basketball team brought to Grounds.
“We just kept asking the question: what’s going to be the next basketball?” Executive Associate Athletics Director Jon Oliver said. “So then we thought, what are U.Va. students like?” That question led them straight to Rugby Road. In the pastel-andbowtie world of the University, athletics officials said they feel they have found an untapped source of passion and talent. “The guys that have been summering in the Hamptons since they were kids — that’s what we’re looking for,” said newly-named yachting coach Angus Winthorpe, University alumnus and Nantucket native. “Those chaps are just natural out there.” Winthorpe, a brother of the Sigma Chi fraternity during his time in Charlottesville, has already begun an aggressive recruiting campaign. The crown jewel of his inaugural class would be 17-year
old phenom Christian “Quint” Hamilton V of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, though he is also in talks with coaches at Princeton and, his father’s and grandfather’s alma mater, Washington and Lee. The future student-athletes will enjoy an additional bonus as members of the University yachting and squash teams, as the second part of Littlepage’s announcement was their official sponsorship by the popular, whale-spangled clothing company, Vineyard Vines. Coowners Sam Elmer and Ian and Shep Murray expressed their excitement at this new partnership. “U.Va. has been good to us,” Shep Murray said, “We’re happy to return that favor to the brothers and sisters of the whale in Charlottesville.” Athletics officials expect that the new teams will bring in a huge new crop of athletics supporters
Courtesy Virginia Athletics
“A day without newspapers is like a day wearing pants” - Jerry Coleman
who, in Littlepage’s words, “probably have too much money on their hands anyway.” Littlepage hopes to gain student support from the widely acclaimed Hoo Crew as well, though there is some speculation as to whether or not fourth-year president Haider Arshad’s orange wig would deny him entrance to the Boar’s Head or the Mount Vernon Yacht Club, the
future teams’ home bases. There are also rumors Littlepage may announce yet another team which would allow the yacht and squash stars to become twosport athletes. The first-ever University beer pong team may be on the rise, though it will first have to overcome officiating rules because, according to Winthorpe, “You gotta watch those elbows, bro.”
Coaches scout old dorm quad for new talent Recruiting coordinator Chip West impressed by simplicity of two-hand touch defense Robert the Younger Associate Senator
Courtesy Virginia Athletics
The No. 3 Virginia women’s rowing team won 10 of their 12 races this weekend at the Pac-12 Challenge, including taking three of four against each No. 13 Stanford and No. 6 USC.
As Virginia fans are well aware, the Cavalier football team has endured some recent hardships. After an inspiring eight-win season and Chick-Fil-A bowl berth in 2011, the team regressed to four wins in 2012 and to just two wins in 2013. With an upset fan base and season ticket sales plummeting, coach Mike London and his staff knew that change would be necessary to right the ship. Known as a great recruiter, London set out with the goal of collecting another respectable recruiting class, which he did in February, signing a class that featured two five star players — Andrew Brown and Quin Blanding. However upset with his team’s performance halfway through spring practices, London knew that he and his staff needed a boost in order to save their jobs. So, in an unlikely turn of events, London and recruiting coordinator Chip West have been scouting a new area for the next Cavalier star — the quad at the McCormick Dormoratories, or old dorms. “Talent wins football games,” London said. “Anytime you can look to add talent, that’s going to help
your team win games, and I know I’ve seen a lot of potential out on that field.” Due to the increased school tours after the University released admissions decisions, London and his staff began to infiltrate tour groups — disguised as parents — beginning last month to scout the football talent at the University during pick-up games. But after two weeks on the job, West — the lead recruiter for Brown and Blanding — decided to focus the search solely in the old dorm quad. “Look, I’ve been around the game a long time, and I know talent,” West said. “I watched several games throughout Grounds, but I couldn’t stop thinking about some of the heart and hustle I had seen while at old dorms. I talked to Mike [London] about it, and he gave me the go ahead to focus on that one area.” London asked for and was granted permission by the University to mount security cameras in strategic locations throughout the old dorm quad in order to capture game film of the first-years. London and West have spent the past two weeks scouting the quad starting Fridays at around 2 p.m. and have taken notes on selected students. Later that night, they watch the film from
their cameras, and then come back out Saturday in hopes of watching the students again. “I have been thoroughly impressed with the talent I have seen with my own eyes,” West said. “These kids just fly around, running crisp route patterns and then the quarterbacks seem to just effortlessly hit them in stride. When I was lucky enough to watch them play a tackle game, I was blown away by some of these kids' form. Missed tackles plagued us last season, and I think we might have our solution right here. I just wonder how we missed some of these guys out of high school.” After his final visit Saturday, March 29, London has now offered upwards of 15 students a spot on the team. He expects at least 10 to earn a scholarship. Some critics have questioned whether these students — many of whom have never been on a serious weight program before — can physically last on the gridiron. London, though not necessarily known to develop talent, has no doubt that these first-years have what it takes. “With hustle, I think any of these kids out here can make it on our football team,” London said. “I’m excited about what these kids can add to the future of Virginia football.”