Now that the temperature is starting to fall it is starting to feel more and more like opening day here in Monroe. It is always funny to me that baseball players are referred to as the “boys of summer” when anyone who has been apart of college baseball can tell you that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is always that first cold day that lets me know that the season is approaching quickly.
The excitement level for most baseball fans usually starts to climb this time of year as football is wrapping up the regular season. This year is a little different around here as our football team has secured a spot in its first ever bowl game. That statement can be a little misleading as our football team has only been competing in the FBS division since 1994 and they enjoyed much success at the then 1-AA level including a National Championship in 1987. While this may not seem like a huge accomplishment to the casual sports fan, it is viewed a little different around here. Not only is it a sign of a great year by our football players and coaches it is also a sign that things here at ULM, specifically in our athletic department, are on the upswing. Our baseball team advanced to the Baton Rouge Regional in 2012 making the first NCAA Postseason appearance since 2000. It was a great experience for and something that I am sure not one of our players or coaches will ever forget.
When we finished our season last year in Baton Rouge the same phrase kept being mentioned by our players. “Raised the Bar” could be heard in conversations on the bus ride home and seen on twitter accounts of many of our fans and players. It became somewhat of an unofficial motto of our athletic department. No t-shirts or billboards but you kept hearing that phrase over and over again. Now that our football team has made history by being selected for the Independence Bowl it has no question “Raised the Bar” for all of us.
We will have our chance to continue the positive results once the 2013 season begins on February 15 against Wake Forest. However, for the next few weeks I am really looking forward to being a fan of our football team. I am going to travel to the bowl game and take part in the pep rally’s. I am going to take full advantage of this because most coaches rarely get to sit back and enjoy a sporting event as just a fan. Even though it is starting to feel like baseball season the ULM fan in me is looking forward to watching one more football game.
Assistant Baseball Coach/ Recruiting Coordinator
University of Louisiana @ Monroe
@corybarton8 – twitter