BOSTON — Just an hour away from their last road trip, captains Morgan Janusc and Cheryl White should be nervous.
They should be the last ones to get on that bus. They should be the ones to stall the trip and hang on to some of the best years of their lives. But not hanging on to the past is what makes them leaders. That is the thing that has guided them through roller coaster seasons. That is what drives them this weekend.
“Basically you cannot worry about it and sit there and think about it and make sure it is not the last weekend,” White said. “We cannot take a different approach and we have to approach every game with the same focus.”
As they take a four-hour drive to Boston, the duo along with the rest of their teammates is looking to continue one of the best seasons in school history. A season that has seen a program go from unnoticed on campus into a program that is starting to gain national attention.
For a team that could be on pins and needles, they are anything but. In the locker room, they are listening to music all while trying to enjoy a game they have been playing since they were children.
“It is pretty routine by now and we do the same things to get the team ready,” Janusc said. “Every weekend is different and you try and make as many people happy as possible.”
The same could also be said for the coaches.
Weekends like these are why head coach Guy Perron and his staff work long hours. The weekend’s stakes would lead many coaches to obsess over tactics every minute. Instead, Perron is a mirror image of his players relaxed. On the bus ride he talks about what sports he played as a kid and what got him into coaching.
Talking? Not being nervous? What kind of a coach does that?
Not Perron. Then again, Perron has done a lot of things that most coaches, well most alumni do not even do. Instead of just giving money back to his alma mater, he has given his life.
This night, Perron is sitting down with each of his lines. Ten of his players are in one room, talking about what they need to do for the next game that is why they are not nervous.
“I think you prepare all week to play games and when it comes down to playing on a road trip, everything has a place and a time to get done,” Perron said. “It is just a matter of players playing and coaches coaching.”
Its like their shirts say, “A stronger ‘I’ makes a better ‘we.’” This mentality has led them to laughing as a group, crying as a group, winning as a group and losing as a group. If anything it has led them into being more than a group, but a family.
A family looking to make last season’s playoff absence a memory.
Then again, memories have led them to this point, into a hotel looking to extend a season. Not the point of no return, but something else.
A point of a new beginning which starts Saturday afternoon against Boston University.