A time to reflect on Bradley athletics

As we turn the page on another semester of Bradley Athletics, it is time to reflect on the semester of many ups and many downs for our fall season and the beginning of the winter season. We too, in the sports section of The Scout, are turning the page with a new administration, as we say goodbye to longtime sports editor, Alex Ross.

We have seen triumph in the form of a Missouri Valley Conference Soccer Championship and a first round upset of Northwestern for the second time this season. We also have seen triumph in the form of an appearance in the MVC tournament for the first time since 2005 by our volleyball team. Finally, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have gotten off to solid starts to their season.

The first semester of Bradley Athletics has seen its shortcomings as well. As we saw with the men’s basketball program, senior Jordan Prosser was suspended four games and missed key away games including Illinois and Arizona State, which the Braves lost. That’s not the way you want to start the season, especially because Prosser is a senior leader on the team.

The women’s basketball team started off strong with two big victories to start the season. But then they lost four straight games, and their upcoming non-conference schedule is just getting harder.

Yes, the negatives were there for some of Bradley’s teams this semester, but the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot.

Soccer had it’s success making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, and Coach Jim DeRose has etched his name in Bradley athletics fame forever.

Coach Jenny Maurer and the volleyball program showed vast improvement from last season and has turned the team around from the laughing stock of the MVC to legitimate contenders for years to come.

The men’s basketball team has started the season well. Although they have two losses on the season so far, this team shows a lot of depth and true heart to potentially make a run in the MVC tournament come March.

See, the surface has only been scratched with all the positives that are happening in Bradley Athletics. Don’t forget about the countless student-athletes who receive weekly and seasonal awards for their performances on the field and in the classroom. Don’t forget about the great work that each team does for our community, as we saw every team sport the “Central Illinois Strong” t-shirt on their road trips the last couple weeks.

Braves fans, it is time to realize that our sports teams are itching for something even bigger, and it is our time to return the favor. We, as Bradley students and Bradley Braves, need to come back from winter break ready to attend basketball games both at the Civic Center and Renaissance Coliseum.

It is our responsibility to realize that Bradley Athletics is on the up.

When I sit down with coaches from week to week, there seems to be a different attitude about Bradley Athletics than there has been in recent memory. Coaches are excited about their teams. Administrators are ready to promote every sport. Every student-athlete is prepared to take the courts and fields and dominate their opponents.

As we move forward to spring semester, I first want to thank Alex for the countless time and effort he has put toward improving the sports section. I also want to thank Alex for mentoring me through the whole transition process. Know that I am grateful.

It is now time to buy into our sports teams here at Bradley and support our teams. Every team, no matter what sport it is, is on the horizon of greatness.

Aaron Freeman is a sophomore sports communication major from Wheeling, IL..

Direct comments, questions and other responses to anfreeman@mail.bradley.edu.