I’ve been feeling a little Flagler nostalgia lately.
Maybe it was the fact that basketball season is around the corner and I’m not getting ready to be on the radio for the first time in a long time.
Maybe it was the fact that volleyball season was coming to a close and I hadn’t seen one match for the first time since I came to Flagler way back in 2004.
You might say, “Devon, you’ve been a graduate for six months, that’s barely enough time to get nostalgic.” But when you’re so immersed in everything at a place for four years, especially the way I was in Flagler Sports, having that withdrawn from your life leaves a pretty big hole.
So last night, I decided to make the one-and-a-half-hour trip across I-4 and up I-95 to catch Flagler Volleyball taking on hated rival Embry-Riddle, a rivalry I’ve chronicled at length in the past.
It was an odd experience to be in the gym just as a fan, no notepad, no voice recorder, no stat sheet, just kind of sitting there.
I caught up with and chitchatted with Coach Clark, Coach Mott, Coach Lynch and Coach Barnett, and enjoyed a great game played by the Flagler women (I’d expect nothing less) as they wiped the floor with an Embry-Riddle team that had lost two matches all season, one more time for a 3-0 sweep.
I want to thank Riddle for sending some sort of contingency of fans to the game, the banter between their cheering section and the Saints fans made the atmosphere a little more electric. But Eagles fans, if you could leave the “Flagler High School” chants at home, it’d probably be beneficial to save you all from looking stupid.
Things have changed at Flagler since that chant became popular. We’re NCAA now. You can have your Florida Sun Conference and your NAIA Tournaments. Flagler is on the rise. But keep on enjoying that even keel, it suits you all so well.
Some notes on Flagler Volleyball, before I move on to my football picks for the week:
- I’ve only seen four years of Volleyball at Flagler but I’m not afraid to say that Justine Burkhardt is the best volleyball player that the school has seen. She’s far and away the best player on the court whenever she plays, and I mean that as no disrespect to any of the other players on Flagler. And she’ll be a senior next year, so anyone who hasn’t been out to watch the team yet has this Saturday and another full year to watch her play.
- The effort those players put out when they step on that floor against a Riddle or a SCAD is inspiring. There were balls that I didn’t think there was a chance in the world would be hit that they got to and turned into points. Here’s hoping with a playoff spot on the line next year, the Saints can channel that same intensity.
- I was impressed with the turnout at the game for the Flagler side, but when it’s matched in support for the opposing team, they still need more student support! What keeps you away from these games? There’s not that much to do on a Thursday at 7. Support your Saints! The next chance is Saturday, it’s senior day and seniors Sarah Spraggins, Leah Melton, Jessica Wedemyer, Kelly Boese have been integral parts of the teams since each of them arrived at Flagler, they deserve a good going out party.
Overall, it was great to be back in Flagler Gym and that won’t be the last time I make a trip up to old St. Augustine. GO Saints!
Last week I took an unannounced bye, cause we all need a little vacation this week the picks are simple and without explanation:
Bills, Bears, Jags, Ravens, Bucs, Vikes, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos, Giants, Falcons, Eagles, Colts, Steelers. And of course: Gators over Bulldogs 45-35.
Have a great week everyone and get out and support Saints Volleyball tomorrow. It’s a great warm-up for Florida vs. Georgia.