Tuesday, June 11, 2013

FOV Cavalier of the Year #3/#4

From Old Virginia celebrates its birthday in a unique way: by recognizing one of Virginia's student-athletes as the Cavalier of the Year. What are the criteria for the award? You decide; that's the beauty. I nominate the 12 athletes that I think have been the most outstanding during the latest season of UVA athletics, and provide a short summary of their accomplishments. You choose the winner in a poll that goes up after all 12 have had their moment in the spotlight. The full list of nominees is here.

Over the next few weeks, two athletes at a time will be profiled, and you'll hear about what they've accomplished while representing Mr. Jefferson's University this year. The athletes are presented in a totally random order so as to hopefully not imply any endorsement one way or another. Athletes from all fields are considered; the point is to emphasize that UVA is about excellence across the entire department and doesn't shortchange its so-called non-revenue sports simply because they don't make headlines. The previous winners are Danny Hultzen (2009, 2011), Diego Restrepo (2010), and Mike Scott and Morgan Brian (2012); today's athlete's are Scott McWilliams and Casey Bocklet.

Scott McWilliams - Men's lacrosse - Defense

Team accomplishments:

-- None, really

Personal accomplishments:

-- USILA 2nd-team all-American
-- All-ACC selection
-- Fourth in the country in caused turnovers per game

It was a really rare bad year for UVA lacrosse.  A losing record and no NCAA tournament.  From an individual performance perspective, not a total loss, however; Mark Cockerton reached the 40-goal plateau and Tanner Scales was the ACC Freshman of the Year.  For the first time since Ken Clausen was a senior, though (and Clausen, too, was a COY nominee) a defenseman was the team's best player.

McWilliams was the only ACC defenseman picked to the all-ACC team, for starters, and his 36 caused turnovers were beaten by only four other players in the country (one of whom played 21 games to McWilliams's 15.)  Good enough to get him onto the all-American team, too.  McWilliams is a versatile player, as the coaches have found it possible to move him back and forth between defense and LSM as needed.  Clausen's accolades were higher, it's true....but then, Clausen was a senior for all that, and McWilliams's star is rising while only a junior.  You have to be a pretty good defenseman to be the best player on any UVA team, and we might've complained about the lack of offensive firepower at times, but there was a 40-goal scorer, too.  Scott McWilliams, though, after this year's performance, looks like the heart and soul of next year's team.

Casey Bocklet - Women's lacrosse - Attack

Team accomplishments:

-- Reached ACC semifinals
-- Reached NCAA quarterfinals

Personal accomplishments:

-- IWLCA 3rd-team all-American
-- IWLCA 2nd-team all-South
-- ACC all-tournament team
-- Tewaaraton Trophy watch list
-- Team scoring leader

Yes, Chris's sister, and not a moment too soon, actually.  Casey Bocklet is, as best I can tell, the first FOV-COY nominee to have transferred into the school; she spent her freshman season at Northwestern before moving to Charlottesville to follow in her brother's footsteps.  A good thing she did, too.  The team put her scoring punch to good use, upsetting six-seeded Georgetown in the NCAAs before losing in the quarterfinals (which is more impressive than saying the men's team made it there, because there's an extra round.)  She became almost instantly the team's best player, and as only a sophomore at that.

Much like Joe Harris, profiled earlier, Casey Bocklet wasn't, in the preseason, considered a top threat to UVA's foes; it was her on-field play rather than any preseason attention that got her added to the Tewaaraton watch list.  She played her best when it mattered, too, getting named to the ACC tournament team and scoring seven goals in three games in the NCAA tournament.  Admittedly, when you line up the list of top scorers, Bocklet isn't all that high up - until you pare away all the upperclassmen.  It put's "3rd-team all-American" in an even better light; Casey Bocklet is clearly one of the elite players of her class.  You're forgiven if you're thinking of accusing me of making today's nominees more about the future than the present, but nobody offers hope for the future for no reason.


There is no weekend review per se this week because only a couple notable things happened.  One was the super regional, which sucked.  But then, before the season we were wondering if maybe we could play well enough to host a regional, so perspective is a beautiful thing.  The announcers kept going on about UVA's fielding miscues, and yes OK, but if you ask me the reason things went downhill is simply because the pitchers all ended up being too hittable all at once.  And it's not like there were that many errors.  Fielders can't make mistakes if the ball isn't being hit.  And Wes Rea hit a ball that I think you can probably find on Klockner's field if you go looking for it.  Anyway, that makes it offically the offseason, so there you go.

Secondly, the ACC released its football schedule rotation, which also sucked.  If you're a football player being recruited to an ACC school, you now know which schools you will never play.  If you're a new season ticket holder and you hold onto that ticket for ten seasons, you will never see us play NC State.  Notre Dame isn't even in the conference and we'll play them more often than any of the Atlantic teams not named Louisville.  We're no longer in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  We're in the Coastal Conference, and our conference has agreed to a loose scheduling arrangement and a championship exhibition against the Atlantic Conference.  Essentially, we're back to the pre-1993 days, when we had seven conference games in an eight-team conference, only now, we've replaced Wake Forest, NC State, Clemson, and Maryland with Pitt, VT, Miami, and Louisville.  That's our new conference.

If we could get ND on board for real and pull someone else onboard for 16 teams, we could actually reduce the madness a little - but that would require good, creative scheduling decisions, and that in turn would be the first time that ever happened.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"We're no longer in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We're in the Coastal Conference, and our conference has agreed to a loose scheduling arrangement and a championship exhibition against the Atlantic Conference."


Love or hate the change, you have to recognize that the 2014 ACC is not a "conference" in the same way that the 1989 ACC was a "conference". It would require an extremely expansive definition of the term "conference" to treat those two entities as conceptually equivalent.

(That said, I would argue the real qualitative break came in 2005, when we abandoned round-robin play and moved to divisions. The current change merely completes the process of mitosis.)