Laker Nation!

When I left my house to go to Old Westbury Practice, friday morning, it was with some hesitation.  My son Karl and his girlfriend Elise, were both sick.  Karl had been battling something for almost two weeks and Elise was just beginning to have symptoms.  I can still remember the first time he was sick as a 6 month old.  I felt helpless then, and felt pretty much the same way, this time.  There was nothing I could do for them, so off I went.  After practice, I began the trek to Erie, for Saturday’s big PSAC game versus Lock Haven, a dangerous team coming off a tough game against East Stroudsburg, where they gave the Warriors all they could handle, at least for a half.

It was a difficult ride out of the City, as every which way seemed to have some kind of traffic problem.  By the time I arrived in Erie and got settled into the hotel, it was time to watch the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Basketball.  I watched the first game, but only caught a few minutes of the Notre Dame – UCONN game, before falling asleep.  I was up and at em, early yesterday (Saturday), getting a workout in before heading to The Original Breakfast Place for a delicious meal.  The place was packed, so I ate at the counter.  The fast, friendly service was only topped by the food itself.  This is exactly the kind of place you think of when you are considering a real good out of town breakfast, and the kind of place everyone wishes, they had in their own town.

As Good as it looks!

I drove to Mercyhurst and was early enough to find parking right behind Tullio Field.  I was able to mingle with the other Laker Parents, as they began to arrive.  The weather was shaping up beautifully (no jacket required), and the energy was palpable, when the Lady Lakers took the field!  With a large crowd in attendance, including notable alumni Gabby Gravino, Grace Lawson and Taylor Izzo, Mercyhurst seemed primed for a big day.  As has been their way, they jumped out to an early lead, forcing the Bald Eagles to take a time out.  This time, the Lakers came out of the time out, and scored two more quick goals on their way to an 8-4 halftime lead.  The second half would be more of the same as the Lakers got all around great efforts out of so many players, they never really let Lock Haven into the game.  As they marched off the field with a 15-8 victory, the Lady Lakers were met by the large crowd of family and friends,  and continued down to ring the bell (a tradition that never gets old)!

Let’s go Ring the Bell!

As great as the game was, the post game festivities may have been better (okay that may be an overstatement).  The indoor/outdoor tailgate at the Student Union was one for the ages.  The amount, and variety of food prepared with warmth and love, by family and friends (great pasta, gravy and meatballs – Marco!), is an example of the strength of this extended Team Family.  Seeing the players get to enjoy the food and spend time with friends and family, after a very satisfying game, was priceless.  My own time with Diana, was exactly that.

Dads and their Daughters!  Laker Nation!

Not wanting the party to end, much of it migrated to the Stone, where the bonding continued, before everyone began to get on their way.  I went back to Diana’s apartment to continue the visit, but soon realized it was time for the Old Man to get out of there. 

I got up this morning, with some of the same symptoms I had seen at home.  I partially loaded the car before I got some breakfast (the Hotel variety-not on yesterday’s level), and was given a stark reminder of the impending end of Diana’s time at Mercyhurst.  A large bin filled with clothes she won’t need, for me to take home.  I am about to get everything together and hit the road for home, hoping I am not going to have the same illness as Karl and Elise.  I plan on being back in Erie on Wednesday, when the Lakers take on the Griffins of Seton Hill.

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