Oh man it’s tournament time. Last night was the qualifying of the ITA tournament hosted at Whitman. Had a bunch of great matches last night. Whitman ended up getting a whopping 15 players in the main draw and 7 doubles teams in the draw. Below is the link to the updated draws.

Cheers

Coach

draws-9-24

2016 Blue Mountain Challenge

Tradition … it’s the glue that holds programs and people together. I’m a big believer in traditions and one of my favorite opening year traditions is the Blue Mountain Challenge. As a team we walk/jog/run up an old road leading into the Blue Mountains. Its a 2 mile uphill grind that ends at the Washington-Oregon Border. Big congratulations to Zach and Gary who ran the entire challenge! They join Conor Holton-Burke as the only players that have ran the entire challenge!

This year’s BMC had a slight twist. Normally after the BMC we head out for a team dinner. This year, due to some Friday afternoon classes, we got a late start and wouldn’t get down until dusk. I figured this gave me another opportunity to test out my cooking skills. With some advice and guidance from Chef Andrae (of Andre Kitchen) I decided to smoke/bbq a pork shoulder and beef brisket. First off I used some of Andrae’s special homemade pork rub (thanks Andrae!) and used his advice on seasoning the brisket (shhh it’s a secret). I let the meat sit in the fridge for almost 10 hours letting the seasonings do their magic. Then I moved them to my trustee Traeger and smoked them from 11pm until 7am. In the morning I added a bit heat raising the temp to 220 and let them cook until 3pm (about 16 hours of cooking). Wrapped all up tight in foil and transported in a color along with some salads, chips and watermelon for dinner in the Blues.

I’m pretty critical of my cooking but the meat was absolutely amazing. Best I have done and I’m looking forward to trying it again!

Have a great weekend!

Serving 5-4 in the 3rd

Coach

Recap of opening week.

Without a doubt the hardest opening week I have seen at Whitman. Just two days into the semester and Whitman student passed away. This was especially rough as he was a good friend to many of the upper classmen on the team. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Fishman family.

Academics and the Yellow Jersey
I have a tradition of starting out each semester by giving the yellow jersey to the student-athlete who had the biggest academic improvement the previous semester. Trevor had an exceptional semester and starts the year off with the coveted jersey. Trevor wasn’t the only one who had marked improvement in their grades. In fact, the vast majority of team had a higher GPA during season that in the off season. Our team GPA in the fall was a tad under a 3.2 and in the spring it was nearly a 3.4! I always find it interesting that typically the team does better academically during the competitive season than the off season.
Another tradition with the team is I string rackets for players who had an outstanding academic semester: above 3.7 GPA is worth 2 rackets a week and above a 3.5 is worth 1 racket a week. Looks like I will be busy as 5 guys had above a 3.5 and 1 person had about a 3.7! Well done guys!

Marshmellow Challenge
As with last year I ended our first team meeting with a team building exercise called the marshmellow challenge. There is a website and TED talk dedicated to the MMC but basically it’s an exercise in teamwork. Each team has 20 uncooked spaghetti noodles, a yard of tape, a yard of string and a marshmellow. They then have 18 minutes to build a structure to support their marshmellow. The winning team of the 2016 Marshmellow Challenge is Rajul, Luke, Joey and Zach!!!!
Note click on a picture to open a full sized photo.

Off to the Fair
One of things I really love to do in the fall season is get the team off campus and I strive to make at least three special events for them. By getting together, off campus and off the courts the guys spend quality time with each other and bond over common experiences. One the first activities we do each year is head to the Walla Walla County Fair and Demo Derby. Besides wandering around the fair and eating horribly bad food for you (but oh so yummy) is the demolition derby. Sounds crazy but this is an incredibly fun evening activity. In fact, this event sells out each year. And not to be disappointed it was an EPIC evening! Note – unfortunately there is always a residence hall meeting demo derby night so first years aren’t allowed to go. Bummer for them but something to look forward to next year.


We are all looking forward to getting on a normal schedule this week.

Until next time

Serving 5-4 in the 3rd
Coach

It’s back!!!

For years I was serious blogger about all things Whitman tennis. Well about a year ago the blog was hacked via a WordPress plugin that was compromised. I didn’t have the time or energy to fix it and I stopped blogging. After conversing with some parents I realized that some people enjoyed the blog and it was a great way for parents & friends to stay informed about Whitman tennis. So after a few weeks of work I was able to get most of the blog back up and I’m excited to start again.

Also very excited to try and integrate a photo gallery plugin into the blog. After some research I decided to use Envira. It looks like a solid gallery, plugin and it works with Adobe Lightroom. So I took the leap and purchased the gold version and here is the first gallery..couple simple pictures from my solo backpacking trip into the Wenaha Wilderness.

Serving 5-4 in the 3rd
Coach

Walla Walla Finalist for West’s Food Town!

SUNSET MAGAZINE SELECTS WALLA WALLA AS ONE OF FOUR FINALISTS FOR THE WEST’S BEST FOOD TOWN AS PART OF INAUGURAL TRAVEL AWARDS

 

(WALLA WALLA, Wash.)—Walla Walla has been named one of four finalists in the Best Food Town category of Sunset Magazine’s first-ever Travel Awards, adding to a growing list of accolades the capital of Washington wine country has received for its culinary prowess in recent years.

 

Singled out for its many culinary amenities – from the iconic Walla Walla Sweet Onion to acclaimed restaurants and distinguished chefs, as well as its abundance of local farms and ranches – Walla Walla joins three other cities nominated for the award from 13 western States, British Columbia and Alberta.

 

The Best Food Town award, according to Sunset, “honors a western city or town for offering a consummate culinary experience, with a collection of restaurants, markets and other food offerings that make it a destination for foodies of all ages.”

 

“Part of what makes Walla Walla an outstanding place to visit is the quality and diversity of our culinary scene,” said Ron Peck, executive director of Tourism Walla Walla. “While the roots of our culinary traditions began more than 100 years ago with the Walla Walla Sweet Onion – the official vegetable of Washington state – we have transformed into a destination in which restaurants, chefs, community events, wineries, and education have combined to create a thriving food culture.”

 

The winning Food Town, determined by a 12-member advisory board, will be announced in May and featured in the June 2015 issue of Sunset.

 

Walla Walla’s food scene has been gaining national recognition in recent years. In both 2012 and 2013, Walla Walla was named a finalist in the Best Small Town For Food category by Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road” competition. In 2012, Walla Walla was also named one of the country’s top eight Best Small Towns For Food by culinary website TheDailyMeal.com.

 

The Best Food Town award is one of 33 categories in the Sunset Travel Awards program, which also spotlights cultural attractions, lodging, spas/wellness and guided trips.

 

About Walla Walla:

The capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.wallawalla.org.