Sophomore Marc Spicijaric
March 27, 2007
In the third edition of the Illini Big Ten Journal, sophomore Marc Spicijaric talks about the Illini's experiences during Spring Break in Louisiana.
Traveling to LSU for break was very exciting. We were very eager to play a top team and start the last leg of our season. It also helped to travel into some warm weather and get a tan.
We spent our first few days in Baton Rouge practicing and getting some sun. We had a few good practices and also had a lot of fun with team activities. We split up into groups and had the Junior's vs. the World. The juniors were Ruben, Brandon, Rowe and Kevin and the world was myself, GD, k hall (Kevin Hall, manager), smalls (Jordan Knue) and Sasha. We played a bootleg version of Jenga, which the juniors won, and then we played a game of charades where the world won that.
Come match day, everyone was excited to go out and play LSU. Unfortunately, we lost and we all have a bitter taste from losing to them. It was definitely not our best performance and we know that we could beat them on any other day.
Coming off a poor performance, everyone was eager to have some fun and relax over the rest of Spring Break. On Wednesday, we went to the YMCA for activity day where most of us practiced, but others lifted or swam and then relaxed by the pool. We also had a four-mile run around a massive lake that from the street didn't look that big. Needless to say, we were all really sore and tired after that and wanted to sleep.
On Thursday, we got to play paintball with some really good players that actually go to competitions like the ones you can watch on ESPN. We played against them for a few games and got killed. After getting dominated, we went back to the Juniors versus the World again where the World won that competition. Brandon and I got the worst bruises of the entire group, but they were worth it and we all had a ton of fun.
After that, we had another activity day at the YMCA and then drove to New Orleans. When we got to New Orleans on Thursday, we went to eat at a local restaurant called House of Blues, where Switchfoot was performing live, and tried some local favorites of gumbo and jambalaya. The jambalaya came with habanero peppers, which is said to be the hottest pepper in the world. Brandon, GD, Kevin and I all ate one and all suffered pretty badly, but it was a fun experience. After that, Ruben, K-hall, Jordan and I went down to the famous Bourbon Street and walked that for a little over and hour, which was a really cool experience.
On Friday, we woke up pretty early to do some community service and help try and rebuild the city. We first went to a house and laid sod down for victims of Hurricane Katrina. After that, we planted flowers in the city. We then drove around the city, and in some parts it looked like the hurricane hit yesterday minus the water. It was amazing how much damage there was and how there is nothing left of so many houses. Houses were completely empty as bricks, roofs and windows were completely torn off. It was really scary to think that people lived there and I can't imagine what it would be like to come home after the hurricane and see my house in that condition.
After the tour, we went to the hotel to relax and had lunch at a local sandwich place and then walked around the city some more. We had a kid's clinic that afternoon and had a lot of fun with the kids that came out. After the clinic, they showed us the levy that broke and allowed the lake to flood part of the city. After the tour, we went to the hotel and had dinner before just spending the rest of the night out on the town.
We left New Orleans early Saturday morning, and while it was a great experience overall, I am glad to be back in Champaign.
This weekend we have our match against Northwestern, so hope you guys are going to make it out for that. Until Next time,
Marc "Mr. Clutch" Spicijaric