TREBBY: Good times, even better people

The men’s soccer team made me feel more welcome than even I think it should have over its past two seasons.

I’ve been lucky enough to broadcast its games over the past two seasons for Marquette Radio and to be this paper’s beat writer for the team this past season.

I was a soccer fan to begin this whole experience, so that made my introduction a bit easier. Once a few of the players (some of the more ruthless upperclassmen on the 2011 team) found out I was an Arsenal fan, it was easy to integrate me into the team (and by integrate, I mean mock me whenever Arsenal lost, which happened more than desired).

My expectations for the past two years were far surpassed, though. I went into it thinking I was going to have a job to do in broadcasting games and writing. In my mind, there was an imaginary line as to how close I could actually get to know the team.

Boy, was I wrong.

Some of the best people I’ve ever met are part of that program. I’ve had countless talks with coaches and players about everything but soccer, conversations I will remember.

I also learned a few things, too. First, it’s tough to travel as a team if you don’t have your own jet. People are constantly staring at you, especially when one of the players is 6-foot-7. I will never forget walking through an airport standing next to Axel Sjoberg. The whole time I thought something was wrong with my hair because everyone kept staring.

These guys represented Marquette in such a fantastic manner. They talked to everyone who came up to them with a smile and were always willing to say hello.

I’ll never forget how, after a loss at Notre Dame this past season, Axel and Ryan Robb took pictures with a youth girls soccer team there to watch the game. The result would have killed me. I wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone. They were smiling and were still able to be themselves.

Through my talks with the coaching staff, I know the program is going to be one of college soccer’s best for many years to come.

They want to do things the right way and want to do it with good people. The passion coach Louis Bennett and his staff have for the game is evident.

When I would go to Valley Fields for an interview after practice, I’d end up there for an hour, talking about the program and whatever else was going on. I love passionate people who love what they do, and every person involved with this team is just that.

I also got to know the team’s sports information director, Luke LeNoble, who will tell you he is the best at what he does. While he is a bit unorthodox, he’s is probably right. All the times I would contact him later than I should have to get interviews or whatever I needed to do my job were handled smoothly and on time.

I hope I’m not done broadcasting this team or covering them in some way, because it’s been too much fun. Every road trip, win or loss, has given me a memory I will never forget. The one lasting memory, regardless of whether it’s over, is that the opportunities I was presented with because of the team are amazing.

The team’s season-ending banquet was last night, and I unfortunately couldn’t attend, so I hope everyone reads this and knows it’s been absolutely fantastic and has meant a lot to me. I will remember you as quality players, but it’s cool knowing I made a few friends along the way.

Thanks, guys. I’ll see you around.