Morning Jac: Field Side at Dick's for MCLA Semis
It's partly cloudy and brisk on the outdoor press box level of Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., and we're almost ready to roll. I arrived last night at midnight (misread the A.M. and P.M. on Expedia) and it was pouring. Woke up this morning and there was actually sun coming through my hotel window.
I spoke with the director of event management here at Dick's and he said that they had to repaint the main field here because it was washed out last night. Dayton and St. Thomas, the two teams playing in the first semifinal here at 10 a.m. MDT, were kept off the field for an extra 15 minutes to protect the surface, which will endure four games today, culminating with tonight's grudge match between Michigan and Arizona State.
The expectation is for it to remain partly cloudy with chance of rain later today. As the event manager director said, "Hopefully it will rain everywhere else in Denver and not here." That would be nice.
I was walking to pick up my credential when I bumped into the Dayton team, walking in pairs and without chatter from their vans to the locker room. As was outlined in a story I wrote earlier this spring, Flyers head coach Charlie Mark is a Navy man and runs his team with a no-nonsense style.
Chatting with Mark, he told me Dayton's plan to stop the high-powered St. Thomas offense as well as Joe Costello, the best player in Division II the past two seaons. He admitted that he's a "note card" guy, and writes down things that worked and things that didn't from previous tournaments. He said he went over the cards from last year, and that Dayton has fixed all of its mistakes, and that has led to its success.
Mercifully, St. Thomas is wearing new uniforms with numbers that can actually be read from the press box. Last year, they had white uniforms with silver numbers, which was a nightmare. Dayton will be wearing their away blues with red numbers.
The two Division I semifinals (BYU vs. Colorado State 4 p.m. MDT; Michigan vs. Arizona State, 7 p.m. MDT) will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports, but if you're interesting in watching the two D-II semis, they'll be available on Collegelax.tv.
I'll have game stories on each of the semifinals over the course of the day here on LaxMagazine.com.