Today is the final game that the Cincinnati seniors will play at home. It's been a long road for all of them. It's gotta be bittersweet to see it coming to an end. Since I wasn't a player, I asked someone who was about the emotion, the preparation, and the stories behind senior day. That man is Randy Martinez.
Randy was a guard on last year's team. He was a team captain. They called him Mr McSaucey. Is that the best nickname of all time? Maybe. One of the center pieces of last year's team was gracious enough to share his time with me on this busy Thanksgiving week. Thank you to Randy. Thank you to everyone reading this. I hope your holiday was happy and safe.
A lot. It was in the front of my mind the whole week. Being one of the only schools in the nation that practices and plays its games in the same stadium, you build a lot of memories over 5 years. Alex Hoffman, Evan Davis and I sat back after the Thursday practice and just reminisced about the crazy moments we've had there. Its a great place to play and I loved every game in the Nip.
What were your emotions before the game?
I tried to remember every moment of that day. From pregame meal to warm-ups I wanted every moment to sink in. I got to share the day with my parents and so it was very emotional and intense (considering what we were playing for). I wanted more than anything to have a great lasting memory in my last game in the Nip and I think I did that.
You guys clinched a share of the Big East title on the last game of the season. How special was that for you and the rest of your senior class?
It meant everything to me and my senior class to get that win. We won 3 Big East Championships in 4 years and there aren't too many teams that can say they accomplished that. It was hands down the best day of my career, and to do it in Nippert was the best part.
Do you have any good stories from that day?
None that I can share hahah.
Can you talk a little about Walter Stewart, the impact he had on the field, in the locker room?
Walter is the kind of teammate you love and hate at the same time haha. I have to explain that comment though. You love the fact that he's on your team but you hate to practice against him because he never goes half speed. He doesn't take plays off, he doesn't complain when he's tired, we all know how talented he is and on top of all that he can get a defense to play out of their minds because they see how hard he works and it rubs off. He loves football more than anyone I know and his passion for UC is out of this world. If you get one Walter Stewart in your program every four years you're set. Whatever he does after this year he will be successful in, he's just that type of guy.
What words would you tell your former teammates if you got to speak to them Friday night?
I would tell them that no matter how many memories they've had at UC this game will always be the one that stands out, so make it a good one. This is the type of game as an athlete that you never think will come but always does. I know how hard they work so they don't need a pep talk or a "get-hype" speech. Just give them a ball blow the whistle and stand back
Thanks a lot to Randy once again. You can follow him on twitter @RandEazy53. He's a great follow.