Six hundred ninety-eight miles from Brunswick, the women’s basketball team is making a home for itself on one of the nation’s largest stages. For the second consecutive year, Bowdoin advanced to the NCAA Division III championship game on Friday evening after finishing off the St.
Strange things happen when you’re very high up. You lose perspective. Things get a little blurry. Vertigo sets in. And if this past week of women’s basketball has been one thing, it has been vertiginous. After walking all over Middlebury in Saturday’s semifinal, the Polar Bears suffered their first loss of the season, falling to third-ranked Tufts, 69–75, in the finals of the NESCAC tournament on Sunday.
Women’s basketball suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday, falling to the Tufts Jumbos 69–75 in the finals of the NESCAC tournament. Tufts, coming off a last-minute upset of second-ranked Amherst in yesterday afternoon’s semifinal, claimed its third NESACAC title in program history, its second since 2015, and secured an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
The top-seeded women’s basketball team (26-0, 11-0 NESCAC) finished off fifth-seeded Middlebury (16-7, 5-6 NESCAC) in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament on Saturday afternoon to advance to tomorrow’s final game. The Polar Bears have not advanced to the NESCAC final since 2015, when they fell to Tufts, and have not won the tournament since 2009, Head Coach Adrienne Shibles’s first year at the program.
Textbook. Flawless. Ideal. Unrivaled. Masterly. Exemplary. Superlative. Pick your adjective. But one descriptor will attach itself to Bowdoin women’s basketball regular season regardless of what thesaurus you pick up: perfect. The final weekend of the women’s basketball season was a one-two-punch that dispelled any doubt—if there was any still hanging around—about the Polar Bears’ on-court dominance.
For Bowdoin women’s basketball (20-0, NESCAC 6-0), the story of Saturday’s 65-56 victory over the Amherst Mammoths (17-2, NESCAC 4-1) began 315 days earlier in Rochester, Minnesota. It was there, in the Mayo Civic Center, that the undefeated Mammoths finished off the Polar Bears, 65-45, to earn their second consecutive Division III National Championship title.
With his introduction as the 30th head coach of Bowdoin football (1-8), B.J. Hammer finds himself in a familiar spot: a hole. For the second time in four years, Hammer, a native of Carmel, Indiana, is taking over a struggling football program.
J.B. Wells will not return as head coach of the football team, the College announced in a November 15 press release. Wells, who led the Polar Bears to a 1-8 record in his fourth season as head coach, will finish his career with an overall record of 3-31, having led the team through the longest losing streak in program history of 24 games between November of 2015 and November of 2018.
All animals are sad after intercourse, the old saying goes. And following their climactic victory over Bates, one got the sense that the Polar Bears were, too. The day after victory is a sadly neglected moment in history: what did David do the day after bringing down Goliath?
This is the story of the best football game in Bowdoin history. November 9, 1963: For nearly 70 years, the Polar Bears had faced off against their archrival, the University of Maine Black Bears, in the culminating game of the season.
On the door to Coach J.B. Wells’ office is a poster emblazoned with the likeness of quarterback phenom Peyton Manning and the following quotation: “I wouldn’t have a single touchdown without someone to catch it, and someone to block for it, and someone to create the play, and someone to call it, and someone to celebrate it with.” Still mired in a 23-game losing streak, the longest in the program’s history, the Polar Bears have learned the truth of Manning’s wisdom in a literal way.
From the Hubbard Grandstand, the wooden frame of what will become Bowdoin football’s new locker room and training facility is just visible over the visiting team stands. It has no roof, no walls, no siding. Just a wooden frame.
I’ve been accumulating a list of pithy yet uplifting one-liners to open the story about Bowdoin football’s first victory in three years. “Gameday in Brunswick began with the campus enshrouded in a thick, gloomy mist. By game time, the fog had burned off to reveal a breathtaking September day.” Just imagine the possibilities.
When I arrived at Whittier Field 15 minutes before the start of practice, the place was vacant—or so I thought. While I was sitting in the Hubbard Grandstand, enjoying the fruits of the $8 million dollar renovation, a voice called up to me from the field.
August, says Head Football Coach J.B. Wells, is a great time to be a football coach—anywhere. “Has any team in America had a bad offseason? No. At this point in the season, every team in America is undefeated,” said Wells.
It is no secret that the humanities are fighting to survive in the 21st century. Seeking to justify their existence to federal or state financiers, college presidents and skeptical parents, defenders of the humanities are producing page upon page, book upon book seeking to explain why they do what they do.
Now that spring has arrived in Brunswick, and it is tolerable, even pleasant, to be outdoors for more than a few minutes, I find it increasingly difficult to stay holed up in a library. Whereas the library provides a warm haven from the colder and darker Maine months, now the shining sun makes those same cubicles feel more like cells.
Last Friday, I attended a “speed networking” event hosted by the Bowdoin Career Planning Center. Clad in our finest business-casual attire, 30 or so of my peers and I schmoozed with successful Bowdoin alumni for a couple of hours, rehearsing our small-talk skills and learning how to pitch ourselves to potential employers.
Unless you’re a hermit or a Floridian, you know that Brunswick was unseasonably warm last week. The mid-February heatwave made for some confused seasonal activities. I, for one, have never had to circumnavigate mounds of snow in 50-degree weather.