The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Class of 2003 cements student status, shares lives with campus community

 Class of 2003 cements student status, shares lives with campus community
Class of 2003 cements student status, shares lives with campus community

Class of 2003 cements student status, shares lives with campus community

As 2003 winds down, we’ve prepared to say tearful farewells to many of our departing athletes. Vic Viloria, Diego Walsh, Kevin Garrett, Quinton Ross and Brice Dumais have carved their names in headlines for several years. This class, however, is filled with more than great athletes – it’s full of great people.

Four years ago, I entered this university with a group of people who took every opportunity to absorb college life beyond a court, field or pool. The athletes this campus will truly miss are those who somehow made an impact on our collegiate experience. Some things are forever etched in our memories:

  • Seeing Thornton “T.C.” Chandler coax swimmers out of the pool. The 6-foot-3-inch 270-plus pound offensive lineman was hypnotized into playing a lifeguard in his first year. He played that part entertainingly well – about as well as he played a large woman in an acting class.
  • Before T.C. ever blew his lifeguard whistle, Kevin Friedland was on stage shaking his bon-bon as Ricky Martin. Friedland, a defender on the soccer team, graduated in December. He was also hypnotized at the same program, resulting in his tush girating in front of nearly 400 people.
  • Johnny Freeman amazing crowds whenever he sat down at the piano. Freeman, a wide receiver, can find the chords and melody of any contemporary song. I’m still waiting on his version of “In Da Club.” In a male pageant, Freeman was asked what was the best thing a black woman could be or do for a black man. His answer? “Meals, thighs . . . and love.” Freeman tried to clarify, but his words will live in Crimson and Cream history.
  • Kaci Alexander’s transformation into a confident woman and athlete. Alexander, a senior post player for the women’s basketball team, started out a tall, shy girl with a decent post game. Today, Alexander has an infectious personality that glows whenever she’s around. And she still has a good post game.
  • Billy Jack Williams was the smallest linebacker that anyone had ever seen. I was afraid for him – until I saw him hit someone in practice. Ouch. The only thing that outgrew his afro was his sense of humor. His participation in the Phenomenal Love program was a breath of fresh air and showed that athletes care about things and people outside of their sport.
  • Jibran Kelley, a forward for the basketball team, always seemed to find a party – or make one wherever he was. And he did it while staying out of trouble; proof of Kelley’s genuine nature and cross-campus appeal. Kelley has crossed every boundary that exists at a cliquish private school.
  • Lianne Coombe still remains the most beautiful woman on campus who could kick my you-know-what. Coombe commands attention immediately with her stature as a shot putter and keeps it with her smile. She remains one of the student athletes who really is a student before she’s an athlete.
  • What will this campus be like without the bike-riding Swedes? Lisa and Lotta Wanberg have narrowly missed many students on sidewalks. For two years, I thought there was one girl on a bike who just knew how to pedal really, really fast. I found out they were twins and when I saw them in the water, they proved me right: they both know how to go really, really fast.

    Whether we like it or not, student athletes on a college campus are idolized. In our enclosed society, there are a few stars and most or all of them are athletes. We watch them play (those of us who attend the games) and a small part of us lights up when one of the more noticeable personalities is in our class.

    No matter how fast they run or swim, how high they jump or how strong they are, our student athletes have found a way to enjoy life on the campus in ways that UT or Texas A & M athletes could probably not imagine. We laughed at some and cheered for others, but at the end of the day, the year or the college career, it becomes overwhelmingly clear. They’re our classmates and fellow students. They are us, and the Class of 2003 is a complete family.

    Now if we can get that hypnotist for the reunion . . .

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