Tag Archives: sports

JMU and Female Longboarders: Give ‘Em a Break

( Photo retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/101106985@N03/ )

Guys who longboard? They’re cool. Girls who longboard? They’re unskilled wannabees.

I’m not quite sure when gender became an indicator of ability to ride a piece of wood with four wheels, but as a girl who genuinely enjoys a good longboard ride at home, it irks me how I don’t feel comfortable bringing my longboard to JMU.

I’m a Delaware native which usually implies one of three things: I’m a northerner from around or near urban Wilmington, a redneck who lives amongst hundreds of acres of corn and soybeans, or I’m a beach bum. And although I do live in the middle of a cornfield, I am definitely a beach bum through and through. The beaches I grew up around, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, are family-oriented and include hundreds of massive beach houses and miles of flat, skinny side roads. So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to you that my summers were spent outside. And most of the time, my transportation during the day did not involve a car. I traveled with my feet, a bike, or—you guessed it—my longboard.

Okay, let me clarify before I continue: I would never claim to be an awesome or skilled longboarder. In fact, by most standards, I suck. The roads I typically ride on are flat and straight. The few times I went to our local skate park to ride, I sat on my butt as I rolled down the hill. But that doesn’t eliminate one factor—I have fun. I thoroughly and genuinely enjoy longboarding.

When I came to JMU, I was keenly aware of how many hills existed here. I moved from one of the flattest states on the east coast to one of the mountainous, but I was optimistic. I knew how to ride a longboard (in its simplest form), and I needed to get from East Campus to the Quad in less than 15 minutes. So why not longboard from class to class? It made sense, right? Even if I did fall on my face, I could slowly learn how to master the hills.

My optimism and confidence was quickly shaken, but not from some horrible face-plant at the bottom of the Village Hill. In fact, the first time I tried to ride around campus, I didn’t fall at all because I knew my limits and would pick up and walk my longboard if I felt I wasn’t ready. My confidence was shaken by the judging looks I received throughout campus. The guys I saw riding to class were completely ignored, as if a guy on a longboard was more natural than a sorority girl holding a Starbucks cup. But I—a girl—was met with a spectrum of reactions. Some looked at me with a judgmental glare; some just stared because they were shocked that a girl was even within touching distance of a longboard; others would stop me and ask questions about my board or experience—questions I couldn’t answer because, as I mentioned above, I was under no impression that I was going to have a professional longboarding career. Longboarding was just a hobby to me, not a passion. So my lack of knowledge, honestly, just made me look like an idiot.

I kept trying, but eventually gave up. And by the time my freshman year ended, my longboard was just a dust collector under my bed. I brought it back to school for my sophomore and junior year, but never touched it. And when it came time to pack up my things for senior year, I just left my longboard at home.

Even today, I read tweets people post about girl longboarders on campus: “Do they even know what they are doing?” or “Ugh, if you are girl, just stay off the board.”

Now, this isn’t to say that everyone one looks down on a girl who longboards, or that there aren’t highly skilled girl longboarders at JMU. I am just saying that, from experience, longboarding became a lot less fun for me.

Looking back, I wish I could have just grown a back-bone and ignored everyone around me. However, being the people-pleaser and introvert that I am, longboarding just became less and less fun. And now, I only ride at home, on flat land, near the beach.

So can we all just agree to give us girls a break? We are allowed to enjoy longboarding, and yes, some girls do kick butt at it.

Hiking In Harrisonburg

By Taylor Hudson

Ignore the fact that there was snowstorm on Sunday night—I promise; warm weather is on its way! We have one month left before finals week. And, if you are an outdoors junkie like I am, that means only four more weeks available for sunbathing on the Quad, and most importantly, hiking.

As a Delaware native, mountains are nonexistent; therefore hiking was never a regular pastime of mine. But, when I came to JMU, I was bitten by the hiking-bug and fell in love with spending hours on a trial. So, I like to take advantage of all the hiking options the Shenandoah Valley has to offer as often as I can.

White Oak Canyon is a personal favorite of mine. Even though it is located in the Shenandoah National Park about forty minutes down 81, it is well worth the drive. This hike is about eight miles and takes about four to five hours to complete. Plus, it has a waterfall. Fair warning: the waterfall might not always be in its full glory. Try this trail after a good rainstorm, and the waterfall is guaranteed to be stunning, but if you catch it during a dry spell, I’ll admit that it can look a little weak.

Another favorite is Reddish Knob. This trail is an even further drive from campus, taking about an hour. This trail has a gorgeous view at the peak, so I suggest going during sunset or during the fall to take in the sight of the leaves changing colors from different heights.

If you are one of those people that loves the outdoors but don’t have time to devote an entire Saturday to a hike, don’t fret. Go to Blue Hole. Sure, it isn’t a hike, nor does it offer much in the realm of awesome views. But, this swimming hole is a popular spot for JMU students. It’s about 40 minutes away from campus and offers just enough outdoor experience to quench your craving. As it gets warmer, however, Blue Hole gets pretty popular, so it may be crowded, especially on the weekends.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a newbie to hiking, the Harrisonburg area has plenty of awesome trails. For a small fee, UREC even offers excursions through out the semester.

Click here to visit their website to learn more information about how to sign up!


by Mike Bock

Yesterday I reached the midway point of my intramural season by finishing the second of four Co-Rec Ultimate games at the ISAT field (for those of you confused, Ultimate is the official name for Ultimate Frisbee.) Our team got destroyed 12-2, and even though I’m not thrilled about losing, we learned a lot and should be better prepared for the next game.

I love intramural sports at JMU. I was a one-sport athlete in high school, and didn’t really get a chance to play for fun until I got to JMU. Sports sponsored by UREC give people like me a chance to meet up with their friends for an hour or two per week and burn off some steam (and calories) in a relaxed but competitive atmosphere. Club and intramural teams range from the conventional (like soccer and flag football) to the more “fringe” sports (like the Triathlon club and the newly created Battleship league.) No matter what sport or team you’re interested in, you can bet that UREC has a team for it.

With national obesity rates rising and with plenty of exams and tests to study for, it’s more important than ever that we commit to an active and healthy lifestyle. Intramural and club sports teams can play a part in making our years at JMU a healthy and enjoyable experience.

VIP Tickets

by Mike Bock

If you told me two weeks ago that I would end up using Facebook for anything other than wasting time, I would have recommended that you get your head examined. Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from “JMU’s Class of 2011” Facebook group to enter a contest for free VIP basketball tickets for Saturday’s game against VCU, and won later that day.

As it turns out, winning VIP tickets is pretty sweet. There was a catch, of course- myself and the other fifteen seniors who won had to sit through a sales pitch for the Duke Club (which is sort of like the Student Duke Club, except for the fact that the people in the Duke Club actually have money to donate to JMU sports.) However, once that presentation was over, we were able to fully utilize the lunch, which was catered by Local Chop and Grill House, and the open bar located in the Hospitality room. Even though the game turned out to be a heartbreaking loss for the Dukes, I had a great time and would definitely do it again.

I’m not sure that there’s a moral to this story, other than the fact that it doesn’t hurt to check Facebook more often.


Homecoming Weekend!

Happy Homecoming Weekend!! There are tons of exciting events planned for this weekend, so throw on some purple and gold, and come show your school spirit! Get this information and more at the JMU Homecoming page.

Friday, Oct. 15

6:30pm: Pep Rally and Bonfire, Festival Lawn (rain location: Festival Ballroom)
Get pumped for the game! This event is combining two of our largest Homecoming events – Sunset on the Quad and the MadisonFest Bonfire!  Spend your evening enjoying food, festivities and fun, including appearances by JMU celebrities, including Coach Mickey Matthews, who will light the bonfire! There will also be performances by JMU’s a cappella groups, dance teams, cheerleaders and more!

Do you think you’re JMU’s ULTIMATE FAN?! Dress up in as much purple and gold and show us why you deserve to be the ultimate fan! The winner of the contest will receive awesome prizes.


Bring your whole organization out to the Pep Rally on Friday at 6:30 to win great prizes for your organization! The organization with the highest percentage attendance will have open books with Events and Conferences for the 2011 school year! Be sure to check in when you arrive!

7pm: Women’s Soccer vs. Drexel, JMU Soccer Fields

7pm: Women’s Volleyball vs. VCU, Godwin Hall

Saturday, Oct. 16

9am: 15th Annual UREC 5K
Start your Homecoming morning off with our annual 5K through the JMU campus!  Proceeds will benefit UREC student professional development. Click for more information and registration.

10-11am: Hoffman Hall Reunion, Hoffman Hall
Reconnect with your roommates, hallmates, and other former residents of Hoffman Hall! The morning includes a free continental breakfast, as well as tours of the newly renovated residence hall.

11am: Fraternity and Sorority Pre-Tailgate ReceptionTransitions
Join your fellow Greek Life alumni and current members for a pre-tailgate reception!  There will be a representative for each chapter present, so stop by for a light snack and friendly conversation before you head to the Godwin Field Tailgate!  The event is free, however, please register online so we can get a head count.

1pm: Alumni Village Tailgate, Godwin Field
Celebrate Homecoming and leave the cooking to us!  Reconnect with all your friends in the ultimate game day experience of a JMU tailgate with tailgate fare and family-friendly entertainment, including music, moonbounces and more! Cost includes food and drink. Register online

1-3pm: Reunion Tailgates
A number of groups will be celebrating their Reunions with pre-game tailgates. Join the fun!

1-5pm: Forbes Center for the Performing Arts Open House
Experience the excitement of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University, featuring five remarkable venues, each unique and acoustically designed to perfection. The Forbes Center will captivate your spirit with its soaring floor-to-ceiling glass lobbies, comfortable seating with ample legroom, and upgraded audience amenities.

1-2:30pm: Contemporary Gospel Singers’ Concert, Grafton-Stovall Theater


3:30pm: JMU vs. New Hampshire, Bridgeforth Stadium
Tickets for the football game are now sold out. If you didn’t get yours in time, check Madison Marketplace!

6-8pm: Madison Mahogany Memoirs Reception, Leeolou Alumni Center Great Room
Join the Black Alumni Chapter for its annual post-game reception!  We will be showcasing black alumni memorabilia and premiering the M3 DVD!  Food cost for the reception is sponsored by the Chapter, and $25 of each package purchased will be donated to the Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship Fund.  A $25 donation will be accepted at the Reception for walk-ups! Register online.

7pm: Women’s Volleyball vs. William & Mary, Godwin Hall

8pm (doors open at 7pm): CMSS Homecoming Step Show, Wilson Hall Auditorium
Join the Center for Multicultural Student Services as they host fraternities and sororities from JMU and surrounding colleges, who will compete for a first place trophy and cash prize. The After Party will immediately follow. Purchase tickets online.

10pm-2am: Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi 25th Anniversary Party, Festival Ballroom
Celebrate 25 years of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi at JMU. This will be an alumni event and upscale attire is requested. H’ors douevres and beverages provided. Music will be provided by a DJ and proceeds will go to fund scholarships and fuel commitment to school spirit and community service by Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi. This will be a Homecoming party and experience you will remember! Tickets are $20/alumni in advance and $25/at the door. Undergraduate students are encouraged to register for $10. Click to register.

CMSS Homecoming Step Show After Party, Godwin Hall
The annual after party will start immediately following the Step Show! 



Sunday, Oct. 17

1pm: Women’s Soccer vs. Delaware, JMU Soccer Fields