Being a sports writer ever since I set foot in college three years ago, I was initially tasked to cover and write for the DLSU Woodpushers. That was Season 74 back then. Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) was the host school. Meanwhile, the Henry Sy building was not erected back then either. That year also marked DLSU’s Centennial Year.
Prior to this particular job when I was still writing for The LaSallian, the chess teams were not exposed to the Lasallian community despite consistent top performances over the last decade.
The Woodpushers during Season 74
It has been three years of forming a special bond between the DLSU Woodpushers. I can still remember when they adopted me during my first UAAP chess coverage on our way home to Taft.
For the Lady Woodpushers, RP team member Aices Salvador was the face of the team. The reigning UAAP MVP Jodilyn Fronda was the much-anticipated rookie during that season. Present assistant coach Susan Neri was still on her last playing year for La Salle three years ago.
On the other hand, the Green Woodpushers was a team full of youth and promise through blue-chip rookies in the likes of present team captain Aglipay Oberio and Franz Grafil. Age did not really become an issue for them to have a tremendous season debut in the UAAP.
The DLSU Woodpushers three years ago was a mixture of youth and experience – a glimpse of the present and the future. Head coach Randy Segarra was instrumental in building a solid core which could make a run for multiple titles in the upcoming years. Likewise, his coaching staff also did a very good job in scouting for fresh talent across the country.
Despite the less exposure and credit for their outstanding play, the DLSU Woodpushers worked hard. They let their playing do the talking. They knew in themselves that respect is ought to be earned, and they have been willing to work hard for it.
The Woodpushers this Season 77
Three years after, the DLSU Woodpushers are one of the few varsity teams DLSU is consistently banking on to snare the much-coveted UAAP General Championship (GC) plum.
A handful of players already exhausted their playing years in the UAAP, while one already become part of the coaching staff. The rookies before are the present team captains, while the present rookies are some of the best in the country. Time passed, yet the formula for the Woodpushers’ success still remains unchanged – consistency and hard work.
After 10 rounds this season, the Green Woodpushers, after years of finishing third or fourth over the years, are finally sitting atop the standings. On the other hand, the Lady Woodpushers are chasing history for a five-peat. They have two more rounds to reshape their fate and rewrite history, if ever they pull off a double championship.
I am glad that I have seen this team grow (together) over the years. It’s a beauty to see that respect is definitely earned, and credit is finally given due.
This job of mine will definitely end at some point in time, but I never regret anything from this experience. Watching these two teams play together as one cohesive unit will always be one of my best memories as a sports writer in college.