From The Desk of Bobby Wilder: Dealing With Adversity

November 17, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 17, 2009

12th Monarchs,

What an amazing week your Football team experienced. What started out as a well planned bye week quickly turned into a life altering experience for so many of us in Hampton Roads.

Following our Saturday Homecoming win over North Carolina Central 42-28, we came in as a team on Sunday and watched the video of the game. The assistant coaches left that night to recruit thru Wednesday night. The student-athletes focused on academics as we increase our study hours from two per day to four hours. The November Nor'easter that hit Hampton Roads on Thursday changed everything.

We had planned to practice Thursday and Friday, followed by a much needed weekend off for the players and coaches. When we realized the devastation that was about to hit our area, we met as a team and formulated a plan. I am as proud of this team and our coaches for how they handled the storm as I have been in any of our games this year. We tried our best to help as many people as we could while realizing we needed to stay safe ourselves.

With the power out in our facility and the players' apartments, we stayed together as much as possible on Thursday and Friday. We had a team meal Friday together in the Webb Center, and then walked as a team on a "Monarch March" to the Ted to support the Lady Monarchs in their game vs. Stanford. We were all relieved after the game to find out power had been restored to the players' apartments. We took Saturday off as a team. Many of our local players and coaching staff needed to get home to assess the damage to our homes. Saturday was a tough day for many of us.

We came back Sunday for our first practice in 10 days. I was pleased with the attention to detail of our team. They were excited to be "back in ball". We are currently back on our regular schedule of practice and meetings as we prepare for our final game vs. VMI.

The Keydets of VMI will present an exciting and new challenge for your Monarchs. They run the triple offense on offense. We have not faced this offense this year. They are one of the top rushing teams in the country averaging 262.2 yards per game. They have started fast vs. all 10 of their opponents this year. Game video has confirmed it usually takes a quarter of football for teams to get comfortable with the speed of their offense. They have played well vs. good competition this year. They lost early in the year to then #1 Richmond 38-28. Last week, they lost to Division I Army 22-17. I suspect this will be our toughest opponent this year. They play well at home. This will be the final game for the many seniors they have on their roster. We will need Monarch Nation to travel with your team to Lexington and be "loud and proud" on Saturday!!!

We hope to see you all at VMI for our 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday as we go for a 9-2 record and a six-game win streak to end our first history making season!!!

Aim high,

Coach Wilder