The Team That Plays With Heart, Soul and Passion

The Team That Plays With Heart, Soul, And Passion

Sports journalists have many special moments along the way during their careers and this is certainly one of mine.

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Prior to this year, I had never watched a game of lacrosse before. I had always heard of the sport but never paid any attention to it. This spring I was assigned to cover the lacrosse team at San Diego State University for the Daily Aztec, the school's independent newspaper. Initially, back in January, I was nervous yet excited for a new challenge. Three months later I can now proudly say that lacrosse is one of my favorite sports to cover. There is so much agility and physicality that goes into lacrosse which makes the games fast-paced and exciting to watch. I wish I had given lacrosse a chance earlier in my life but at least I'm officially hooked on the sport now.

I have appreciated every moment with the lacrosse team throughout this season. It was fun to talk to both the players and coaches about the matches and getting to know them all individually. They are phenomenal athletes and even better people. I would not have wanted the experience to go any other way. As an aspiring journalist and fellow athlete myself, I think these ladies to me were such an inspiration for me. I've covered quite a few teams over the years and trust me when I tell you that this team was special. I'd never seen a group of players and coaches come together like this Aztecs lacrosse team.

It didn't matter whether they won or lost, they were united as one to support each other and that was such a beautiful thing to watch. The Aztecs finished this season with an overall record of 11-7 while successfully winning back-to-back Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference championships after defeating Fresno State and UC Davis. I was so excited when the final whistle blew and these ladies had secured another title under their resumés.

Through the ups and downs that every season has, this team pushed past any obstacles that came their way. I think that goes to show with this team's character anything is possible. Personally, I think it's really cool that later on in life I'll look back and think about how this lacrosse team was the first championship side I ever got to write about in my career. It was a true honor and blessing for me to cover lacrosse and I hope in the future to continue following this team's journey.

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Tips On How To Shoot Your Shot

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It's summer time and it's time for that summer glow. What better way to get that, than to start going for what you want. Yes ladies, I am talking about shooting your shot. If you don't know what "shooting your shot" is, it's basically just taking matters into your own hands. It means not waiting on the opportunity to come to you, but going for it instead. When I say "shooting your shot", I am not just talking about finally speaking to your crush. I'm also talking about jobs, networking, and so many more things. This is for girls who are scared to make that one move. Taking matters into your own hands is important. You shouldn't just sit and let life pass you by because you're scared. Who cares what others might say or think.

1. Identify the hoop

Okay, I know the step sounds corny. Just think about it though, you can't properly shoot your shot if you don't know where to shoot it. For example, if you want to talk to a boy you wouldn't tell his ex- girlfriend. You would clearly, approach him instead. So figure out where exactly you want to shoot.

2. Why shoot it?

Figure out why you want to shoot this shot. Doing this will help you realize if it's worth it. Why waste your time shooting your shot, if it's not something you truly want. You could be shooting this because you want to get advice, network, relationship, there could be a number of reasons. Whatever your reason is, just make sure you mention that.

3. How to shoot it

Do you want to shoot a three-point shot or do you want to dunk? Once you figure out what you truly want, then you could figure out how to get it. You can shoot your shot in many different ways. You can do it via "DM's" on Instagram, Twitter, basically any social media platform. If you want to keep it professional, then you can do it via email. If you have their number, then use that. If you're feeling really confident then do it in person. Either way, just remember how you do it matters.

4. Be prepared to get your shot blocked

With shooting your shot, you got to know that it might not make it in the hoop. Steph Curry even misses sometimes, well maybe not often but you know what I mean. Just don't go into shooting your shot thinking that you're gonna score. If you do get rejected, don't take it personal. Just take it as a learning experience and respect their decision.

5. Shoot it!

Okay, so now you can stop dribbling and finally shoot that shot. Go for it. You'll never know if you can make it, if you don't try. If it doesn't make it in, just keep it moving.


Cover Image Credit: http://www.complex.com

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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