Road Trip Tips For Dukes Driving To The FCS Championship In Frisco, TX

Road Trip Tips For Dukes Driving To The FCS Championship In Frisco, TX

The James Madison University football team is headed to the FCS Championship game in Frisco, Texas for the SECOND consecutive year.
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For those who've been living under a rock for the past semester, the James Madison University football team is headed, for the SECOND consecutive time, to the FCS Championship game in Frisco, Texas after an undefeated season. On January 6, 2018, the Dukes of JMU will be going head to head against North Dakota State in a battle for the title.

Our fans are so dedicated that Toyota Stadium had to ban the time-honored tradition of throwing streamers. I attended the 2017 FCS Championship game, and I can testify that there was no shortage of streamers and that we all were enthusiastically throwing them for every touchdown. Fans aren’t exactly thrilled with this new rule but you can bet that school spirit will still be at an all-time high this coming Saturday.

For those who aren't making the voyage down to Frisco, make sure you tune into the game! Whether you're watching it on the TV in the comfort of your home, keeping up with social media or listening to it via the radio, this is the Championship Game and you do NOT want to miss out!! This season has been one of the best and we should all ring in the second semester by cheering on the team in one final showdown!

As someone who’s made the trip down to Frisco, here are a few tips for the Dukes who are making the trip this year…

1. If you’re driving, pack snacks and blankets

Because you will get hungry and you will get cold. Last year, we hit a mini snow storm and you never know if your car will break down or if your heat won’t work.

2. BRING WARM CLOTHES!!!

Especially with this cold spell that the United States is experiencing, GameDay will be absolutely freezing! Gloves, hats, double up on socks, layering, etc. Your body will thank you later.

3. Another tip for the Driving Dukes: Drink caffeine and trade driving shifts!

What my car of five did was traded off on who was navigating and driving and who was just recharging in the back. Again, your body will thank you later.

4. Bring cash just in case

You never know when you're going to need it!

5. Bring one bag because you don't want to accidentally lose a bag

That being said, don't overpack! It's most likely just a weekend trip so be wary of what you're bringing.

6. Don't forget your IDs!

If you want to drink, pick up your tickets, check into the hotel, you will need your ID!

So get ready for one final GameDay, Dukes! Whether you're there in person or in spirit, it's time to show the world that the JMU Dukes not only have the best football team but the best school spirit!

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Whitfield

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The Struggles Of Being Mexican-American

It's hard being Mexican-American but it's beautiful at the same time.
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Being Mexican-American is difficult because you feel like you don't belong anywhere! Let me tell you about my personal struggles of being Mexican-American because I know I'm not the only Mexican-American who faces these struggles.

First of all, the language barrier is a major obstacle. My first language was Spanish despite being born in the United States. I learned English when I started Kindergarten and although I picked it up quick, kids would make fun of me because of my accent. Now that I am older the accent is still there but not as strong as when I was younger, but I still struggle with it. Being a bilingual Mexican-American you also come across the struggles of wanting to make a Spanish word into English or vice versa, or you speak "Spanglish" without thinking about it. "Spanglish" is where you mix both Spanish and English together. This language barrier is evident in my casual conversation with friends to my papers for classes. It's like regardless of the fact that I was born and raised in the United States, I struggle perfecting English.

Here's a personal story about language barrier. My first job was at McDonald's and two older gentlemen would go in regularly for coffee. I got to know them well and they would always speak Spanish to me. One night, I was mopping a spill and I asked the two gentlemen in Spanish if they were enjoying the coffee. As I asked, a man in about his mid-thirties turned to me and said, "This is America, speak English or go back to Mexico." Then he kicked my bucket of water and stormed out. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and furious.

Besides the language barrier, my biggest struggle of being Mexican-American is feeling like I do not belong in the United States or Mexico. In school, kids always saw me as being "too Mexican". I was a girl who spoke Spanish, celebrated September 16th (Not Cinco de Mayo, Mexico does not celebrate that day), listened to Mexican music and visited Mexico every summer. To those kids I was not "American" enough despite the fact that I love country and rap music as well or that I also celebrate the 4th of July.

Here's where it gets confusing. When I do visit Mexico, to my fellow cousins and friends, I am too American! They think that because I was born and raised in the United States, speak English, and celebrate the 4th of July, I am not Mexican enough. When I visit, my friends actually call me "white girl," which I would definitely not pass as a white girl in the United States.

To my fellow Mexican-Americans, embrace it! We have the best of both worlds! It is okay to eat tamales and bump some Vicente Fernandez and then eat a hamburger while listening to some Luke Bryan! If you say "troca" instead of "camioneta", own it! Don't be ashamed. Or if you start a conversation in Spanish and end it in English, do it with style! Celebrate both independence days! Visit Mexico to see where your roots are at but also follow your civic duties here in the Unites States, such as voting. It's hard being Mexican-American but it's beautiful at the same time.

Cover Image Credit: Deposit Photos

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ASU Baseball Is Already Knocking It Out Of The Park

All eyes are on the Sun Devils as they enter the national poll this previous week. The Sun Devils are the last unbeaten team left in the NCAA.

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Starting off the season 18-0? Not bad, considering the Sun Devils' haven't gone undefeated at the start of the NCAA baseball season since 2010 when they went 24-0, but honestly where did this come from? In the 2017-18 season, the Devils finished off with 23-32, sitting towards the bottom of the Pac-12. Now they're the top of the conference, past the usual Pac-12 baseball powerhouse, Oregon State.

On a team with only 27 on the roster, which makes it the smallest team in the Pac-12, you wouldn't really expect such an explosive start to the season. Take a look at the improvements made, though, and you'll see why.

For starters, catcher Sam Ferri is back healthy and ready for this season to start with both pitchers Alec Marsh and RJ Dabovich, who've both thrown some great games, but if we're being honest here, have been a little inconsistent with a few errors, but have been backed up by the offense to get the job done.

On offense, Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson are the ones to watch out for. Torkelson was named Pac-12 freshman of the year last year, after setting the Pac-12 freshman record of home runs. Now he's back with some deadly at-bat presence, as you can always expect a few RBIs from him, and also doing a great job at infield (#TorkBomb). Bishop's following suit, with major at-bats against Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Xavier.

Safe to say being ranked #23 right now is huge for a program that struggled majorly in the past seasons and has had some great players transfer out recently. Despite being faced with huge adversity before the season, this lineup is really producing some good stuff this year, and by being undefeated through the first month of play really exemplified that.

Hats off to Head Coach Tracy Smith for helping these young men after having the program suffer for a while.

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