Wake Forest student and DeaconSports contributor Gary Cagle passes along the memories from his trip to the last ever Wake Forest vs. Maryland matchup in Cole Fieldhouse.
It was almost the perfect weekend! Three Wake Forest students, Rob Aycock, Christopher Cagle, and myself traveling to College Park Maryland to watch the Deacons take on the Terrapins for the last time in Cole Field House.
10:00 Saturday Night- The three of us left campus to spend the night with my grandmother in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina before making the rest of the trip to Maryland for the 2:00 Sunday game.
9:00 Sunday Morning- After a home-cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs, we began the 3 1/2 hour drive from Roanoke Rapids to College Park.
Christopher Cagle(left) and Rob Aycock(right) driving toward the Capital Building in Washington DC on the way to the game.
- We arrive at Cole Field House, find our seats, and await game-time.
Rob Aycock(left), Christopher Cagle(middle), and Gary Cagle(right) await the beginning of the game.
2:00- It's almost game-time! First, Lonny Baxter and Juan Dixon's jersey's are honored in a small ceremony just before the beginning of the game.
Baxter and Dixon are honored before the game.
- As before every game I'm a little nervous, especially sitting just behind the Wake Forest bench with a hostile crowd basically surrounding me on all sides. A small skirmish breaks out when a Wake Forest fan nearby holds up a "Maryland is for Suckers" sign.
Wake Forest gets pumped up for the game!
- The Deacons came out strong with maybe the best half they have played all year. Led by Craig Dawson's 6 three pointers for 22 points, Wake Forest takes a 10 point lead into the locker-room at halftime. Cole Field House was extremely quiet for much of the half and I began to wonder why it is often referred to as hostile and a difficult place to play. I soon found out.
Taron Downey dribbles the ball at the beginning of the second half.
- After halting an early run by the Terrapins, The Deacons continued to look decent and maintain a small lead for much of the half. After a Josh Howard basket tied the game and a missed free throw that would have given the Deacons the lead, Juan Dixon missed a shot that would have won the game. Josh Howard, however, rebounded the ball and called a timeout. Wake Forest, however, had no timeouts left and a technical foul was called sending Juan Dixon to the line where he made one free throw. There was still enough time for one last shot, but as all Deacon fans know, Wake Forest was not quite able to pull out the victory. During Maryland's runs and at the end of the game, Cole Field House was rocking with alumni, students, and all fans in attendance standing and making a tremendous amount of noise.
Cameron Cole stands courtside after a tough Deacon loss.
- After the game Deacon fans were certainly disheartened at the tough loss, but seemed optimistic about the future after having such a close game against the number two team in the nation on the road.
The outside of Cole Field House as we leave it for the last time.
Overall, the trip to College Park was a wonderful break from campus and work. It was well worth the long drive to see Cole Field House and a hard-fought ACC battle. It was almost a perfect weekend.