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Back to School for Pickin' Nits

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I got my boots tied tight. I hope I don't get in a fight.

Photo courtesy of Corn Nation
Photo courtesy of Corn Nation

Let me be the 228th person to cordially welcome everyone back to State College this year. Now that's settled, let's get down to the nitty gritty stuff.

I know everyone is pumped that we're four days away from football starting up once again, but this is a time to welcome back some national champions as well.

State College is now packed beyond unreasonable measure. The leaves are turning colors. The Beaver Stadium scoreboard is marvelous. I'm sad that Bill is gone. Let's begin.

Cross Country

Beth Alford-Sullivan, former Penn State Head Coach and Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, left the Nittany Lions for the same job at Tennessee in June. Sullivan began coaching the women's Cross Country and track and field programs in 1999 until 2006 when she agreed to coach both the men's and women's programs.

Taking over this year will be Interim head coach John Gondak. Gondak has been with the program for eight years, most recently as Associate Head Coach.

I think it's bad ass to be labeled the "director". Track and field joins baseball and soccer that go outside the box when naming the head coach something other than head coach. What else could we call head coaches or managers? I'll think about it.

When do they open the season??

Both teams will open Sept. 5 in Lock Haven, Pa. for the Dolan Duals.

Field Hockey

I'm going to throw this out right now, my field hockey knowledge is as minimal as you could possibly imagine. All I know is they probably are the only people on campus who aren't very fond of hockey. The conversations probably have to go something like this when people are walking to hockey games:

"Hey man, what's that field over there?"

"I don't know. The scoreboard is pretty sick."

-A time lapse of about two to four seconds-

"I can't wait to bang on the glass when we get inside"

The Nits beat Pacific and tied with Delaware respectively in exhibition games.

When do they open the season??

Old Dominion invades Happy Valley this Friday to start things off.

Soccer

After the most riveting summer of soccer this great nation has ever endured, Penn State has a soccer product that can keep students intrigued. The men are coming off a year that featured a Big Ten title and the women will begin life without Maya Hayes, one of the most recognizable Nittany Lions in program history.

This is a good product to keep people rolling into Jeffrey Field all year long.

When do they open the season??

The women are already steamrolling through the Big East after wins over West Virginia and Syracuse this year. And yes, I know I said Big East. The men's anticipated opener will take place at 8 p.m. against Oakland this Friday.

Women's Volleyball

No disrespect to Jameis Winson, but at Penn State, when our women play volleyball, we do it big. The last time we saw our beloved Nittany Lions take the court, they were taking down Wiscy for the national championship (five in the last seven years, not like we're counting).

The "same song is on repeat" as the kids these days say for Penn State this year after being ranked preseason No. 1 in the AVCA poll. Despite losing top talents such as Deja McClendon, Katie Slay, Ariel Scott, the message will be preached in the same fashion.

When do they open the season??

The Penn State Classic will be the stage for the Nittany Lions opener against TCU this Friday.