By Robert Wiggs, The Whetstone

Thanksgiving break is bittersweet for football player Dajahn Lowery.

“It’s bittersweet because we practice early morning on Thanksgiving,” he said. “Then, right after, players scramble to get home so they can spend as much time as possible before having to head back the next morning for another practice.”

As students scramble to leave campus to get back home to their families, friends, food and football, some of their fellow student-athletes stay on campus.

“Playing football here, it’s a tradition to play on Thanksgiving weekend,” Lowery said. “Some of us who live close go home after practice, while others group together and go to teammates’ houses and spend Thanksgiving with their families.”

Both men’s and women’s basketball teams also have to stay on campus throughout Thanksgiving break because of scheduled games. Both teams should be well prepared as their first four games of the season start a week before Thanksgiving break.

“I mean it sucks to see students leave and go home to spend time with their families while we stay and practice but, hey, that’s what we signed up for,” said junior guard Evan Anderson.

“It’s kind of a good and bad thing that comes with it,” junior George Cook said. “If we’re home all we will do is eat all day, which then will affect how we play on the court. Some would consider preparing for Thanksgiving break as another part of the off-court preparation. You have to be disciplined in what you eat over break because it can catch up to you.”

Craig Sirmons, whose home is in Florida, and Tioni Graves-Brown, who is from California, haven’t been home for Thanksgiving since their senior year of high school. They find ways to make Delaware feel like home.

“Being from California it’s very hard to go home even on break because of the price of the ticket and transportation,” Graves-Brown said. “I have become accustomed to spending my breaks with my teammates and their families so it’s been an easy transition.”
“Florida isn’t as far as California but it seems like it,” Sirmons said. “Man, I miss Florida, especially on Thanksgiving. Staying up here is cool, don’t get me wrong. I usually go to one of my teammate’s houses and eat, but there is nothing like a home-cooked Florida meal.”