Raising Hell – From the desk of Nathan Hellman

Yeah, it’s been an eventful year for Portland State sports. There have been tons of resignations and departures, arrivals and hires, and shifts in personnel.

Yeah, it’s been an eventful year for Portland State sports. There have been tons of resignations and departures, arrivals and hires, and shifts in personnel.

This was the year where the art supplies were purchased—the year where the paint was bought and the brushes gathered in hopes of eventually creating a masterpiece.

Jerry Glanville arrived in town, donning his patent black attire, with jokes spewing out his mouth.
The athletic director’s seat is now occupied by Torre Chisholm, an enthusiastic administrator who’s not afraid to try something.

In women’s basketball, Charity Elliot resigned after her third season and former Washington State head coach Sherri Murrell promptly replaced her.   

There were a few other changes along the way, such as golf coach Felicia Johnston stepping down and a legend, in Darrel “Mouse” Davis, re-boarding the Viking ship for another ride.

But now that all the supplies are purchased and stowed away in the cupboard, lets break them out and whip up an aesthetically pleasing concoction. Lets create a product that satisfies Viking fans’ desire for one little word: winning. 

Here are a few New Year’s resolutions to ensure next year’s work of art earns more than a few glowing critiques.

1. Glanville, bring in the reinforcements

This just needs to be aired: the football team needs help, badly.

Over 25 former Viking players have been wiped clean off the whiteboard in Glanville’s office because they are slated to graduate or they no longer have eligibility.

In one of my many conversations with Glanville, he assured me that next year’s product will be much better because he’s hitting the recruiting trail with persistence and zeal.
When he speaks about brining in new recruits, there is more life in the man than a five-year-old boy on his birthday. Glanville gets giddy, because he knows those recruits will be “his guys.” And with “his guys,” Glanville has always been successful.

So, fill those holes on your roster, Jerry. Go get some of your guys and bring some wins back to the South Park Blocks.

2. Expand The Horde 

Portland State’s new student group of devoted fanatics, The Horde, now has a Web site, T-shirts that claim others are jealous because we have Glanville and that “With our helmets, we are horny,” and punch cards to give prizes to those who attend events.

The next logical step is to move the production of this student group along, and fast. Besides the rowdies that assembled along the court at volleyball matches—a great sight indeed—I’ve yet to witness an entire section of students, clad in Horde shirts, making noise and acting rabid.

Within the next year, a timeline that is very patient, The Horde will emerge in full force, with a couple hundred students that actually attend the games and make some noise.      

3. Build on past success

Next to just winning games, the second biggest problem with Portland State athletics is continuing to accumulate victories following a successful season.

Look at the 2004-05 men’s basketball team that enjoyed immense success and hosted the Big Sky Tournament. The next season the Vikings went 12-16.

And how about the 2004 soccer team? You know, the team that proudly wore the Big Sky crown in 2004, and then limped to a 5-11 overall record the following season.

Another example is the 2006 softball team that was only a year removed from a Pacific Coast Softball Conference championship and end up finishing in the bottom half of the standings.

Portland State volleyball just hoisted its first ever Big Sky regular-season title. And both the men’s and women’s basketball teams should vie for conference championships. The softball team has the potential to rebound after underachieving a year ago.

But it would foster greater fandom and even cultivate tradition if these teams were consistently good, and could win every season, not just once every decade.

Then the fans will come. I guarantee it.