February 23, 2009
May looking for a repeat performance
Last March was a magical time for Eric May as his 35 foot game winning shot led Dubuque Wahlert to the state title in 3A. This year the cast for Wahlert is a bit different, but the goal is still the same, winning another state championship. The road to state for the future Hawkeye starts on Monday night against West Delaware in what will be his final game in his home gym.
"This will be our last home game on Monday night and that seems crazy. The season just goes by so quick, especially when you are a senior," May said Sunday evening after one final practice with his team.
One year ago the 6-foot-4 swingman knocked down the shot heard 'round Iowa as time expired knocking off Harlan. The cast may be different for Wahlert, but the goal for the seniors is still the same.
"It is really more of a motivational factor for us as a team because every senior know the feeling of going to state and everything about that experience was awesome," he said. "I don't think about it in the context of last year because we are a completely different team. But, we want to get back there again for the experience."
Wahlert heads into the state tournament with a 15-6 record, which is impressive considering the tough competition in their conference going up against several 4A powerhouses. That type of schedule has provided plenty of preparation for the road to state, where every game is a battle.
"It helps us a ton because every game is a tough one, especially this year. Almost every game has been a battle and that gives us a great deal of experience and hopefully we will use that to our advantage. All of the game going to state is going to be a battle, so hopefully we have learned that from this season."
One thing that is never questioned about May is his effort on the floor. He has worked hard in the off season and during the season on improving his ball handling and every aspect of his game. He feels like this team is peaking at the right time again this year.
"I have played every minute as hard as I could. Last year we had Drew Davis, who could do a lot inside and we are a smaller team. All of us have had to work that much harder this year on the team, myself included. We feel like we are coming together at the right time," he said.
If May is fortunate enough to get to state, one of his opponents could be Sioux City Heelan, led by his future Hawkeye teammate, Brennan Cougill. Last year, Wahlert defeated Heelan in the quarterfinals and May hopes they can meet up once again in Des Moines.
"I hope we meet up," May said. "If we play each other, than it means both of us are at state and that would be a great thing. Honestly, I hope it happens in the championship game because that would be a great game."
While working hard with his current teammates, May has also been looking ahead to his future as a Hawkeye and spent a few evenings with his father behind the Iowa bench. He views that has a real learning experience that allows him to glimpse into his future in black and gold.
"I am really excited to get to Iowa and be a part of the team," May said. "It really helps sitting behind the bench to learn more about the team and the coaches. My dad and I have been going to games and we have noticed that you can get pulled out of the game pretty quick if you aren't doing the right things and making mistakes. It is a real good experience to see the coaches and how they handle the players and teach them in those situations."
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