After DCC A secured their victory, Marianna Zhang (MZ) caught up with DCC coaches Christopher Gismondi (CG) and Benjamin Herman (BH).
This interview has been edited lightly for clarity.
MZ: How are you feeling right now?
CG: I’m running the gamut of emotions. Pure joy, relief, a tinge of sadness because I’m going to miss the seniors, but it was a great way to end the year.
MZ: How were you feeling in those last couple tossups? Could you run me through what you were thinking?
CG: I just always try to stay calm. If I’m calm, the players will be calm, and if they’re calm, I’m confident they’ll get tossups. I just always try to stay even-keeled and focused.
MZ: How long have you all been training for?
CG: The A team has been together for 2 years. They were the B team last year and got 5th at the 2016 PACE NSC. We take 4 to 6 teams to tournaments starting when players are freshmen, so they’ve been training for 4 years.
MZ: Could you describe what you’re feeling right now?
BH: I’m just so proud of these guys right now. We travel so much on the road with them – we’ve gone 26 weekends out of 38 in the school year. Both I and BH have wives and kids at home, so we put a lot of sacrifice in, and the players make it worth it. They make it all worth it. They are incredible. Senior leadership was unbelieveable this year. I could not be more proud of them.
MZ: What are you guys going to do after this?
BH: (laughing) We’re not going to talk to each other for about 6 weeks.
CG: (laughing) 6 weeks, and then we start practices again in July. So we’ll take a few weeks off and then dive right back in.
MZ: Any celebration plans?
BH: You know what, I haven’t even gotten over it yet. I’m just too excited. It’s great to see Connor Reynolds here, who was on a national title team a couple years ago.
CG: Yeah, it’s wonderful to see our alumni. It’s not just us and the guys.
BH: Robert Crawford, who got the winning question – his brother is here and he graduated in 2001.
MZ: Oh wow, that sounds amazing. You guys have absolutely massive audience support from parents and family, which is wonderful.
CG: (laughing) Probably intimidating to play against.
Correction (6/12): A previous version of this interview swapped the names of the two coaches. Apologies for the error.