After a breakfast next door to the hotel at Denny's, the team boards the bus around 7:20 to leave for their game.
An 8:30 a.m. game means different routines for everyone. But the Defender faithful arrive early and in large numbers, showing no signs of morning sluggishness.
The atmosphere is giddy, but that always seems to describe Dave Eekhoff. His old hat still fits like a glove.
Curtis Van Grouw and friends recreate "Timeouts with Coach Douma and Players." Ross catches them in the act; he can only smile and shake his head.
Warm ups have a different feel at 8:00 in the morning, but the players appear fresh and focused.
An estimated 500 Dordt fans show up to fill a majority of both sides of the bottom sections of seats.
Golf Coach Mark Christians arrives, with his players scattered through the stands as well. A month and half ago it was time for him to plan his team's annual spring break trip. Liking his odds of the basketball team making it to nationals, he schedules his golf team's excursion to coincide. After the game, the golf team plays at the Payne Stewart Golf Club, named the best course in Missouri for 2012 by Golfweek.
Trevor Wolterstorff assumes position in the middle of the huddle to give some last motivational words.
While the starters huddle just prior to tip off, the crowd is led by the students' cross-court "I-THINK-THAT-WE-WILL-WIN" chant.