Athletes show their talents off the field

By The Beacon | April 20, 2011 9:00pm

By John McCarty, Staff Writer --

Bernies, Dougies and Stanky Leggs were all part of the agenda at the Pilots Got Talent student-athlete talent show. The men's basketball team proved to be the lords of the dance, impressing the judges to secure the coveted Pilots Got Talent trophy.

Last Sunday, student-athletes from every University sport, except crew and golf, donned their dancing shoes in front of a packed BC Auditorium to perform music and dance numbers for the benefit of the St. Baldricks Foundation.

ASUP President Colin Dorwart, Professor Deana Julka and Professor Jeff Kerssen-Griep judged each of the acts "American Idol" style, providing both praise and criticism, despite the fact that Julka claimed she has a hard time saying negative things.

The last act of the night, the men's basketball team's song and dance medley began with senior Luke Sikma singing Marvin Gaye's "Lets Get it On," for the ladies before junior Nem Mitrovic interrupted him, pointing out the song's suggestive nature.

After a more family oriented, sing-a-long rendition of "Hakuna Matata," members of the basketball team did the Dougie and the Jerk.

The combination of song and dance, along with the involvement of the whole team propelled the men's basketball team past the women's soccer team, which won the trophy last year.

"We practiced today for 20 minutes and that's about all," freshman forward Ryan Nicholas said. "We went into the bathroom (in BC Aud.) and rehearsed before the show; we were just having fun so there was really no need to over think it."

Dressed in anything from cowboy boots and 10 gallon hats to brightly colored jumpsuits and headbands, the women's soccer team performed their take on the evolution of dance. The whole team was broken up into four person lines that took turns dancing to "Thriller," "Cotton Eyed Joe" and "Jump Around," to name a few.

"I think since we won last year people put a lot of expectations on us," freshman midfielder Ellen Parker said. "Though overall this year all the teams did better."

Though dance numbers dominated the evening, the student-athletes also demonstrated their musical talent with cover songs and spoofs. Members of the men's tennis team covered "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Back in Black" by AC/DC.

Bras were even thrown on stage, and Julka had to explain that proper rock concert protocol required playing with a bra hanging from the guitar. The volleyball team played "Wednesday," a video spoof of Rebecca Black's song "Friday" featuring lyrics like "It's Wednesday, Wednesday gotta get down on hump day."

Sophomore pitcher J.R. Bunda and junior outfielder Garrett Queen were the only two participating members of the baseball team. They covered "Knock You Down" by Keri Hilson with Queen on the keyboard and Bunda alternately singing, playing the ukulele and saxophone.

The women's tennis team also performed their version of "I Love my Ducks," entitled "I Love my Pilots," by senior Stephanie Fuchs. The song detailed the tennis team's love of UP and included the crowd chanting "Go Pilots!" with the beat.

"Women's basketball and men's cross country were my favorites, but as far as real talent goes I would say men's tennis and baseball were the best," Parker said.

The women's basketball team garnered a lot of laughs with its dance contest hosted by junior guard ReZina TecleMariam (a.k.a Z. Diddy) which featured the cha-cha, interpretive dance, and "the Pilot stroke."

The men's cross country team mobbed the stage with over team members in uniform showing the crowd some legs during a coordinated dance number that included the Dougie, Bernie and the Stanky Legg.

The only co-ed act of the night, the track team gyrated to the tune of Rhianna's "S&M" though the judges noticed that some of the men were having difficulty dancing in time with the group.

The women's cross country team gave Kerssen-Griep "flashbacks" to the eighties with their glowstick lightshow during Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." Finally, members of the men's soccer team sang an a cappella version of Guns ‘N Roses "Sweet Child of Mine" but failed to impress the judges.

"Men's tennis was my favorite and I've got to say women's soccer was legit," Nicholas said. "But our goal was to get it (the trophy) from them and I'm glad we could win tonight."

(All photos by Bryan Brenize)