By Dan Karpuc
Special to GoHolyCross.com
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born" –Anais Nin
Adjusting to college life can be a tough task for any freshman. There is the stress of making new friends, adapting to managing freedom from parental oversight, and keeping up with Holy Cross' rigorous classes. Athletes, though, face even more of a challenge—having to devote daily to practice and conditioning. A tough juggling act, but it is what being a Division I athlete requires.
Holy Cross senior basketball captains Whitney Fremeau and Alyssa May faced these daunting challenges when arriving in Worcester in September 2007. The two girls immediately clicked, spending time together in practice and in the weight room their first couple of months as Crusaders. Along with seeing each other every day for practice, Fremeau and May both selected to major in economics, took classes together, studied together, and grew to be very close friends.
Interestingly, both were competing for playing time at the same position, as a "three guard," wing-type player. They used this situation as a way to work together and motivate each other, rather than creating a rivalry. The girls pushed each other on the court and in the weight room and developed an intense work ethic.
Fremeau says of she and May, "We want to go hard all the time."
Time spent together during the summer following their freshman year cemented their friendship. Fremeau invited May to New Hampshire for a week, where she showed May how she works out back home, and introduced her to friends and family to let her get a sense of where she was from. From New Hampshire, the girls traveled to Holy Cross to work out in the varsity weight room for a week. Then, May introduced Fremeau to her hometown in New Jersey, where they continued to work out. These trips have lasting memories for both Fremeau and May. They learned so much about each other and came to appreciate their friendship even more.
"From then on, we knew this wasn't just a school relationship, but it is a friendship that will last forever," Fremeau said.
Both Fremeau and May have always had a fiery passion for the game of basketball. Now in their senior seasons, they have developed an uncanny ability to read each other's minds on the court. May pointed out that they feed off each other's energy and intensity, especially on the defensive end of the court. On the offensive side, they know where they want the ball.
"When Whit hits a shot I get so fired up," exclaimed May.
Over the course of their Holy Cross careers, Fremeau and May have experienced the highs and lows of winning and losing seasons. It is those experiences, along with their outstanding work ethic, that earned them the role of team captains this season. Both girls conveyed how grateful they were to be captains and how they want to encourage their own intensity and hard-working attitude in all of their teammates.
As time has passed, Fremeau has moved to a forward position and frequents the post area. She was named Anaconda Patriot League Player of the Week in late January for her performances against Colgate and Lehigh, where she scored 24 and 26 points, respectively, and averaged 7.5 rebounds a game. She had led the team and ranked as one of the Patriot League's top scorers throughout most of the season.
May has fit the mold of the "three guard" very well. A versatile player, she is known for her tireless and intense defensive play. On Jan. 26, against Colgate, she recorded 11 points, 8 rebounds and a whopping 5 steals.
When asked what the most memorable or important game was in their playing careers, both Fremeau and May agreed that their Jan. 26 win at Colgate ranked at the top. Everything came together, and they were able to lead their team by example, as senior captains strive to do. With their final season going by quickly and graduation fast approaching, friendships may be put to the test.
The bond these girls have developed will undoubtedly carry on way beyond graduation.
This story appears in the 2011 Patriot League Tournament program, which will be available for purchase at host sites for both the men and women's tournaments.