Grosman finds her calling in field hockey

There’s no way Syracuse women’s basketball coach Marianna Freeman didn’t hear.

Directly behind the Orangewomen’s bench on Feb. 20, 1999, at Villanova, fans with their chests painted “MISSY #5” screamed for their hometown hero to enter the game.

But friends and family that traveled from Wescosville, Pa., to watch Missy Grosman play never got their wish.

Grosman could only turn and smile at the fans as she waited for Freeman to call her into action. But the call never came.

It was one of many heart-wrenching nights for Grosman during her first two years at Syracuse.

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Thump Belton’s journey brought him from obscurity to Syracuse

He saw focus and determination, anxiety and eagerness.

But when Syracuse football assistant coach David Walker’s eyes met Keith Belton’s, Walker saw something he had never expected.

Tears. Belton — the fullback known as “Thump” for his whole life — was crying.

“It was last year right before the Georgia Tech game,” Walker said. “I was like, ‘What the … Are you all right?’ ”

Belton was more than all right.

“Coach,” Belton told the running backs coach before SU’s 2001 season opener, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”

“Some guys,” Walker said, “take things for granted like having an opportunity to play on TV and a big stadium. He’s so appreciative of being in that type of scenario.”

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DeAmato suceeds despite being a long shot

Fourth and 20, ball on the 25-yard line with 10 seconds left and the Orangemen are down two.

The fate of the game doesn’t rest solely on kicker Collin Barber’s right foot. There is little that either head coach Paul Pasqualoni or special teams coach Chris White can do. At this point the most important man on the field is SU’s long snapper — walk-on Dave DeAmato.

DeAmato secured the long-snapper position, addressing Pasqualoni’s “number one question” coming into preseason camp. He beat fullback and co-captain Chris Davis and tight end Lenny Cusumano for the job.

“This kid has been more consistent than (Davis),” White said. “The first factor is the consistency of the snap. You can be the best blocker in the world, but if you can’t get it back there, you can’t play.”

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