Student-Athlete: Easier On or Off the Field?

Don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions- coaches, CSAE, professors, anyone they are more than willing to help you figure things out and make sure you can succeed,” says Beatrix Bradford, a member of the Marist College Women’s Rowing Team, when asked what advice she would give to prospective student-athletes.

According to NCAA.org, there are more than 460,000 student-athletes this academic year across the nation which is a record high number.  

So what is the reason for so many students participating in athletics?  Some may say it’s for the scholarship opportunities.

“More than 50% of parents push their children to compete at the collegiate level…because there is potential for money off the tuition price,” says Daniel Stevens, Athletic Trainer at Performax Physical Therapy.

According to marist.edu, Marist College sponsors NCAA Scholarships for 21 of Marist’s 23 men’s and women’s Division I programs.  

However, many student athletes say that it can be overwhelming being on both a sports team and being a college student.

At Marist College, most athletes, when in season, can have practice as early as 6 a.m. meaning they have to arrive at least by 5:50 a.m.  The early waking calls for an early night to bed, but due to homework and other projects, sometimes that can be hard to do.

“We practice for 3 hours everyday and that doesn’t even include lift, team meetings, film, and prehab/posthab. Not only is playing a sport physically exhausting it’s also mentally exhausting but we’re still expected to perform at the highest level in the classroom regardless of that,” says Stephanie Stone, Marist Women’s Volleyball.

So the stress of high performance on and off the court is inevitable.

Athletes don’t necessarily have to be roommates with other athletes but there are pros and cons to doing so.  A popular comment made by many athletes is that a pro to living together is you have the same morning and night routine such as when you wake up and when you go to bed.  Because of this, there is less worry of waking up your roommates and making them agitated.

But some athletes also say it’s good to have more than one friend group.  “I would tell a future athlete to make friends outside of the team. You’re with your teammates everyday and although it’s important to get along well with your teammates it’s also important to get that separation. A lot of times what happens/the emotions in practice or in a game get carried off the court,” says Stone.

“If anything, sports has helped me create a plan and stick with it which has been very helpful,” says Bradford.

 

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Men’s Basketball Wins Bracket in Belfast

On November 26 the men’s basketball team traveled to the Emerald Isle in the hopes of taking home the gold in the second annual Belfast Classic, the only college basketball tournament in Ireland. 

The tournament, hosted in Northern Ireland’s capital, was put on by the Sport Changes Life Foundation (SCLF) in partnership with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (BHOF) and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). 

The two bracket tournament included eight college basketball teams, all from the United States. The two brackets were called Samson and Golitath, named after the two cranes that helped build the R.M.S. Titanic, which was constructed in Belfast. 

Marist was placed in the “Samson” bracket alongside Dartmouth, Long Island University-Brooklyn, and University at Albany. Senior guard Brian Parker recalled, “It was funny to step onto the court in  Ireland to play a team from New York.”

Marist won the first game against Dartmouth 76-58. They then continued on to play LIU Brooklyn, who they defeated 70-53, making them the champions of their bracket. The last time the men’s basketball team won a November tournament was 2001. 

Parker scored 18 points in the first game, and 15 in the second. Parker’s exceptional playing was recognized and he was awarded MVP of the Samson bracket. “It’s always a great feeling to celebrate a win with your teammates,” commented Parker. “It’s also cool to be able to say we’re undefeated in Europe.”

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Corinne McGovern displays a photo she took of Belfast.

Cheerleader Corinne McGovern remembers the moment the buzzer sounded, declaring Marist had won their bracket. “Everyone on the team had huge smiles on their faces,” she said, donning a grin of her own. 

One image that stood out in both Parker’s and McGovern’s minds was seeing all the Irish fans waving Marist banners and pom poms. “Even though we were in a huge arena, seeing all the Marist gear made me feel like we were back in McCann,” said McGovern. 

According to Darren McCormack, Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities and Operations at Marist, who traveled with the team to Belfast, both the basketball players as well as the cheerleaders and dance team members participated in clinics with local schoolchildren. 

The clinics were organized by the Sport Changes Life Foundation, a charitable nonprofit that aims to help children in disadvantaged communities realize their potential through organized sports, specifically basketball. 

McCormick believes one of the foundation’s hopes in organizing the Belfast Classic is to advertise their Victory Scholar Program to college athletes because “Basketball is present in Ireland, but not prominent.”

The Victory Scholar Program, a scholarship programs that allows American student athletes to travel to Ireland and Northern Ireland to coach youth basketball teams while earning their master’s degree.

“Their motto, ‘Sport changes life,’ is something I think all of our athletes could connect with,” said McCormack. “I think it was good for the athletes to do a little community service and see how they can impact the lives of others.”

Hughes Represents Kids of Special Olympics in NYC Marathon

Senior Caroline Hughes was making her way down the Verrazano Bridge alongside 50,000 other runners on Sun., Nov. 4, when it hit her that she was not running her usual route on the Walkway Over the Hudson, but was participating in the New York City Marathon.

Although always an athlete, Hughes picked up running in college as a way to clear her mind and destress. Only four years later, she trained for her first marathon entirely by herself, and finished in an impressive 5 hours and 47 seconds.

“Running next to complete strangers who also have a passion for running was such an unbelievable motivation,” Hughes said. “It was really, really awesome.”

Hughes first began training last summer, but it became harder to increase her mileage when she returned to Marist as the school work piled on. During mid-semester break, however, Hughes finally had time to pick up the pace, and ran 18 and a half consecutive miles, her longest distance yet. After break, she hit the gym for strength training, and, with only a few weeks to go before the big day, focused on getting enough sleep and eating properly.

Hughes’ decision to run the marathon was inspired in part by the children she works with at Windham Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, where she volunteers in the winter. Many of the students she teaches there are a part of Special Olympics, an organization that helps children and adults with mental and physical handicaps participate in sports. While preparing for the race, Hughes fundraised alongside 15 other runners on the Special Olympics Team, collectively raising over $70,000 for the organization.   

On that Saturday before the race, Hughes picked up her race number at the NYC Marathon Expo, where she saw runners of all different shapes and sizes, speaking a wide array of languages. The night before the race, she was sent a heartfelt video from her friends and family,  who wished her luck. She also received a letter from a Special Olympics athlete with Down Syndrome, in which he thanked her for her fundraising efforts. By 11 a.m. the next morning, the day of the race, the few fears Hughes had experienced were well out of mind, and she was ready to go.

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Hughes poses outside the NYC Marathon Expo

At the starting line, Hughes’ was greeted by the sound of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” a special moment she said she will always remember. Neon signs in hand, her friends and family were scattered along the route, cheering her on. As she ran throughout the city’s five boroughs, Hughes noticed how although the crowds changed, each brought something new and exciting to the race, and every bystander, even members of the homeless, were there to support her.   

“As a runner, I was running alone, but I never felt alone,” Hughes said. “There was just so many people cheering you on, even if they didn’t know you. It was such a moving experience to see all of the different people supporting you. It really unified the entire city.”

Hughes recalled mile 21 as her most challenging, but mentally related her pace to her route back home, to remind herself that she had completed similar distances before. For further motivation, she thought of the kids of Special Olympics, who had already gotten her this far.

When she reached Central Park, she realized she was almost done; after passing her family one last time, she crossed the finish line only a few miles away, and was instantly overcome with emotion.

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Hughes finished the NYC Marathon, her first, in 5 hours and 47 seconds.

“It was just a really unbelievable feeling, to know that I had just completed a marathon,” she said.

Despite the long day, and the lingering dehydration and leg pain, Hughes returned to Marist later that night. Her own reward for the once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment? Hughes skipped her 8 a.m. the next morning, and slept in until her 11 o’clock class.

“I didn’t want to give myself too much time to rest,” she said. “I had to keep going again.”

Hughes said her favorite part of the experience was running along 1st Avenue to “Empire State of Mind,” while passing her friends and family. In the future, Hughes intends to run more marathons, but wants to race in other cities to see how their environments differ from New York’s.  

“At the end of the day, I was extremely proud of myself, because I was able to set a goal, and stick to a commitment, regardless of other things going on at the time,” Hughes said. “[Receiving letters from Special Olympic athletes] showed me that I am very blessed to run for something that is bigger than myself. It was really special, and something that I’ll never forget doing.”  

Water Polo Team Competes in Collegiate Cup

On Nov. 9, the women’s water polo team left behind the cool, crisp air of New York to enjoy a warm, sunny weekend in southern California as they competed in the annual 2018 USA Water Polo Collegiate Cup tournament.

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View from the pool at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Calif. Photo courtesy of Anais Mathes.

Freshmen Gabrielle Gervasi and Sawyer Alter both described playing in the “fast-paced” environment of their first Collegiate Cup as “unforgettable” and different from any other tournaments or games they played in high school.

“It was super exciting but nerve wracking, especially because we were playing University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), who is one of the top 5 teams in the nation.  We have been working really hard this season to be able to compete at the Collegiate Cup, so to have my first collegiate tournament be against top teams, while also being competitive against them, was an amazing experience,” said Gervasi.

Although playing in the tournament was stressful for Alter because she did not know what to expect from her first collegiate game, she found comfort in her teammates. “It felt like a big family trying to attain one common goal of winning.  I really liked that everyone made me feel included and everyone had their own role to play,” said Alter.

The two-day tournament took place on Nov. 10-11 at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Calif.  The annual event brings together the top collegiate women’s water polo teams to complete with the USA Water Polo Women’s Senior National Team.  This year, Marist was one of three East Coast teams, aside from the University of Michigan and Indiana University, who were invited to play in the tournament.

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The team gathers in a huddle before the start of a game.

When asked about the team’s dynamic while preparing for a game, Caoimhe Whitebloom, a senior on the team, described their preparation for a game as “cohesive chaos.”  In the beginning, each team member branches off to mentally prepare themselves individually by doing things such as listening to music or engaging in pre-game rituals.  Afterwards, the team eventually comes together to finish off stretching exercises and doing jumps to “hype” themselves up.  “The energy tends to get pretty intense and people bounce off each other as we get more excited,” said Whitebloom.  “We try to be as level-headed as we can and concentrate on what we are about to do beforehand.”

On the first day, Marist fell to one of the top five seeds, UCLA, 12-3, in its first game of the tournament.  That weekend, the team also faced Pomona Pitzer, San Jose State, and the University of Hawaii.  In their final game, the team competed for a second time against Pomona Pitzer for 13th place, but were outlasted 12-10.  Nevertheless, after catching a red-eye flight from Irvine on Sunday night, the team returned to campus Monday morning feeling thankful for the opportunity to participate in the tournament and excited about the prospects of the upcoming season.

“The tournament was a good kickoff to the season that starts in January because we get to see what we need to work on both individually and as a team,” said junior Anais Mathes.

Whitebloom shared a similar sentiment about the Collegiate Cup, stating that in addition to preparing them for the upcoming season, it offers the team a significant advantage.  “Most other schools don’t play a game outside of practice until second semester so [the tournament] allows us to see how well (or not) we work together,” said Whitebloom.  “We can see what we need to fix and what works.”

According to Mathes, since the team arrived back on campus, they have resumed their daily practice schedule, starting most days at 6:45 a.m. doing strength training and ending around 9 a.m. practicing specific plays and skill swimming in the pool.  After spending nearly every day together, it comes as no surprise how close the team feels with one another.

“I like how everything is very team-orientated and it makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself,” said Alter.  “I want to do well for my team and my coach.”

“What I love about being apart of the Marist Water Polo team is our team dynamic. The team is so supportive in the water and on the bench which keeps the team momentum and energy really high,” said Gervasi.

Women’s soccer caps off successful season

After losing to Siena 2-0 last Wednesday, the Marist women’s soccer team wrapped up an impressive 2018 season.

According to GoRedFoxes.com, the team finished with a 9-8-2 overall record and a 7-3-1 record within the MAAC conference.  The Red Foxes made it all the way to the MAAC semifinals before getting toppled by Siena.  Their loss does not discount the team’s regular season success.  The team improved on their 2017 regular season record of 8-8-3, and Coach Leigh Howard won MAAC Coach of the Year in her first season with the team.  The team’s website points out that  Howard was the first Marist women’s soccer coach to win the award since Katherine Lyn in 2011.

The team is losing five seniors this year (Kristen Reilly, Hope Quinonez, Alexis Prisco, Tori Flaherty, and Sarah Hasselkamp), but they will have plenty of young and promising talent to  build upon for next season.  Quinonez believes that this senior class has left a positive, lasting impact on the underclassmen.

“Being a part of the Marist women’s soccer team is an honor and something they will learn to cherish as their time comes to an end,” Quinonez said. 

Coach Howard commented on the senior class’ resilience and ability to get results on GoRedFoxes.com.  “To be able to do that with a new staff, and to go through some of the turnover they’ve seen in four years speaks volumes about them as people,” Howard said. 

Quinonez shared some of the most valuable lessons that soccer has taught her over her 18-year career.   “I think the most important lesson it has taught me has been to never take anything for granted and enjoy every single second you get to be on that field,” Quinonez said.  Quinonez was sidelined for half of the season with an ACL injury, but she is still tremendously grateful for the opportunities that soccer has given her and the success that the team has experienced this past season. 

Quinonez also commented on some of her favorite moments from this past season.  Specifically, she mentioned her game-tying goal against Yale.  “There is no better feeling than scoring a goal and lifting your team up when they need it most,” Quinonez said.

The end of the season is, by nature, a reflective time for players.  It is an especially nostalgic time for seniors.  For most of them, it will be their last time playing soccer competitively.

“Might be cliche, but all good things come to an end,” Quinonez said.  “I would not change my four years as a Red Fox because my time has shaped me into the person I am today, and has prepared me to face anything that comes my way in the future.”

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Source: GoRedFoxes.com

Veteran reporter joins Sports Center

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Jane McManus, photo courtesy of Marist College

Westchester native, Jane McManus will serve as the Director of the Center for Sports Communication starting December 1st. The powerhouse addition to the acclaimed program has two decades of experience covering New York Sports and working for publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, and ESPN.

Marist released a statement: “McManus has had an illustrious career covering 18 U.S. Opens, five Super Bowls, two NCAA Final Fours, and the inaugural season of the of the New York Liberty WNBA team.”

Familiar to collegiate education, McManus was also a professor at her alma mater, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.   The faculty at Marist looks forward to the new hire, who will bring a new standpoint for the program with her wealth of industry knowledge.

“Hiring Jane McManus is a real coup for Marist. She injects instant credibility and experience into our Sports Communication Center and program with the good name she built in decades in the industry, most recently with ESPN where she was often on TV and radio. She’ll really propel us forward, and that’s hugely exciting,” said Leander Schaerlaeckens, professor and assistant director for the Center of Sports Communication.

In a previous article, Dean of Communications and the Arts, Dr. Lyn Lepre, mentioned the advantages that McManus will add to the program. “She will bring a wealth of experience to this position from her many years as an active journalist and sports media expert,” Lepre said.

McManus may not just be influencing the communication department; her impact may stretch to other regions of Marist College. The former ESPN writer and reporter has a chance to rally with Red Fox nation.

“I hope that with her background in ESPN, she’ll not only embrace but really roll up her sleeves and work real closely with the partnership that we have in athletics with the Center for Sports Communication–in terms of the production with ESPN 3 games through the athletic program,” said Tim Murray, director of athletics.

IMG_0357 Director of Athletics, Tim Murray

As of one year ago, all Marist basketball home games are streamed live on ESPN 3, the company’s online streaming service.

McManus is excited about her new role at the college, in a time when the sports industry is shifting. “The business of sports media is at a crossroads, but the need for prepared professionals is greater than ever. I want to be part of a center committed to anticipating the needs of emerging employers even as it steeps students in the history that will create engaged and critical thinkers,” said McManus in a statement for Marist.

As far as students–one sports communication senior is thrilled that McManus will be joining a program where females are among the minority. “It’s really awesome that we have a female director in a program that’s about 80% male based. It shows myself as well as the other girls in the program that even though we’re outnumbered, we still have something to offer and can really make a name for ourselves in the sports industry,” Kerry Flynn said.

 

 

 

 

 

Athletes Donate Pumpkins

Marist Student-Athletes donated pumpkins to the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie.

This was the sixth year that student-athletes participated in this event. All donated pumpkins benefit the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie which is a residential care facility home for abused and neglected children who live in the Hudson Valley Region. Last year, the Children’s Home served 350 children and their families.

“The past few years we have donated over 100 pumpkins, this year we expect to have over 150 pumpkins to donate,” said Ali Kenney, the Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement of the Marist Center for Student-Athlete Enhancement.

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Pictured here: The pumpkins collected during the Peer Mentor Event in the Press Box at the Women’s Soccer Game vs. Siena

The purpose of the Marist CSAE is to provide academic support services that not only assist student-athletes while they attend Marist, but also grooms them for life beyond their college careers. Of the many academic support services that Marist CSAE offers is the Peer Mentor Program where freshmen student-athletes are paired with upperclassmen who are members of other sports teams. These upperclassmen serve as a resource for incoming freshmen and help them to adjust to life as a student-athlete. There are several events that the peer mentors and peer mentees do together, including decorating pumpkins.

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Pictured here: Shawna Gilson, junior, student-athlete peer mentor

“Painting the pumpkins allowed for a great opportunity to bond with our mentees. I really enjoyed seeing how they all came out. It’s nice to do something for the community and I can’t wait to do it again next year,” said Shawna Gilson, a junior peer mentor on the Marist Women’s Rowing Team.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the Marist CSAE hosted an event where peer mentees and mentors could drop off their pumpkins and watch the Marist Women’s Soccer Game versus Siena. The smell of fall Apple Cider and Apple Cider donuts filled the entire press box and there was a sense of camaraderie present. As fellow student-athletes supported each other, they also came together to showcase their own pumpkins and to see others, all for the well-being of the local community.

“It’s a chance for our mentors and our mentees to get together and decorate a pumpkin together. In addition, we have all of our student-athletes from all sports donate and decorate pumpkins that we donate to the Children’s Home for their annual pumpkin walk which will take place on Saturday,” said Kenney.

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Pictured here (Left to right) Andrew Burns, Alexander Hogue, Brian Henderson members of the Marist Cross Country/Track Team

“I think that this event is pretty cool because it gets Marist involved with the Children’s Home down the road. It puts Marist into the community of Poughkeepsie and allows us to get involved that way,” said Alexander Hogue, peer mentor and a junior on the Marist Cross Country and Track Team.

The Marist CSAE has a strong relationship with the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie because community service is an integral part of this organization.  In 2016, the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored Marist CSAE with the “Outstanding Collegiate Philanthropy” award. In addition to this, during the 2017-18 academic year Marist student-athletes completed 2,510 hours of community service.

Marist CSAE organizes numerous community service projects throughout the academic year by running events like the Girls Scouts Sampler, Special Olympics, White Ribbon Campaign, Walk Against Hunger and Valentines for Vets. They also organize volunteering at places like the Mid Hudson Children’s Museum, the Vassar Warner Senior Residence, and local elementary and middle schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marist Basketball on ESPN3

Poughkeepsie, NY — With November coming to a close the college basketball season is in full swing. The Marist men’s and women’s basketball teams each have three games under their belts as the calendar approaches Thanksgiving, but there is something different going on behind the scenes this season.
Marist Athletics announced earlier this year that they have partnered with ESPN3, and all home basketball games will be live streamed on the WatchESPN App. ESPN 3 is currently available to approximately 70 million homes and 21 million U.S. college students via computers connected to on-campus educational networks at no additional cost to fans. This app can be accessed from mobile devices, gaming consoles, and smart televisions. Continue reading