SMCM Janitorial Team Sweeps Regional Championship

Staff members from the physical plant and housekeeping staff from around the college have formed a Varsity Janitorial team to enter the 50th annual Maryland state Custodian Olympics held last weekend at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The head organizer of the competition reports that “each event is designed to test a professional cleaner’s overall skill, endurance, and most of all, patience.”  Our team emerged victorious on top of seven other competing teams including the reigning champions “Mount St. Mary’s Moppers” and the dreaded “Salisbury Scrubbers,” whose families had been in the cleaning industry for generations.  

After the teams emerged from the locker rooms with newly stocked supply buckets to stands full of cheering guests, the events started. The St. Mary’s College team, the “Seahawk Sweepers,” went on to set record-breaking performances in a pentathlon that involved a pre-set course of five events: removing overflowed trash bags, tag-team relay sweeping, cleaning out a dorm microwave with a limited supply of wipes, scrubbing skid marks out of a toilet bowl, and wiping off graffiti of genitalia drawn in permanent marker from wooden tables, all as fast as possible.  Some of the other scored speed events that the team took the gold in included separating the trash from the recycling accurately, and an obstacle course “Sticky Shoes” that involved navigating a mop bucket through a floor full of spilled soda without stepping in it or wheeling over it.  

The all-day event included many festivities for the spectators. There were vendors selling hats designed to look like you were wearing a trash can or dustpan on your head among others, as well as educational pamphlets on how to keep your workplace tidy and such.  One visitor commented that “The stadium was very clean; there was no trash left in the stands or on the hallway floors.”  It is unclear if this was the case because the venue was swarming with rival custodians trying to outdo each other, or if the spectators felt angry gazes as they were about to discard their empty soda cups on the ground and just decided to clean up their act.  

Per tradition, the winning team, our St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was awarded the revered golden-toilet trophy, which looks exactly like what you’re imagining it does.  In addition to the trophy, the sponsor Sysco pledged a lifetime supply of paper towel rolls and single ply toilet paper to the winning team, which will help the college to cut down on expenses.  The team captain made a speech, how it was “a great honor” and thanking “my team, my supervisor, all our families, and the select few students who wished us good morning when they saw us in the halls instead of running in the opposite direction.”

Season Preview: Men And Women's Tennis

Coming off a 2-2 fall session, the women’s tennis team starts up their spring season on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Bowie State University.
Beating the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and Chowan Universtiy, but falling to Catholic University and Susquehanna University in the fall, the women Seahawks are preparing to begin play again in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC).

Head coach Derek Sabedra, in his sixth season as head coach for both squads, has a positive outlook for the upcoming season.“I’m pretty positive because our returning girls have significant match play experience. Also, the first-years fit right in and meshed very well in fall play,” Sabedra said.
The team of fifteen players picked up five new first-years for the 2011-2012 season.

Returning junior Chelsea Bradcovich is excited to get back with the team after being abroad last semester. “I’m excited to meet the new team because I haven’t met any of the first-years,” she said. “We have good chances this year, and I’m excited to get back into the groove of things.”

Sabedra mentioned that Stevenson University, York College of Pennsylania, and Hood College will all be the most important matches of the year for the women’s team.“Those three will be crucial for the girls to get a home playoff match. That’s what we are aiming for,” he said.

The men’s tennis team, which came off a 3-1 fall session, will begin play for the spring season on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Virginia Union and Randolph Macon. They defeated McDaniel College, Susquehanna, and Chowan in the fall, only falling to Catholic.

The team also has high hopes going into the spring, with all their players from last season returning. The twelve-man squad also picked up two first-years for the season.

Sabedra is very excited for the season, coming off a record-setting 2011. “We got 13 wins last year, and I think we’re going to beat it this year,” he said. “They practice together and on their own. This squad is more focused than any other I’ve had in my six years.”

Senior Thomas Hoesman was most excited that every player from last year is returning.“It’s good to have everybody back, so we can improve on next year,” he said. “[My goal for the team] is to finish in the top three in the conference hopefully.”

Tying for second last year in the CAC, Hoesman hopes the team can beat out York this season. Sabedra mentioned that the key matches for the men will be against Hood, Stevenson, Frostburg, and Salisbury.

The Men’s and Women’s first home games will be in March.

Baseball Team Plans For Solid Season

Despite the recent balmy weather, baseball season hasn’t officially started yet, but Seahawks Head Coach Lewis Jenkins thinks the upcoming spring will be a good one. Last year, the team had a winning record with 19 wins and 16 losses; rainouts and schedule changes prevented them from reaching 20 wins, which Jenkins hopes to reach this season.

Jenkins says the team’s batting has improved a little more than in past seasons, and he believes the fielding will be solid, despite the team’s loss of 12 members from last season. “[We’ll] miss some of them this year,” Jenkins said, especially in fielding, since some of the players were “very good defensively.”

Regardless, Jenkins is convinced that the team’s upcoming success depends on the pitcher’s mound. “How far we go depends on how our pitching holds up,” he said. Right now, the three starting pitchers for the Seahawks are captains Mike Victory and Devon Jerrard, both seniors, and junior Wick Eisenberg. Jenkins feels very positively about the pitching roster, with a strong starting lineup and solid relief pitchers. That’s due in part to Assistant Coach Hal Willard, who works with the pitchers. “He’s doing a good job … [the pitchers] respond very well to him.”

The team as a whole is strong too, Jenkins said. “I feel very good about our team this year. They seem to be more together as a group than they’ve been in the past.” Victory agrees that the team’s unity has improved. “The attitude and drive of the team really started to turn around last year… Our biggest strength is our team chemistry. We stepped up last year and became a loud, rowdy bunch.”

Jerrard agrees, noting that last year’s record proved that a winning season is entirely possible. “Although last year we were competitive,” Jerrard said, “I think this year’s team will be better. Our powerful lineup complements our very reliable pitching staff.”

Hopefully the team’s hard work will pay off in their opening double-header on Feb. 11 at Randolph Macon College. Victory noted that Randolph Macon is “a good benchmark” for the upcoming season. “I expect to come home from the weekend with a few wins and something to build on,” Victory said.

The Seahawks’ home opener is Feb. 18 against the City College of New York. At that game, President Urgo will throw the first pitch and present the lineup card to the umpires. In his 19 years at the College, Jenkins said this is the first time a president has partaken in this tradition. “I just think that’s good,” Jenkins said. “He’s willing to do it. That’s good.” Additionally, Jenkins said, other faculty and staff will be throwing the first pitch throughout the season, such as the team’s faculty advisor, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Alan Jamieson.

Overall, the team seems ready to get started. “I could not be more excited about this season,” Victory said. “This year, we have all the pieces in place.”

Seahawks' Defense Suffocates Hood

On Wednesday, January 25th, the St. Mary’s men’s basketball team defeated Hood College in an 18-point defensive battle. With a score of 64 to 46, the Seahawks  dominated in Cole Arena with 25 defensive rebounds, 13 turnovers, 10 steals, and 8 blocks (a season high).

Sophomore forward Christian MacAuley and junior guard Chris Hutchinson led the Seahawk offensive with MacAuley scoring 16 points with 9 rebounds and Hutchinson scoring 13 points including going 2-of-2 on 3-pt. shots.

The Seahawks never trailed at any point throughout the game with the closest instance being a game-tying shot by Hood at 17:03 in the first half. Sophomore guard Brendan McFall anchored the Seahawk’s defense by leading the team in defensive stats with 5 defensive rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 5 turnovers.

Overall this season, the Seahawks are 14-5 (.737) with a conference record of 8-2 (.800). The victory over Hood College marks the third consecutive win by the Seahawks. Junior captain and forward Jeff Haus said, “We have been fortunate enough to win a good amount of games this season and intend on winning a whole bunch more by the time it’s all over.”

As a captain, Haus understands the pressure on his team to succeed. “[I] need to be able to ‘rally the troops’ and get everyone working towards common goal,” said Haus. Over the past two seasons, the Seahawks are 2-time CAC champions and have advanced to the NCAA’s “Sweet Sixteen” and “Elite Eight” tournament rounds respectively.

“We want to be perfect, and perfection in our eyes only comes when we win a championship.  If we continue to play together, play hard, and have fun, we see no reason why we can’t make a legit run in the post-season,” said Haus.

The Seahawks’ defense has certainly been stifling this year. With an average of 70.9 points allowed per game, the 2011 – 2012 Seahawks’ defense is on pace to allow only 1773.7 points on the season (the lowest amount in the past five seasons). Furthermore, the team’s average defensive stats (defensive rebounds, steals, blocks, and turnovers) per game total is 54.6, its second highest in the past five seasons.

“Coach Harney has done a great job with this program thus far, and I believe St. Mary’s will have a competitive team for years to come,” said Haus.

Women's Basketball Team Celebrates Consecutive Wins

The St. Mary’s Women’s basketball team has been through a lot of challenges this season but they have continuously managed to dust off and push themselves forward. While the season began with a rocky start, the Seahawks have vowed to finish strong with the help of the head coach Crystal Gibson. With two consecutive wins under their belt, the Seahawks race through the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) games.

On Jan. 14 the Seahawks defeated Frostburg State University (72-57), earning the team their fourth Capital Athletic Conference victory.  The women’s basketball team encountered a small setback on Jan. 18 against Salisbury (52-44) but bounced right back on the 21, earning a win against Stevenson (61-55). “We have a strong bench, and we work together as a whole unit, which is why we were able to bounce back…” says sophomore guard/forward Bridget Wilkins.

On Jan. 25 St. Mary’s Seahawks dominated the court in a CAC home game victory against the Hood College Blazers (71-52). This was their second match against Hood after defeating them Dec. 10 (70-41) at their court.  The SMCM athletics website explains how “the Seahawk defense stifled Hood’s offense, forcing the Blazers to commit 32 turnovers.” St. Mary’s players placed high numbers in the game, scoring new career and season bests. The team raised their overall standing and series score (8-11, 6-4 CAC) keeping them above Hood College (5-13, 1-9 CAC).

The Seahawks believe that their winning streak comes as a result of their ability to work as a team. “After traveling to China together this past summer, we all grew a lot closer, which has definitely benefited us this season,” explains Wilkins. The bond formed among this group of women has resulted in a good season for the Seahawks. The team is supported by each of its members: “[E]very single player on the team has the ability to contribute,” says Wilkins.

The St. Mary’s women’s basketball team looks forward to facing more challenges in the upcoming conference games. “We’ve had ups and downs this season, but we know we’re capable of being consistent, so we’re working on getting there,” says junior guard and the team captain Jasmine Jones, who scored 15 points in the Jan. 25 victory against Hood.

The team’s next game is a home game against York College on Wednesday Feb. 1. The game against York will be their third to last home game, and fifth to last conference game till the CAC championships.


Women’s Basketball Wins Game Against Stevenson 80-64

The St. Mary’s women’s basketball team came out on top at their Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) home openers on Saturday, Dec. 3 against Stevenson University, winning 80-64.

From tip-off, which was at 2 p.m. in the Michael P. O’Brien  Athletic and Recreation Center (ARC), the squad never trailed against the Mustangs.  Game leaders included sophomore forward Shana Lewis, who had 20 points and six rebounds, and sophomore Raven Owens, who notched 14 points including ten out of ten from the free throw line.

However, though the team came away with a key victory over the weekend, their season has been off to a shaky start with a record of 2-5. After losing 68-43 at Delaware Valley College in their season-opener, the debut game of new Head Coach Crystal Gibson, the Seahawks looked to redeem themselves in the Cherry Cove Seahawk Tip-Off Tournament during the weekend of Nov. 18-19.

The Seahawks notched their status as runner-up by the end of the tournament.  St. Mary’s won the opening round played against New Jersey City University  by 67-64, moving on to the title game, in which they lost 71-58 against Greensboro College, who clinched the tournament title.

The team then continued their losing streak with three straight non-conference losses against Ferrum College (76-50), Methodist University (57-48), and The Catholic University of America (62-37).  However, the team was able to break the streak with their much needed conference win on Saturday.

Though there has been much frustration within the team, players are still confident coming off the weekend.  “We were all really angry because we were losing a lot, but if we keep the momentum from this game we should be successful,” said sophomore guard Aura Payne, who returned to play on Saturday after a foot injury sidelined her on Nov. 15, at the team’s season opener at Delaware Valley College.

Junior team captain Jasmine Jones agreed, voicing her thoughts on the team’s progress and ability for the season. “We fought hard in our first two home games this year against great competition. We definitely proved that we can play with some of the best teams, even nationally ranked teams,” she said. “We just want to focus on improving with every game so we can go into conference games confidently and come out as one of the top teams in conference standings.”

The women’s next contest is on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at York College of Pennsylvania, their second conference game of the season.

Sophomore center Myeisha Wallace noted the importance of the upcoming game for the squad.  “It’s going to be a really good game.  We’re going to have to step our game up because this is the game we really need,” she said.  “As long as we work together as a team, I think we will do really well this season.”

Seahawks Box Out Opposition at Pride of MD Tournament

The St. Mary’s Men’s Basketball team performed strongly at the three day Pride of Maryland Tournament Nov. 15 and 18-19, besting Washington College and Frostburg State Universities and losing to Johns Hopkins University by only a single point.

Played in Chestertown and Baltimore, MD, before Thanksgiving break, the Pride of Maryland Championship Tournament put the Seahawks to the test following a 77-70 loss to St. John’s College on Nov. 1, the first game of the 2011- 2012 season. Having two weeks to prepare, the players stepped up their game by Nov. 15 to begin the tournament.

The Shoremen engaged in a tough competition with the Seahawks, maintaining a 42-41 lead by halftime. While losing by seven points at one point in the first half, Washington caught up to the Seahawks to a tie, followed by a free-throw sink that placed the Shoremen just above St. Mary’s.

A similar pattern continued in the second half. As senior guard Deon Queen continued a strong performance that gave the Seahawks an eight-point lead, high-scoring Shoreman Sal Schittino pushed Washington to 65 against the College’s 66. Nevertheless, it was St. Mary’s that held the lead by the end of the second half, ending 78-74 despite a close 75-74 standing less than a minute before the end.

In seemingly good spirits, the Seahawks continued to Baltimore on Nov. 18, to take on Johns Hopkins University. Just as the Seahawks battled against Washington, the Blue Jays opposed the Seahawks at every lead, always maintaining a close margin by a 32-28 halftime, Hopkins in the lead. Following an eight-point trail in the second half, St. Mary’s stepped up with a 9-0 run that put them in the lead for the first time since the first half.

Despite a back-and-forth exchange of the lead and several ties throughout the game, the Blue Jays took a five point lead by the final minute, maintained until junior captain David Spencer landed a long-range shot to reduce the Blue Jays’ lead to 67-66. As the Seahawks stole the ball in the last few seconds of the game, junior forward Jeff Haus took a final hail-Mary to win it against the buzzer. The shot failed to connect, maintaining the Hopkins lead for a close 67-66 finish in part two of the tournament.

St. Mary’s returned to competition in Baltimore the following day , taking on the Frostburg State Bobcats in the final round of the tournament. Despite a struggle in the first half, as St. Mary’s fought to gain a 27-25 lead over Frostburg by halftime, the Seahawks soared over the Bobcats in the second half with 43-33 lead. The lead grew throughout the second half, but dangerously closed to a three-point margin following a strong run by the Bobcats. The game closed with a strong performance by the Seahawks, who took a 62-57 win over Frostburg. The Seahawks currently hold a 5-2 lead overall and a 1-0 conference lead. Their next game is conference level on Wednesday at York College.


Basketball Season Begins

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the St. Mary’s men’s basketball team lost 77-70 against the Division I school St. John’s University. According to the SMCM athletics website, SMCM would have won if it weren’t for the fact that, “St. John’s responded with a 23-6 surge from the 9:11-minute mark to reclaim the lead for good and own a 71-60 advantage with 1:03 remaining.”

First-year Jerome Tolson III commented on the game saying that even though the team lost, “It was really good experience playing a Division I school who is really competitive.” Tolson also said it was fun visiting New York City with the team.

Coach Chris Harney did not want the players to be distracted by the city during the game. He is quoted on the SMCM athletics website saying, “I’m very proud of our guys tonight. They played hard. I told my team before the game to not think about all the hype. I told them to not think about whom St. John’s is and the hype in playing in New York City. I wanted them to have a clear mind and to remain focused. We came in here and almost had a Hoosier’s moment.”

During the game, junior and captain Devin Spencer scored 25 points and shot five of the team’s 13 triples. Sophomore and Captain Christian MacAuley, first-year Nick LaGuerre, and senior and captain Mikey Fitzpatrick also scored in the double-digits.

The team, which has had about a month of practice, was not too affected by the mold. Tolson explained saying, “Two of our guys lived in [Prince George Hall], but they just moved into Dorchester.” Besides that, Tolson described the only problem he has had saying, “It can be difficult to balance school and basketball.”

However, Tolson is also very happy with the team so far, saying, “I think we’re looking good; our chemistry is getting better and better and we are working together as a team.” He also went so far as to say, “We’re like a band of brothers; we’re like a family.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 15 the team will play against Washington College as part of the Pride of Maryland Championship. Tolson commented, “They are going to bring intensity. We’ll have to match that intensity and push through for the [win].” However, Tolson claimed that winning against Washington College is part of a larger plan saying, “the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] Division III Championship is the main goal we are looking to achieve this season.”

Women's Soccer Off To Winning Season

Women’s soccer is off to a great season so far, with a 4-2 record. Last year, their record was 6-8-3, with a 5-2-1 record for conference games. Already, the girls and their coach, Brianne Weaver, ’00, are looking forward to a successful season. Weaver is currently “very pleased” with how the season is progressing. She said, “I think this is the strongest Seahawk team I’ve seen here,” including the years she played for the Seahawks.

Weaver said they haven’t changed their strategy since last year and attributes their winning season to the girls’ experience. Additionally, she believes that team bonding and cohesiveness is strong; the Seahawks traveled to Spain in May to play soccer and enjoy the country. Junior defender Caroline Posner agreed: “I think the team is playing well together…we’ve beat teams that were not easy teams to beat and we’re playing well as a team.” Overall, though, Weaver’s approach hasn’t changed radically: they try to “keep things similar [and] go out as hard as we can and fight for everything.”

Unfortunately, the Seahawks have lost their past two games against #7 Johns Hopkins University and York College, 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. However, the team wasn’t too disappointed about the Hopkins loss since they’re nationally ranked. Senior forward Bridget McGovern said “It’s not like they dominated us… it was a good lesson learned.”

Right now, the Seahawks are ranked #9 in the region, which is the first time they’ve had a ranking since 2008. Because the team is comprised of mostly first years through juniors (McGovern is the only senior on the team), Weaver thinks the team is set up to be strong for a couple of years.

This team, Weaver said, is a very cohesive team and is “playing really well as a unit.” Weaver said the defense is “really strong this year” and “offensively, [the Seahawks] are much more dynamic.” Additionally, the team has multiple goal scorers, so offense is also strong. “This is such a fun group to work with,” said Weaver. “They make coaching rewarding…it’s absolutely a joy to work with them.”

McGovern said she thinks the Seahawks’ “attack is a lot more potent than it’s been in years past. [There are] a lot more girls scoring.”

Currently, the goal this year is to win the conference and go to the NCAA tournament. McGovern’s outlook is positive: “This is the first time since my [first year that] I think we’ll win [the Capital Athletic Conference].”

This Tuesday, the Seahawks will play Catholic University and later in the month, the Seahawks play Frostburg State University for Hawktoberfest. Weaver said they’d love to have a large spectator turnout for the Frostburg game since the Bobcats eliminated the Seahawks from the tournament last year; Weaver expects the upcoming match to be a heated one. “[We have] a lot of fight in us,” said Weaver. “We work very hard.”

Weaver also stressed the importance of their faculty advisor, Professor and Chair of English Ben Click. Weaver said he attends practices and games, provides inspiration for the team, and is a general asset. “He’s fantastic. He’s kind of our twelfth man.”

Overall, Weaver is impressed with the season so far and is especially pleased with the team’s effectiveness. Said Weaver, “I think we have depth, I think we have talent, and above all else, a lot of heart and determination.”

Spring Sports Reflection

While it may be hard to find time in a busy school schedule for other things, the beginning of the school year promises to have lots of events for students to participate in. And while you might find yourself going to hear guest lecturers, seeing plays with friends, or hanging out at the waterfront, there will also be plenty of sports to go to (schedule provided in this issue) throughout the fall semester. However, before looking forward to the games of the coming season, here is a brief reflection of last semester’s spring sports.

The Baseball team, coached by Lew Jenkins, finished 4th in their conference with 19 wins and 16 losses. Two of their Infielders, Corey Napier and Matt Baden, earned Second Team Honors at the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) All-Conference Baseball Teams. The baseball team was knocked out of the CAC tournament after losing to Salisbury 6-5 after 12 innings. The team won it’s last conference game against Randolph-Macon with a score of 9 runs to 8.

Both Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, coached by Chris Hasbrouck and Lisa Valentine respectively, ended their seasons in 5th Place. The Men’s team had 6 wins and 9 losses, while the women’s team had 12 wins and 6 losses. In their final game, Men’s Lacrosse lost To Stevenson, who ended up being the conference champions, with a score of 16-7. Three players from the men’s team became part of all conference teams, while 4 players from the women’s team were named to all conference teams. The women’s team won their last game 16-12 against Christopher Newport University.

Men’s and Women’s Tennis, both coached by Derek Sabedra, finished in fourth place in their respective conferences as well as were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Teams. Student Athletes Andrew Gear, Jay Guzzone, and Arvin Wong played for All Conference teams with Gear playing singles for the first team. Guzzone and Wong both played for the second team, with Guzzone playing singles and Wong playing doubles. The Men’s Tennis Team played it’s last conference game against Lancaster Bible College, winning 9-0. The Women’s Tennis team won its last match against Hood College 6-2, and senior Kathleen Ramsey became the tennis program’s leader in total singles wins.

It may feel odd when a season ends, but before you know it Spring will be back with all the same sports. And even though it sad when seniors leave, there are always new students that change the way a team works. This allows for change from season to season and makes the competition more interesting. Feel free to try out for teams for next semester if you want to play.