ESPN Social Media Director Speaks at Marist

Jillian McCarthy

POUGHKEEPSIE- “Whether you want to be in television or social media the key is to be an efficient communicator and for that you must have a strong foundation in writing.”  On Thursday, November 30th the Marist Sports Communication program had the pleasure of welcoming speaker Mike Foss, the social media director of ESPN.  

 

Foss brought a passionate wave of energy with him on Thursday evening through his discussion of use of social media, branding, and the best way to showcase a broad skillset.Foss is one of nine children and is expecting his fourth child with his wife. He attended George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he played soccer and majored in journalism. He was a production assistant for ESPN for two years until moving on to positions at USA Today and then overseeing editorial content at FOX News, where he managed to increase user engagement online by over 130% in just under two years.  Foss is an incredibly motivated individual; he wakes up at 4:30 a.m. every day.

 

Foss was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2015 for his creation of For The Win, a sports vertical for USA TODAY.  The site aims to produce stories across all types of sports to appeal to a wider, more general audience. Foss commented that the previous method in which ESPN used to spread content was inefficient and a jumble of sports reporter’s notes posted into individual blogs for each sport. Now, they have reinvented the manner in which they appeal to their audience by engaging users through mixed media and gifs.

 

Foss touched upon his love/hate relationship with Twitter for allowing content to be spread easily and quickly. He said there is a strong possibility of building a network through Twitter because it is a great platform to connect with famous people or celebrities on a more personal level, because they do in fact look at their mentions.

 

He claimed that his original success on social media came through Yahoo, Buzzfeed, and Upworthy which were the genesis of For The Win.  For The Win was created through engaging visuals you would find on social media and bringing them together for a mobile version. Foss acknowledged that this jumpstart by targeting mobile users helped grow their viewership from six million to 13 million in the first year of the site’s release alone.  

 

Touching upon the expansion of social media and technology today, Foss talked about the traditional manner of writing stories, posting them to the website, and then distributing them to the relevant audience.  He addressed how this process has changed. Today he noted how his team must anticipate which platforms are the right fit for the content they want to broadcast and be aware of all platform changes and emerging trends.

 

Most importantly for Marist students, Foss discussed identifying opportunities for talent and utilizing each platform differently. When asked about what he looks for in a resume, Foss commented that the Google search your name produces is more important than the resume sitting in front of him. He was very adamant about a candidate’s ability to demonstrate their passion, creativity, and insight through their use of social media outlets.  If you claim a skillset, he wants to see it carried out on your personal channels. For example, if you claim to have experience in graphic design, he wants to see the cuts, lighting, color correcting, and details carried out on your YouTube channel videos or your sense of humor and intelligence portrayed through tweets. Foss expressed the importance of understanding the platforms one uses and demonstrate the ability to gear your skills towards them

 

Foss also commented that one of his greatest professional strengths was the diversity of his skill set. "I had a really diverse skill set,” he said.  “I was a really good writer but I also knew how to mic people up and design graphics. Different places need different things out of people." Foss made it a point to highlight over and over again the importance of the ability to write. He made sure to emphasize that strong communication skills begin with writing and diverge from there, similar to the way he began his career by writing his own personal blog and copywriting.

 

Students in the audience were attentive and impressed by the advice had to offer, and the Q&A segment of the afternoon was bubbling with questions about social media presence and the best way to stand out in the crowd. The invaluable advice Foss offered through building a strong following and creating a personal brand will prove useful to Marist students focusing on their career goals and opportunities.  The audience was left with hopeful messages for the future, and a guide to expressing themselves through social media.

There's a New Club in Town

Men's Soccer Becomes New Club Program

FROM PRINT

By Carlo Taglioretti

Just like the sport soccer, it was a team effort from four guys to start up a new sports club at Marist. Seniors, Cory Lang, Luke Frederick, Brian Jahnke, and Antonino Criscuolo were the pioneers in figuring out all the pieces to start the first ever men’s club soccer team.

“We wanted to start the club soccer team because we recognized the void that it would fill,” said Lang. These seniors knew that Marist needed a club soccer team not only because they’ve been playing most of their lives, but the level of competition from intramural was a sign that there can be more.

“Coming from the University of Pittsburgh and playing club soccer there, I knew the guys here at Marist were missing out,” said Frederick.

“We needed something more competitive than intramurals and we believed we could build a team that would be able to compete against other schools in the region,” said Criscuolo.

While they knew why they wanted to start the club, the journey from the idea to an actual team was much more demanding. “I tried with a few guys back during my sophomore year and we ran into some issues with the athletic department,” said Lang.

“Shawn Conboy the new coordinator of club athletics contacted us saying he would back us up on starting a men’s club soccer club and realized our passion during our previous attempt a few years back,” said Criscuolo. “We had to become an official club before we could register to the league of Region 1 NIRSA, “ said Criscuolo.

“This entailed gathering a list of necessary information like the by-laws, a affordable budget, and an overall plan to submit to SGA, “ said Frederick. “We had to present to SGA and then have them vote on our proposal,” said Criscuolo.

“In the budget we had to allocate for transportation, official fees, registration for the league, equipment, and coaches salary etc,” said Criscuolo. “Throughout this process last spring we were all pressed for time; that was our biggest obstacle because SGA had a packed schedule and they were able to squeeze us into their last meeting of the year,” said Frederick.

“I remember for me the most challenging part of this whole process was making sure our presentation was good enough to get us approved and waiting for the SGA staff to decide,” said Criscuolo. “It took a lot of effort to coordinate with different departments and groups of people in order to formally start the team,” said Lang.

“We had to stay patient during the process and communicating to each party involved was another huge task on our parts,” said Frederick. The Men’s Club Soccer team became an official club on May 3rd, 2017, and started their season the following fall semester.

“I know for me and the guys getting the club team had its challenges but understanding the process and staying determined was the only thing that will get it done,” said Lang. They had initially shown to SGA that the interest was high with about 30 interested players, yet come tryouts for the team there was nearly 80 players over the 4 day tryouts.

“It was nice to see so many kids want to play, and we know the future for the club will be bright,” said Lang. The team currently has a record of 2-0-2 (W/L/T) and hopes to make the regional competition this October.

“It has been a great experience and we will forever be with Marist…we are all extremely happy to be the founders of the Marist Men’s Soccer Club,” said Criscuolo. “In the future there may be two teams competing for Marist, that’s how high the interest is here at Marist,” said Frederick.
 

Sanchez returns after a series of injuries

Jake Mack

Marist Football’s Mike Sanchez, number 36, is approaching a season of redemption—in reference to both his team’s fate and his personal health.

 

As a redshirt sophomore linebacker, Sanchez tore his meniscus and suffered various in-season hardships and holds great motivation to re-enter strongly.

 

In 2016, Sanchez played in nine games, resulting in six tackles and one quarterback hit. Marist was depending on his leadership and overall skill level for the 2017 season, but have been setback with his recent injuries during a spring scrimmage game.

 

“I partially tore my MCL during a scrimmage in August,” he said. Sanchez was lucky enough to come back during week 5, but in just another two weeks, another part of his knee began to bother him—as he had torn his meniscus as well.

This resulted in Sanchez’ official ejection from the rest of the playing season and his subjection to surgery.

Sanchez enters the season with high confidence and readiness to overcome his recent hardships.

“I think my style of play will not change very much. The main focus for me now is to focus on getting healthy and I have already set up working on my speed for the next several months,” he said. “I believe I will be back, faster and stronger than I’ve ever been.”

“I feel our progression has grown as an entire team due to the fact of how more serious we are. My first two years here I felt winning and losing wasn’t taken as seriously as I was used to,” said Sanchez. “All winter, summer and going into the season the attitude changed. That is one of the most important things when coming into the season.”

While taking time out of the season to nurse his injury, Sanchez is at practice and on the sideline during games acting as a vocal leader and a mentor to young players.

“The person that I go to with almost all of my problems and mentoring is Ruben Avalos (5th year senior) and Willie Barrett (Senior)—those two are like my older brothers,” he said. “It’s funny because sometimes the coaches would sometimes mix up Ruben and I.”

“While I still have my own mentors, I also mentor some of the younger guys on this team—like Grant Dixon,” he continues, adding that he was actually Dixon’s host on his official visit, and his freshman year “big brother” at pre-season camp.

Sanchez addresses the negativity that can oftentimes surround campus regarding the football program. “This team works extremely hard, and I say that because sometimes I hear students talk negatively about the team.”

“Our record is better than what we are, it’s just the little things about this game that we need to fix—mark my words that those little things will be fixed.”

Keep a look out for number 36 as he is coming back faster and stronger looking into next year.

Marist Women's Cross Country Completes Historical Season

By Brian Edsall

Every collegiate athletic season is special. Many seasons are memorable.

This year, the Marist women’s cross country team produced a season that was more than special, more than memorable. This season was historical.

This year’s 2017 women’s cross country team dominated major championship races, placing 2nd at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship, 11th at the NCAA Division 1 Northeast Region Championship and 4th at the ECAC/IC4A Division 1 Cross Country Championship.

The team’s 2nd place finish at the MAAC Championship was the highest since 2012, and their 11th place finish at the NCAA D1 Northeast Region Championship—with the team’s lead runner from the MAAC Championship injured and in brutally cold conditions—is the highest in program history, surpassing the 15th place finish of 1998.

For Head Coach Pete Colaizzo, this team was definitely one of the best ever— if not, the best ever.

2017 Marist Women's Cross Country - photo via Marist Athletics

2017 Marist Women's Cross Country - photo via Marist Athletics

“We always enter every season with high expectation in terms of preparation and effort,” said Colaizzo. “But I do think it's safe to say that this team met or exceeded expectations at almost every meet.”

More impressive than these historical finishes is the considerable improvement from the 2016 season, where the team finished 6th and 25th at the MAAC Championship and NCAA D1 Northeast Region Championship respectively.

“Finishing 6th last year at MAACs was heartbreaking…the place didn't reflect the hard work and talent that team had put in,” said senior captain Mara Schiffhauer. “All the hurt, all the ability we had to prove, and all the heart that propelled us in this year's race really showed with a 2nd place finish.”

Many impressive individual performances propelled the team to their historical finishes. The MAAC Championship saw three All-MAAC (top 15) performers and three All-MAAC Rookie runners. The NCAA D1 Northeast Region Championship witnessed five finishes in the top 100. Lastly, the team had four All-East (top 40) performances and seven sub-19:00 finishers at the ECAC/IC4A D1 Championship.

“The girls on this team invest so much of themselves toward the common goal and that takes a certain level of selfless commitment,” said Schiffhauer. “I've never seen a group of girls that are more unified in their purpose and tenacious in nature, and I'm honored to be a part of it.”

Colaizzo credits much of this success to the leadership of the captains and upperclassmen, as well as the strong guidance and training routines of Coach Chuck Williams and Assistant Coach Erica Maker.

Moreover, the freshman class was simply phenomenal, as they “went places no young runners have ever gone...[paving] the way for an extremely bright future,” according to Colaizzo.

Freshman Gianna Tedeschi, finishing 1st overall for Marist and 50th overall at the NCAA D1 Northeast Region Championship - photo via Pete Colaizzo

Freshman Gianna Tedeschi, finishing 1st overall for Marist and 50th overall at the NCAA D1 Northeast Region Championship - photo via Pete Colaizzo

Marist’s head coach thoroughly enjoyed the many memorable team and individual performances. However, the everyday process— the "steady drip of consistency”—is what Colaizzo truly relished.

The conclusion of cross country brings the beginning of track, where Schiffhauer believes the team will continue its success.

“The energy on this team is undeniable coming out of the cross country season—The sky really is the limit with this team,” she said.

Though another season has ended, the memories extend far beyond the finish line. For Schiffhauer, the friendships and bonds formed with teammates are what she cherishes most. “Every girl I have had the pleasure of toeing the line with on this team has taught me something about perseverance and compassion that I will forever be grateful to have.”

An Interview with Freshman Soccer Star Allen Gavilanes

Jillian McCarthy

Marist’s men’s soccer team had a notably successful season, no doubt due to one of their rising stars, Allen Gavilanes. Gavilanes, a freshman from North Plainfield, New Jersey, brought to the team a fresh energy that shows both on and off the field.  He has won both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in the MAAC.  Like most other freshman, Gavilanes has to adjust to life in college; however, he also has to juggle his commitment to the soccer team with his academics. This may not be as hard as it sounds for someone like Gavilanes.  After talking to him, it becomes clear that he is a levelheaded individual who has his priorities straight.   

 

Q: What drew you to play soccer? Did it play an important role in your childhood?

A: My dad played on a professional team in Spain so it was kind of ingrained growing up. My dad would pick me up from school and we would ride our bikes to the field to play. I also always played with my cousins in our backyards, so it was something that was really family oriented.

 

Q: What was your high school career like playing soccer? How has it changed now?

A: My senior year of highschool I played for St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey which is an all boys school that’s ranked number 1 in the state and number 1 nationally. I played for my public high school in North Plainfield before I was recruited for St. Benedict’s, and I knew I had to go because it is a more intense program and they were in the run for a national championship.

 

Q: How did you choose to come to Marist? Did you always want to play at a collegiate level?

A: I knew I always wanted to play at a collegiate level, and I had original offers from many schools but an injury during my senior year altered those offers. One of my friends at St. Benedict’s, Ernest Mitchell, went to Marist to play soccer and he definitely influenced my choice besides the beautiful campus. We played in high school at the same time, and now we’re playing together for Marist.

 

Q: What are you studying?

A: I’m undecided at the moment but I’m really interested in science and possibly sports medicine or becoming a physician’s assistant.

 

Q: How is the year going between balancing soccer and school?

A: I think it’s going really well, I’ve made a lot of friends on and off the team. I’ve also noticed how much the faculty and students admire student athletes, which is nice to know how much people support you.

 

Q: Do you have any pregame rituals? (songs, food, etc.)

A: For music, I listen to Travis Scott, but I also have another ritual that may sound kind of strange. I always put my left sock and my left cleat on first which is followed by my right sock and right cleat, and it goes with my motto, “look good, feel good.”

 

Q: What role does your family play in your athletic career?

A: My family have always been supportive of me, and they always come to our home games. I have three younger brothers as well, and I definitely try to be a role model for them. My eleven year old brother plays and he’s really talented, but my other brothers are three-year old twins and only one of them has really shown interest in the game.

IMG_5080.jpg

 

Q: Who is your biggest role model and why?

A: My biggest role model is definitely my mom.  She’s the reason I am where I am today. She has always encouraged me and stressed the importance of school. I’m a first generation college student, and school always comes first. I once tried to skip school for a week in middle school, and I would pack my bag with my cleats instead of my books, but eventually my mom caught on. When she realized what I was doing she took soccer away from me and I didn’t play for a whole summer, and fair to say it was the worst summer ever. In soccer, my biggest role model would be Lionel Messi, and one time I even got to see him play in Spain.

 

Q: What are some of your personal goals for this season/year as a whole?

A: I would like to win the MAAC with my team, and make it to the NCAA tournament. During the first week of October NCAA ranked me fourth in the nation for assists and #40 in the nation for points including four goals and six assists.

 

Q: What are your goals for the team during your 4 years to come?

A: I definitely want to continue playing soccer, and my coach from St. Benedict’s Prep acts as my agent so he helps advise me along with my coach at Marist.

 

Q: Where do you see yourself after graduation?

A: I would like to continue doing the things I’m interested in and specifically be in a Sports Medicine program and playing soccer.

 

 

 

Pablo Torre of ESPN Speaks at Marist

Lily Caffrey-Levine

POUGHKEEPSIE—“This is going to turn into story time by the way” said Pablo Torre. The senior writer for ESPN visited Marist College this past week, sharing wisdom from his experience working in sports as well as advice for college students of any major, all with an entertaining charm.  Torre talked to students about working in sports, and their importance in society.

IMG_4468.JPG

Introduced by the interim director of the Center for Sports Communications, Leander Schaerlaeckens, Torre explained that being a sports journalist was not always his plan.  Raised by a urologist and dermatologist in New York City, Torre’s initial plan was to become a doctor.  He realized, though, that he was not passionate about math and science, and attempted to enter law school.  After taking the LSAT and receiving an unsatisfying score, he took a job at Sports Illustrated as a fact checker. This lead to an enjoyable, unexpected career in sport journalism.

While working at Sports Illustrated, he wrote his 2009 award winning article, “How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke” one of his more notable works.  The piece was later recreated into the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Broke.”  Torre said that while working on this article, he realized he really enjoyed what he was doing.  

While working at Sports Illustrated, he pitched a story about Jeremy Lin.  Torre grew up as a New York Knicks fan and Lin has been recently drafted by the Knicks.  Both attended Harvard College overlapping a year, and the fact that Torre and Lin are both Asian American, it lead to a surreal momentt of realization, one that Torre compared to “living in a computer simulation.” 

Touching on some of his early experiences in sports writing, Torre talked about the importance of using what he knew to his advantage.  Although he majored in sociology, he said that his major did instill the value of research, reporting, and being rigorous with research, which helped him as a fact checker at Sports Illustrated.

Torre talked about his transition from sports writing at Sports Illustrated and later ESPN to working on television. Once again, he accredits his hard work and research to his successful transition.  His first television appearance was on “The O’Reilly Factory” to discuss the Olympics. He explained that, although he was not an expert on the Olympics, he was not going to turn down the opportunity.  Torre on the Olympics, another theme often found amongst college students. “If you throw me into a deep pool, at least I’m going to float,” said Torre.

After being hired as a writer for ESPN, he began to take on larger roles on popular sports television programs such as “Around the Horn” and “The Sports Reporters.”  Torre stressed that it is important to learn how to do different things. He elaborated, saying that people in any field take vacations, and someone needs to fill in.  Being able to at least float in the deep end of a pool can help you get to where you want to go in your career. 

As students in the audience asked for advice, Torre elaborated on the importance of a social media presence. He said that it was his Twitter persona that helped him to have a role on TV through his personality being discovered on the site.

These tools of the trade have proven useful for Torre, as he and fellow ESPN sports journalist Bomani Jones have their own show coming to ESPN in January.  The audience left not only with interesting stories of his career this far, but also advice from his own experiences on ways to help their careers and have fun doing it. 

Marist Hockey Wins Route 87 Cup Challenge for Fourth Consecutive Year


By Madison Zoey Vettorino

On Saturday, November 4, the Marist College Men's Ice Hockey club team dominated their most competitive rivals, the Siena College Saints, to win their fourth consecutive Route 87 Cup Challenge in an electrifying 5-2 victory.  

Marist won their first game against Siena on September 29 in Albany, New York.  This latest win was crucial for the Red Foxes.  “It’s important because even though it is a ‘club team,’ it’s still a team with a lot of history,” said Matt McNamara, a play-by- play commentator for ‘The Rant Sessions,’ Marist Hockey’s official broadcasting team.  “It’s really the biggest regular season achievement that Marist can strive for. All members of the Marist Hockey community can share in stories of fighting and winning against Siena in some way.”

The game, described by Captain Justin Larkin as “intense, fast-paced, and hard-hitting,” was a testament to the team’s dedication to beating Siena and continuing that winning tradition. The contest started off relatively slow; the score was tied at 0-0 until Siena scored with just over two minutes left in the first period. Marist, however, re-emerged from the first intermission with a vengeance, hungry for a win.

Marist Hockey 1.jpg

In the second period, the Red Foxes scored four unanswered goals, finishing out the period with a 4-1 lead.  For McNamara, this was the best portion of the game. “My favorite part [of the game] was in the second period, where Marist scored four goals in ten minutes,” McNamara said.  “The first was generally quiet, especially from Home fans. But the roar of the crowd just kept building after each subsequent goal. That’s what the excitement of the rivalry is all about.”

Larkin agreed that the crowd plays a large role during a game as important as this one.  “It’s always a tough battle against Siena because we both want to win so badly,” he said. “The crowd plays a big part in these games. We know the stakes are so high so it brings out the best in everyone.”

The third period, however, was slightly less eventful. Marist scored one more goal prior to the end of the game, as did Siena. The game concluded, and the Red Foxes defeated the Saints with a score of 5-2.  Marist, once again, won the title of Route 87 Cup Challenge Champions.

According to Head Coach Michael Beck, the discipline that the team maintained was crucial to their victory. “I think we maintained discipline in a high penalty game and in doing so, we were able to create more opportunities to capitalize on that," Beck said.

This was something McNamara noticed as well. “Marist, especially in the third period, kept their composure,” McNamara said. “Were there big hits and even bigger fights? Of course, that’s expected in a game like that. But Siena had several players either thrown out of the game or sent to the [penalty] box for detrimental behavior towards officials and that really stunted comeback effort. Credit to Coach Beck and the rest of the staff for keeping their players focused on the win.”

Beck believes that Marist's ability to hold on to their Route 87 title demonstrates how much the hockey program has grown.  “I think it was important for Marist College Hockey to maintain the title because it showed the progression of the program over the last few years and how we have become one of the leaders of the Super East league,” Beck said. “It continues our dominance on the league.”

“I’m happy that we won," said Aaron Lassen, a sophomore defenseman for the Red Foxes.  "I’m sure it means a lot to the guys that have been here all four years,” Larkin, who has been the Red Foxes’ goaltender for the last four years of Route 87 Cup Challenges, is thrilled that Marist Hockey’s combination of determination and hard work has paid off again.

“It’s a great honor to win all four years against our biggest rival,” Larkin said. “We work hard to prepare for these games every year and it’s awesome to see the hard work pay off. There’s no better feeling than beating them. We have dominated them for the past four years and look to continue it.”


Red Fox family proves endurance


By Brian Edsall

There is something special about being part of a team. An unbreakable bond is formed – a bond that endures a lifetime. Sunday’s 3rd Annual Walkway Marathon demonstrated this as dozens of present and past Red Foxes ran united, donning the red and white singlets of Marist College.

“Our alumni love this race,” said Pete Colaizzo, head coach of the cross country and track and field programs at Marist College. “They love the chance to return home to their home at Marist and to connect with other alums.”

Stefan Morton, class of 2017, finishing first in the Walkway 5K in a time of 14:59

“What’s also cool is that they are forming relationships with our current team members,”  Colaizzo continued. “It keeps the bond of our program strong through various generations.”

Michelle Gaye, class of 2015, agrees that the Walkway Marathon demonstrates the strength and character of Marist’s running program which stretches far beyond the current student-athletes.

Michelle Gaye, class of 2015, finishing the 5K in a time of 22:10.

Stefan Morton, class of 2017, finishing first in the Walkway 5K in a time of 14:59

Stefan Morton, class of 2017, finishing first in the Walkway 5K in a time of 14:59

“As an alumnus, I enjoy telling stories and offering advice, as well as meeting the new team to talk about their experiences,” Gaye said. “It is great to see friends, teammates and coaches to reflect on the past and to have the opportunity to see Marist’s future with new faces on the team and the evolving campus.”

“I know that many alumni of other running programs do not stay connected – Marist alumni are different” Gaye added.

Spencer Johnson, class of 2017, was the only current Marist runner to complete the full marathon, finishing in a time of 2:39:32. He was ecstatic as he crossed the finish line, completing a major milestone in his running career while surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches.

“I saw everyone stand up and cheer me on as I rounded the final hill before the finish line,” Johnson said. “I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I ran a grueling 26.2 miles in pretty hot temperatures, but I owe it all to my great support system getting my through.”

Johnson describes how he will never forget the experience and atmosphere of the event. From beginning to end, teammates and alumni who came to compete and spectate were extremely supportive.

Spencer Johnson, finishing first in the Walkway Marathon in a time of 2:39:32, completing his first ever marathon.

Spencer Johnson, finishing first in the Walkway Marathon in a time of 2:39:32, completing his first ever marathon.

“The Walkway Marathon is a great event for Marist running,” Johnson explained. “It allows Marist cross country and track to have an event on our campus – something that is not possible during the school year because of the absence of a track. I definitely look forward to participating in the Walkway events in the years to come.”


Playing with Hart


By Brian Edsall

Another journey at Marist College has concluded for the class of 2017. Graduating seniors now reflect on the past as they cross the threshold into the future. Khallid Hart, one of the more notable players in Marist basketball history, now looks back at the goals and dreams he once had as graduating high school senior and at his accomplishments during his four years as a Red Fox. Though humbled and proud of what he has achieved, he is now ready for the road ahead.

Sports have always been an integral part of Hart’s life from a young age. But surprisingly, basketball was not always relevant. “I liked to play every other sport except basketball growing up which is really funny to think about now,” Hart said. “I would say that football was my first love….In high school I dabbled in a little bit of everything. I played soccer for a little, lacrosse for [a] little, tennis, baseball, and cross country.”

Hart would watch his father play basketball at various parks in the Bronx while growing up, but he did not begin playing the sport himself until around 11 or 12 years old. “Once I told my dad that I wanted to play basketball he started to teach me everything he knew,” Hart said. 

Hart’s father taught him valuable lessons on and off the court. He emphasized how education was equally as important as practicing basketball. “He told me that I would be able to get a free education through college if my high school grades were good and if I earned a basketball scholarship,” Hart said. “From then on I thought it was a no brainer, plus it would give me a chance to go to the NBA.”

Marist Circle Hart 2.jpg

Hart, a graduate from The Sanford School in Newark, Delaware, was immediately drawn to Marist College when visiting as a high school student. “The coaching staff that recruited me is what lured me to Marist. They were cool and real and made me feel extremely wanted.  Then when I came to Marist on my official visit and I instantly fell in love with the campus,” Hart said.

Unfortunately Hart’s career, along with fellow graduate Kentrall Brooks’, would become plagued by coaching instability. From 2013-2017, the Marist men’s basketball program transitioned through three different head coaches – from Chuck Martin, to Jeff Bower, to current head coach Mike Maker. Despite constant change, Hart was determined to remain focused. 

“Transitioning through three different coaches was hard, but I adapted,” Hart explained. “I was asked to score and lead the team from each coach so it wasn’t that hard to adapt, but it was hard to foster relationships.”

Entering college, Hart was determined to make a positive impact both as an individual player and as a team. One of Hart’s main goals was to have a season above .500. This goal was heavily affected by coaching instability. From 2013-2017 the Red Foxes finished with a 34-91 record – an overall win percentage of .272.

Although Hart never achieved his team goals, he is satisfied with the impact he has personally had at Marist College and within the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

“One of my other goals was to dominate this league because my father always said that I would,” Hart said. “In my opinion, I don’t know if I can say that I dominated the league…but one thing I can say is that I definitely earned the respect of coaches and players.”

Hart finished fourth on Marist’s all-time scoring list with 1,879 points, averaging 16.7 points per game. He was also awarded Rookie Of The Year in the MAAC during the 2013-2014 season and was named to the All-MAAC second team for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. Hart attributes much of his success to his ability to simultaneously remain humble and driven. 

Hart’s significant impact on the court is undeniable, but his impression has extended far beyond the Marist community as he has become a role model for youth in the Poughkeepsie area. 

“My parents taught me how to act the right way,” Hart said. “They taught me humility and just to be thankful for every day, so that is how I approached everything.  I am very grateful that I am looked up to by many youth, and I know it makes my parents very proud to know that they did a good job raising me.”

Hart’s experiences and the people he has met have taught him valuable lessons which he will remember as he pursues a professional basketball opportunity in the NBA or overseas. 

“Basketball has taught me to never take any day for granted,” Hart reflects. “It has taught me to go out and play every game like it is my last. It has taught me perseverance and toughness. It has taught me to stay strong through the inevitable ups and downs.”


Marist Softball's Offense Heats Up Down the Stretch


By Matt McNamara

As May comes around and the weather starts to look more like summer, the flowers are not the only things in bloom. Marist Softball has finally seemed to hit its stride on the offensive side of things as they get deeper into MAAC play.

The Foxes are now 30-19 overall, as they enter their last weekend of MAAC play with a 10-6 Conference record, 4th-best in the Conference.

But things look promising for the Foxes as they plan to enter the MAAC Tournament, as they have won 9 of their last 12 games, including sweeps of series against Boston University, Niagara, and Canisius on the road.

While the pitching has remained solid throughout the season, the budding offense has really made the difference down the stretch, and it all starts with Janna Korak.

Korak has been on an absolute tear these past few weeks, boosting her average to .346 on the season, with 12 Home Runs and 44 RBI’s, while also leading the team in walks with 23.

But just as hot as number 20 Korak is number 21, Kourtney Paul, who currently leads the team with a .365 average, with 63 total bases to lead the team with a .440 OBP.

Four other Red Foxes boast a batting average above .300 this season, including senior Rebecca Freeman who is second on the team with 31 RBI’s, and Gabrielle Kelliher who is second on the team with 6 Home Runs.

Marist Athletics 

Marist Athletics 

The team has also received strong offensive efforts from Casey Page who leads the team with 15 stolen bases, Miranda Perez who leads the team with 10 sacrifice bunts, and Brittney Colombo who leads the team in HBP with 12 on the season.

But let’s not forget about the dominant pitching staff, whose 4 main starters of Oberdorf, Van Alphen, Leeseburg, and Beirmeister all boast ERA’s under 3.00. Oberdorf and Van Alphen are currently battling for best team ERA with 2.07 and 2.08 respectively, but Van Alphen leads the team with 10 wins and 3 complete game shutouts.

Beirmeister is second in the rotation with 9 wins, giving up less than a hit per inning, without surrendering a single home run this season so far. Leeseburg continues to dominate batters, posting 69 strikeouts in 61 innings, holding opponents to a .210 batting average.

Marist will finish off the season this week with three 2-game series against Lafayette, Rider, and Monmouth.

They will then look to repeat as MAAC Champions next week.

Men's Lacrosse Thrashes Manhattan 16-6


By Michael K. Conway

Two weeks ago, the Marist men’s lacrosse game against the Quinnipiac Bobcats had the Red Foxes scurrying out of New Haven, Connecticut, and wiping the sweat off their brow with their almost too-close-to-call 9-8 victory. The game last weekend against the Manhattan Jaspers was the exact opposite. In an offensively dominant performance against the 2-10 Jaspers, there was no question about the Red Foxes’ 16-6 win. “We were excited about the way we played this past Saturday,” said head coach Keegan Wilkinson. Manhattan is a really good team, their record does not indicate that but they have played a lot of good teams that are really tough and they have given our senior class a lot of trouble, it is the only team that we had a losing record to in conference for our seniors so to get that win and go to 2-2 was really important for us.”

The Red Foxes advance to an overall record of 7-5, 2-2 in the MAAC with their remaining two games both being MAAC opponents Detroit and Siena. Maneuvering for a good seed in the upcoming MAAC tournament at Tenney stadium, the Red Foxes have to win out for the #2 or #3 seed in the conference tournament.

The offensive unit was led by Mitchell Standera’s hat trick and supplemented by goals from several different teammates including senior attack JD Recor, senior midfielders Connor O’Neill, and Ralph Faiella who each added a pair of goals to the final score. Seven other Red Foxes put themselves in the mix each adding single goals to bring the Red Foxes to final total of 16 goals on the day. “I thought we came out really hot, they weren’t really sliding to us to start the game and we took advantage of that and scored four on them really quickly,” said Recor.

Marist Athletics 

Marist Athletics 

The Red Foxes got out to an early start against Manhattan and maintained their momentum throughout the game. Marist blanked the Jaspers in the first quarter 4-0 and kept on pace putting up four more goals in the second quarter and allowing one goal making the score 8-1 at the half. “We came out and we wanted it. It’s good to get back on track coming down the stretch. We knew coming in to Detroit that we wanted to have some momentum,” said junior attack Gannon Morrison. With five goals in the third and three more in the fourth Marist extended the deficit allowing only five goals in the second half of play.

Redshirt junior goalie Brian Corrigan recorded 12 saves on the day, allowing a mere five goals. Other Red Fox goalies saw some time in the net as returning sophomore David Meyer and returning freshman Kevin McKendry allowed one goal and recorded one save. “Defensively we just wanted to settle down, we have been doing a great job this year just creating some fast break goals which we did, we created two or three easy transition goals which helped us build an 8-1 lead at halftime,” said Corrigan.

Up next on the menu for the MAAC tournament hungry Red Foxes are the Detroit Mercy Titans who sit at 5-8 overall but just ahead of the Red Foxes with a 3-2 MAAC conference record. “The game this weekend against Detroit should be a great one, it’s a team that we have run into in the semifinals the past couple years and its developed into a really good rivalry and they are a hard, tough-nosed team and a team that we are really familiar with so we are expecting a great battle,” said Wilkinson.

Marist Baseball Sweeps Canisius, Drops Next Two


By Julianne Desjardins

After a tough weekend last week, the Marist Red Foxes baseball team got back on the winning trail with a three-game sweep over the Canisius Golden Griffins.

The team played a double header on Saturday and one game on Sunday. In the first game of the double header, Canisius started off the scoring in the first inning, scoring one run off of Marist pitcher Sean Keenan.

Marist took the lead in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three runs. Greg Kocinski starting the inning off with a single to center field. He then advanced on a single by Matt Pagano. Matt Iantosca singled to left field to drive in Kocinski. After advancing on a wild pitch, both Pagano and Iantosca scored on an infield single from Patrick Lightner. After Canisius tied the game up in the fourth inning, Marist didn’t regain the the until the sixth inning.

The inning started with single to left field from Andrew Rouse then advanced to third on single up the middle from Tyler Kirkpatrick. Iantosca then walked to load the bases for pinch hitter Randy Taveras. Taveras flied out to left field, bringing Rouse in to score. Anthony Lazar reached on an infield single followed by Tyler Kapuscinski reaching on an error from Canisius’ second baseman scoring Iantosca and Kirkpatrick.

Frankie Gregoire walked, then Kocinski singled to right field plating both Kapuscinski and Lazar and advanced to second on a throwing error from Canisius’ right fielder. Rouse then singled once again to score Kocinski. The Golden Griffins scored a few runs later in the game, but came up short with Marist winning 10-7.

The Red Foxes continued their offensive explosion in the second game of the double header. Marist started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. After Lazar walked and Kapuscinski singled to center field, Lazar scored on pop out from Gregoire after stealing third. After Canisius tied the game in the top of the second inning, Marist tacked on three more runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Pagano led off the inning with a double to left center field then scored on a single up the middle from Matt Iantosca. Lightner singled, then scored behind Iantosca on a double from Gregoire. Canisius once again tied the game in the top of the fourth inning, but Marist regained the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Lightner doubled to right center field and advanced to third on a groundout fromLazar. Kapuscinski later tripled to right field scoring Lightner. Kapuscinski then scored on a wild pitch. John Parisi was then able to hold down Canisius’ offense for the rest of the game, giving up no hits and striking out three.

Marist extended their lead in the fifth. Rouse reached on a throwing error and advanced to second. After a Canisius pitching change, Rouse advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pagano walked then stole second followed by Iantosca reaching base after being hit by a pitch. Rouse scored on another wild pitch, while Iantosca and Pagano advanced to second and third, respectively. Both then scored on a double to center field from Lightner.

Marist tacked on a couple more runs in the sixth inning. Rouse walked to reach base, then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Rouse then scored on a groundout from Kocinski. Kirkpatrick also walked and stole second and scored on a double up the middle by Pagano.

Marist Athletics 

Marist Athletics 

The final game of the series was played on Sunday with pitcher Scott Boches starting for the Red Foxes. Marist came out hot once again, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning.

The first two batters for Marist, Lazar and Kapuscinski, both walked to reach base. Gregoire singled to plate Lazar. Kapuscinski then scored on a single by Kocinski. Kirkpatrick walked, then advanced to second on a throwing error with Gregoire scoring. Chris Tracz then doubled, scoring both Kirkpatrick and Kocinski.

The offense stayed quiet until the fourth inning where Lightner singled to lead off the inning, then advanced to second on a fielding error. Lazar then singled to center field to bring home Lightner. Kapuscinski followed with a single as well. A wild pitch advanced Lazar to third, then scored on a single from Rouse. Kocinski walked to load the bases for Kirkpatrick who singled to score Rouse and Kapuscinski. After a pitching change, Pagano walked. Tracz then flied out to center field, bringing Kocinski home.

Lazar and Kapuscinski both walked to lead off the fifth inning. Gregoire flied out to advance Lazar, who then scored on another flyout by Rouse. Kirkpatrick hit his third home run of the season to lead off the sixth inning followed by Tracz’s second home run of the season.

The Red Foxes’ offense slowed down on Tuesday when they lost to Stony Brook, scoring only two runs with both RBIs from Kocinski. After the game, Kocinski shared what the team focuses on coming off of a sweep to keep the offense rolling. “We focus on pitching and defense first, those things that win games and ultimately win championships,” he said. “Our pitchers have put a lot of work in to make sure their side of the game is good.”

Marist lost on Wednesday in another offensive showdown with West Hartford, losing 18-16.

The Red Foxes play a three-game set with MAAC opponent Monmouth this weekend in West Long Branch, New Jersey.