Club Sports Raise Money For Charity
By Eileen Flynn ’20
This is an important time of the year for raising awareness for different diseases. Like professionals have done in the past, using sports to promote donations and awareness can help each cause in a special way. In the past, role models in various sports have brought to light the effects certain diseases can have on a person’s life.
In 1941, baseball lost New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. Gehrig’s speech announcing his diagnosis is remembered today due to his sincerity and compassion towards the sport he loves and the challenges he faced.
Even in the last decade, ALS has gained attention due to yet another talented baseball player, this time at the collegiate level. Pete Frates captained the Boston College baseball team in 2007, and only five years later, he also was diagnoised with the disease.
Using sports to familiarize the disease to the public, Frates initiated the nationwide “Ice Bucket Challenge” to spark fundraising and awareness of the disease. Sports fans everywhere joined together to help fight what seemed like an impossible battle to overcome.
The value of sports goes way beyond just the joy that comes from playing. Relationships between the players grow so strong that they are able to help fight diseases such as ALS. The club sports players at Providence College recognized this opportunity and have made it a part of their efforts during their hectic seasons.
The men’s club ice hockey team recently hosted their annual “Pink the Rink” game in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every year, the team designs pink shirts with their club team name, along with the appropriate pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The team sold the t-shirts for $20 in order to promote the awareness of the disease. On Oct. 27, friends and family came out to support the team and the important cause. The rink was full of pink pride, as players dressed in their pink socks and jerseys while fans wore their pink t-shirts. “We decided on a pink the rink game because it’s a fundraiser that brought together our fans and our team to fight against a disease that affects so many people’s lives,” said CJ Joyce ’20. “We knew that it was important to have our fans support not only us, but a great cause by showing up and purchasing shirts.”
Another team at PC looking to use sports to raise awareness for an important cause is club rugby. This month the team is participating in “Movember” in efforts to raise awareness for men’s health.
Friends and families are asked to donate money to their cause, and in return, the boys will grow, or try to grow, a mustache. Nate Jakatis ’20, the captain of the rugby team, explains why it is important for their team to draw attention to men’s health.
“There’s a growing awareness around sports of all kinds about the effects that concussions can have on a person’s overall mental health, from short term to long term, and the damage that they can do if they don’t take care of the injury.”
Since head injuries are common in this sport, Jakatis and the team hope to encourage men to “look out for each other and help those struggling with mental illness who might not feel comfortable asking for help—even if we all can’t grow legendary ’staches just yet.”
Men’s Club Rugby Opens Season
The Black Pack Ready for a Dominant Season
By Scott Jarosz ’21
The Providence College Men’s Rugby Team started its season off on the right foot against the College of the Holy Cross on Friday, September 6. PC was firing on all cylinders in the 37-22 defeat of the talented Crusaders. The team hopes their strong performance is a sign of what is to come in the new season.
Despite a less than stellar record of 2-5 last season, the team showed few signs of struggle in its home opener for the 2019 fall season.
Joe Bentley ’21 got PC off to a hot start under the lights on Friday night as he scored a try early on to make the score 5-0. The team continued to build on that early momentum as it scored again to increase its lead to 12-0 over the visitors.
However, Holy Cross refused to allow PC to control the game and answered back shortly after. The visiting team scored back-to-back tries to cut PC’s lead to 12-10. But the home side managed to bounce back and added another try to make the score 17-10 heading into halftime.
PC did not lose this momentum coming out of the half and made sure that the lead stayed in their hands. The team outscored the visiting side by a score of 20-7 in the second half.
There were a number of key contributing players for PC in the second half including Alex Feola ’22 and Anthony Lancia ’22. Feola scored two tries while Lancia added one try.
PC’s dominant performance against Holy Cross could be a sign of what is to come for the team in this new season. Not only did the veterans of the team contribute, such as Bentley, but younger players such as Feola and Lancia also made their mark and helped the team secure a victory over a talented opponent.
If the team can consistently get contributions from both veterans and younger players throughout the season, there is good reason to believe that they will continue to have success for the remainder of the season.
Bentley is one of the more experienced players on the team. He has been a forward since his freshman year.
When asked what he believes the strengths of this year’s team are, Bentley said, “I definitely think our strengths are our new strong forwards and our fast backs.”
He continued, “Over the summer, we trained the hardest we have since I’ve been playing for this team.”
Bentley emphasized the amount of training that everyone on the team put in over the offseason. He believes this is what is truly going to allow this team to have one of its most successful seasons in a long time.
When asked what he believes the team needs to do in order to have the most successful season possible, he responded, “We need to focus on the system that our coach has set up for us and not stray from it.”
With plenty of new talent and the high level of training that the team put in over the offseason, the Black Pack is looking forward to a promising season.
Rugby Wraps Up 2018 Fall Season
By Sam Scanlon ’19
As the fall season comes to a close, Providence College’s Men’s Rugby Team concluded their 40th annual season on Oct. 27 with a considerable win over Saint Michael’s College by a score of 47-10. This marked the “Black Pack’s” second win of the season.
Their first win came against Middlebury College in the season opener on Sept. 15. The Black Pack narrowly edged out the Panthers 26-25. PC trailed for the entire game, but punched in a last minute try to cut the Panthers lead to just one. The conversion was then made by Nate Jakaitis ’20 to lift the Black Pack to a 26-25 victory.
The next four matches for the Friars did not go their way, as they dropped all four against some of the top teams in the league. Captain James Lesniak ’19 stated, “We had a tough schedule to start the season which had us playing the top 3 teams in the league, but it was great to finish our season on a high note with a win over St. Michael’s.”
In the Black Pack’s first loss of the season, Bentley University got the upper hand, winning 50-22. The following week, the Friars traveled to Norwich University to face off against the top team in the league. Norwich proved why they finished the year atop the standings as they brought the Friars their second loss with a score of 69-0.
The next two matches brought the Friars two more losses. A 49-24 loss to in-state rival Roger Williams, followed by a trip to University of Massachusetts-Lowell that ended in a 45-29 loss dropped the Black Pack’s record to 1-4.
The final match of the season brought the Saint Michael’s Purple Knights to Providence. The Black Pack’s offense continued to progress as they capped off their fall season with a sizeable victory (47-10) over the Purple Knights to conclude their season with a record of 2-4.
Perhaps PC’s grittiest team, the Black Pack exemplifies hard work, teamwork, and the epitome of toughness each season. Lesniak explained just how the Black Pack’s ferocity stays strong by articulating, “Our core mission is to play with heart, tenacity, and integrity.”
The season was plagued by injuries suffered by the Black Pack’s veteran core. “We were plagued by injuries this season,” said Lesniak, “four of our senior starters suffered season ending injuries. We worked through it by adopting a next man up mentality. A lot of younger guys stepped up to fill the voids.”
With what appears to have not been the season the Black Pack would have liked on paper, Lesniak remains positive by expressing even more excitement and praise for the squad’s young core. “The biggest takeaway from this year has to be our potential. With our new coach and our young talent, we have a lot to be looking forward to in the future.”
The Black Pack looks to come back in for their spring season with a vengeance. As Lesniak looks ahead to his final season in the black and white, he welcomes a positive outlook for the upcoming offseason. He concluded, “Our main focus to improving over the spring is our commitment. If we stay committed during the offseason, whether it be through keeping in shape or watching film, we can hit the ground running in our busy spring season.”
You can watch Lesniak and the Black Pack this spring as they look to capture a league championship.
Gaiters Determined “Beast of the East”
By Joe Myko ’19
The world’s biggest college rugby tournament, The Beast of the East, was held last weekend, on April 14-15 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Sherbrooke, Quebec’s Bishop University Gaiters triumphed as the eventual winners in the men’s Division 1 section of the competition, finishing with an impressive 16 points and a 4-0-0 record. The women’s Division I league was won by Vassar College–also finishing with an immaculate record.
The annual competition is always hosted by the Providence Rugby Football Club, held at Gardner Seveney Sports Complex. The competition has been growing in prominence since its establishment in 2007. Last year saw the University of Connecticut triumph as the men’s Division I winners, with Vassar College securing the women’s Division I title.
This year’s installment featured three separate divisions for the men’s and women’s team–with the men’s DI league hosting seven teams, DII hosting 17 and D3 hosting 20. The women’s DI hosted six teams, with the DII hosting 17, and DIII hosting 21.
The Providence College Men’s A team competed in the second division of the competition this year, ultimately finishing with zero points and a 0-2-0 record. The Providence College B team also finished with an identical record from their performance within the competition’s Division 3 standings.
The A team began the day with a 9:20 a.m. fixture against Plymouth State University on Saturday, April 14. Their second and ultimately final match in the competition came at 5:40 p.m. on the same day, when they eventually lost 19-10 to the University of Albany Men’s Club Rugby in an unfortunate affair.
Looking towards other notable results from the tournament, Plymouth State University finished on top of the men’s Division 2 table. The University of Maine at Farmington finished winners of the men’s third division. The UAlbany women’s rugby team ultimately won the Division II title, whilst the The University of New Haven women topped the Division 3 groupings.
The PC men’s rugby team has been in operation for over 30 years at the school, competing as one of the sport’s most high quality programs within New England. The New England Rugby Football Union, as well as the USA Rugby Organization, recognizes PC’s sporting outfit, who compete each season within the Rugby Northeast conference.
For those interested, the school’s website also advertises that “All Providence College students are welcome to join the team, regardless of playing experience. Practices are held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons on Hendricken Field.”
Men’s Rugby Begins Quest for Conference Championship
by Max Anderson ’18
The Providence College Men’s Rugby season kicked off conference play this past Saturday, with the Friars already looking like they are in midseason form. The Friars hosted Roger Williams on Saturday and immediately picked up right where they left off, defeating the Hawks 39-12 to improve to a 1-0 record in the Rugby Northeast Conference. The contest was a tune-up for the Friars and a good indicator that the team has big things planned for this upcoming season.
PC is one of 14 schools currently participating in the Rugby Northeast Conference. The Friars will look to repeat their success in the conference after finishing last years season at the top of the Conference with a nearly unblemished record of 7-1. The Friars will have experience on their side, as they are returning a majority of players are returning from last year’s team, including 16 seniors and nearly 30 upperclassmen total.
The Providence Rugby squad has taken monumental strides since the seniors arrived on campus in 2014, and could be looking at their best season yet. During the 2014 fall season, the Friars recorded a 4-4 record, and improved upon that mark with a 5-3 conference record the following year. Last season, the Friars had their best record since the 2012 season (a year when the Friars went undefeated) finishing with a 7-3 mark overall, and a nearly perfect 7-1 record in conference play. With so many returning players, it is easy to see how the team could improve on that mark this season, potentially even matching the undefeated record that the 2012 squad set.
Looking ahead at the upcoming schedule, the Friars have two straight home games at Hendricken Field, before heading out on the road for a three-game road trip. The Friars will take on Middlebury College this Saturday, September 23, and will follow that up with a visit from University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday, Sept. 23, a team the Friars handily defeated last season 55-37. The Friars will then head across town to take on the Bryant Bulldogs on Friday, October 6, a school the Friars defeated 39-24 last year, before venturing to Southern Connecticut State University a week after that on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Friars will finish up the three game road trip with a visit to Norwich University, where they will take on the Cadets on Saturday, October 21. The Friars did not play the Cadets last season, as Norwich was added to the conference this past season. PC will end their season at home against Bentley University on Saturday, October 28, in what may turn out to be the most interesting game of the year. Last season’s only loss for the Friars came at the hands of Bentley. The Friars just narrowly lost to the Falcons, so you can guarantee that the Friars will be looking for revenge in this upcoming game.