Thank You, Tom Brady
The Greatest Football Player of All Time Gave Us Years of Incomparable Joy and Memories
My earliest memory of a Super Bowl is quite grainy. I remember being at a family friend’s house, the open living room packed with dozens of people intensely watching a large flatscreen TV on the wall. I remember the snacks from that night well, since I was nine years old, as well as the general excitement in the air, the kind of excitement that can gather a whole community in one room on a cold Sunday night. Soon enough, curse words coated in Boston accents filled the air. This once lively living room of friends was, to put it lightly, pissed off. On that night, Feb. 5, 2012, the New England Patriots lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants in a crushing fashion. Another one just by the hairs…in the worst possible way. In hindsight, the cries of the many faithful New England fans in the room that night were due to the loss of our beloved football franchise, the Patriots, along with the pride of New England: Tom Brady.
I consider that night to have been my first real viewing of Tom Brady playing football. A pretty bad start, yes, but it was the first football game I actually felt interested in. Of course, some pundits speculated that perhaps, after being without a Super Bowl ring since 2005, the Patriots dynasty of the early 2000s was over. Looking back, it’s comical how many times commentators counted out the man who could never really be counted out. Now, 11 years, four more Super Bowl rings, and an endless amount of records later, Tom Brady has done the one thing that he’s never really done before: retire from football, permanently.
In many ways, it’s hard to even imagine a world in which TB12 is not taking the field every Sunday. Over the years it’s been a common unspoken expectation among New Englanders: when the weather gets a bit chillier and the leaves start changing, you can always expect number 12 to be taking the field. It’s as automatic as the seasons themselves, be it in Foxborough, MA or Tampa Bay, FL. Personally, I literally do not know what the world is like without Brady playing. Many people don’t. I was born on Tom’s 25th birthday, months after his first Super Bowl win in his second year in the league. Nearly everyone in my generation cannot recall a time when Tom Brady was not a starting quarterback. Of course, his unparalleled gift for playing football makes him, among all serious observers, the undisputed greatest of all time. He holds the records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl appearances, and dozens of other categories. Any other player would be praised for leading in any one of those categories, but with Brady, excellence was expected. He normalized the abnormal and created a standard that will likely never be fulfilled again.
What many casual fans don’t know, however, is that Tom Brady was never supposed to turn out this way. Drafted 199th overall in the 2000 NFL draft as a skinny backup, Brady was the ultimate underdog from the beginning. He got his big break in September 2001 after starter Drew Bledsoe went down and Brady never looked back, leading the Patriots to an improbable Super Bowl victory that season, sparking one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time.
Aside from his on-field greatness, it was truly Tom’s example, his way of life that makes him not only an excellent competitor but an inspiration for fans and foes alike. Dubbed the “TB12 Method,” Brady’s way always pushed the limits, and time and again left detractors and doubters dumbfounded. It’s a way of life that strives for excellence, built on the internal challenge to be better than the day before. A way of life that builds others up, rejects blame and earns the respect of opponents. It’s a way of life that makes it possible for the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft to retire as the undisputed greatest to play the game in 2023 at age 45. Through this, Tom Brady gave us crazy comebacks, precious community traditions, jubilant Boston streets in February, personal inspiration, and a lifetime of joy. Like many, some of my best childhood memories are attached to Brady. Through thick and thin, with family and friends, neighbors and strangers, we always pulled for 12, because in so many ways 12 represented us. An era has ended and reflection has begun, but looking back now on the legacy, the joy, and the memories, to quote Brady himself, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” Thank you, Tom, for everything.
Men’s Soccer Preview
Providence College Men’s Soccer is enjoying a strong start to the season, having won their opening two matches against Fordham University and Saint Peter’s University.
The Friars have buried nine goals between the two games thanks to their relentless attacking style of play, creativity, and clinical finishing in the final third.
Their early performances indicate that this squad has the potential to disrupt the assumed hierarchy of the Big East, which ranked the Friars fourth in the preseason poll behind Georgetown University, Seton Hall University, and Creighton University. Both the Hoyas and Pirates are ranked in the nation’s top 10.
In the season opener against 23rd-ranked Fordham, the Friars successfully defended their home turf at Chappy Field.
Midfielder Luis Garcia ’23 brought his shooting boots that evening, bagging a brace that helped propel the Friars to a 3-0 victory. Both of his goals were well taken; for his first, Garcia created space for himself and fired a low left-footed strike to the far right corner of the net, while his second perhaps required a bit of luck as he scored directly from a corner kick, beating the keeper at his near post.
Davis Smith ’21GS opened his scoring account by capitalizing on an ill-advised back-pass that gave the striker a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. PC was also sharp defensively, and their clean-sheet marked the first time the Friars have not conceded a goal in a season opener against a top-25 program.
PC continued their momentum in Sunday’s match against St. Peter’s, defeating the Peacocks in a highly entertaining 6-2 match.
The high score was a product of a fantastic team effort that saw much of the squad receiving solid minutes and six different names on the score sheet.
Although Saint Peter’s opened the game’s scoring, the Friars quickly drew level after Gevork Diarbian ’24 dusted his defender and dumped the ball off in the box where it eventually found Miguel Candela Bravo ’22, a transfer from Franklin Pierce University, who slid it past the keeper.
Soon after, the Friars took the lead when both Adam Riis ’23 and Thomas Tulgar ’25 pressed high up the pitch to dispossess a Peacock center-back, giving Tulgar a one-on-one with the keeper that he finished with composure.
The game’s best highlight came close to halftime when Kevin Vang ’22 produced a moment of magic, dancing through two Saint Peter’s defenders in a Messi-esque fashion and dishing to Tulger, who sent the ball across the face of goal to striker Brendon McSorley ’24, who made the score 3-1.
In the second half, Davis Smith grabbed his second goal of the season by scavenging a loose ball in the box, and Samuel Biven ’24 grabbed his first collegiate goal through a great individual effort, in which he chased a ball down the right flank, attacked his defender, and created a yard of space as moved the ball to the left foot.
From there, Biven placed the ball past the diving keeper into the bottom right corner of the net. A well taken penalty from Vang in the game’s closing moments completed a satisfying afternoon for the Friars.
Although there were some departures from last season’s squad, the Friars retain many players who made significant contributions from their shortened 2020-21 season.
Midfielder Paulo Lima ’22 and center-back Ramzi Qawasmy ’22 were both named to the preseason All-Big East team and will assume roles as senior leaders both on and off the pitch.
Lima was awarded with an All-Big East First Team selection for the 2020-21 season and possesses many of the qualities one would want in a central midfielder: great vision, physicality, and even the ability to contribute to the score sheet, as he led the Friars in scoring during their 2019 campaign.
As indicated by their first two performances, the Friars are full of attacking potential.
Standing at 6’7”, Davis Smith is a proper no. 9 and is a unique threat that defenses will have to face. Sophomores Brendon McSorley and Gevork Diarbian also have a knack for finding the back of the net, with Diarbian leading the Friars in scoring the previous season.
The Cranston product was one of the most talented freshmen in the conference and will look to build on his already impressive resume in Friartown. Do not be surprised if Diarbian achieves All-Big East First Team status.
Likewise, his fellow Cranstonian, Kevin Vang, has the ability to culminate his career at Providence College with All-Big East accolades. The midfielder stands out for his quickness and exceptional vision, which were both fully on display against Saint Peter’s on Sunday afternoon.
Christopher Roman ’22 is another attacking player to keep an eye on this year. The right winger possesses speed, strength, and the technical ability to create chances for his teammates. He has started all matches for the Friars since 2019 and will likely again be a staple of the squad’s starting XI.
In their next two matches, the Friars will be on the road as they travel north on Friday to face another top-25 program in University of New Hampshire, and then square off against in-state rival University of Rhode Island three days later.
They return to Chappy Field on Friday, September 10 to host Loyola University Maryland. Big East play begins the following week, as the Friars will travel to New Jersey with the goal of conquering last year NCAA semi-finalists Seton Hall, a match every Providence College player and fan should have marked on their calendars.
Likewise, while the rest of the Big East cannot be overlooked, save the date for October 13, when the Friars will host Georgetown, who, like Seton Hall, made the NCAA semifinals last season.
The Hoyas also won the 2019 NCAA tournament and have established themselves as one of the top collegiate programs. Results against Seton Hall and/or Georgetown would be massive for momentum and would help the Friars reach their goal of qualifying for the Big East tournament, which only consists of the top four teams in the conference.
However, given the early season success that has revealed this squad’s quality and cohesion, the Friars will be hungry to achieve more illustrious objectives such as winning the Big East and not only qualifying for, but also making a run in the NCAA Tournament.
Their talent combined with hard work and leadership can definitely help this team accomplish these goals.
Providence College Investigates: Who Will Win the 2021-22 College Football Season?
Alabama Crimson Tide
As always, we head into this NCAA football season with the spotlight centered on the same couple teams that we always see.
The University of Alabama Crimson Tide enters the season as the favorites to win the national championship, with The Ohio State University, Clemson University, and The University of Oklahoma right behind them as teams to look out for.
Although they each have a chance, no one will be stopping Alabama, who will be lifting the trophy at the end of the season.
The Crimson Tide will have a tough task ahead of them replacing nearly all of the superstar talent that they had on offense during the 2020 CFB season.
At quarterback, Nick Saban suffered a huge loss this offseason when his record-breaking quarterback, Mac Jones, was drafted in the first round to the New England Patriots (let’s go Mack). The man to fill his rather large shoes is 20-year-old Bryce Young.
The coaching staff in Tuscaloosa is more than confident that their young quarterback can get the job done, and scouts around the country concur.
Reigning Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith (WR) was also taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and will be dearly missed by the Alabama offense. Najee Harris (RB), Jaylen Waddle (WR), Alex Leatherwood (OT), Landon Dickerson (C), and Deonte Brown (G), are also key members of the 2021 Crimson Tide offense who were drafted to the NFL, so they definitely have their work cut out for them this off-season.
While expected to be great, it’s quite unrealistic to ask rookie Bryce Young to repeat what Alabama has done the past few years under Mac Jones.
Reports state that while comfortable in the pocket, Young will not be slinging the rock as frequently and effectively as past ‘Bama quarterbacks have.
And we can’t forget about their defense losing exceptional cornerback Patrick Surtain II to the Denver Broncos in the first round of the NFL Draft. Stay on the lookout for a hole in the Alabama defensive backfield.
Oklahoma is another team that I plan on keeping my eye on throughout the 2021 CFB season (as they always are). They are coming off an explosive season, ranking number 1 amongst all CFB offenses in 2020 and averaged close to 500 yards per game.
Oklahoma native quarterback Spencer Rattler is returning to the Sooners with his eyes on one thing: a National Championship. With seven returning starters around him, he may have the supporting cast to get the job done. With that being said, good luck against Alabama, Spencer.
All the talk is about the Alabama University Crimson Tide this season, but the Clemson University Tigers are going to be National Champions once again under head coach Dabo Swinney.
To win in college football, you need a coach who can round his team together. Besides Nick Saban of Alabama, Dabo Swinney is the bestcoach in college football, and he has shown that for years now. Coaching matters.
The Tigers come into the 2021 season with the second best odds to win it all behind the Crimson Tide, but quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has already shown flashes of what he is going to do for Clemson this year.
After losing Trevor Lawrence, who entered into the NFL Draft and was the number one pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team suffered a huge loss. However, Uiagalelei is no scrub. He is more than capable of leading his team to a National Championship.
Uiagalelei is a five-star and top- ten recruit out of California from the class of 2020 who played last season when Lawrence was ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols.
He is exactly the type of player Clemson often recruits. He’s a very big player, standing at six foot four and 249 pounds with the arm strength to run any type of offense.
Although the Tigers lost to the University of Notre Dame in the first game Uiagalelei played, he still stood out with 439 passing yards and three touchdowns.
In the next game against Boston College, Uiagaleilei led the Tigers to a come-from-behind win and made one thing sure: He is impressive enough to be starting this upcoming season.
Then, it is not hard to look at the other side of the ball and see how impressive Clemson’s defense really is.
It becomes a lot easier for Dabo Swinney when he recruits top star talent, but he still needs to mesh everyone together. Even when theirbest players are out the door after three seasons, Swinney and his staff recruit well.
This year, the Tigers bring back nine of their 12 top tacklers. Linebacker Baylon Spector is the key returner in the heart of the defense as he led the team with 65 tackles and tackles for loss with 10.5.
Clemson dismissed All-ACC corner Derion Kendrick, but still had steady options in the backfield with Nolan Turner and Lannden Zanders.
By putting this team together with DJ Uiagalelei under center and a defense with a lot of returners, Dabo Swinney will win his third National Championship at Clemson.
The Providence College Men’s Soccer team took on Saint Peter’s University at Chapey Field Sunday, Aug. 29, to improve their record to 2-0-0. Providence College beat Saint Peter’s with a final score of 6-2. Davis Smith ’21GS and Thomas Tuglar ’25 each had a goal and an assist. Miguel Candela ’21 and Brendan McSorely ’24 also each had goals in the match. For the first time since 2011, the Friars scored six goals. The last time was against Seton Hall University.
The Providence College Women’s Soccer team shut out Sacred Heart University on Aug. 25 with a score of 4-0. Fifth-year Amber Birchwell scored early for the Friars. Shortly after, Maria Paveglio ’25 scored her first career goal to make it 2-0. In the second half, Angie Suaza ’23 scored her first career goal, followed by a goal by Kyla Gallagher ’24. Emma Bodmer ’24 earned her first career shutout in net for the Friars. Providence College travels to Piscataway, NJ to take on Rutgers University Sunday, Aug. 29.
The Providence College Field Hockey Team faced Bryant University on Friday, Aug. 27. The Providence Friars bested the Bryant Bulldogs beating them 4-0. Goals were scored in the first, second, and third quarters by Olivia Ward ’21GS, Roose Michiels ’24, and CeliaPreveza ’25. Sunday Aug. 29, the Friars took on Boston University. Providence beat Boston with a score of 2-1. Ward scored early in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter Niamh Gowing ’21 scored to give the Friars the lead back. Sophomore goalkeeper Asia Porter had an impressive second quarter making four saves in the frame.
The Providence College Women’s Volleyball team took on Iona College Aug. 28. The Friars took down Iona winning the match 3 sets to 1. In set on Allison Barber ’21GS led the Friars with 13 assists while Maryanne Boyle ’24 and Shaliyah Rhoden ’25 led the set with fourkills apiece. Iona took the second set of the match, but the Friars would come back to win the third and fourth sets. Barber shined in the third set as well with 10 assists and five digs. In the fourth set, Providence led for the majority. Rhoden recorded seven kills on 10 total attacks, and Barber added 15 assists, while leading the team with seven digs.
Final Four Highlights
Men’s Final Four
By Leo Hainline ’22
The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament featured one of the best Final Four games to ever be played when Gonzaga University defeated the University of California, Los Angeles. It then culminated with a worthy champion in Baylor University.
UCLA, an 11-seed that barely made the field of 68 and had to play in one of the first four games of the tournament, had been playing incredible basketball, knocking off both their region’s one-seed and two-seed during their journey to the Final Four. They brought that same energy and momentum into their matchup with Gonzaga and went back and forth with the Bulldogs all night.
The game was filled with iconic moments. One of the best during regulation was when Jalen Suggs blocked Bruins big-man Cody Riley from behind, before immediately following with an incredible bounce pass that sliced through the UCLA defense to find teammate Drew Timme for a slam dunk. Another big moment was Timme’s charge that he drew on UCLA star Johnny Juzang when the Bruins had an opportunity to win the game.
In overtime, Timme took over with unstoppable post-moves as the Bulldogs took a late five-point lead. However, the Bruins kept fighting and were able to tie the game thanks to a three-pointer from Jamie Jaquez Jr. and a put-back layup from Juzang. With three seconds left, Suggs received the inbounds pass, pushed the ball up the court, and pulled up to hit one of the most incredible shots in the history of March Madness.
That is when the luck ran out for the Bulldogs, however, as they were thoroughly outplayed by Baylor in the national championship game. The Bears were automatic from behind the arc and were clearly the more aggressive team on both ends of the court. Led by guard Jared Butler, the Bears brought a level of intensity that the Bulldogs were unable to match. In the end, Baylor took home their program’s first-ever national championship.
While this year’s tournament was undoubtedly a great one, the lack of fans in the arenas was a noticeable loss. The great moments, while still amazing to watch, could have been even more amazing with seats packed with people. Imagine: Gonzaga and UCLA playing in front of a packed Lucas Oil Stadium. Moments like that deserve to be watched in front of an audience, and hopefully, these special sporting events will soon begin to feel normal again with arenas and stadiums back at full capacity.
Women’s Final Four
By Liam Tormey ’22
Sports Assistant Editor
In a season unlike any other, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament was, unsurprisingly, full of excitement.
All but one of the number one seeds were able to make it through to the Final Four of the tournament. The number one seed in the Mercado region, North Carolina State University, was defeated by Indiana University in the Sweet Sixteen. The three remaining top seeds in Stanford University, University of South Carolina, and the University of Connecticut all secured a place in the Final Four, alongside the University of Arizona.
Led by the winningest coach in Division I women’s basketball history, Tara VanDerveer, Stanford rolled through their opponents before their Final Four matchup with South Carolina. Prior to then, Stanford had secured victories against Utah Valley University, Oklahoma State University, Missouri State University, and the University of Louisville. South Carolina took care of their work just like Stanford. After dominating Mercer University, Oregon State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and University of Texas at Austin, the Final Four matchup between South Carolina and Stanford was set.
In a game which came down to the wire, Stanford was able to survive a gritty South Carolina team 66-65. Haley Jones led Stanford with 24 points and hit the game-winning jump shot. With five seconds left, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston stole the ball and passed to Brea Beal. Beal missed a layup, but the ball fell back into Boston’s hand. However, her put-back also went off the back of the rim, giving Stanford the victory.
On the flip side of the bracket, UConn and Arizona met in the other semifinal matchup. Led by Paige Bueckers, the John R. Wooden Award winner, the Huskies were the likely favorite coming into the tournament. They steamed through the RiverWalk region, winning their first three games by 20 or more points before a close Elite Eight battle with Baylor University.
Arizona was the surprise of the tournament. Led by head coach Adia Barnes, Arizona made it through the Mercado region, upsetting Texas A&M University along the way.
When Arizona met UConn in the Final Four, the Wildcats gave them more than they could handle. Arizona pulled out a 69-59 victory, highlighted by Aari McDonald’s 26 points. A stunner of an upset, it ended the Huskies’ title hopes.
The championship game was everything one could have asked for, coming right down to the final seconds. Each team’s star player, including Stanford’s Haley Jones, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and Arizona’s Aari McDonald, stepped up on the biggest stage. Down by one with seconds to go, Arizona had the chance to win their first title ever, but McDonald’s three hit off the front iron, giving Stanford their first championship since 1992 by a score of 54-53.
PCI: WHO WAS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NBA BUBBLE?
by Joseph Quirk ’23
The NBA bubble is a unique circumstance which the league has never seen before. With a high demand for the return of sports, it also provided a big stage for a lot of players to break out and establish themselves as dominant forces. No one took advantage of this opportunity more than Devin Booker.
In the 2015 NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Booker, a freshman at the University of Kentucky, with the No. 13 overall pick. This selection has turned out to be one of the smartest decisions in the history of the Phoenix Suns. Over his career, the 23-year-old shooting guard has averaged 22.5 points and 4.7 assists per game, while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from three. Booker also scored 70 points in a game against the Boston Celtics, making it the 11th game in NBA history where a single player scored 70 points or more in one game. He is one of only six players to do so and the most recent since the late Kobe Bryant.
At the end of an abysmal 2018 season, Booker famously stated, “I’m done with not making the playoffs.” Unfortunately, Phoenix missed the playoffs in 2019 and 2020 as well. However, this season felt different. Booker had a career year, with averages of 26.6 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game on shooting percentages of 48.9 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from three. Booker had one of his more efficient seasons as well, mainly because he could play off the ball more with the addition of point guard Ricky Rubio. He also had advanced floor-spacers in Kelly Oubre, Jr. and rookie Cameron Johnson, and strong bigs in Deandre Ayton and Dario Saric.
Indeed, the Suns were winning games and in striking distance of a playoff spot. When the bubble teams were announced, the Suns made the cut and made the best of their opportunity. Booker averaged 31 points, six assists, and five rebounds on efficient shooting splits while earning an All-Bubble First Team nod. He would lead the Suns to the only 8-0 record in the bubble. The stretch included wins over talented playoff teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Indiana Pacers.
All in all, Booker has put in a superhuman effort, elevating both his individual game and his team’s overall performance. The only reason the Suns missed the playoffs was because the Portland Trail Blazers, the team just ahead of them, won a game on a last second missed buzzer-beater.
Certainly, an argument can be made for other players to be named bubble MVP such as T.J. Warren and Damien Lillard, but Booker took the Suns to a new, unexpected level. He showed up when it mattered and beat some of the NBA’s best teams, which is why he should have earned MVP.
by Leo Hainline ’22
The conclusion of the NBA regular season saw some breakout performances from players such as Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, and Michael Porter Jr. The playoffs have also brought some iconic performances, including Luka Doncic’s game-winner against the Los Angeles Clippers and Donovan Mitchell’s 57-point game against the Denver Nuggets. Any of these players are worthy of being considered the bubble’s best player, but the NBA got it right when they gave the award to the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard at the end of the regular season.
Even though the Trail Blazers were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, Lillard’s performances reigned supreme and were the best in the bubble. In Orlando, Lillard averaged 33 points, eight assists, and 4.8 rebounds. Most importantly, he was able to lead his team into the eighth seed after entering the bubble 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot.
After missing two key free throws against the Clippers in their fifth game, Lillard not only stepped up his game, but became the best player in the league. Needing to win out to have any chance at making the 8/9 seed play-in game, the Oakland native dropped 51 and 61 points in his next two contests. Lillard channeled one of his many nicknames, “Logo Lillard,” as his shooting became automatic from everywhere on the court.
He came up clutch against the Dallas Mavericks in his 61-point game, hitting an insane high-bouncing three-pointer to bring Portland level in the closing moments and then seized the victory with crucial plays on both ends of the court. He followed with scoring 42 points, leading Portland to a crucial come-from-behind one-point win against the Brooklyn Nets to seal their place in the Western Conference play-in game. Lillard then had 31 points and 10 assists against the Memphis Grizzlies to secure Portland’s spot in the playoffs.
Lillard’s most iconic moment came in Game one of the opening round against the top-seeded Lakers. With the game going back and forth all game long, it became “Dame Time” for the last seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Lillard started knocking down contested threes from way downtown. The game began to shift in Portland’s favor when Lillard buried a deep three to tie the game at 87 with five and a half minutes to go. After that happened, Lillard was locked in, and the Blazers never looked back, taking the first game 127-119 over the top-seeded Lakers.
Although the Blazers lost their next four games and got knocked out of the playoffs, Lillard’s performances were incredibly memorable. No individual player on any team made more of an impact than Lillard for the Blazers in the bubble.
Friars Compete at the John Thomas Terrier Invitational Meet
by Jack Belanger ’21
The cross country season is long over, but as the Providence College Track and Field Team heads into the midst of the winter track season, records are still being broken, and one runner has been making headlines. While it was Abbey Wheeler ’20 who dominated in the fall, placing first in multiple races and being named both NCAA XC Division I National Athlete of the Week twice, Millie Paladino ’18RS has led the team this winter.
During the John Thomas Terrier Invitational on Jan. 25, running on the indoor track at Boston University, Paladino broke the school record for the 1,000-meter run where she finished with a time of 2:42:13. Not only did her time break the 29-year-old school record, she also broke the New England Collegiate Record and her time is good for 10th best all-time in the NCAA.
Her time is also a huge improvement from last season. At the University of Rhode Island Sorlien Memorial Invitational on January 20, 2018, Paladino finished the 1,000-meter at 2:51:01. Earlier in the winter season she also set a personal best in the 800-meter run during the Penn Challenge, finishing at 2:08:94.
Two other Friars also came in first for their individual events. Brianna Ilarda ’18RS won the 3,000-meter race with a time of 9:12:58. Regan Rome ’18GS and Maria Coffin ’21 were among the leaders for the entire 5,000-meter race. Rome managed to separate herself from the rest of the pack and win with a time of 16:27:34. Coffin finished strong, placing sixth with a time of 16:46:94.
This meet was the second time this winter that Ilarda and Rome have come first for a respective events. At the Penn Challenge, Illarda won the mile while Rome won the 3,000-meter race.
On the men’s side, the Friars found their most success in the 1,000-meter run. Two Friars, Ryan Jendzejec ’21 and Nick Carleo ’19, finished in the top-20 as Jendzejec finished 0.02 seconds before Carleo. With times of 2:28:39 and 2:28:41, respectively, both runner qualified for the IC4A Championships.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to Boston University this weekend to take part in the Valentine Invitational. The team will have two more meets after the invitational to prepare for the Big East Championship at the end of the month.
Questions About New Ruane Friar Development Center Answered: An Inside Look on the Function, Finances, and Fundraising Involved
by Hannah Langley ’21
Providence College is known for its excellence in many areas: academics, faith life, and athletics, most notably basketball. Recently, PC’s athletic department has made its newest athletic facility, the Ruane Friar Development Center, open to PC’s Division I teams for recreational use and accessible to the PC community.
The new center features high tech equipment and high-quality practice facilities to provide student athletes with the best training and experience possible. The center includes study rooms accessible to all PC students, two practice basketball courts for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and a state-of-the-art weight room for the basketball teams and men’s soccer team. Other amenities include a cryogenic machine, massage chairs, sleep pods, kitchens, lounges, and a barber shop for all athletes.
Bob Driscoll, PC’s associate vice president and athletics director, commented that this center has been a work in progress for nearly 10 years, and plans went into effect about five years ago. “We were creating a vision for it,” said Driscoll, “from hiring architects to getting fundraising to everything else, it was about a five-year process, and construction started a year ago in May.”
Driscoll and Steven Napolillo, senior associate athletic director, emphasized the fact that the new center was built almost entirely from donations by PC alumni and members of the PC community. Out of the $30 million spent to build and furnish the center, about $20 million came from donors and benefactors, according to Napolillo. Driscoll stated that the massive financial support from the PC community makes this center the most fundraiser-supported building on campus.
Among those who donated, Michael and Elizabeth Ruane were the largest benefactors, as well as Joseph Calabria, who made a large donation in support of the statue of coaches Joe Mullaney and David Gavitt. They are located outside the center’s main entrance. Calabria talked about the importance of fundraising in PC’s mission to advance and build its reputation. “It’s the only way we can get ourselves to move ahead so rapidly.”
While the construction of a new athletic facility may seem controversial to many students, Driscoll and Napolillo wanted to clarify that the athletic program and sports teams at PC are an important part of the PC community and experience. Driscoll mentioned that 85 percent of PC’s student body were high school athletes, and basketball has become one of the institution’s largest brands, making the new center a draw for prospective students and student athletes. The center also helps the basketball teams continue to improve and grow in their success, which attracts more students.
“Basketball helps mark PC across the country from an admissions standpoint,” Driscoll stated. He continued by arguing the fact that by investing in the student athletes, the school is investing in the institution and the creation of a strong family community. “A successful basketball program is a main way to bring community together. When we win, we all get to celebrate together,” said Driscoll.
Calabria believes that PC is currently in its “golden years of sports” and is looking forward to its athletic successes in the coming years. He acknowledged Coach Cooley’s success in winning two national championships and for the success of the PC community in the development of various athletic facilities in the past several years, including the renovations to the soccer and field hockey stadiums.
In the spirit of community, Driscoll wanted to make it clear that parts of the center are still open to all PC students for use. A number of the study lounges in the center are open to the public for recreational use, whether that be for doing work by yourself, in a group, or just hanging out with friends. “I want the community to feel like it’s open to everyone,” said Driscoll. “These are multi-purpose facilities,” Driscoll stated, “and all our athletic facilities are shared community facilities, which is something unique to PC.”
Calabria noted his enthusiasm and pride in the completion of the new center, mentioning how the vision took a lot of planning and collaboration from many people. Napolillo emphasized this point, saying, “A building like this is a symbol of thinking big and is a symbol of success for PC.”
The Ruane Friar Development Center is currently open to the entire PC community. Entrances to the building can be found next to the Ray Tracey Track and Hendricken Field or near the Santander ATM in lower Slavin.
Doris Burke Wins 2018 Curt Gowdy Award
PC Grad Continues to Make Headlines
by Sullivan Burgess ’20
On Feb. 17, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that former Friar and ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke ’87 would receive the 2018 Curt Gowdy Media Award.
The award is named after American sportscaster Curt Gowdy, who served as the president of the Basketball Hall of Fame for seven consecutive years. The award is usually awarded to most outstanding basketball writers and broadcasters for all media outlets.
Past winners include Craig Sager, Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, Marv Albert, and Jim Nantz. Burke sets a great example for newcomers trying to find their way in the world of analyzing basketball.
When she played for the Providence College Women’s Basketball Team for four years, Burke led in assists during three of her four seasons and was a three-time All-Big East selection. She ranks second in all-time assists in PC history with 602 in 113 career games.
She is not only a member of the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame, with a newly retired number in Mullaney Gym, but she is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Last year, for the first time in school history, Burke served as Master of Ceremonies for the annual PC Late Night Madness. It was a high honor to be brought back at the beginning of this year for Madness to hype up the students. She also had the opportunity to talk to Coach Cooley and Coach Crowley, as well as their respective players.
Burke’s media career began as radio analyst for PC until she eventually moved to the WNBA and began reporting for the New York Liberty. She made a name for herself and was finally hired by ESPN. She served as a sideline reporter and analyst for ESPN since 1991, Burke made headlines by being named a full-time NBA game analyst. This made her the first woman in the history of the channel to hold that role.
Burke has even appeared in the NBA 2K videogames in recent years as a sideline reporter and commentator. When discussing her career after receiving news of her nomination, she stated, “I fell into this. I thought I would be a high school teacher and coach, I started my career as an assistant basketball coach and wanted to have children and be a stay-at-home mom. I thought, Division I coaching and being a mom is sort of mutually exclusive, so I happened into the business… To be honest with you, when I was a kid, and even through college, public speaking terrified me. It still terrifies me. When I am on the air, I never think of it as, ‘Oh, millions of people could actually be watching this basketball game.’ Because if I ever thought of it in that context, I would freak out.”
While she might be nervous on screen, we certainly have never been able to notice, as Burke climbs the rankings to be one of the most popular NBA analysts of all time. As this is her first season serving as a full-time commentator for ESPN, time will only tell what else in store for Burke.
PCI: Providence College will Win the Hockey East Tourney
PC Geared for Another Deep Run
by Sam Scanlon ’19
It’s tourney time! The Hockey East is one of the most exciting and competitive conferences in the NCAA and is home to names like Adam Gaudette of Northeastern, 2018 Olympian Jordan Greenway of Boston University and, of course Providence College’s very own Erik Foley ’19. This year’s Hockey East Tournament is shaping up to be a good one.
Boston College, the 2017-2018 Hockey East regular season champion, has been playing extremely well against conference opponents, as they have won their last five Hockey East matchups. The No. 2 seed the Northeastern Huskies, fresh off of their first Beanpot Tournament Championship in 30 years, are finding a way to win games, which is vital in this tournament. However, the No. 3 seed Providence College Friars have an excellent chance to win the Hockey East Tournament, and they are my pick to go all the way.
Led by Foley and captain Brian Pinho ’18, the Friars are unstoppable on offense. Despite suffering an uncharacteristic 1-0 loss last weekend to UMass Amherst, expect the high powered Friars offense to find the back of the net plenty of times throughout the tournament. Kasper Björkqvist ’20 and Josh Wilkins ’20 have more than contributed to the Friars’ offensive onslaught this season, posting 13 goals each. Jacob Bryson ’20 has complimented the top goal scorers all year long, especially on the power play, and has notched 20 assists. With the top lines scoring goals, the Friars’ offensive is difficult to stop, making them an early favorite to take down some of the dilapidated defenses across the league.
Defensively, the Friars have a young core, with two freshmen and two sophomores carrying the bulk of the weight, along with a junior and senior. However, Ben Mirageas ’21 has found his place in the Friars lineup. The smooth skating, sizable D-man has held his ground and helped the Friars defense keep pucks out of their net and limit opponents’ scoring opportunities.
A significant reason why the Friars are able to limit shots on net from opponents is Vincent Desharnais ’19. The 6’6” 224 lbs. defenseman is virtually impossible to get around and has been able to shut down opponent’s top scorers with ease. Defense wins championships, and with Bryson, Desharnais, and Mirageas on the blue line for the Friars, a Hockey East Tournament Championship is surely within reach.
However, the backbone of every good team lies in its goaltender. Hayden Hawkey ’19 has carried the Friars so far this year, and a tough goalie is imperative for making a deep playoff run. Hawkey, who posted four shut outs this year, is 2nd in goaltending in the Hockey East, so he has proven to be one of the league’s best coming into the tournament.
Offensive firepower, a shutdown defense, and a top goalie are keys for the Friars to take home the Hockey East Tournament trophy. Their run starts March 9 at Schneider Arena.