Men's Basketball Opens Season With a Win
The Loyola Men’s Basketball team secured a 79-66 victory over the University of Vermont in its season opener Friday night in front of a sellout crowd at Reitz Arena. “It was great 10-man effort and we got tremendous support from our student body,” said sixth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos. Patsos added that his team was able to carry its momentum forward from its exhibition victory over Adelphi University into the start of the regular season, which is something they have been unable to accomplish in years past.
Although Vermont scored first, gaining an early 2-0 lead, Loyola countered quickly and stayed ahead for the remainder of the game. Offensively, Loyola thrived, with nine of 10 players putting points on the board.
Senior guard Brett Harvey led Loyola’s scoring with 23 points while sophomore forward Anthony Winbush did his part by adding 16 points. Senior forward Jawaan Wright was the third and final Greyhound to score into the double-digits on Friday as he contributed 11 points to the win. Wright also added seven rebounds, second only to sophomore forward Shane Walker’s eight boards, to help hold off the Catamounts.
Back on My Feet
Early on Wednesday mornings, at an hour when most college students are still asleep in their dorms, Loyola’s Cross Country team is already up and running – literally. Both the men’s and women’s cross country team dedicate their Wednesday mornings to participation in Baltimore’s “Back on My Feet” campaign, working specifically with the men of Christopher Place.
The “Back on My Feet” campaign, founded two years ago in Philadelphia, is “a non-profit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of [the] homeless population by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem,” says Anne Mahlum, founder of the organization. “I think it really embodies the idea of Cura Personalis,” says Rosie Miola, a sophomore at Loyola and former member of Loyola’s Cross Country team, “we aren’t giving them food or shelter, but we’re giving them community. It’s service of solidarity.”
Ariell Watson, a junior at Loyola who works in the Center for Community Service and Justice said that it’s important to recognize people as people first. “I don’t define myself as a renter, my parents don’t define themselves as homeowners,” said Watson, “so why do we define them as homeless?” They are, first and foremost, people, and one of the goal’s of “Back on My Feet” is to preserve the human dignity that comes with that.
Through “Back on My Feet” Loyola’s Cross Country team has formed a special partnership with the men of Christopher’s Place, “a residential employment program for formerly homeless men,” explained a representative from Catholic Charities, the organization that runs Christopher’s Place. “It’s incredible to watch the bond that these two groups form with each other,” she said, “they start out so unsure of each other at the beginning of the semester, and then, by the end of it, they have formed this trust that is so important to these men.” The relationship is equally important to the Loyola student-athletes involved with it; members of the Loyola Cross Country team describe it as “the best practice of the week… maybe the best part of the week.”
Intramural Sports at Loyola Proving to be a Hit
Eddie Tomasek strolled off the court at the end of his last intramural basketball game of the semester smiling. Although his team had just been eliminated from the second round of the competitive league intramural basketball playoffs, Eddie just came to have fun. “It’s intramurals,” the sophomore said laughing. “Sure, I wanted to win, but I had a great time.”
The intramural basketball league is just one of 12 leagues and tournaments the program offers Loyola students each semester. According to Eric Eckenrode, Intramural Sports Director, along with basketball, indoor soccer and flag football tend to be the most popular sports. “We typically have 20 to 30 teams participating in these sports each semester,” Eckenrode noted. Managing men’s, women’s, and coed’s divisions within these events, Eckenrode and his staff are always busy, currently offering more than 30 hours of intramural programming each week.
With more than 35 percent of the Loyola student body participating in at least one intramural event during the year, Eckenrode attributes the program’s success to the tremendous student participation and support. “Student participation is the most important aspect of our program,” said Eckenrode. “This program is dependent on our students and we tailor it to their needs as much as possible.” Eckenrode added that in addition to students, Loyola has approximately 60 faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators take part in the programs, as well.
Since intramurals are an outlet for students to have fun and interact with each other during friendly competition, Eckenrode explained that student feedback and reaction are ways in which the program can assess its development. “Most feedback is currently received via word-of-mouth,” Eckenrode acknowledged. “Overall, the feedback on our program has been very positive. Many students enjoy the opportunity to participate in organized sports, whether they are competitive or just looking for an opportunity to spend time with their friends.” Eckenrode added that moving forward, he plans to improve the feedback process by developing participant satisfaction surveys to assess the program’s strengths and weaknesses.
The intramural sports program has gained tremendous success and has increased its popularity over the past 10 years that Eckenrode has been involved, either as a student or an administrator. The number one strength of the intramural program, Eckenrode noted, is the student staff that devotes countless hours to ensure our success. He admitted, however, that being able to use the Fitness and Aquatic Center as the program’s headquarters is also helpful. “The opportunities are endless in this state-of-the-art facility,” he said. With two regulation size basketball courts and one multi-use court for soccer and volleyball, finding a space to play is never an issue.
However, there are some aspects of the intramural program that Eckenrode believes can be improved. “A major issue revolves around forfeits,” he admitted. “While these numbers have decreased over the years, there are still a substantial number of teams that do not show up to their scheduled games.” Eckenrode stated that the program has implemented some preventative measures to combat this, but it has not always worked. “It’s disappointing when a team shows up to play at 10:30 pm and their opponent does not show,” he said.
Tomasek and his teammates have been subjected to this type of disappointment before, having arrived at the gym expecting to play only to find out the opposing team has forfeited. “It can be frustrating when you’re ready to play, but the other team doesn’t show up,” Tomasek said, shrugging his shoulders. “But that’s the only negative. Everything else is great.”
So, what is the greatest aspect about participating in intramurals at Loyola?
“If you win the championship, you get a free t-shirt,” Tomasek proudly exclaimed. “I guess being an intramural athlete even has its perks.”
Bye Bye Larry
By Michael Valenti
Former two-time Pro Bowler and disgruntled Kansas City Chiefs' running back, Larry Johnson has been released. The Chiefs cut ties with the veteran because of "Gay slurs" given to Head Coach Todd Haley and the Chiefs Organization through his twitter account. The Chiefs once again have been a disapointment with a 1-7 overall record. Their offense has been anemic and their defense has been overmatched. The Chiefs anemic offense, caused Larry Johnson to get off to a slow start, only averaging 2.7 yards per carry. His outburst definitely could be contributed to the Chiefs terrible start and offense. Larry Johnson was also just 75 yards away from breaking the Chiefs franchise record, currently held by Priest Holmes.
Larry Johnson is no stranger to trouble. In 2006, he was accused of pouring a beer on a woman's head and also pushing her head. He was charged with distrubing the peace and given two years of probation. He also recieved two DUIs in 2003 and 2005. His act did not stop there when in 2006, he tried to hold out camp to try to recieve a contract extension. Larry got his way by getting a six year deal, worth $45 million and $19 mllion in guaranteed money. His last poor choice of judgement got Larry Johnson released from the only NFL team he knew. “We decided it was in the best interests of the Kansas City Chiefs organization to move forward at this time," Said Coach Haley. The Chiefs still owe larry Johnson $2 million dollars in part of his buyout.
Larry Johnson recently cleared waivers and is on the open market. According to ESPN's Analyst Adam Scheffter, Larry Johnson's agent said there is two suprise teams that are interested in Larry. Many teams in the NFL at this time need a running back. Larry Johnson still has some gas left in the tank and rushed for over 1,700 yards in 2005 and 2006. The Colts, Texans, Eagles, Bears, Patriots, and Seattle all need a quality back. I think the best fit would either be the Eagles or the Patriots. With the injury to Brian Westbrook and no one behind rookie back, Lesean Mccoy, Larry Johnson would fit perfectly. The Patriots have struggled to run the ball and their starter Fred Taylor is out for the season. Maybe a change of scenery will change the attitude of the ex-star running back. Larry Johnson still has a lot left in the tank to offer to a playoff contending team.
What Constitutes a Real Sport?
Have you ever noticed that these days there seems to be as much competition between sports as within them? Sports vie for publicity, fan support, and, early on, athletes. Cheerleaders, so often accused of not even being a real sport, strut across campus with shirts bearing the phrase, “athletes lift weights, cheerleaders lift athletes.” Or there’s the ever-popular, “my sport is your sports punishment,” slogan, jogging by on the back of a track & field or cross-country team members t-shirt. “Athletes row, everyone else just plays games,” can be found in the erg room during a rowing team practice. But beyond all the competition and the immature put-downs, could there be some truth? Are some sports more legitimate than others?
Running? Rowing? Cycling? Those are modes of transportation, not sports. Last I checked transportation was not equal to sport. So, NASCAR, sorry, but you don’t qualify, either. Swimming? That’s a means to keep yourself from drowning, a means to keep yourself alive. If breathings not a sport, then neither is swimming. Cheerleading? No, cheerleaders, you’re sports fans, not a sport.
Now, I know what all you rowers, runners and swimmers are thinking right now: but it’s in the Olympics; it’s an Olympic sport, surely that must legitimize it. If it does, though, what about sports that aren’t in the Olympics? Soccer, football, baseball; none of those are Olympic sports. So are they “regular” sports? Soccer… can be played for 110 minutes and then declared a tie because no one has scored yet. A tie, after 110 minutes, what kind of sport is that? Baseball? The whole league is on steroids; let’s just disqualify the whole thing at once, now, and save ourselves the trouble of dealing with it later.
So what constitutes a real sport?
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