Tag Archives: MSJ sports

Returning 15 juniors gives St. Joe Lacrosse hope for the upcoming season

Last Tuesday, I got a chance to sit down with Coach Tyler Reid of the Lacrosse team to do an interview on the upcoming spring 2022-2023 season. Here is what he had to say.

The Gaels have struggled these past few years to be a competitive team in the most demanding league in the country, but this year could change that situation.

Coach Reid says that from the 3 years he has been in the program, he is trying to change its mindset. The mindset, put simply, is to work harder. The Gaels have struggled these past few years to be a competitive team in the most demanding league in the country, but this year could change that situation. The Gaels are returning many of the same faces from last year’s team, who are now better and more experienced. Coach Reid also stated that being in the most challenging league in the country, it can be tough to compete, but with 15 juniors returning, they are pleased about the season ahead.

Photo of the Lacrosse Team from last season

I asked Coach Reid how they would match up with teams like Spalding, Boys Latin, and McDonogh. He stated that matchups are significant and what their strengths and weaknesses are. He said that they are looking to capitalize on other teams’ mistakes. Also, the players’ willingness to work with the coaching staff, to be prepared for each game, and to be able to make adjustments.

Being more focused, stressed Coach Reid. The Gaels Lacrosse team has been working hard and focusing on their work. Coach Reid said they fell short in many games and are using that as motivation this off-season. Coach Reid also says they have been working out 4 days a week with fall ball practice mixed in. He also stated that the strength and conditioning coach [Cobit] has done a great job with the players.

Photo of Lacrosse team for last season

“Successful after they leave,” said Coach Reid. I asked him what his thoughts about the program are in 5 years. The early thing was they wanted to change the lacrosse culture. He also said that “they wanted to be looked at as professional.” The final goal is for Mount Saint Joseph to compete for an MIAA championship and be one of the top contending teams in the country. It definitely can be done with hard work.

I also got to sit down and ask Junior Owen Cooper a few questions. I asked him what the goal for the season was. He said, “To win.” This statement came out very quickly; you can see that they are locked in for the season ahead.

This interview was eye-opening for me. How the lacrosse program is on the upswing, and other teams in the MIAA, as well as other top teams in the country, better watch out for the Gaels in the future.

Jack Bieda is a Junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Getting an edge: How athletes prepare for their sports

How do different sports athletes’ routines compare with each other that help them perform to their best ability? Sports vary in different ways, like time, strength, and endurance. For example, soccer, baseball, and track and field long jump are three different sports. Soccer requires a lot of endurance because of constant running, baseball requires short bursts of energy and a quick reaction time, and track and field’s long jump involves a combination of strength and endurance. With research, I dug a little deeper into these sports.

Joe Young dribbles the ball around the opponent. Photo Credit: Stacy Young

Many know that a lot of running is involved with soccer. Players have to train for endurance, and it requires good leg muscles and an excellent heart to pump blood around the body: “I usually run and lift to get in shape for soccer. The most important [thing] is just continuing to practice,” Joe Young, class of 2025, stated. Young says that lifting for reps and running daily helps him through his JV soccer season at MSJ.

Drew Rybinski ’25 in a baseball game. Photo Credit: Perfect Game Staff

In comparison to soccer, baseball consists of fast, quick reactions and power. To generate this power, Drew Rybinski of the class of 2025 explains how he trains for power: “Most days, about 5 days a week, I try to lift weights because baseball is about strength and less about endurance, so [there is] not as much running but more about deadlifting heavy for quick, explosive movements.” Drew also practices his catching and hitting skills daily for an hour to prepare for a game.

A sport that people may not be as familiar with is the long jump event in track and field. To understand more about this sport, I asked class of 2023 Thomas Johnson III to explain his routine to prepare for a long jump event. “For long jump, I mostly just stretch then head over to the pit, where I do whatever drill my coach tells me to do,” Johnson said. “After practice most days, I go into the weight room and lift for reps.” Johnson also talked about how long jumping involves more strength than endurance because, “you want to run fast, jump high, and go as far as you can.” Comparing all three in the training aspect of the sport, the long jump, and soccer require lifting for reps, while baseball consists more of heavy, explosive lifting. All three sports require consistent days of training to get in the best shape.

Thomas Johnson III ’23 in a long jump event. Photo Credit: Caleb Turner

Aside from daily routines, athletes must watch what they eat to do their best in a game. Coincidentally, Joe Young, Drew Rybinski, and Thomas Johnson III have similar pre-game foods. Joe Young stated, “I usually don’t eat much before a game. I like to make sure I feel good, and my stomach sits right, so usually, I eat a protein bar.” Like Young, Rybinski does not eat breakfast but drinks a caffeinated energy drink right before a game. To combine Young and Rybinski’s pre-game snack, Johnson “eat[s] a protein bar and a protein shake with caffeine.” As you can see, these different sports have a similarity in pre-game meals, so any athlete can do their best.

Wrapping everything up, while many think that completely different sports require different training, most routines of any athlete are alike. For example, soccer and the long jump require lifting for reps, but baseball also is similar to the long jump because they are both strength sports rather than endurance sports. Comparing the foods, the three athletes, Joe Young, Drew Rybinski, and Thomas Johnson III, all eat minimal food before a game. Choosing and applying similar routines from all athletes can create a great all-around athlete.

Collin Park is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

Facing participation issues, the golf program looks to take a step forward

Mike Dooley marks his 30th season as Head Varsity Golf Coach.

For 30 years, the Varsity Golf Team has competed under the watchful eyes of Coach Mike Dooley. Photo Credit: Edward Schultheis

Following a difficult season for Varsity Golf in 2022, the team anticipates a massive leap forward into 2023. Mr. Mike Dooley, entering his 30th season as the Varsity head coach, positively approached these struggles: “Last season, while we might not have had a great record, we had a very unique roster. We started with one senior, two sophomores, and three freshmen. We had a roster that looks forward to the next couple of years.” Coming off a season with two wins in twelve matches, Coach Dooley used last season as motivation to build a winning program for 2023.

Though young teams are an issue in any sport, sophomore J.D. Mahoney confronted the development with a concrete solution: “It came down to whether they [the players] had tournament experience or not, experience the stress that comes in competitive play. Once you get into that, it becomes more of a mind game among yourself.” He added that this mental challenge hurt their play and match scores.

J.D. Mahoney chips onto the green during a match against McDonogh. Photo Credit: Mr. Schultheis

I also asked J.D. about an issue that has plagued the golf program for many years: participation. He continued to emphasize the mental struggle that comes with playing golf: “I think they don’t like it competitively. Match play is all walking and completely serious, with a lot of mental games. If we were to popularize the sport more, we would have to make it more casual for people to go play.”

The participation issue has also plagued the coaches’ ability to select their teams. Coach Dooley said, “We don’t have the volume. Like this year, in our fall organizational meeting, we only had 23 students attend, and we will carry rosters of perhaps 18/19. We’d like to have more to choose from and people coming into MSJ with more accomplished golf games.” According to Coach Bob, the assistant JV coach, there is not a solution, but the players “have to want to do it.”

Coach Mike Dooley instructs a player during practice. Photo Credit: Mr. Schultheis

On the other hand, the increase in golfers due to COVID has become a massive assist to the golf program. Coach Bob had this to say about the growth of MSJ golf over the years: “We’ve had some lean years and some really good years. Back in 2012 or 2013, I had one freshman. But COVID brought a lot of people out because it was the first sport people could do. The last two years, we’ve had really good groups of freshmen, which will translate into a really good Varsity team over the next two or three years.” Unlike other sports, these coaches must factor in the unpredictability of the incoming golfers, and that makes it hard to know what might happen in future seasons.

Through all the ups and downs, Coach Bob has thoroughly enjoyed his time in the MSJ golf program. As the king of golf references, he paraphrased a quote from thirteen-time major champion Bobby Jones: “If you take everything out of my life except the experience I’ve had with St. Joe, I’d still think I had a really good career.”

Coach Bob intently watches his players during practice. Photo Credit: Mr. Schultheis

Though sometimes completely unrelated, Coach Bob also holds countless golf stories through his years wt Rolling Road and traveling with the JV golf team. When I asked him about some of his favorite MSJ stories, he flashed back to last season’s JV golf finale at Diamond Ridge: “My highlight last year was when Brian Cecil made that birdie on #10 in that last match. Where did that come from? But I’m glad he did it. I think that’s provided him with a, ‘Hey, I can do this.”

Junior Brock Weisman expects to lead a better St. Joe squad this season. Photo Credit: Mr. Schultheis

The MSJ golf program, although sometimes overlooked, provides a fundamental look into how a sports program should be run. Obviously, hard work and dedication come first, but the excitement and enjoyment from all the coaches and golfers build incredible trust that runs deep in the program’s history. The game of golf can be difficult and frustrating, but it provides lifelong memories and improves people’s everyday lives.

Alex Kwas is a sophomore member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Could this be a championship season for MSJ Football?

The Varsity Football team is primed for a stellar MIAA season this year. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

The Varsity Gaels Football Team looks primed to compete for the MIAA championship. The Gaels have arguably the best defense in the MIAA (with an average of 12 points given per game last year). With an explosive offense led by Junior Quarterback Winston Watkins, with many talented wide receivers, running backs, and offensive lineman. 

The Student Section always shows up for game time. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

With being the #29 team in the nation in 2019 (Pre-Covid), and being the #2 team in the A conference in 2021, they knew that this season would be a dominant one with most of last year’s starters returning. With multiple schools losing their best players due to transferring, MSJ has managed to keep its core players. Thanks to this, Saint Joe has a fantastic opportunity to reclaim their title as best in the MIAA. They have a team full of hungry players who remember the sting of their Semi-Final exit last year. 

The plan for the season is complete domination, with the team’s focus continuing to dominate through all 4 quarters. With the addition of 6 new coaches, this year’s team looks more like they will reach the ultimate goal.

Varsity Football is led on the field by Joe Gael. Photo Credit: Andrew Foster
Photo Credit: Andrew Foster

The team is looking forward to having games against great teams to prepare them for the championship. They played St. Ignatius in a match many thought would be a blowout and MSJ held its own. Even though they came up short, they opened a lot of eyes. The team also has a game against the #35 team in the nation, Good Counsel. 

The Gaels will come into league play starting off hot on September 24, against Loyola Blakefield. Then for the rest of the season, all of the other games are league games. These games will determine if they will reach their ultimate goal. MSJ looks to claim the #1 seed to ensure home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Nicholas Paxton is a senior member of the multimedia journalism Class.

Mountain Biking Team excels at Schaeffer Farm race

Mount Men lining up before the hole shot

On September 8, Mount Saint Joseph kicked off the first race of their season. The race was held at Schaeffer Farm in Seneca Creek State Park, Germantown, and hosted by multiple teams including Mount Saint Joseph. The year prior, during the first season of the team’s existence, Schaeffer Farms was held as the last race of the season and was cancelled due to rain. So this marked the first time that many of the MSJ riders would be tearing through these trails.

A portion of the team arrived on Saturday, September 7, for a walk-through ride. This ride is used for teams to get a quick overview of the trails the day before the race to plan where to expend energy and record checkpoints. This option is available for riders the day before the race. The Pre-Ride is crucial to the racers before the race because it does not just give them a chance to overview the trails, but it also warms up the riders for going out on the trails during the real race so when you get out there you aren’t out of energy immediately.

Riders Trey Booth (Front) and Diego DeLaCruz (Back) flying through the finish line

September 8, Race Day, was packed with anticipation as Mount Saint Joseph’s 43 member team cleaned their bikes and prepared to head out on the track. The team gathered to cheer on Shenan Reese at 9:30. She is the sister of McKinley Reese and would be racing for St. Joe to give our school points on the female side of the competition.

Riders Evan Saverino (Left) and Teddy Carpenter (Right) finishing simultaneously

At 12:30, the male portion of the race began. The racers meet up to the hole shot, where all of the racers are split up by grade and sent out in two minute increments as the race begins.

During the race, parents and volunteers line the trails cheering on the racers as they fly around every bend and tear up every hill. Mount Saint Joseph ended up having three technicals, including a broken chain from Varsity racer Charlie Hanlon. Technicals are a short term for when something mechanical goes wrong with the bike, such as a flat tire or a broken chain. There was also an injury dealt to Zach Spitzer in the form of a gash to the arm leaving him requiring ten stitches.

Rider Scott Allen leading the pack.

In the end, Mount Saint Joseph ended up claiming:

Varsity Boys:

Ian Schwing – 1st place

Quinn Griffith – 5th place

JV Boys:

Gabe vonWachter – 2nd place

Tyler Hockstra – 4th place

Sophomore Boys

Scott Allen – 1st place

Riders and coaches alike considered this a very successful first race. Race #2 will be held at Fair Hill Frenzie on the 29th of September.


(All images courtesy of the MSJ Mountain Bike Team App page.)

Evan Saverino is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

When it comes to running, Mr. Brett Davis has learned from his experiences

Brett Davis, a history teacher at Mount Saint Joseph, was a Division I cross country runner at James Madison University, located in Harrisonburg, VA. He is now assistant coach of the JV and Varsity cross country teams at the Mount.

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Varsity Cross Country team running Bull Run Invitational     Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun

“The difference between college running and high school running is; in high school you stayed after school and ran for about an hour and a half, did your workout and then you went home.” Mr. Davis added, “in college, it was much more demanding and was more of a part-time job.” I then asked, “What is the difference between the meets in college and high school? What is the difference between the courses?” His response was, “In high school the races were mostly 5K (3.1 miles), but sometimes shorter and I never left the state of Maryland because I was in public school. But with college, it was 10K (6.2 miles) and I ran in about 5 or 6 different states all up and down the East Coast.”

I asked if he likes coaching at the Mount, and whether he thinks differently of his coaches now that he is in their shoes. His response was, “I like coaching here because there are a lot of dedicated and hard-working runners like our varsity team, because you guys are student-athletes and you are dedicated to the sport at the same time, ” he said.  “I have a greater appreciation for my college and high school coaches because at first, I took them for granted when I was a teenager and I have used some of their coaching tips and the way they coached into the way I coach today.”

I’ve had Mr. Davis as my coach for the past two years and he’s helped not only with new runners but also experienced runners. He is very dedicated to the sport such as any coach should be to the sport they are coaching. He definitely gives off this “let’s go win and have mental toughness” kind of vibe to him which makes the team stronger. As coach, he’s helped the team win four meets so far this season and many more to come as assistant coach of the Mount Saint Joseph cross country team.

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Varsity Cross Country team at McQuaid Invitational in Rochester, NY    Photo credit: Mr. Jack Peach

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Nick DeLauro, Junior

Nick DeLauro is a junior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.