Tag Archives: Spring 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.

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.

New lacrosse coach Phillip Bates aims to lead St. Joe in tough MIAA Conference

The Mount Saint Joseph Lacrosse team has had a history of previous players in its coaching staff. Many of the coaches that have come through the Mount to give back to the boys have been in the same shoes as the players. They attended the same classes and had some of the same teachers, notably Mr. Jeffrey who graduated from the Mount himself in 1974. The most recent Varsity head coach, Stephen Berger, was a Mount Graduate of 2000 who spent four years coaching at MSJ.

The new varsity coach, Phillip Bates, has been coaching lacrosse for a while. He was the head coach for two years at Dallastown Area High School in PA. His overall record at the school was 29-8, and in his first year, he led his team to the York-Adams League Title.

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Coach Bates on the sidelines during a home JV game – Photo Credit https://bit.ly/2O1W130

Coach Bates, Coach Stephen Jeffrey, and Senior player Cole Baker all had lots to say about the upcoming season, and their thoughts on the coaching change at the top of the lacrosse program.

One thing is certain, everyone I spoke with were all very excited to see what Coach Bates will be able to bring to the table, especially the additions to the coaching staff that he was able to bring in — a new Face-off Coach, Luther Fleming, and a head JV coach, Omar Dupree. The new additions will bring out the best in the position that they will oversee. Cole Baker remarked, “face-offs are a big part of the game and in the past, we have not had a coach dedicated solely to the position. Our face-off specialist, Cole Trippet, will be able to get the attention he needs to do the best in his position.” One place where the team did not expand vastly was the defensive staff. Coming back to support the program is Coach Jeffrey.

Coach Stephen Jeffrey played lacrosse while a student at MSJ. He then attended Randolph Macon College and returned to MSJ to teach. He also began coaching football and lacrosse. He has been able to work with most of the coaches in the lacrosse program in recent years and has been able to work with Coach Bates personally.  He could only say positive things about him. “He’s a great coach and I’ve been with him for a few years and he has the coaching ability and the contacts to make it work at MSJ. He wants to be here and he loves it here and has what it takes. I know he’s excited, he knows what is expected, and it should be interesting.” With Coach Jeffrey coming back, the defense will be able to perform to the best possible outcome with the help of other coaches like Patrick Paine and Stephen Mersinger.

He’s a great coach and I’ve been with him for a few years and he has the coaching ability and the contacts to make it work at MSJ. He wants to be here and he loves it here and has what it takes. I know he’s excited, he knows what is expected, and it should be interesting. – Coach Steve Jeffrey on new head coach, Phillip Bates

The team is looking forward to the upcoming season, and one of the things that coach Bates brings to the table is his passion. He believes it is the thing that makes him a stand out coach from others. “It is what drives me, I am very passionate about the sport and as a high school player, the number one thing that my coach told me that I could do would be to give back to the game.”

Coaching is what Coach Bates lives for. He has been across the US coaching and playing the game he knows and loves. He a great addition in the coaching staff and the sky is the limit for him. Speaking with current players, it is obvious that Coach Bates cares about the entire organization, and the MSJ community is excited to see what he will be able to do in the spring of 2019.

Mount Saint Joseph Varsity Lacrosse Team Praying before the last game of the season Photo taken from Coach Berger’s twitter https://twitter.com/SBerger13/status/1021900653055156224


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155DC124-040C-4FB6-8C3A-911F99D689C9Jake Schwarzmann is a senior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class. Follow Jake at @shazman_19 on Instagram

New Coach Brings New Strategies To MSJ Baseball

Baseball at Mount St. Joe is an institution, with a long and storied history. Over the past few years, the record for the varsity squad has not been as good as expected, but things might be turning around this coming season. Last year, the varsity squad finished just shy of the playoffs, ending with a deceptively solid 11-16 record. Although they ended with this losing record, there were some very well played games, including their defeat of Spalding in a tight 3-2 contest. Coach Rod Cameron was the head coach of the baseball program until this season, having a very productive and successful run as an assistant coach, and also as head coach. While he may not have won a championship as a head coach, he set up a team with great players and strategies to get the job done correctly. The man that was chosen to follow Coach Cameron, Coach Phil Kraska, has been coaching at the Mount for 10 years, assisting the varsity team as well as previously serving as the head coach for the JV team. Before that, Kraska won an MIAA Championship as a player as part of the 2004 Varsity team.

Coach Kraska
Coach Phil Kraska, the new head coach for Mount Saint Joseph Baseball.

Coach Kraska has big plans for this season. He hopes to turn the program around and bring it back to its winning ways through rigorous offseason training and dedication. “We are doing a strength training program, trying to get our athletes stronger,” said Coach Kraska, “so that when we get to tryouts in February everyone is in shape and ready for the season.” Another issue that has plagued the Gaels are injuries, and this is something that Kraska hopes will be reduced, if not eliminated, through this offseason training.

Coach Kraska is very well-suited for the job as head coach, because he played for three fantastic coaches while attending the Mount. “I’ve played for Mr. Norton, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Cameron. They helped me while I was a player, and have helped me form my own coaching style,” he reminisced. All three of these coaches did great things at Mount Saint Joseph, and there is much to look forward to if Coach Kraska will be modeling his style from the experiences he had with his former coaches.

Matt McManus, the southpaw ace for the JV team, pitching in the semifinal game against Calvert Hall. The Mount would lose this game 10-9. Photo by Nick DeLauro ’20

Another positive for the team this year is the incoming talent. Many of the rising juniors hope to make a great difference to the team. One of the names to watch out for is Matt McManus, who was dominant on the mound last season for JV, even throwing a no-hitter against McDonogh. Another player that could drastically change the game is Michael Marsh, a clutch player at the plate who led the JV team in home runs last season. Many of the players returning to the varsity team, including Justin Looney and Connor Rudel, will be the driving force of the offense.

When asked if there were any schools in particular that he would be looking forward to facing, Coach Kraska said, “Everyone! People will have a picture of what we were last year in their minds. We are going to come out and take them by surprise.” This is another great insight into how this team will be playing this year. With a new coach and new talent, there is a definite excitement for the upcoming season.

There are many new elements in the baseball program this season, and they could turn out to be extremely beneficial. Although the team did not perform to their full potential last year, there is much room to grow and a whole lot to build off of. Coach Cameron left Coach Kraska in a very good place to start for next year. Coach Kraska, as well as the whole school, hopes all of the offseason work and preparation translates into success on the field when March rolls around.

Coach Kraska follows in the footsteps of his former MSJ Varsity Coach, Dave Norton, shown here with the team at Camden Yards. Photo Credit Brown Media

Ben McElroy is a Junior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Previewing the Outdoor Track Season

Andrew Brinker leading off the 4×8. St. Joe set a school record in this race.

The Mount Saint Joseph Gaels are looking to bring the trophy back home the spring. Under new head coach Kyle Reagan, the Gaels competed very well this past indoor season, finishing second place behind Gilman. Throughout the season, many challenges were faced, but they always found a way. Saint Joe also brought eight athletes to compete at the Armory in New York City this past winter. Many athletes step up when needed and it will only carry on to the outdoor season.

Juan Mendoza participates in the long jump under the watchful eye of Coach Reagan.

In the sprints and jumps, senior Juan Mendoza led the charge. His consistent performances through his dashes and jumps was key to the Gaels’ hard fought battle during championships. He will be a key asset this spring if the Gaels want a shot at bringing the title back home this May.

For the hurdles, the junior combo of Kahri Barfield and Mekhi Nixon took over the MIAA. Barfield took first place and Nixon took third at indoor championships. This dynamic duo brought home a load of points at championships, and hope to repeat what they did during indoor this spring.

The distance crew for Saint Joe is looking solid. Many of the distance runners had a short indoor season due to the long cross country season they had, but made the most of it. The 4X800 team broke the indoor school record this year and looks to do the same for outdoor. For the 3200, the group is led by senior Ryan Hockstra, followed by juniors Gabe Antone and David Trider. In the 1600 and 800, Andrew Brinker will compete in his fourth season of outdoor track looking to do some damage. Last but not least, there is Joey Zietowski who ran some quick times during the indoor season in the 800 will be leading the mid distance group.

Hunter Petrik leading the 800 meter. Petrik also set a school record in the individual 800 meter.

Saint Joe’s ole reliable this year has been senior Hunter Petrik who ran everything from the 400 to the 3200. The senior broke the 800 meter indoor record for the school. He also anchored the 4X800 team that broke the school record. To go on top of this, he also lowered the 3200 meter record which he already owned. Petrik was striving for the 1600 meter record, but ran the full mile (1609 meters) at New Balance Nationals at the Armory in New York. Hunter ran a wicked fast time of 4:21 for the mile at nationals and represented Saint Joe well. Petrik announced in late February his acceptance to the United States Naval Academy, where he will further his education and running career.

The Gaels have a lot of talent and assets from indoor that will aid them this season. The seniors with experience hopefully can pave the way for the younger generation. The athletes mentioned in this article are only a part of the team effort that comes together during every meet. All in all, if the Gaels want to bring that trophy home it will have to be a team effort on both days of championships later this spring in May.

Dallas Ector prepares for the pole vault.

Following Win Against Good Counsel, Gaels Lacrosse Prepping For Tough MIAA Schedule

The 2018 MIAA Lacrosse season is upon us. The Gaels are looking to have a strong year coming up. The team returns a good amount of experienced players who are ready to suit up and play again. At the helm is Coach Stephen Berger. A graduate of the Mount, coach Berger is entering his 4th season as head coach. Although the record doesn’t always show it year in and year out, he demands the most out of his players and is an excellent role model for the team. From the before-school workouts to the countless hours of practice and film study, Coach Berger and his players are some of the hardest working people on campus.

Kyle Descripino
Kyle DeCrispino in action against Severn last season. Kyle is a captain for the team this year and committed to Drexel. Photo Credit: Victory Views

Under Coach Berger are a number of great assistant coaches. Coach Joe Figola is the offensive coordinator for the Gaels while coaches Andrew Garthoff and Steve Mersinger run things on the defensive side. Also, helping with defense and wing play is coach Conrad Ordakowski. Finally the Gaels have coach Brent Johnson to help with recruiting. All these coaches put in an immense amount of time and effort to make sure the boys are ready to play.

Will Targonski
Defender Will Targonski plays against Gilman in game photo from last season. Photo Credit: Victory Views

So far this year the Gaels have had two scrimmages and two non-MIAA games. They are 1-1 after losing the first game, and winning the second game decidedly against Good Counsel. In the first scrimmage, the Gaels were defeated by a talented Dematha squad. Things were better the next scrimmage as the team had a strong win against St. Peter and Paul. In the first official game, the Gaels lost a hard fought battle to a tough St. John’s team out of D.C. The team showed spots of hope though as they game out of the gate scoring the first goal quickly. Throughout the game the Gaels has a number of flashes where they looked like a top tier team, but in the end the Cadets got the best of Saint Joe. In the second game against Good Counsel, the Gaels came away with a win 12-6. Hayden Toth sealed the win with a full-field snipe at the buzzer.

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Senior Midfield Griffin Corbett in action last year. Photo Credit: Victory Views

The team has a number of talented players who are ready to go out and show everyone what they’re capable of. Senior Will Targonski is a close defender and one of the leaders of the defense. He is tenacious and big, and he is hoping to have an excellent senior season. Playing at midfield is senior Griffin Corbett. Corbett is currently out with an elbow injury but hopes to be back before the MIAA games begin. He is an amazing player who is committed to play lacrosse at Jacksonville University. He looks to lead the Gaels with his quickness and shooting ability. Another college commit is senior attachment Kyle DeCrispino. DeCrispino is committed to play at Drexel University next year. He is an excellent goal-scorer who is extremely difficult to defend. He, along with Corbett and Targonski, as well as a number of other talented players, looks to lead the Gaels to a successful season this year in the tough MIAA conference.

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Offensive Coordinator Coach Figola and Head Coach Berger instructs the team before the start of a game. Photo Credit: Victory Views

Under the guidance of Coach Berger and the unique talents of all the players, the Gaels are looking to put themselves in a position to compete with some of the best teams in the nation. MSJ wishes the lacrosse team the best of luck in the 2018 season.