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Sports

MAAC Releases Preseason Rankings for Basketball

MAACThe Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) released their preseason polls for both the men’s and women’s upcoming basketball seasons. The men’s basketball team came in third in the poll while women’s basketball came in eighth.

The preseason poll was made by the coaches of the league and the results were announced on an award show on Thursday evening on ESPN3. After earning a First Team selection to the All-MAAC Preseason First Team a season ago, senior guard Deion Hammond once again received the honor as he was selected this year by a unanimous decision.

The projected third place is the same ranking the Monmouth Hawks were given just a season ago, however this year they share their projected third place finish with Saint Peters.

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A Season Without Cheerleading

CheerleadingA typical Saturday in fall semester at Monmouth University sees MU Cheerleaders spreading school spirit across campus in anticipation of game day. This fall has been much different with sports cancelled due to COVID-19, ending the cheerleading season before it even began.

Learning that fall season was cancelled came as a huge disappointment for the cheerleaders, especially for those who have been with the program for years. Jenna Garra, a junior with two years’ experience on the team, was named captain for the 2020-2021 season before activities were halted in March. Garra was excited about the coming season, and continued to hold out hope until it was officially cancelled in July. When asked how she took the news she said, “I was very upset because football season is our favorite time of the year, and that means no practice for the team either.”

The cancellation of fall sports has had wide-ranging effects on the cheerleaders. They are used to the demanding schedule a school year brings, but now find themselves in an unfamiliar position of having free time on their hands. Finding ways to fill their schedule can be a challenging task for athletes. Losing the structure that comes with being on the cheerleading team requires an adjustment to self-discipline, but they have adapted to the changes introduced to their lives this semester.

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Track Runs in the Family with Brandon Davis

Track RunsTrack and Field is right around the corner as winter sports are slowly approaching. When people think about Track and Field, they normally think of the running events. However, the throwing events such as shot put, hammer throw and discus are also staples of the sport.

Brandon Davis, a graduate student at Monmouth University is a member of the Track and Field team. Brandon comes from a family that has a history with the sport of Track and Field.

“This sport has been within my family for years and they passed it down to my brother and me. My parents had competed in track when they were in high school and college as well,” said Davis, “I began as a distance runner, over the years I transitioned to sprints and eventually to field events. The field events, especially throwing is where I would decide to specialize in middle school.

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Silent Hawks In The Stands For Basketball Season \

Silent Hawks2020 has been an unprecedented year for just about everything, and of course that includes Monmouth athletics who has been held out from playing all sports this fall. However, the Monmouth University campus can at least look forward to the return of basketball this winter at the OceanFirst Bank Center.

On Monday, Nov. 2 Monmouth athletics announced that they will be selling fan cutouts for the 2020-2021 basketball season for $50 a piece while they wait for fans to be allowed in the arena at the start of the season.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has announced that based on their regulations no fans will be allowed at basketball games through Dec. 23 at the very earliest. They have yet to make a final decision regarding games after that date as it continues to be a work in progress being evaluated day by day. Even after fans hopefully come back to the arena later in the season, cutouts will remain in the stands to help maintain social distancing.

Students, faculty, parents, advertisers, and fans will be able to show their Monmouth pride by purchasing a cutout to represent their fandom during these unforeseen times for sports.

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Former Hawk Chris Hogan’s NFL Journey

Chris HoganNew York Jets wide receiver, Super Bowl champion, and Monmouth alum, Chris Hogan, is back in New Jersey following his signing with the New York Jets this past summer.

Hogan has not had the normal National Football League journey. Some might even say that it is an unheard of path.

Hogan grew up in Wyckoff, New Jersey and attended Ramapo High School as a standout athlete in both football and lacrosse. Looking to go to a big school, he fell in love with Penn State and took an opportunity to play lacrosse there that he “couldn’t pass up.”

Choosing lacrosse over football was “a pretty tough decision,” said Hogan. The former Nittany Lion enjoyed his time at the school but said, “Throughout the course of my four years, it never really left me whether or not I wanted to play football in college.”

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Looking Through the Lens of Karlee Sell

Looking LensWhile athletes are usually the ones that share the spotlight amongst themselves, many others contribute to athletics without directly competing. Even though they might not get the same recognition as the players, these people are equally as important for athletics to stay afloat.

Karlee Sell has been working for athletics since January of 2017 as a photographer. Sell is graduating from Monmouth University this December with her BA in communication and a minor in photography.

Sell has been involved in sports ever since she was in high school at ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire. “I was a member of and president of our Student Athletic Leadership Team, I played various sports, and I interned with my high school’s athletic director which got me involved with sports that I didn’t have the opportunity to play,” she said.

Sell first got into photography when she got a camera as an eighth grade graduation gift from her parents. “I brought it with me everywhere. It was through teaching myself how to take photos and finding my own style that I fell in love with it,” said Sell.

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Monmouth Hawks Flock to Vote

Flock to VoteMonmouth Athletics has taken a voting initiative, along with the rest of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), reaching 100 percent voter participation among 20 Monmouth sports teams.

The MAAC’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee began this initiative as a way of getting eligible student-athletes and staff to lead the campus charge in voting this election season.

“I am proud of the effort made by our MSAAC representatives and our student-athletes who have made registering to vote a priority,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics at Monmouth University Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D. “Their insistence on having a voice in the election process and with the issues our society faces are an encouraging sign for the future of our country. It is our responsibility as educators to provide the necessary resources to help our student-athletes make informed decisions in elections at the national, state and local level.”

McNeil has led the initiative in a major way as nearly every Monmouth team has reached full voter participation. These teams include men’s sports such as baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field, and football. Meanwhile on the women’s side there is basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, bowling, and field hockey.

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Former Hawk Vincent Sasso Turned Principal

Former HawkMany students have come and gone throughout the years at Monmouth University and have went on to do some great things in their lives. Monmouth alum and former football player Vincent Sasso stepped away from his football days to enter the next chapter of his life.

Dr. Sasso is a member of the class of 1998 and graduated with a Special Education Degree. During his time at Monmouth University, he was also part of the Monmouth football team where he played free safety.

While Sasso attended Monmouth as undergraduate from 1994 to 1998 that was not the end of his educational journey at Monmouth University, “I also attended from 2018 to 2020 and just graduated in August with my Doctoral Degree in Education Leadership,” said Sasso.

In 2002, Sasso also received his Master of Arts in Urban Education from New Jersey City University and later on went to receive his Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision in 2005 from New Jersey City University as well.

Sasso became the Vice Principal of Old Bridge High School in 2006 all the way until 2012. He remained Old Bridge’s Vice Principal until 2013 where he was promoted to be the principal of the school where he still currently works. This year marks Sasso’s ninth year as the principal of Old Bridge High School.

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Women’s Bowling Placed Fourth in Preseason Poll

WBOWL 10.14.20On Oct. 8, the Monmouth women’s bowling team placed fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason Poll and junior, Saige Yamada was named to the Preseason All-MEAC Team.

The Hawks are coming off of a great 2019 season. After closing their season at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Hawk Classic, the team finished with a 54-43 overall record and achieved nine top-25 wins throughout their entire season.

This year, the Hawks are expected to excel in their 2020 season placing fourth in the MEAC Preseason Poll. Head Coach, Karen Grygiel, spoke on the upcoming season saying, “We are excited for the season to get underway and look forward to any and all opportunities we have to compete.”

The Hawks are adding freshmen, Maria Fernanda Aguiluz, Jenna Lehrer, Madison McFadden, and redshirt freshman, Jamie Phelan. Coach Grygiel spoke on the newcomers saying, “We have made some great additions to our roster for this season and look forward to competing for a MEAC title.”

Standout, Saige Yamada, was named to the Preseason All-MEAC Team after earning tons of achievements last season. “I feel very honored to be a part of the Preseason All-MEAC Team,” said Yamada. “My love for this sport has brought me amazing opportunities and I am very grateful to be recognized in this way.”

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Former Hawk Earns National Scholar Honors

WBB 10.14.20The former Monmouth women’s basketball star Alexa Middleton was recently awarded incredible off the court honors when she named to the 2020-21 Sport Changes Life Foundation (SCLF) Victory Scholar Program in late September.

“We are proud and honored that Alexa has been chosen as part of the Sport Changes Life program,” said Monmouth women’s basketball head coach Jody Craig. “She was a great leader for us at Monmouth, and I’m sure she will be a tremendous mentor in these challenging times.”

As a senior last season, Middleton was second on the team in scoring averaging 9.3 points per game. She also led the team in rebounds with 8.1 per game, blocks with 32 and double-doubles with eight. She finished off her senior season earning remarkable All-Conference honors as a member of the 2019-2020 MAAC All-Tournament Team.

Middleton joins fellow Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) athletes D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks of Canisius, Taylor Herd of Quinnipiac and Quinn Taylor of Saint Peter’s. There was a total of 17 athletes selected with six males and 11 females from 16 different schools.

MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor commented on these honors that four MAAC student-athletes received. “The MAAC is proud to continue its partnership with Sport Changes Life and would like to congratulate D’Jhai, Alexa, Taylor and Quinn,” said Ensor. “The Victory Scholars Program selected four very deserving student-athletes, and the MAAC wishes them nothing but the best as they complete their graduate studies and teach young people the value of sports and academics.”

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Men’s Basketball Announce New Freshman

MBB 10.7.20Men’s basketball announced that they have signed a pair of players to join the program for the 2020-2021 season. Myles Ruth and Klemen Vuga will both be joining the freshman class for the blue and white this year.

Ruth is a native of Hillside, New Jersey and played his high school basketball at Don Bosco in Ramsey, New Jersey. In his senior season Ruth was name First Team All-Big North Division, First Team All-North Jersey and First Team All-Bergen County.

Standing at six feet tall, he averaged 13.6 points per game, 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals in senior campaign in high school. He was also very efficient from the field as he finished the season with a 53 percent field goal percentage. With Ruth’s efforts, the Ironmen finished the 2019-20 season with a 14-6 record while posting an impressive 9-1 record at home.

Ruth also posted a total of five games in his senior year with at least 20 points including a 27 point explosion against Newburgh Free Academy. Not only did he score with ease, but he filled up the entire stat sheet in this contest. Ruth finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and six steals.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu