Growing up in a blue-collar household outside of Philly, I never thought I would utter the words, “I just spent a lovely, late summer weekend on the Cape.” In fact, I feel ridiculous having just typed those words, so let’s say it in a cleaned up version of how I would say actually it: Man, we were awesome down at Massachusetts Maritime!
The calendar says July. The next time we flip the page, we will be less than two weeks from our first team reporting for preseason. While I am certainly not wishing Maine’s fleeting summer away, I am incredibly eager for the return of our students and the energy they bring to this quiet, coastal village.
With the Super Bowl over, the professional sports fan in me is reminded that pitcher and catchers start reporting in a little over a week. One of my self-appointed Rites of Spring is watching Major League. It encompasses everything I like in the world – an underdog storyline, interesting characters, and quotable lines. When I left here Saturday night, one of the iconic Lou Brown’s lines was playing over and over in my head, “Startin’ to come together, Pepper. Startin’ to come together.”
On behalf of Maine Maritime Academy athletics, I wanted to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with amazing students and an outstanding professional staff in my department and across campus. I am also grateful for the opportunity to have met so many of the Academy’s alumni and for having the chance to hear what made their Maine Maritime experience so special.
As I drove onto campus this morning, white tents, uncovered tables, and empty chairs were being collected in order to be returned to wherever they came from. Homecoming is in the books, and by every measure, it was a successful one. Friday's Hall of Fame induction was inspiring, the weather was gorgeous throughout, and the atmosphere was exciting. And oh, by the way, the Admiral's Cup came home -- and in exciting fashion - coming right down to the game's final play.
The students of Maine Maritime have started their annual migration to Castine. Several teams have begun their preseason with the rest getting underway on Sunday. Before the week is out, I will hear the familiar refrains of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta companies marching by, and will catch myself repeating them in my head, or possibly out loud in Hannaford, earning me a few strange looks.
This past Saturday, graduates crossed the stage ready for the world beyond Castine. Yesterday, the training ship pulled away from the waterfront to continue training future graduates. The State of Maine’s departure proves that there really is no finish line, just a new lap in an ongoing race to annually produce the best Mariners that Maine Maritime can produce.
Maine Maritime Academy has accepted an invitation to join the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) as an associate member in football when the league begins sponsoring the sport in the 2017 season.
There is no place like home. For the better part of the last week, I have been out on the road. Last Thursday, I departed campus with the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, then after returning home just long enough to warm my bed, I turned around and headed out to represent the Academy at the North Atlantic Conference meetings. Reflecting on the week of travel on my drive home yesterday, I thought about the tremendous honor that it is representing this institution when I travel to various NCAA and conference meetings.
It is hard not to sit here with an ear-to-ear grin as I type. Well into my third fall as the Director of Athletics at Maine Maritime, we had the weekend I have been waiting for. In that time, we have had a number of weekends where we enjoyed more successes than setbacks, but this one was different. This one was about continuing to forge our identity as fighters and scrappers, and taking pride in what we do.
I hope you had a relaxing Labor Day and enjoyed the company of family and friends. The first weekend of competition is in the books, the Class of 2018 has gone through ship jump, and convocation signaled our annual pilgrimage towards the first weekend of May. Cross Country, soccer, and volleyball all opened their seasons this past weekend. Football and golf will get underway this coming weekend.
It is a perfect, late-summer Sunday afternoon in Maine. I am thrilled to be stuck in the office today! Over my shoulder, the sound of whistles from football practice punctuates the four companies sounding off. In the hallway, the women’s soccer team is laughing as they lace up their boots, while volleyball practice produces a steady rumble over my head.
Welcome to MarinerSports.org and thank you for your interest in Maine Maritime Academy Athletics. I invite you to explore the site and enjoy learning about the rich history of our programs and the student-athletes and coaches that currently represent them.