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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Gaelic football team prepares new players in fall

The team finished last season fourth in their conference. PHOTO COURTESY OF SJU GAELIC FOOTBALL

St. Joe’s gaelic football team wrapped up their fall training session on Nov. 10. Their goal this season is to build the prevalence of the sport on campus and in the area.

According to junior Curtis Tokach, team vice president, the fall season is for the new players to learn the game and build relationships with teammates.

“Our goal is always to grow the sport both at St. Joe’s and at other universities,” Tokach said. “Most of our new players have never played before, and we love introducing new players to the game.”

The team lost a large amount of graduating seniors last year, according to junior Adam Werner, team president.

“We expect to fight hard and win our share of games,” Werner said. “The new crop of kids are extremely athletic and we can improve by utilizing our speed and agility against other teams.”

Head Coach Brendan Feeney said the team has been successful in the past and hopes it continues.

“Our team is full of many players new to the sport, so it’s a process to get better gradually,” Feeney said.

Tokach said he thinks the team can improve on their fitness levels in order to make up for their lack of experience. Last spring, the team finished fourth at the end of the year tournament.

“This year our team is extremely athletic,” Tokach said. “We are able to dominate games by being faster, stronger, and more durable than our opponents.”

Werner said he also thinks athleticism and speed is a strength of this team.

Tokach said team chemistry is also a very important part of the squad.

“This trust in teammates allows us to focus less on a few specific standout players and more on the team playing together as a whole,” Tokach said.

The team looks to improve their skills and grow stronger. Many of the players are underclassmen, according to Werner.

“Everyone on the team are genuinely friends and can lean on each other on and off the field,” Werner said. “We all have a passion for a game that most of us would never expect.”

Tokach said he is excited about the team’s culture as he believes it’s certainly one of the strongest that he has ever seen.

“For me personally, most of my best friends here at SJU are a part of this club, which I believe really shows how important this club can be to a student’s experience at St. Joe’s,” Tokach said. “These lasting relationships along with the strong team oriented dynamics that are present truly separate this club from any other.”

Feeney said his team prides itself on fitness, being quick, and smart decision making.

“We like to play an in your face, fast break style that puts teams on their heels,” Feeney said. “I like to think strong leadership and consistent hard work our team puts in sets us apart.”

Tokach said he wants the team to feel inclusive.

“Everyone knows that they are valued on this team and that there is always some way that they can contribute,” Tokach said.

Gaelic football is certainly not the easiest sport to pick up, but it is incredibly rewarding, according to Tokach. He said he wants to encourage students to not be shy, to come to their practices, talk to the players and see for themselves what the club is all about.

“The sport is a great opportunity to learn something new, meet new people and get a good workout in,” Tokach said.

Werner said he wants to grow the sport beyond other universities in Philadelphia.

“Gaelic football is slowly growing in America, and I believe we are respecting Philadelphia well,” Werner said. “We look to expand and teach local schools in Philadelphia about the game.”

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