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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Gaelic prepares for spring tournament 

Gaelic+Football+team+went+4-0+in+the+2022+spring+tournament.+PHOTO+COURTESY+OF+JOHN+HIGGINS+%E2%80%9923
Gaelic Football team went 4-0 in the 2022 spring tournament. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN HIGGINS ’23

St. Joe’s Gaelic Football is set to host their annual spring tournament from 3-7 p.m. April 29.

The Hawks will face off against the United States Naval Academy, as well as local club leagues, the Delco Gaels and the Washington D.C. Gaels. 

President and half back John Higgins ’23 said that the team is coming together and seems prepared.

“We’ve been practicing basically all year for this tournament,” Higgins said. “Everybody’s getting back into shape.”

Gaelic Football hosts a tournament at Sweeney Field every fall and spring. After their fall 2022 tournament, the team was able to notice the areas they needed to work on the most, Higgins said. 

“There were definitely some things that we needed to work on,” Higgins said. “Having all this time to prepare is hopefully gonna lead into removing those mistakes and winning some games.”

According to Higgins, one of these areas the team has been focusing on is getting the players to move in line with each other.  

“We’re working on a lot of passing, working as a team and then moving into scoring positions,” Higgins said.

Last year, the Hawks went 4-0 in the spring tournament against Navy, the Delco Gaels and Fordham University.

Vice President Maura Montgomery ’23 said with a little more practice, she thinks the team can do the same this year too. 

“I do think we have the ability to do it,” Montgomery said.  “It’s just cleaning up our actions.”

Midfielder Tim Polizzi ’25 said that facing Navy in the past has given the team insight into how they match up against them. 

“I think they have a lot of good endurance because they’re always running and trading,” Polizzi said. “But I think skill-wise, experience-wise, our team has a lot of that.”

As for the Hawks’ strengths, their ability to score goals and get points is one thing Montgomery highlighted. 

“We do have very strong kickers,” Montgomery said. “We just have to be better on accuracy.”

Gaelic Football is among the most popular club sports on campus, which is due to the nature of the sport and the team they have created according to Montgomery.

“I think we have a group of good, fun and outgoing guys, so we reach a lot of people,” Montgomery said. “It’s just an interesting game.”

As a result, the team has added many new faces to their roster this year. 

This meant that establishing team chemistry was the final factor in making sure everyone was playing to their fullest potential, according to Higgins, but was something they were able to accomplish. 

“Practice itself is just a really solid, positive atmosphere,” Higgins said. “We make everybody feel welcome so they can play to the best of their ability.”

The tournament will also be the final time Higgins and Montgomery, both seniors, will play for the Hawks. 

“It’s something I’ve devoted a lot of time to, and it’s definitely gonna be sad to leave the team,” Higgins said. “We have a pretty solid squad that I‘m leaving behind, so I’m happy with that.”

As the Hawks prepare to face Navy, Delco and Washington D.C., Polizzi has a request for anyone available April 29. 

“Come out for the game,” Polizzi said. “We love having people come.”

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Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
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