The 2013-14 academic year kicked off with four of the eight new athletic teams donning their Wolves uniforms for the first time. Credited with enrolling 63 new student-athletes to Stritch, the eight teams include men’s and women’s golf, tennis, track and field, and bowling.
Recruitment to fill out the rosters began last year, with some of the student-athletes beginning their training programs months before the start of school. By the end of August, the inaugural men’s and women’s golf and tennis teams hit the course and court ready for the season ahead, and Wolves fans held high hopes for the teams.
According to Pat Clemens, athletic director, the new teams came out competitive and even took some people by surprise with their early success.
“Both our men’s and women’s tennis teams launched their seasons with 2-0 records, and men’s and women’s golf have each won individual tournaments,” Clemens said. “These teams began winning early on in their seasons, and that has definitely helped to build excitement for the new programs."
Mark Goldin, head coach for the tennis teams, believes the enthusiasm surrounding the new teams is well-founded.
“It’s exciting to be out on the court and seeing the student-athletes experiencing success early on,” Goldin said. “If we stay focused, I know it will translate into great things for both the men’s and women’s programs."
The tennis and golf teams have wrapped up their inaugural fall seasons and will return to competition in the early months of 2014.
Tim Eckberg, head coach for the golf teams, said the teams had a solid season.
“They had a chance to see how they stack up against the competition,” Eckberg said. “I’m confident they’ll be ready to roll again once the spring comes around.”
The bowling and track and field teams are in training for their seasons which will kick off this winter.
In addition to their efforts in training and competition, the teams are credited with enhancing the student experience at Stritch through fan attendance at games and social media interactions.
“Not only are our social media numbers increasing, but we’re seeing a higher level of engagement,” Clemens said. “Students and fans want to be a part of the conversation about their teams."
Stritch Wolves followers on Facebook and Twitter are becoming active participants in the conversation by uploading photos and using #stritchwolves to connect their comments to others. Visit the StritchWolves website or follow the teams on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.