Temple’s Cheer team is here to bring it on

This year’s team is working twice as hard.

Every year, our cheerleaders bring it. Games, competitions and events shine with their talent, hard work and charm.  

“Temple cheer gave me friendships that will last a lifetime!” Brianna Roberts, a senior risk management major said. “Not only that, but the program as a whole boosted my confidence in my ability to succeed in both my personal life and career.”

The Temple University Cheerleading Team consists of 45 individuals and four captains who cheer at football, basketball (men’s and women’s) and various other sporting events. Every member must attend 10-15 appearances per semester, in addition to practices and games.

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The all-girls Cherry Team cheers at football games and competes in UCA Nationals.  They practice three times a week on top of games and competitions. The White Team, which is co-ed, practices two to three times a week in addition to lifting twice a week.

“Temple cheer 100% has made my experience at Temple University better,” Jazmine Rose, a junior construction management technology major said. “From being on the team for almost three years, I can say I have created the best memories and even better friends.”

For the team, cheerleading is a community and everyone has to be willing to help others. Senior tourism and hospitality management major Ali Gray, captain of the White Team, spoke about the values and attitudes of their team.

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“We build from the ground up here,” Gray said.

Gray leads the White team alongside captain Brianna Waselus, a junior kinesiology-health professions major.

They love to build on what others already know because they understand that their team members have strong suits and weaker areas. At their tryouts, they make sure to demonstrate their cheers and stunts multiple times so everyone has a fair shot.

One of their core values is being part of the community and wearing it proudly.  

“To us, cheering for Temple is more about representing the university and community rather than the program itself,” Cherry Team captain Sarah Metts said. Metts is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism.

Metts is joined with her other Cherry Team captain, Felicia Madonna, a fifth year therapeutic recreation major.  

In addition to cheering, the team loves to help out in the community and give back. Earlier this year, they took the opportunity to speak to students at Welsh School about the benefits of attending college and college cheerleading. Additionally, they offer clinics for high school and Temple students interested in cheerleading.

Despite the hard work of the cheerleaders, they do not receive the benefits that other sports teams do.

“We have it harder because we do it year-round,” Gray said. “We practice, we lift just as hard as any other team.”

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This does not stop the team, though.  Sarah feels that as long as they can cheer and uplift others, the team is satisfied. In fact, Sarah had a little closing message for everyone.

“If you sit there and doubt yourself you will never accomplish anything,” Metts said. “We make success stories here.”

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Written by: Nayanka Paul

Photography by: Nate Rogers

2016 Graduates Score Big at Senior Day

Field Hockey

On the beautiful afternoon of October 23, 2015, the field hockey team celebrated Senior Day for the graduating seniors on the team. A large crowd of students gathered to watch the game against Georgetown.

The team has had a challenging schedule this 2015 season, but that has not deterred the athletes from working together and never giving up. The early challenges in the beginning of the season prepared them for later conference games.

Head Coach Marybeth Freeman has seen improvement in all of her players throughout the season, both on and off the field. Freeman said she genuinely cares for her players and the best part about coaching is seeing the young women grow as people.

Freeman said she looks for leadership in her players. This entails selflessness, confidence and ownership of actions. Freeman said she is most proud of her players when she sees them “putting a belief into action.”

Friends, family and fans closely watched the Senior Day game, anticipating a Temple win. Students stopped to see what was going on as they strolled down the surrounding sidewalks.

Temple positioned itself with an early lead in the first half of the game when senior Alyssa Delp scored a goal twelve minutes in. Temple was able to hold onto its lead for the rest of the first half.

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Shortly into the second half, Georgetown tied it up with a goal of its own. Temple tried furiously to regain its lead throughout the second half. With only a few minutes remaining in the game, senior Erin VanHorn finally scored again for Temple, cementing the lead.

In a move of desperation, Georgetown removed its goalkeeper in an attempt to tie the game back up in the last minute. The plan was fruitless and Temple scored again into the empty net. Temple won with a final score of 3-1.

It proved to be a glorious day for the Owls but especially for the ten seniors on the team. They were able to reflect on their time at Temple and with the field hockey team with a nice win and a beautiful day to celebrate.

Written by Gary Nines

Photographed by Jademan Baker

Brandon Matthews

Temple’s Hole In One

If anyone can attest to the idea that golf consists of much more than swinging a club and hitting a ball, it’s senior Brandon Matthews.

Matthews describes golf as a “very mentally taxing yet addicting sport.”

Matthews grew up surrounded by sports and decided to pursue golf when he was in high school and had to decide where he wanted to go to college.

“I ended up choosing Temple because of my coach and the teammates here,” Matthews said. “I came here and started working with my coach and he has taken me a long way.”

Since joining the men’s golf team at Temple, Matthews has noticed his skills in golf improve since his freshman year.

“My mental and physical state has gotten a lot stronger as well as my consistency,” Matthews said. “All around, I think I have improved and I don’t think there is a side of me that has gotten weaker.”

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In the past year, Matthews has achieved a number of accomplishments golfing at Temple. In April 2015, he was named the American Athletic Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week. He broke the school record for a season stroke with 71.0, and tied school marks for three consecutive wins and eight career wins. During summer 2015, Matthews won the 111th Open Championships for the second time.

“It’s always great to win something in Philadelphia. It’s a great competition with great people and the association that runs it is incredible,” Matthews said. “I always love playing in those events. It was a great day overall and I’m just lucky enough to come out with a win for that again.”

Although Matthews is graduating next year, he is confident that golf will be a part of his future.

“I hope to be on the PGA tour within the next three years. If I can do that, I think I’ll succeed pretty well out there — it’s just a lot of hard work and dedication, which I am pretty used to at this point.” Matthews said. “I’m really excited for what the future holds and hopefully I’ll be holding a bunch of trophies within the next couple of years.”

Written by Desiree Zimmer

Photographed by Jademan Baker

Shooting Hoops and Breaking Records

Women’s Basketball Team Achieves Individual Career Highs with Teamwork

Tanaya Atkinson and Donnaizha Fountain each reached career highs during the 2016 women’s basketball season. Though they set individual records, both attribute this success to other players of the team.

Atkinson credits the help of her team to her personal success this season. With that mindset, Atkinson has been able to distinguish when she should pass the ball to other members or drive it up herself.

“I’m always running the baseline, so I can find an easy opening and drive right away,” Atkinson said. “However, it’s my teammates who help me out.”

When playing, she said she always selects the option that will result in a basket for the team.

During the Owls’ game against University of Houston, Atkinson managed to score one point per minute she played. She also caught seven rebounds and three steals. Fountain fought to put up 20 points and 15 rebounds that game, leading to her second career double and breaking her personal record. She also led the Owls to another victory.

Fountain said that focus is what “keeps her going.”

“Games are a matter of preparing for what’s up next,” the sophomore guard said.

Alliya Butts, a sophomore guard, contributed to the win over Houston, playing 34 minutes and putting up 11 points.

The team started utilizing more defensive plays on court to maximize their potential.

“[Playing] is a total team effort. We aren’t selfish with the ball,” Head Coach Tonya Cardoza said. “The biggest [difference] between now and before is our communication.”

Most team members agreed that communication is the key to success, and with better communication came growth for this team.

“I feel like now we have grown and defense is what gets us going. Earlier we were focused on the offensive side and scoring,” Cardoza said. “We are always talking about growth, and this game [against Houston] showed our growth. Defensively, we were solid.”

Offense is important in a game like basketball, but Cardoza realized that if the team is not scoring, they can maintain a strong defense and make sure the other team is not scoring too.

Continuous wins have the team ready to see what will happen next in seasons to come.

“We are excited about the wins, where we are, and how we are playing,” Cardoza said.

Written by Courtney Idasetima

Photographed by Jademan Baker

Breaking the Mold

Three New Players Prepare to Lead the Team

In college athletics, juniors and seniors typically play the most and are asked to set a good example for the younger athletes. However, sometimes a freshman breaks through and makes an immediate impact on the team.

In the case of the 2015-2016 men’s basketball team, three freshmen were able to make significant contributions at the beginning of their college careers.

Levan Shawn Alston, Jr., Trey Lowe and Ernest Aflakpui made their mark on Temple’s court at a young age. While all three said the transition from high school to college athletics brought about certain difficulties, they were all able to enroll in the program over the summer and make the process a bit easier.

 “Being here over the summer was helpful,” Alston Jr. said, guard and forward for the team. “It helped me balance athletics with classes, so I was ready by August.”

While Alston Jr. believes the summer helped him adapt to his new, more hectic schedule, Lowe says he was able to focus on improving his skills as a basketball player.

 “Over the summer, I was able to play against bigger, stronger and faster athletes, which helped me prepare for the college level,” Lowe said.

Aflakpui, affectionately known as  “Big Ern,” had the misfortune of coming into the season with an injury. The center was able to work his way into the lineup after recovering. He said that if the coaches see players are putting in the effort, they will get to play no matter what year they are.

 “Before the season started, I was just focused on getting healthy and being able to practice,” Aflakpui said.  “Once I was cleared to participate, I began to work hard. If Coach Dunphy sees that you are working hard enough, he’ll give you minutes.”

Head Coach Fran Dunphy said he couldn’t be more pleased with how they have handled themselves during the season.

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Head Coach Fran Dunphy 

 “All three have done a terrific job,” Dunphy said. “They have no fear and showed that they want to participate and make contributions. They’ve exceeded my expectations.”

Being able to get consistent playing time as freshmen has certainly helped the three in the short term, and according to them, will pay off in the future.

 “This year has given me a lot of insight on how basketball games can go, so by the time I’m an upperclassman I’ll have learned what it takes to win the close games,” Alston Jr. said.

 “It’s a great experience to learn from some of the older guys, so when it’s my turn I can teach the young guys the ropes,” Lowe added.

With a chance to be on the team for possibly five years, Dunphy knows this trio has the potential to become even better players over the course of their careers.

 “The three of them are huge to our future, and I think they’ll be terrific college basketball players,” Dunphy said.

Written by Joseph Williams

Photographed by Jademan Baker

The Women’s Gymnastics Team

Creating a New Start

Above every other practice, the women’s rowing team values teamwork. Lily Papaleo, the captain of the rowing team, said the sport demands a high amount of strength and endurance, as well as working with other teammates.

Papaleo fell in love with rowing years ago and has not looked back since.

 “I started rowing as a freshman in high school and got hooked on the competitiveness and camaraderie involved in the sport,” Papaleo said. “I knew I couldn’t give it up, so I only looked at schools with rowing teams.”

Papaleo is a senior at Temple majoring in strategic communications with an organizational leadership concentration. She can be described as competitive and committed, which she uses to help lead the team.

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All team members are also motivated students and athletes, which lead to a successful fall season that kicked off with three wins at the Navy Day Regatta.

A day of practice for the team consists of strict warmups.

 “We usually do long, extended pieces up and down the Schuylkill and try to get around eight to ten miles in. Indoors, we focus more on time than distance — we do about 60 to 120 minutes of cardio,” Papaleo said.   

Team captains are chosen based off their leadership skills and ability to support their teammates.

 “Our coach often asks, ‘Who would you want in charge if for some reason all of the coaches were not available?’” Papaleo said. “We act as a liaison between coaches and rowers.”

Success is not achievable overnight. The team had to identify its strengths and abilities before the season started. Winter is a crucial time for the team.

 “The most motivation comes during the winter when we are indoors because it’s definitely the most mentally challenging period of time for most rowers. [Head Coach] Rebecca Smith Grzybowski says that it’s okay to feel scared going in, but she and the other coaches remind us that anything is possible if you are willing,” Papaleo said.

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Grzybowski was on maternity leave during the beginning of the season. The team compensated by leaning on each other for support and guidance.

 “Our teammates were flexible with all the changes that were happening and having multiple interim coaches. I think everyone did a great job rolling with the punches. However, Rebecca is very much the emotional and mental foundation of the team,” Papaleo said.

The team’s philosophy contributes to its success.

 “Our general philosophy is, ‘with each other, for each other.’ Teamwork is probably the most important component to what we do,” Papaleo said. “Rowing is not like other sports where there are star players that possess a specific strength or skill. Boats are only successful when every rower is in complete synchronization with each other.”

written by naderah brooks

Rowing

Schuylkill Superstars

Above every other practice, the women’s rowing team values teamwork. Lily Papaleo, the captain of the rowing team, said the sport demands a high amount of strength and endurance, as well as working with other teammates.

Papaleo fell in love with rowing years ago and has not looked back since.

 “I started rowing as a freshman in high school and got hooked on the competitiveness and camaraderie involved in the sport,” Papaleo said. “I knew I couldn’t give it up, so I only looked at schools with rowing teams.”

Papaleo is a senior at Temple majoring in strategic communications with an organizational leadership concentration. She can be described as competitive and committed, which she uses to help lead the team.

All team members are also motivated students and athletes, which lead to a successful fall season that kicked off with three wins at the Navy Day Regatta.

A day of practice for the team consists of strict warmups.

 “We usually do long, extended pieces up and down the Schuylkill and try to get around eight to ten miles in. Indoors, we focus more on time than distance — we do about 60 to 120 minutes of cardio,” Papaleo said.   

Team captains are chosen based off their leadership skills and ability to support their teammates.

 “Our coach often asks, ‘Who would you want in charge if for some reason all of the coaches were not available?’” Papaleo said. “We act as a liaison between coaches and rowers.”

Success is not achievable overnight. The team had to identify its strengths and abilities before the season started. Winter is a crucial time for the team.

 “The most motivation comes during the winter when we are indoors because it’s definitely the most mentally challenging period of time for most rowers. [Head Coach] Rebecca Smith Grzybowski says that it’s okay to feel scared going in, but she and the other coaches remind us that anything is possible if you are willing,” Papaleo said.

Grzybowski was on maternity leave during the beginning of the season. The team compensated by leaning on each other for support and guidance.

 “Our teammates were flexible with all the changes that were happening and having multiple interim coaches. I think everyone did a great job rolling with the punches. However, Rebecca is very much the emotional and mental foundation of the team,” Papaleo said.

The team’s philosophy contributes to its success.

 “Our general philosophy is, ‘with each other, for each other.’ Teamwork is probably the most important component to what we do,” Papaleo said. “Rowing is not like other sports where there are star players that possess a specific strength or skill. Boats are only successful when every rower is in complete synchronization with each other.”

written by naderah brooks

Crew

The newfound success of the crew team

With the success that Temple’s crew team had this season, no one would be able to tell it was ever cut. The team was one of the Division 1 sports cut during the 2013-14 school year, but was reinstated in February 2014. The team used its momentum to deliver a strong season this year.

Coaching since 2010, Brian Perkins is amazed at the results the members had during the fall season and hopes those results continue as the team prepares for the upcoming seasons.

The team competed in five races this fall and will prepare to compete in six races during the spring semester. The fall season was a baseline to prepare for the bigger priority races in spring 2016. The team finished strong with eight first-place finishes in their finale at the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta this season.

With their newfound confidence, the team is able to be more successful in recruiting new members, and it also does not hurt that the freshman class of recruits are doing very well this season. The amount of members has doubled in size since the reinstallment of the program under the university’s Division 1 sports teams.

Unlike many other sports, crew consists of mini teams within the team that have between four and eight members. These members race together for events in a lineup. The sport requires more than just knowing how to row a boat, and the members practice early in the morning to ensure they are mastering techniques.

The recent winning streak of the team has led to advancements for the program.

 “We have a full staff now. In the past 30 or 40 years of the program, we have never had a full staff,” Perkins said.

With a full staff, a good amount of members and support from the university, Temple has funded the program again.

By participating in two seasons of racing a year, there is never time to take their eye off the prize for the team. Perkins said he looks forward to the Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, which is held at the Schuylkill River every spring.

 “Temple has won the Dad Vail Regatta more than any other school,” Perkins said. “It would be great to see the team pull another win in the biggest rowing competition in the country.”

written by courtney idasetima

photographed by geneva hefferman

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