“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I generally use these community letters to provide Athletics highlights from the previous season and while I won’t neglect to do so in this missive, it occurred to me that I’ve never noted the service initiatives that our student-athletes undertake each year. While we almost take it for granted that virtually all of our sports do some kind of work with the local communities, I thought sharing the variety of initiatives and the different sport programs that participate in them might be instructive. I know that there are others that I am missing, but the following are those with which I am acquainted:
- Free youth clinics: WTrack, WBasketball, M/W Alpine Skiing, Softball, Baseball, MLacrosse, M/W Tennis, MBasketball
- Good Shepherd Food Bank: MLacrosse, Football, M/W Rowing, Field Hockey
- Tree Street & Hillview Youth Programs: WSoccer, Baseball, M/W Squash, MSoccer
- Team Impact (team adopts a child facing a life-threatening illness): Softball, M/W Squash, M/W Tennis, MBasketball
- Trinity Soup Kitchen: M/W Tennis, MSoccer
- Holiday parties/gifts/adopt a family: Softball, Baseball, MLacrosse, M/W Squash
- Equipment donation: Baseball, MLacrosse, MSoccer, M/W Alpine Ski, Athletic Department
- Lewiston HS Science Fair: MLacrosse, M/W Tennis
- MLK Day read- in: Football
- Lewiston Adult Learning Center tutoring & 5K fundraiser for LALC: M/W Nordic Ski
- Children swim lessons: M/W Swimming
- Children swim lessons: M/W Swimming
- 9/11 Families of Freedom: MSoccer ($7000+ raised)
- Maine Premier Soccer Inner City Initiative: MSoccer
- Youth Camp Scholarships: M/W Golf
- Dempsey Challenge: Field Hockey, WLacrosse, Athletic Department staff
- Rebuilding Together L/A: Athletic Department staff
- SAAC Field Day with L/A youth (nearly 300 last year): all 31 sports, Athletic Department
As the Winter teams get underway, I can’t help but take a quick look back at the Fall sports programs. Football had their most successful season in three decades: a 5 victory campaign that resulted in a 4th place finish in the NESCAC, and in addition to beating Tufts, Williams and Hamilton, was highlighted by wins over Colby and Bowdoin for the CBB Championship! Men’s Soccer had great wins over Middlebury, St. Joe’s, and gave Thomas College, who made this year’s NCAA tournament, their first of only two losses; Women’s Soccer defeated Trinity at home and outplayed as well as outshot #12 nationally ranked Brandeis only to fall short 1-0; Field Hockey battled injuries but still registered some convincing wins; Men’s and Women’s Tennis had strong fall seasons with the Men triumphant at the Middlebury Invitational and Bates’ own Wallach Tournament; Volleyball was young, but became more competitive with each outing; and Men’s and Women’s Rowing had terrific showings at the Head of the Charles Regatta. Lastly, for the first time in school history, both the Women’s and Men’s Cross Country teams qualified for the NCAA Championships with the Women finishing 19th and the Men 6th in the nation!
On the club sports front, Men's Water Polo had 5 wins including Colby and Bowdoin and narrowly lost 10-11 to #7 ranked Coast Guard; Women’s Rugby beat Williams while Men’s Rugby had 40+ on their roster and celebrated their 35th anniversary; Men’s & Women’s Frisbee continue to compete strongly in their individual sections as well as in co-ed events; Sailing climbed in the NEISA rankings surpassing some varsity teams; and Equestrian has their largest squad in over 5 years with a new barn and new trainer.
Other successful Athletics initiatives “outside the lines” this fall included: two Getting It Done peer mentoring sessions with upper class student-athletes counseling other athletes; the inception of a year-round leadership training program for all captains; a presentation to athletes and coaches by nationally acclaimed speaker Dr. Jerry Lynch; an Athletics-led Bates Allies Pledge signing event that yielded 700 signatures; and the 2nd annual Bates L/A Community Day featuring Lewiston and Auburn families coming to campus for athletic contests, youth games on our facilities, pumpkin decorating and tours of the campus. We look to continue endeavors such as these throughout the year to supplement what happens on the fields, courts, pool, track, etc.
However, the best support for the efforts of our student-athletes continues to be your interest in their sport participation. Your recognition of and support for their passion, contributes immeasurably to their ability to succeed in all facets of their Bates experience. Furthermore, by attending their events, you affirm that the community appreciates what is required to compete at this level while at the same time working to be the best student possible. You can view the winter sports schedules at http://www.bates.edu/sports-schedule.xml . Also, many of the contests will be webcast and you can find that schedule at: Bobcat Webcasts.
Thanks and best wishes,