Marist football recruit getting a chance to live his dream

Matthew Poveromo after the 2012 All-Star game where he was awarded Offensive MVP. Photo taken by Karen Poveromo

Matthew Poveromo after the 2012 All-Star game where he was awarded Offensive MVP. Photo taken by Karen Poveromo

It was a dream-come-true for Washingtonville High School’s starting quarterback, Matt Poveromo, as he verbally committed to play tight end for the Marist College foot ball team next year.  Marist plays in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, and is ranked first out of 121 teams in Red Zone Defense, according to an article provided by Marist Athletics.

“Matthew has been dreaming of playing at a division I school since he was little,” said

Matt’s mother, Karen Poveromo. “He has worked so hard both academically and athletically toward this dream, and it all paid off; I couldn’t be more proud of him!”

Poveromo played quarter back for majority of his life, including this past season, in which he had a very successful season and was not only selected to play for the American All-Star Team, and named captain, he also won Offensive MVP of the game.  Matt did however; play one season as tight end during his junior year of high school, and it was his game tape from that season that gained the attention of the Marist Coaches. “I always have been interested in Marist and after the 2011 season I sent them the game tape just hoping they would like me, and turns out we have been talking ever since,” said Poveromo.

Going from playing for a Section 9 AA high school team, to playing at a division I college is going to be a hard adjustment for anyone, let alone adding in the factor of changing positions, and that Marist offers one of the most prestigious private educations in the country.

Poveromo has always done exceptionally well academically. He has made high honor roll every semester of high school, and received the NYS Scholar-Athlete award during both junior and senior year.  Although he is interested in studying pre-law, Poveromo believes the hardest transition he will face is going to be playing football at a division I level “I think managing college school work with football will be difficult, but I think the work I will have to put in to get to the high level of ability needed to be successful in division I football will be harder.”

Bob Malitz, a former assistant coach of Poveromo, believes that because Matt has always had a great work ethic and motivation, he will not have a huge problem adjusting to the demands associated with this high level of athletics, and believes he will be beneficial to the team.  “Matt is a very versatile player, and was successful at playing both quarter back and tight end,” Malitz said.  “He is a strong player who will always lower his shoulder before running out of bounds.”

The NCAA prohibits coaches from making any specific references to any recruited student- athlete until their financial deposit is made, so assistant coach Nate Fields, who is in charge of wide receivers, tight ends, and special teams, could not comment on Poveromo specifically. Fields is a former student of Marist, and shared his advice on how to be successful as a student there, “attending all morning classes, nurturing relationships with professors which includes taking advantage of office hours, and not procrastinating with major projects as much as possible.”

Aside from Marist, Poveromo was also interested in West Point, Georgetown, and Bucknell; all four are great schools that have strong athletics, as well as demand high expectations from their students academically.  Not only did Marist attract Poveromo through their offer of an amazing academic scholarship, all the coaches also have  been so great to him he just knew Marist was the right choice.

Do not lose your health within your studies.

The Counseling Center's poster advertising group programs.

The Counseling Center's poster advertising group programs.

This time of year is stressful for any college student who is in the process of the dreaded finals week.  After procrastinating all semester, during finals week students are pulling all-nighters, doing last minute cramming, living in the library, and trying to catch up on material that they should have already done.  They all hope that if they work extremely hard now, it will make up for their previous slack throughout the semester.  These students do not realize the toll that this kind of work ethic and stress will take on their body both physically and mentally.

“Staying up all night will not benefit anyone, when someone’s over tired they physically cannot retain information like they can when well rested,   ” said Eileen Cupertino, who is a registered dietician at West Chester Medical Center.  “Students need to eat as well; it is so important to continue a balanced diet even if it’s hard with all the stress.  You need the nutrition to give you energy.”

Aside from the physical problems that come along with stress, people tend to suffer mentally and emotionally as well.  Understanding that everyone is in the same boat during finals week, Marist College reaches out in multiple ways to ensure that their students stay healthy and safe while finishing up the semester.  Both the Health and Wellness Center and Student Affairs, are very active in supporting the students in a positive way and helping to eliminate or deal with any unnecessary and harmful stress for them.

The Student Affairs office works with all members of the Marist community, to ensure that each student does what they need to do stay healthy and has support around them.  They advise all resident buildings to host events that will give students a break from studying, and a chance to relax.   It is up to the Residence Hall Council of each dorm for what they want to do, but it is suggested to do an activity that will incorporate relaxation and advice on how to keep a healthy mind and body.  “Midrise has had an event every night during finals week,” said Pat Cordner, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.   “Every event has involved some form of a stress free activity, relaxing music, and food.”

The Residence Hall Council also has the option for parents to purchase a handmade care package containing snacks, a stress ball, a guide on how to stay healthy, pencils and other little items for their son or daughter who is in the midst of finals.  “The care packages remind the students that someone is thinking about them and are proud of their hard work,” Cordner said. “Getting positive reminders keeps the students thoughts up, and that’s what we are looking to accomplish with the packages.”

The Health and Wellness Center also plays a huge part in promoting healthy lifestyle choices to the students, and supporting them whenever needed; this help and support is not limited to around finals but is available semester.  Every Wednesday they host an event called Wellness Wednesdays, each week is a different topic but all involve teaching the students, doing an activity that incorporates the topic and they all have a common goal that will hopefully make a positive impact in the student’s health and well being.

The Health and Wellness Center does offer further assistance than normal during the last few weeks of the semester. On Thursday, Dec. 6, they hosted an event called The Stress-Free Zone, which took place in the Student Center and was available to all students.  Allison Friedman, a counselor at Marist, sent out an email notifying all faculty members of the event. She asked them to pass along the information and details to all their students, “It will be an evening of chair massage and meditation designed to help our students lower their stress levels as the semester draws to a close.”

Both Health Services and Counseling Services are completely aware that this an extremely tough time for some students and they make sure students know that they are there for anyone who needs assistance or support. During these last few weeks, faculty members work overtime, and are prepared for walk-in appointments so students always have someone there.  “We expect breakdowns at this point in the semester, so a counselor is always available, a student will not wait more than five minutes to see someone,” said Office Manger, Yvonne.  “Some students push themselves so hard they physically get sick.  We try to help them prevent this, but it still happens and the nurses here will do everything they can to help them get better.”

By taking the time to care about the students in the way that the faculty has, especially those in the Student Affairs Office and the Health and Wellness Office, they are truly improving the well-being of the students who accept the assistance.  These two offices do not stop giving and genuinely care for the students and faculty around them.  They will help you in any way and if they personally cannot help, they will help you find someone who can.  On campus assistance is not limited to just these two offices, many other offices  offer help to students in  multiple ways.

Work out or get out?

A few students sparsely dotted the weight room in Marist’s McCann Center on a December Wednesday afternoon, quietly going through their workout and taking advantage of the scarcely populated gym while many students were in class.  One student was off to the side, loading up some 45-pound plates onto one of the barbells.  He had just arrived, and was looking to get in a workout in the only hour and 30 minute break he had on Wednesdays.  However, his bench press routine would be short lived.

“We need these benches for the swim team,” a stern voice from behind him said.

The voice turned out to be Jon Clancy, Marist athletics’ strength and conditioning coach.  While the student thought he was taking advantage of the fact that on this afternoon the gym was nearly empty, he failed to realize that the clock had just hit 4:00, the time the swim team pours into the gym and occupies nearly every piece of equipment within reach, like a flock of vultures to a perished animal.  Reluctantly, the student gave up the bench, although he seemed to conveniently forget to remove the weights from the bar, leaving it for Clancy to do himself.  Unable to continue his workout unimpeded, he retreated to the upper level of the weight room where mostly machines are located to salvage what he could of his workout.

“I see him there every day I go,” Marist junior Eddy Tashman said.  “And every time I see him walk in, I know it’s time to go somewhere else.  You can never get a good workout, or any workout, with them in here.”

Many students and athletes alike think the athletic teams should get at least part of their own facility, so that neither group is forced to work out in such a cramped area, and to avoid the power struggles of the athletes demanding priority over the students not on a sports team, or “NARP” as some athletics refer to them as: a Non-Athletic Regular Person.

“NARP?  Really, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” said Jake Smith.

While most “non-athletes” as Clancy calls them resent the fact that the athletes can simply take over the gym and any equipment they please, even going as far as taking it directly out from under you, some of the athletes themselves have some less than amicable feelings toward him as well.

“I think his workouts are ridiculous and useless, and I don’t like the way he carries himself like he’s the end all be all of weightlifting,” one senior athlete, who requested anonymity said.  “I’m glad to be graduating this year.”

Not all athletes are favored by Clancy however.  He allegedly calls the track and cross country team “non-athletes” and elects not to train them as he does nearly every other sports team.  None of the track team members were reached for comment, but from hearsay, they did not seem very pleased to be considered non-athletes and not get the benefits of a strength and conditioning coach.

Many other schools of similar stature as Marist have separate facilities for the athletes so as to avoid conflicts of interest such as these.  Sports teams and management believe that they should get priority for the facilities in the McCann Center, but the rest of the students do not believe that should come at their expense.  It would seem that getting the athletes their own facility would do away with the clashing, but at the time there are no plans to complete such a substantial undertaking.  For now, it seems that athlete and “non-athlete” as the strength and conditioning coach calls them, will just have to learn to co-exist.

Finals Abroad

Finals week is a very stressful time for each college student. Cramming for finals, meeting deadlines it feels like there are not enough hours in the day for this one week. Kids are finishing test and finally going home for a much needed month off. Now imagine having to take finals finish papers and being abroad for six months. The excitement to finally go home for a homemade meal to sleep in your own bed has to affect your studies at the worst time for any student to struggle.

Each year college students go away for the semester of their lives. People go to dream countries, or just travel for the life experience. This experience is like no other, but some forget they are still students while abroad. Kolby Kyff a Marist College junior is spending this fall semester abroad in Paris studying at the Fashion Institute in the Fashion capital of the world. “These three months have been unreal an experience that I will obviously have with me forever. One thing I will certainly never forget is this finals week.” Kolby had to take two final examines that were cumulative, with two other papers and finally having to design her own dress. “Of course I knew we would have finals, I just wasn’t not expecting them to be the hardest things I’ve ever done for school” says Kyff.

Matt Gallo a junior at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania is studying abroad in Amsterdam.  Unlike Kyff, Gallo’s finals are much easier. “I spend more time in the library for finals week when I am back at school that I became friends with the graveyard librarian last year. My tests here are a joke in compassion to the.” Gallo may be one of the few students who is fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the last days he has abroad.

Marist warns their students who are going abroad that it won’t be a ‘cake walk’. Many of the Marist student body who do go abroad study in Florence Italy.  This semester it seems as if half of the junior student body is over there studying. Chelsea Mattson another junior here at Marist is over in Florence, “I am so excited to just finally go home; I haven’t been home in three months. I leave in two days and have not stopped thinking about it. When I am finishing finals at Marist I am excited to go home but I was just home two weeks ago so it’s different, here the anticipation if over whelming.” There really is no way of telling a student how to deal with finals when all he or she can think about is just handing in their last final and heading home.

Over in the Hancock building is the Marist study abroad offices. Over here you can pick up information about different options where students may study and help tips about living abroad. However there is no information about the curriculum and what to expect from the classes being offered. Demmi Paaps, works over in the international office says “teachers will prepare their students for what to expect on the tests. Just because students are not actually studying at Marist does not mean they are held to standards that would not meet the expectation of the Marist requirements.”

With finals and the anticipation of going home it makes it very hard for any student to perform up to the abilities on their final exams. If you are going to go abroad be aware that you will be challenged but it will always be a time in your life that you will remember.

The HuMarists’ “Matching Sweaters” review

Last Thursday night, I schlepped my way to the Student Center, walked up to the Nelly Goletti and prepared to attempt to enjoy the $2 “Matching Sweaters” show that the HuMarists were putting on, trying to keep an objective attitude about the whole thing.

And you know what? I actually did. Who knew on the last Thursday night of my semester, I’d be uncomfortably sticky, sitting in the back of the theater, expecting some kids to provide some comedy-filler for an hour or so, and actually enjoy the effort.

Who knew?

Who are The HuMarists anyway? They currently include: Brendan Cummings, Kyle Nowinski, Ryan Devir and Jacquie Cosgrove. They’re better known for their different, yet vibrant personalities, their quick-wit and their charming ability to catch a laugh from just about everyone. They’re the college’s resident comedy group. Their objective is to incorporate their audience into their shows, and make them leave feeling satisfied and entertained. More about them can be found here.

The HuMarists from left to right: Jacquie, Brendan, Kyle and Ryan

The HuMarists from left to right: Jacquie, Brendan, Kyle and Ryan

Considering I had never seen them before, I had set my expectations at the bottom level of the student Center - before the walk up.

The show opened with a warning, to not be offended by any of the jokes said tonight. They were just jokes, and they were all in good fun.

After a tame opening that included a word-play on “armadillo,” a quick transition led to a short sketch where a guy inadvertently knocked his friend’s girlfriend into an oven. Angry, said friend references the fact that this place is like a “Nazi restaurant.” I didn’t expect it either. Yes, I laughed. Definitely, no… probably a notch on the “I’m Going Straight to Hell” resume.

Despite the crude, over-the-top introduction, many first timers like me seemed to enjoy the show.

“This was my first time here and I really liked it,” Dan Gilman said. “It was great seeing everybody and especially the alumni come down.”

There happened to be a lot of those. No, not “Nazi restaurant” jokes, but quick transitions. Game after game, skit after skit, each separate personality began growing on me a little more.

Several games included: “141,” a game where each of the four would gradually join a preexisting skit already in place and slowly back out and “Everyday Olympics,” provided with colorful commentary about the gravitating event that the audience had chosen to yell out, “setting your alarm clock.”

At the midway point, an elaborate, pre-taped skit was shown, documenting the positives and moral fiber that bullying have brought to America. Jacquie interviewed a good, kind-hearted middle-America esque bum, and a suave, sophisticated car-salesman who ended up being old BFFs who used to beat the crap out of each other in High School. God Bless ‘Merica.

Next was Bill Cosby’s Sweater Convention. Cosby unfortunately never showed. It was just two grown-men arguing over who loves Bill Cosby more, fighting and then knocking over an old lady, killing her. She was old, creepy, had a scrapbook full of pictures of sweaters and was sitting in the same chair for months, so she kind of had what was coming. My second favorite moment of the night came from this skit, “I was doing LSD with Jim Morrison before it was cool going LSD with Jim Morrison.”

My favorite moment of the night came in the game “Good Cop, Bad Cop” game where the audience (once again, thoughtfully) chose a scenario for the group to guess on stage. The scenario? Raping a child in Rockefeller Center with Colonel Mustard. Colonel Mustard? Seriously? This game included a joke about sodomizing children, not like that’s funny or anything.

The HuMarists deserve praise for their “humorous” continuity too (See what I did there?). Respected journalist Roger Spence spent the night constantly popping up in the house closet, as the priest at the altar, and even straight from the womb to get the truth on a “farting” incident that happened live on stage. Jacquie eventually owned up to it (is it socially acceptable for a woman to own up to a public fart?), after chasing away Mr. Spence with a baseball bat multiple times that she conveniently always carried on her. Continuity at its finest.

The show was dedicated to their friend Meghan, who is currently battling her own health problems.

“I thought it was great and very well put together,” Ellen Penchuk said. “The funniest line of the night was definitely, ‘I’m Bruce Jenner!’ It was thoughtful they put it together for Meghan.”

The show hit the right amount of chords for me. The HuMarists childish, corny, sarcastic, racist, edgy, horrible, dirty, wacky and out-there style provided just about a little-bit for everyone. If you went, you probably didn’t necessarily laugh at everything, but you definitely laughed. I did. And you raised $2 to a helped a girl named Meghan. Oh, and you enjoyed your Thursday night, just like me.

Yeah, who knew?