Rowing & Growing with the Ospreys
It was a homecoming of a different kind for John Bancheri in December 2018. Bancheri, an Atlantic City native, was named Stockton’s first full-time head rowing coach. With nearly 35 years of collegiate coaching experience, Bancheri now directs Stockton’s women’s intercollegiate crew team and also works with the men’s club team.
"I am beyond excited to come home and be part of the growth and success of the University and help Stockton build a rowing power," Bancheri said. "Everything that I've done in my career has prepared me for this role and I really believe that we have an opportunity to do great things at Stockton."
Bancheri is assisted by area coaches Joe Welsh and BJ Fox. Brad Cress continues as the men’s club coach.
A “Rowing and Growing” fund-raising event in March, honoring local rowing legend Stan Bergman, raised enough to purchase three new varsity eight boats and other equipment.
“We are giving back to a community that supported us as adolescents and young adults,” said Karen Alton, granddaughter of Elizabeth Alton, a driving force behind Stockton’s founding, whose family donated funds for two of the boats. “With your help Stockton will win a national championship.”
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey also donated a boat, and other local supporters have included the Azeez Foundation, AtlantiCare, former Sen. Bill Gormley, Calvi Electric, Marathon Engineering and Environmental Services, George Miller, Margie and Jack Plackter, Dr. Francis Previti, Dr. David Smith and SOSH Architects.
The women’s varsity eight team earned the first-ever Dad Vail Regatta medal by an Osprey varsity eight boat at the prestigious races May 10-11, 2019, on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“To cap off a terrific season, Stockton Rowing is ranked 20th nationally in the most recent row2k Collegiate Rowing Poll for DIII and #121 for all rowing programs combined (DI, DII, DIII),” said Kevin McHugh, executive director of Athletics & Recreation. “We are so proud of Coach Bancheri and the Osprey rowers on the amazing advancement of the program in less than four months.”
The Stockton rowing program, both women and men, is based at Stockton University Atlantic City, just steps from the beach and Boardwalk. Stockton's rowers share the Atlantic City School District boathouse, a short walk from campus, and part of the University District.
Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said the expansion of the rowing team is part of the University’s commitment to Atlantic City. He said the first thing they did was to contact members of the local rowing community for advice and assistance.
“I pledged we would build a program we would be proud of, but we knew we couldn’t do it alone,” Kesselman said at the event honoring Bergman. “We need the support of our rowing community. We do have national level supporters.”
eSports Begin with a Bang
Members of Stockton’s newest sports team had a literal role in building the program. On Dec. 12, 2018, some 30 students worked in small groups to build several of the specialized machines that now reside in the new Stockton esports facility in the Housing IV Building 80 commons.
As part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, Stockton teams compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, Fortnite and Smash Brothers Ultimate. Students also compete in Rocket League, Hearthstone and Apex Legend.
“This will give our students a formal way to compete on a college level,” said Scott Huston, chief information officer. “Students who may or may not play a traditional sport but may be interested in esports and gaming will now have an avenue to be competitive but also work together as a team which we’re really excited about. The entire university has been very supportive of this new initiative.”
The Stockton University esports team of Austin Van Zant of Lincoln Park, Damian Majewski of Barnegat, and Parker Teliszewski of Barnegat won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Fortnite Championship held during the Hudson Valley Gamer Con at the Albany New York Capital Center on March 30-31, 2019.
Four Stockton students were named season MVPs. Van Zant and Majewski got the awards for Fortnite and Brandon Yip and Joseph Difilippo got the awards for League of Legends.
Stockton teams also placed second in the League of Legends Championship and made the quarterfinals in Overwatch.
Some 400 gamers from 19 colleges from the east coast competed in the season ending weekend tournament for Fortnite, League of Legends and Overwatch.
The esports initiative is a partnership of Stockton’s Information Technology Services, Athletics and Student Development.
138 student-athletes named to 2018-2018 New Jersey Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, tying the school record set last year.
Women's lacrosse named a Zag Sports Academic Honor Squad by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association.
Dan Marino and Christian Bik were selected to the Google Cloud Academic All-District 2 Men's Soccer Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Emily Gilligan, Rebecca Moya, Issy Gilhooley, Kelsey Andrus and Cara Kientz were named Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Scholars of Distinction by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
12 members of the men's lacrosse team earned spots on the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) All-Conference team.
Student-athletes Maria Ibarra (women's tennis), Meg Murzello (softball) and Qudratullah Qadiri (men's track & field) were named 2019 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.