Picture Stockton… rooting for the Ospreys
Galloway, N.J. -You won’t find the Ospreys’ biggest fan in the stands. In fact, she’s never in one spot for long, but she doesn’t miss a beat of the gametime action.
Tucked behind a Sony LCD screen with an L.A. Dodgers ball cap blocking glare from the sun and stadium lights, Riley Lorenz, a Communication Studies major, uses her camera to tell the stories of our student athletes.
Her motto is “I shoot. You score,” which perfectly describes her photographic approach to capture the action, but she wanted to turn her lens towards the people rooting for the Ospreys. During a spring internship with University Relations & Marketing, Lorenz, who goes by Official Flicks on Instagram, decided to focus on the fans for a photo series that shows Stockton’s school spirit.
Her photos capture the fan energy that fuels the action on the courts and the fields during basketball games, lacrosse matches and send-off events for the Sweet 16 and Shahyan Abraham’s trip to Alabama to compete in the NCAA weight throw championship. Her crowd photos are paired with action shots in the photo series below.
Before she was a photographer, Lorenz was an athlete who competed in cross country and rowing and played soccer and softball. Injuries took her out of the game and pushed her toward an athletic training career, until she discovered photography.
Lorenz brought a camera to one of her brother’s football games and the rest is history.
When she transferred to Stockton a year ago, she reached out to Chris Rollman, sports information director, to be a campus sports photographer.
Immediately, Rollman was impressed by the imagination that goes into her work. “She’s interested in getting unique shots. She seeks out low angles and will often sit or kneel to get ground level with the action,” he said.
When there was a rainy streak during lacrosse season, she was excited to shoot in the bad weather because the falling drops added another dimension to her images, he recalled.
A camera is a great teacher. Lorenz has learned patience and how to be a keen observer.
Her favorite part of a basketball event is when the starting five walk onto the court through two rows of players and then the pre-game huddle. “That’s where the excitement is. It’s a ritual and the captain is getting everyone into the right mindset for the game,” she explained.
The shot she’s still chasing is a dunk that breaks the backboard.
Her dream is to be a team photographer for an NFL or NBA team, and if her camera could take her anywhere, she’d go to a team USA men’s or women’s basketball game at the summer Olympics or the Super Bowl.
Her advice to students: “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says.”
Our advice to Lorenz: keep shooting because your camera is taking you places!
Story by Susan Allen
Photos by Riley Lorenz
Advancing to the NJAC Playoffs
Volleyball player Teleyah Witherspoon is often leading the Osprey cheering section with other student athletes who come out to support the basketball teams.
Lorenz captured a photo burst of 40 crowd shots at the NJAC Tournament vs. Montclair State and created an animation with audio from the game using Adobe Premiere Pro.
DJ Campbell drives the ball down the court. The Ospreys advanced to their fourth straight NJAC championship with a 91-86 victory over Montclair State.
Fans Fill the Stands for a Double-Header
Students cheers for the Ospreys as the men’s team extends their win streak to six during their battle to the NCAA playoffs.
Fans created a pink-out for the women's game.
Cheering for the Ospreys
Stockton's cheerleading team raises the crowd energy level.
They too are competitors and brought home 1st place in the All Girl Collegiate Division in the Reels Virtual Competition hosted by Global Cheer and Dance this year. Pictured, they are performing at half time.
NCAA DIII Tournament
The student section congratulates the men's basketball team after winning the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Rynell Lawrence shoots for the hoop.
DJ Campbell and Rynell Lawrence celebrate as they advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Senior Captain Kyion Flanders leads the team through a crowd of students and staff gathered inside the Campus Center Grand Hall to send off the men’s basketball team on their way to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, to play in the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen tournament for the second season in a row.
Track and Field
Students and staff send off senior Shahyan Abraham with flowers and pom-poms as she heads to Alabama to compete in the weight throw at the NCAA National Championship where she placed 19th with her best throw of 15.35 meters.
Lorenz captured Abraham throwing at a meet last season.
Fans dodge rain drops as the men’s lacrosse team plays the nationally ranked Salisbury team at the Pomona Road turf field.
The Ospreys placed 3rd for the season in the brand new Coastal Lacrosse Conference.