Author: Kallie Vento
Chatham’s roster of sports teams is expanding with the University’s addition of Men’s Hockey and Lacrosse for the 2017-2018 school year. Women’s Lacrosse is also expected for next year. Chatham already boasts nine sports for women and six sports for men, and adding new teams is seen as a gain for students and the school.
The overall growth of Chatham’s male population and population in general is expected to increase with the addition of these sports. “The addition of men’s lacrosse and ice hockey will help introduce more male student athletes,” said Greg French, an Undergraduate Admissions Counselor. “But also it will attract men and women who are interested in these sports.”
Sophomore and Chemistry major Anne Radzanowski had nothing but positive things to say about the addition of these teams to Chatham’s already extensive list of sports. “(New) sports teams and new athletes will enrich the campus culture,” said Radzanowski. “I do think that new sports will bring a lot more male students to campus.”
“Ideally, we will have a roster of 13-15 forwards, 7-8 defensemen and 3 goaltenders” said Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach, Michael Callan. The interest in this addition seems to be geared more towards prospective students than current ones. “Many of our players will be arriving as first years on campus,” Callan said. French estimates an addition of 30 students or more for both sports combined.
The extension is expected to be highly beneficial for Chatham’s community. “Both of these sports have seen significant growth nationwide over the past few years,” French said. “In addition, this will help with the exposure for Chatham both locally, out of state and internationally.” Callan thinks that both teams, but hockey especially, come at a great time for Chatham and for Pittsburgh due to recent victory. “Pittsburgh just won its fourth Stanley Cup; I can’t think of a better time to add more hockey,” Callan said. These teams are also expected to increase Chatham’s publicity.
“I think that the addition of both sports will help Chatham expand its reach nationally and create greater exposure and elevation overall in athletics and academics,” French said. Interested players are coming from places such as Illinois, Michigan, Ontario, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and a few other areas.
As far as cost and benefit goes, former player and fan CJ Szewczyk believes the cost of hockey equipment will hinder large revenue benefits. “Hockey itself is a very expensive sport to pay for,” the sophomore Biology major said. “Ice time and equipment get very expensive, very quickly.”
However, Chatham has successfully launched and kept a women’s hockey team, and there doesn’t seem to be a large concern about revenue. “These sports are primarily added for the benefit of the student experience, so I do think it will be a win-win situation on multiple fronts.” French said. Increase in enrollment is a large factor that plays into the cost and benefit battle of adding a new sports team to a university, but French says it’s all about the experience. “It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Chatham community, and both of these sports help bring an exciting new opportunity to our athletics department and student body,” French said. Both teams are expected to make their debut in the 2017-18 academic year, and admissions, the athletic department, students and staff are all expecting the addition to be a positive one.