Being an athlete at Swarthmore is a great experience. Getting to play your favorite sport in a competitive setting with some of your best friends is a privilege that not all college students get to experience. Sometimes it can be really easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to thank all of the people within athletics that give us the opportunity to compete collegiately. There is a heavy amount of logistics and paperwork involved in operating an athletics program, most of which few people want to do.
Two particular people that need to be thanked for their work are Brandon Hodnett and Kyle Kondor of Athletic Communications. Brandon and Kyle are responsible for all things media and information related. Between just the two of them, they are responsible for all 22 athletic teams on campus. They single-handedly run all of the Swat Athletics’ social media platforms, making sure fans are up to date on upcoming games and Garnet wins. They are also responsible for updating the website, including posting rosters, box scores, and post-game write-ups. One of their more vital roles is game-day operations. Brandon and Kyle ensure that every single athletics game is properly staffed with scorekeepers, on-field staff, and announcers. Brandon is a drone-flying expert, and has several well-viewed drone videos on Youtube. Kyle specializes in graphics.
Another group of people that need to be thanked are Marie Mancini, Allison Hudak, Christie Orgera, and Kyle McCarney from the athletic training room. Their office spends all day caring for athletes, helping us optimize our health. They have done an excellent job of providing rehabilitation programs so that many athletes can recover and get back on the field as quickly and as healthy as possible. They have members from the office on-site at every single athletic event, providing undivided attention for in-season athletes. In an effort to be more efficient with their work, their office has restructured their times in order maximize the number of athletes they can care for.
I cannot talk about thanking athletics without bringing up John Hatfield and Larry Yannelli of the equipment room. Despite performing one of the less glamorous aspects of athletics, John and Larry make sure that uniforms are prepared and cleaned before and after every game, so that athletes never have to worry about their uniform on gameday. They are also responsible for cleaning and sorting practice gear and towels from every team on campus, daily.
Strength and conditioning is a huge part of the formula for finding success in athletics. Being able to prepare your body for the season and being able to take care of your body in season are vital. For that, we have to thank Chris McPherson and Michelle Pifer in the Matchbox. Chris and Michelle are well known for their no-excuses, push-the-limits mentality, which has clearly positively contributed to the recent surge in performance across many teams. Chris and Michelle are responsible for creating sports-specific programs for each varsity team on campus, in addition to monitoring progress in strength, conditioning, and mobility.
In the administration office, we have Adam Hertz, Nnenna Akotaobi, Max Miller, Marian Fahy, and Sharon Green. This office holds the entire department together, and supervises many of the people already mentioned. They dedicate their entire work, day in and day out, to making sure that the college is being properly represented through athletics.
In addition, there are plenty of EVS staff members that do an excellent job of maintaining the athletic facilities. The presence and appreciation of the EVS staff is well-known throughout the dorms. However, their dedication to keeping the college clean and sanitary extends beyond the dorms and into athletics.
It is not just the athletes and the coaches, but also the many dedicated people working behind the scenes that make athletics one of the strongest department on campus. There are plenty more people in addition to the ones that I have mentioned that help foster the excellence the college has built within athletics.