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Graduate Student Athletes Lead by Example Through Dedication and Experience

By Andrew Smith

Despite the holiday break, Panther athletes Jack Ryan, Lauren O’Neill and Luke Attride-Stirling have all been preparing for the upcoming season. These athletes are currently graduate students and have been working hard to set an example for their younger teammates. These athletes are very committed to being a role model and mentor for the Adelphi Athletic community.

Graduate student Jack Ryan, a catcher for the men’s baseball team, reflected on the fact that it’s his final season.

“I’m extremely excited for this upcoming season, being that it’s my last season of baseball I’m going to do everything I can to enjoy every minute of it,” Ryan said. “The team is in a really good position to make a deep run this year with all the guys we are returning. We have a great group of guys this season and really look forward to going out there with them everyday.”

Jack Ryan in the middle of an at-bat during the last baseball season.

Ryan added, “This team has a chance to be something really special. We only lost one starter and returned all of our impact guys.”

Ryan also discussed what game he is looking forward to this spring. “SNHU [Southern New Hampshire University] beat us in the conference finals last season, which was definitely a tough pill to swallow. I don’t think we played our best that series and really look forward to showing them how good we really are.”

Lauren O’Neill, a graduate student playing in her final year and an outfielder for women’s softball, spoke about the importance of teamwork and supporting each other. “Every game and practice we have is a chance for me to get to do what I love with the people I love. We are preparing throughout the entire year. We work really hard throughout the fall with practices and lifts. Then we go home for the winter break and continue working hard at home so that when we come back, we are ready to start practicing again and eventually playing.”

O’Neill said she is grateful to spend her last year with her dedicated and hardworking teammates. She elaborated on the experience the team has going into the upcoming season, as well as the drive they have to be successful.

Outfielder Lauren O’Neill placed a bunt down the left field line during a softball game.

“I think this year a lot of our players have more experience,” she said. “A lot of the girls that were playing last year it was their first full season, so the experience we all had from last year can definitely propel us throughout this upcoming season.”

Men's tennis team captain Luke Attride-Stirling, who is in his second semester of graduate school, is setting an example for his teammates including regular workouts. “I tried to set an example by going to the gym regularly and I believe this has worked. I am proud of the hard work my teammates are putting in off the court and I know that we will be in great physical shape for our season,” he said.

Attride-Stirling celebrating after a good play during a match last season.

The team will be welcoming five new athletes this upcoming season. Attride-Stirling emphasized the importance of getting to know each other and experimenting with lineups to ensure that they are fully prepared for the playoffs.

The men’s tennis team is building on a successful prior season. The team only suffered one loss last semester to Le Moyne. Attride-Stirling said, “I am looking forward to redemption for those losses.”

Attride-Stirling also discussed how the Covid-19 pandemic played a role in looking at the schedule. “I am also looking forward to facing SNHU and Franklin Pierce. We were unable to play them last semester due to Covid. Therefore, I want to play against them to see how the defending champions are playing and show them what they will be up against this season.”

Lastly, Attride-Stirling emphasized the one goal the team has for the spring. “This goal is to win our conference and make it to regionals. Everyone of us has this in our minds and with the results we had last semester we have a lot of confidence in ourselves.”

All three athletes are serving as a strong role model for their fellow teammates. The hard work that they have done over the break will serve as a strong foundation for the upcoming season.

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