Each year, 13 schools around the Northeast compete for top honors in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). Saint Joseph’s men’s and women’s sports teams have always placed well, but this year, for the first time in the five years since joining the GNAC, the Saint Joseph’s men’s sports teams took home the Commissioner’s Cup – awarded annually to the member institutions with the most competitive programs for both men’s and women’s sports.
The winner is based on the total number of points that each of the schools’ athletic teams score throughout the course of the season. The Saint Joseph’s men’s teams combined to claim the top conference honor with the help of stellar performances from the baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse and soccer programs, tallying up 19 points to finish in a tie for first place with Johnson & Wales University.
The women’s teams, a group of seven varsity programs that combined to garner the 2008-09 GNAC Sportsmanship Award, also had a terrific year, placing second in their division with 20 points.
Corey McCarthy, Saint Joseph’s sports information officer, credits the coaches and the athletes alike for the Monks’ successes on the field.
“The coaches are an excellent staff all around,” he says. “They recruit tirelessly, and they really know their stuff about the sports.”
And the student athletes are “well-rounded,” he adds. “They do well on and off the field.”
The Monks learned about their award just a few weeks before the start of school in August. “It was a great surprise for everyone involved,” says McCarthy.