Celebrating Another Year of Athletic Excellence

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Celebrating Another Year of Athletic Excellence

Joe Syromi, Reporter

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AACC’s athletic program ends the 2014-2015 year making great strides both on and off the field.

Much of the department’s success this year was in expanding its outreach and fundraising both on campus and in the community, said Duane Herr, director of Athletics. Social media has also aided in bringing attention to the program’s activities and history.

“It’s been pretty phenomenal to watch the college community jump on board and support the cause,” Herr said. “That’s where we want to be—we want to continue to grow and be a presence on campus.”
On the court, there were several individual and team successes. Freshman Brent Orbell and sophomore Tiffany McKinney received All-American honors, and sophomore lacrosse player Kenny Robertson and freshman Nicole Cox are likely to be recognized after the national tournaments end.

“It’s a really big accomplishment [for them], but for our program as well,” Herr said. “It’s a national spotlight, it’s a nationally recognized award.”

Individual and team academic awards will not be released until after finals are over, Herr said.
The decision to shut down the Women’s Lacrosse season out of concern for player safety was the biggest set-back for the program, but is not something that will prohibit moving forward.

“In terms of the numbers issue we saw with women’s lacrosse, I don’t predict that to be a trend here,” Herr said. “I think it was an anomaly.”

During the off-season, the department will continue to offer voluntary workout and practice programs eight hours a week so players can stay in game shape, says Herr.

“Anything more would be a violation,” Herr said. “We are by-the-book in terms of what we do off-season.”
On the academic side, Herr is working to increase communication with faculty in order to better help student athletes struggling with their studies, according to Herr. The department already has 10 hours a week of study hall for all athletes, but Herr believes being made aware of problems early would better the students.

“We’re trying to create a student athlete reporting system on academic progress,” Herr said. “The best way for everyone to really get the best gauge for how everyone is doing.”

Recruiting is always an ongoing process for Herr and the coaching staff, and he looks forward to having incoming students know that AACC offers both academic advantages and athletic exposure.

“On the field it’s about providing opportunities: opportunities to travel and be seen, opportunities to compete against elite teams in the country,” said Herr.

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