Students want rugby, hockey, cheerleading


Photo by Anthony DePanise, reprinted from Campus Crier, Nov. 7, 1989

AACC fielded a football team until 1990, when a lack of competition and poor academic performance among players shut the program down.

Ryan Sullivan and Vincent Moreland

AACC students said last month they would like the Riverhawks to have a football team.

In an informal poll of 30 students, 13 said they want a football team at the school and six said they would like a hockey program.

Additionally, three suggested the college should add a cheerleading squad and three others would like the school to add rugby to the athletics program.

AACC has 11 sports teams: Baseball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Golf, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Softball and Women’s Volleyball.

The college does not offer football, dodgeball, archery, or track and field—all suggestions from students who answered the recent poll.

“I want to be a part of something here,” said second-year student Jeffrey Greene. “I feel like when I got here, there was nothing for me to do [because track and field] was my sport in high school.”

The most requested sport was football.

AACC had a football team in the 1980s. Due to a combination of high costs, insufficient competition in the region and low academic success of the players across multiple years, AACC disbanded it in 1990.

“[Students wanting football is] something that we hear a lot,” Athletics Director Duane Herr said. “But … it would be very costly. If you have football you wouldn’t have much else. [And] we would have to add an additional two or three women’s sports to balance it out.”

In addition, Herr said the northeast region of the National Junior College Athletic Association has too few football teams against which AACC would compete.

Within the NJCAA, there are three colleges that offer football. This includes: Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania, and Monroe Community College and ASA College, both in New York.

Students also said they were interested in hockey, cheerleading and rugby.

“I love cheering,” first-year student Cynthia Hernandez said. “It’s a sport to keep young females active and it keeps me busy.”

Herr said cheering at the junior college level is rare, but he is “curious to hear more [about cheering] from the student level.”

Not every student wants more competitive options. One student said he would like to see more recreational sports instead.

“Recreational sports would allow students to meet new people, stay in shape and have fun here on campus,” Jana Burno, a sophomore nursing major, said.

One student said she would like to see a swimming team at AACC, but the college closed the pool in August to make room for a new Health Sciences building.