Pierce drafted 84th overall

Former Temple running back Bernard Pierce was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with the 21st pick (84th overall) of the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

Pierce becomes the third Temple player in the past two years to get drafted, joining former Owls Muhammad Wilkerson and Jaiquawn Jarrett of the 2011 class. Wilkerson was drafted by the New York Jets with the 30th overall pick of the first round and Jarrett was selected 54th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Pierce set Temple career and single-season records for  rushing yards, touchdowns and points in his junior season in 2011-12. He finished the year second in the country in rushing touchdowns with 27.

Pierce now has a chance to join Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice in the Ravens’ backfield.

Men qualify for final day events at Penn Relays Day 2

Temple’s second day of the Penn Relays has come and gone, and in the midst of some stellar performances by some of the bigger programs at Franklin Field, the Owls quietly chipped in some solid performances of their own.

Unlike Thursday, Friday’s competition was dominated by men’s events.

The men’s distance medley relay, consisting of redshirt senior Louis Parisi, senior Alan Harding, sophomore Will Kellar and senior distance runner Travis Mahoney, finished second in the ‘B’ heat of the college men’s Distance Medley Relay Championship of America. Harding moved up from fifth to second in the 400 meter leg in a furious last 200 meters, and the final two legs in Keller and Mahoney held the spot.

The men’s 4×100 and 4×200 relays both qualified for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America finals, to be held Saturday, for the respective events.

The 4×100, consisting of sophomores Josh McFrazier and Alex McGee, and juniors Dylan Pensyl and Damian Myers, placed 35th overall with a time of 41.98 seconds. Pensyl and McFrazier teamed up with sophomores Tyreece Clayton and Carlton Stafford to finish 33rd overall in the 4×200 with a mark of 1:29.46. The 4×100 will be looking to go after a second consecutive IC4A title tomorrow afternoon after last year’s squad won the event’s first gold medal in program history.

The men’s 4×400 finished as the runners-up in the Wetzler/Pa heat. McGee, Harding, Myers and sophomore Lionel Wilson combined for a time of 3:17.16 and finished ahead of rival St. Joseph’s, which finished third.

In field events, sophomore Darryl McDuffle and senior Tim Malloy tied for fourth and seventh respectively in the high jump eastern. McDuffle posted a jump of six feet, nine and three-quarter inches while Malloy jumped for a height of 6-6.75.

In the women’s only event of the day, the sprint medley relay, consisting of Crystal Hercules, Kiersten LaRoche, Brianna Alverez, Shanel Golding, crossed at 4:08.56 to take 30th place.

-Drew Parent

Mahoney highlights Day 1 at Penn Relays

Senior distance runner Travis Mahoney made his last career Penn Relays appearance for Temple Thursday, and did not disappoint.

The only men’s participant in Thursday’s events for Temple, Mahoney finished second with a silver medal in the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase championship, placing with a time of 8 minutes and 48.18 seconds. Mahoney was the runner up to winner Andrew Poore of Indiana, who crossed at 8:43.52 to win the gold.

Freshman thrower Margo Britton shined in her Penn Relays debut, throwing for a distance of 51 feet, 6 ½ inches in the women’s shot-put and placing second. Britton would cap off her day with a 15th place finish in the women’s discus throw with a distance of 140-5.

The women’s field events continued to impress as senior thrower Alanna Owens placed second in the shot-put eastern with a throw of 47-3. Freshman jumper Kiersten LaRoche also made an impressive Penn Relays debut with Temple, placing eighth in the long jump eastern with a jump of 18-7.

Junior sprinters Isatta Kenneh and Dia Dorsey, senior sprinters Andrea Butler, and sophomore sprinter Gennie Depass made up a women’s 4×100 team that placed 26th out of a total of 82 teams with a time of 47.5 seconds. The women’s 4×400 relay, consisting of sophomore sprinter Ambrosia Iwugo, freshman sprinter Michelle Davis Timothy, junior middle distance runner Tonney Smith, and junior sprinter Sheina Roberts, also placed 26th and crossed with a time of 3:44.19.

Drew Parent

Athletics committee meets post Big East

The Athletics Committee of the Board of Trustees met today for the first time since it was announced that Temple would enter the Big East for football in 2012 and all sports in 2013.

Temple coach Steve Addazio addressed board members on the future of the football team, the facilities the team needs to stay competitive and taking the next step as a program.

“We couldn’t be in a better position right now,” Addazio said. “The key is to keep that ball moving forward.”

Addazio compared Temple’s current situation to when Temple was kicked out of the Big East in 2001, when Addazio was a part of the coaching staff at Syracuse.

“Temple was in the Big East, but everything else wasn’t,” Addazio said, referring to facilities. “I was at Syracuse at that time. Temple didn’t have what we had.”

Upon requests from the board, Addazio identified aspects of Temple’s current facilities that could be improved to make the team more competitive. Addazio said the school is working on indoor facilities, such as a weight room, a banquet hall and a new training room.

“We need to get recruits saying, ‘Wow, that’s really cool,’ instead of me having to explain to them why there’s not a picture on the wall,” Addazio said.

Athletics chair Lewis Katz went over Temple’s upcoming Big East schedule, which includes home games against South Florida, Cincinnati, Rutgers and Syracuse, asking “Are we competitive?”

Addazio said he will put together a competitive team that the board will be proud of, but insisted that competitiveness isn’t what the university should settle for.

“How do we start to push ourselves above just being a competitive team?” Addazio said.

Field hockey announces captains for 2012


The Temple News

On Tuesday April 10, coach Amanda Janney announced she will hand the captain duties to Katie Briglia, who will be the Owls’ lone senior in the lineup and current sophomore Molly Doyle.

“I cannot believe [Janney] picked me to be one of our captains for next year,” Doyle said. “We will be returning only one senior, and I will have plenty of responsibilities.”
Doyle, a midfielder/defender out of Merion Mercy Academy (Merion, Pa), has three career goals, all from her freshman campaign. The history major started 11 games as a freshman in 2010, including scoring the game-winning goal in her first game at Temple, a 4-2 victory against Bucknell on Aug. 28, 2010.
As a sophomore, Doyle started in 20 of the 22 games in 2011, which included the Atlantic Ten Conference tournament championship game, a 1-0 defeat by Richmond. Temple has posted a 18-25 record in Doyle’s first two seasons.
The Owls will begin their fall 2012 season tentatively scheduled on Saturday Aug. 18 at Geasey Field hosting Lehigh, before playing the Cherry and White scrimmage at Geasey the next day. Virginia and Duke will visit the Owls for the 2012 Temple Invitational on Friday Aug. 24 and Sunday Aug. 26.

The Owls will enter the 2012 season with0ut All-American Bridget Settles due to graduation. Settles led the team in scoring with 20 goals last season.

Scott Samuel David Weiss can be reached at scott.weiss@temple.edu.

Dunphy named Big 5 Coach of the Year

Men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy was named the Big 5 Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year, it was announced Tuesday, joining redshirt-senior guard Ramone Moore, junior guard Khalif Wyatt and senior guard Juan Fernandez, all of whom also earned honors.

Dunphy led Temple (24-8, 3-1 Big 5) to its first outright Atlantic Ten Conference regular season title since 1989-90 and the team’s fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, despite missing senior forward Scootie Randall for the entire season and graduate center Micheal Eric for 13 games.

Moore and Wyatt were All Big 5 First Team selections, while Fernandez was named to the All Big 5 Second Team. Joining Moore and Wyatt on First Team are Villanova’s Maalik Wayns, St. Joseph’s Langston Galloway and Penn’s Zack Rosen, who was named the Big 5 Player of the Year. The Second Team consisted of three La Salle players, Tyreek Duren, Ramon Galloway and Earl Pettis, and Carl Jones and C.J. Aiken of St. Joe’s, along with Fernandez.

Temple was named the Big 5 Team of the Year.

Big East football schedule announced

Temple’s Big East schedule for football for the 2012 season is now official.

The Owls, which gained entry back into the Big East for all sports on March 8 after being booted from the league in 2004, will play games against seven Big East opponents and nine total games against schools from power conferences this season.

Temple will host South Florida on Oct. 6, Rutgers on Oct. 20, Cincinnati on Nov. 10 and Syracuse on Nov. 23, while traveling to face Connecticut on Oct. 13, Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, and Louisville on Nov. 3.

Temple will also face Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Maryland at home on Sept. 8 and will travel to State College, Pa. to face in-state rival Penn State on Sept. 22.

Here’s a complete breakdown of the Owls’ schedule:

2012 Temple Football Schedule

Date                   Opponent                             Site TV
Fri., Aug. 31       VILLANOVA                         Lincoln Financial Field
Sat., Sept. 8       MARYLAND                        Lincoln Financial Field
Sat., Sept. 22     at Penn State                           University Park, Pa.
Sat., Oct. 6         *SOUTH FLORIDA Lincoln Financial Field
Sat., Oct. 13        *at Connecticut                 East Hartford, Conn.
Sat., Oct. 20       *RUTGERS Lincoln Financial Field
Sat., Oct. 27        *at Pittsburgh                    Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sat., Nov. 3         *at Louisville                      Louisville, Ky.
Sat., Nov. 10       *CINCINNATI Lincoln Financial Field
Sat., Nov. 17       at Army                                West Point, N.Y.
Fri., Nov. 23        *SYRACUSE Lincoln Financial Field

Men’s rugby prepares for USA Sevens summer tournament

Mark McHugh

The Temple News

Member’s of the men’s rugby club said they are optimistic about their chances for the upcoming season.

As one of the most prominent and successful club teams Temple has to offer, club president Matthew Violette said his team is hoping to reestablish the Owls as a national threat.

Typically a dominant force in Division I-AA, the Owls failed to make the playoffs in Fall 2012. Violette said that he is looking for new players to step into the leadership roles needed for his team to be competitive.

Violette said that junior John Holbert will be leading the team as a returning starter in the forwards and sophomores Brad Sawhill and John Shine are two younger players with significant A-side time who he will be looking at to set an example of hard play on the field.

“The three of these guys have a strong worth ethic on and off the field, which is the type of mindset we are trying to instill on our entire team,” Violette said.

Although this season’s team is significantly younger than previous years, Violette said that the Owls’ youth shouldn’t be a detriment to their success. He added that the young guys have enough experience and talent to carry the team into the playoffs.

“Many of the newer players are carrying a rugby background from high school,” Violette said.

Forced to rely on so much youth, Violette and the Owls are looking forward to seeing what new players can bring to the table.

“We have played in two [tournaments] and are concerned with getting everyone playing time with all these games,” Violette said. “We have a full schedule ahead of us, including games against Penn, Penn Wharton, Princeton and St. Joseph’s.”

Grounded in plenty of fresh faces and promising talent, Temple’s outlook is positive and its goal is to improve and continue to move forward. The team is also planning to compete against some of the nation’s top college rugby teams at the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship on June 2-3 at PPL Park in Chester. For tickets, there is more information here.

“We’re excited to see what the newer players have to offer to the club and we are working hard in preparation for the upcoming CRC 7’s tournament in the summer,” Violette said.

Mark McHugh can be reached at mark.mchugh@temple.edu.

Women’s rugby enters regional playoffs with high expectations


The Temple News

On Mondays they run for an hour straight, taking only brief breaks for water. Every other weekday they practice fundamentals from their sport such as tackling and passing the ball. This has led them to a season where they are easily winning games and respected among the top teams in their conference.

This is not the men’s football team that I am talking about. No, I am talking about the women’s rugby team.

Led by third-year coach Owen Jones, the team has enjoyed enormous success over the past several years. Two years ago they reached the program’s third national championship game and finished as runner’s up.

This year Owens is confident that the team could go far in the MARFU (Mid Atlantic Football Rugby Union) playoffs and even make some noise in the national playoffs.

“Our team has greater depth than any other year,” Owens said. “We have lots of senior leadership from players that were with the team two years ago.”

Owens gives some credit to the team’s intense conditioning regiment. On Mondays they devote the entire practice to working on conditioning with the help of new conditioning coach Danielle Monica.

Some of the team’s best players include seniors Karina Sundar and Rachael Bandura. Both players are team captains and have grown from that championship loss while leading their team to victory.

Sundar is a senior chemistry major who plays the position of 8 man where she stays near the back of the scrum and provides extra weight at the push. Bandura is a senior tourism & hospitality major who is a fly-half. As a fly-half, Bandura plays a large role in passing and kicking the ball while also calling the team’s plays.

Since returning from winter vacation, the team has been performing at a very high level. They have won three matches during the month of March and recently won a critical MARFU match against William & Mary.

“It is exciting to see rookies and younger players step up to lead the team,” Bandura said.

The team has now clinched a spot in the MARFU playoffs and need to beat George Washington this coming Saturday to appear in the national playoffs. A win could also put them in a position where they could contend for the MARFU championship. A loss on Saturday would force them to have to win Sunday in order to secure MARFU’s no. 3 seed.

Because of their success, the rugby team has been receiving more awareness around campus. Owens is not surprised by this. “Rugby is growing around the country and is more high schools today.”

While Bandura and Sundar are two of the first team’s best players, there is also a secondary team. This team exists for developmental purposes and is a good place for players who are entirely new to the sport of rugby.  Temple rugby accepts any players, however only the best get to play on the first team.

For anyone feeling like trying out for rugby, Sundar has words of encouragement.

“Definitely just give it a try, don’t be scared cause you don’t know about the sport,” she said.

James Reagan can be reached at james.reagan@temple.edu.

Rodriguez, Whitehead patiently waiting for draft day

Both seniors continue preparations for NFL Draft at Temple’s Pro Day


The Temple News

For seniors Evan Rodriguez and Tahir Whitehead, one word describes what they could offer a National Football League team: versatility.

Rodriguez and Whitehead joined former junior running back Bernard Pierce at the 2012 NFL Combine on Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis, Ind. The North New Jersey natives can give pro clubs many options on offense and defense, respectively.

At 6-foot 1-inch, Rodriguez can be used in many ways as a tight end, whether it is off the line, coming out of the backfield or setting up out wide. The two-time first-team All-Mid-Atlantic Conference selection played in all 13 games with 12 starts at tight end last season leading the Owls with 479 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions.

At this point, though, Rodriguez is not worried what position he’ll play, but rather preparing for when that team calls his name. The 2012 NFL Draft is April 26-28 held at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

“Just hard training,” Rodriguez said of his preparation for the NFL Draft. “I was down in Bradenton, [Fla.] training at Athletic Edge with [combine guru] Mike Gough, and they prepared me really well for the NFL Combine and I’m happy with my results.”

Rodriguez had such strong results at the NFL Combine that he opted not to run the 40-yard dash or test his vertical jump at Temple’s Pro Day on Friday, March 16 at Edberg-Olsen Athletic Complex.

With a 40-time of 4.58 and a vertical measure of 36 inches – tied for the lead amongst tight ends – Rodriguez said he thought his performance helped his draft stock.

Scouts have compared Rodriguez to New England tight end Aaron Hernandez with his multi-dimensional abilities. Hernandez played in Temple coach Steve Addazio’s system at Florida when Addazio was offensive coordinator for the Gators.

“He does compare to him,” Addazio said. “A lot of people ask him that question. I like [Rodriguez’s] development and I like his maturity. He’s come a long way in a year or two. You talk about a guy who’s come the furthest – he’s probably come the furthest. He’s put himself in a position to be a middle-round draft pick.”

Whitehead, a 6-foot 1-inch linebacker, is a possible steal late in the draft. The second-team All-MAC honoree has been putting in time getting ready for the NFL Draft.

“I’m constantly in the weight room, constantly working on my technique,” Whitehead said. “It’s not only a track meet when you’re running [the 40-yard dash], you’re a football player. Not only do I work on the 40 and other drills and stuff, I also work on stuff for my toolbox – keeping a better base for striking opponents.”

A captain on the Owls’ defense, Whitehead registered five sacks last season and was a constant disruption in opposition’s backfield, finishing the season with the third-most tackles on the team with 70 and a team-best 13.5 tackles for loss. He played in all 13 games with 12 starts as the strong side linebacker.

Whitehead was also named the Defensive MVP of the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, in which the Owls defeated the Wyoming Cowboys, 37-15.

“[Whitehead] is very mature,” Addazio said. “You watch the growth he’s had from last year to this year, that’s that year some guys are missing.”

While this was the stage for Whitehead to display his physical attributes, he also sees it as a job interview.

“You’d get a smart player,” Whitehead said. “Not only smart, but physical, versatile. I can do it all. I can be used wherever they need me to be used. I’m a team player.”

Last year, two Owls were drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, then-senior safety Jaiquawn Jarrett and then-junior defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson was drafted as the 30th overall selection in the first round by the New York Jets and Jarrett was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles as the 54th overall selection in the second round.

Bud Weaver can be reached at bud.weaver@temple.edu.