• Cartoon by Manny Alfaro

    Reacting to a Disaster: NFL Response Long Overdue

    Editorials, Sports October 4, 2012 at 11:28 am Comments are Disabled

    For nearly 92 years, the National Football League has been the cornerstone league in all of sports. Serving as an outlet for social activity, millions of fans across the nation gather with friends every Sunday. Until last season, at least in our generation, the NFL could seemingly do no wrong. When the players were locked out prior to last season, football was marred but not yet tarnished. It was bruised but unbroken. As this preseason progressed and the season got underway, television sets across the nation were finally changing channels. Coaches, players, media and fans spoke out in protest of the NFL’s newest blunder: employing replacement officials. Faces of the NFL, such as Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, contested that the integrity of the league was tarnished. Games in weeks one through three in the 2012-13 season will forever have an asterisk. They will forever put a sour taste in the mouths of so many fans. Worst though, as difficult as it was to watch the referee saga, the occasions, any many ways, is a microcosm for the United States of America. It is commonplace in our culture to fight a major change, pretending hardships do not exist, until our […]

  • Photo Courtesy of Women's Rugby Team

    Rugby, a Ladies Game

    Sports September 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm Comments are Disabled

    Rugby is a tough, physical sport that, while not popular in the United States, has a global appeal. The women of Mason’s Rugby Club are a combination of girls with previous experience and ones who are complete novices to the sport. Sherwin “Squirrel” Birashk, head coach of Mason’s Women’s Rugby Club, would have fallen into the latter category. “I started playing when I was 15. I was actually a baseball player, but I didn’t make the junior varsity squad,” said Birashk, who is affectionately known as Coach Squirrel. Birashk is a Mason alumnus who played for the Men’s Rugby Club from 1996-99. Back then, a women’s rugby club did not exist at Mason. While Birashk acknowledges that there is a different gender dynamic between the men’s and women’s teams, he knows that the girls he has coached are just as tough as the guys. “Back then, it was just starting to pick up a little. We had a couple of girls who just kind of wanted to come play around during our practices,” said Birashk. It would not be until about 10 years later in 2009 that Mason’s Women’s Rugby Club would officially be formed. Birashk came on as head […]

  • Women’s Volleyball Continues Tradition of International Recruitment

    Sports September 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm Comments are Disabled

    Mason is a place of diversity, which can be seen and heard every day with a simple walk around campus. A great deal of international recruiting is done to bring a diverse range of players to the school.One team taking advantage of international recruitment is the women’s volleyball team. Ever since two girls from Hungary were recruited in 1993, there has been at least one international player on the team. Coach Pat Kendrick continues to bring great opportunities to international recruits. The first big thing that all of these girls and every international recruit must go through is meeting NCAA eligibility, along with the countless paperwork. Just like every student at Mason, they must have certain SAT scores and meet certain standards. However, for international students, extra things like at least a 6.5 in English as a second language exams must also be obtained to attend Mason. These requirements can be very intimidating to international recruits. Sometimes, they cause other schools with fewer requirements to recruit players who would not be eligible to play at Mason. Kendrick explained that high school and collegiate level sports in other countries are not as established as they are in the United States and […]

  • Photo by Amy Rose

    Harmouche Aids Patriots in No. 20 Ranking

    Sports September 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm Comments are Disabled

    This past week, Mason had the honor of having one of its freshman soccer players named the CAA Rookie Player of the Week. Ghiles Harmouche, midfield for the team, scored two goals in two games against St. Peter’s and St. Francis.  Upon hearing about this nomination, Harmouche said he was proud to be an asset to the team and that the title helped his confidence as an incoming player. Harmouche is a Fairfax native and knew he wanted to stay close to home. Luckily, he already had contact with a few Mason soccer players in leagues around the area and he knew that Mason fit perfectly into his career as a soccer player. “I like Mason’s style of play; other schools like to play chase, or play with the ball at their heads, but I prefer the ball at my feet. That’s where I am best, and I saw that same style of play in Mason’s team,” said Harmouche. He has also come to really appreciate the camaraderie among the team. Harmouche said they are extremely close, and “like a family, we help each other out, work hard at soccer, and have fun, as well.” Harmouche has played soccer for […]

  • Photo Courtesy of NBC4

    Mason Student is Redskins Calendar Cover Girl

    Multimedia, Sports September 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm Comments are Disabled

    There is no bigger fan of the Washington Redskins than Lindsey McCormick. McCormick was born and raised in the D.C. area and quickly adopted her family’s passion for the hometown football team. She bled burgundy and gold. More telling, however, is the tune that echoes throughout her home each time the doorbell rings, “Hail to the Redskins”. “I don’t know whether to answer the door or cheer,” said McCormick, a three-year veteran on the Redskins cheerleading squad and a current Mason student. A competitive dancer throughout high school, McCormick tried out for the Redskins cheerleading team at 19 years of age. She spent one year on the non-dancing ambassador group before earning a spot on the sidelines every Sunday for her favorite team. “I love to dance and I love the Redskins,” McCormick said. “I had the urge to continue my dance career; I didn’t want to stop dancing. But it wasn’t until I got older that I started to think, ‘Dancing and Redskins together might be a good idea.’ It was the best of both worlds.” Since her debut on the sidelines in 2010, McCormick has dedicated a vast majority of her time to the Redskins organization. While other […]

  • Photo by Mason Athletics

    Here, You Are Family

    Sports September 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm Comments are Disabled

    Emily Harvey, a sophomore majoring in anthropology, is breaking out this season on George Mason’s women’s soccer team. She was recently recognized as the CAA Women’s Soccer player of the week.  The award came after recording her first goal against George Washington University, and a last minute game winning assist against American University. “I didn’t expect the award at all, it really was a surprise,” Harvey said. “I really just try to go out and do whatever it is the team needs me to do. If that means scoring a goal I go out there and work for a goal, if that means picking up team moral and getting us pumped up then that’s what I do.” Emily has had a longer road to Mason’s Soccer program than one would guess. “I grew up an army brat and we moved a lot,” Harvey said. Both of her parents worked for the military and their jobs took them along the Atlantic coast from Maryland to New Jersey, Rhode Island to Pennsylvania, and even Florida. “I still think of Maryland as my home though; we always went back in-between moves,” Harvey said. Everywhere their family went her and her siblings played soccer. […]

  • Photo Courtesy of Dr. Bob Baker

    Professors Promote Diplomacy Through Sport

    9/11 Commemorative Issue, Featured, Special Issues, Sports September 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm Comments are Disabled

    The power and the impact of sport is undeniable. Serving many functions in our lives, sport works to develop communication skills and promote teamwork, all the while bringing communities together as one. Perhaps lesser known, sport can also promote a world of peace and cross-cultural understanding that is stronger than any barrier languages and cultures may build. “You don’t need to speak the same language because you are out there just playing and competing in sports,” said Craig Esherick, Associate Director of the Center for Sport Management. In many ways, the language of sport is the only universal language in the world. Through a grant awarded by SportsUnited, a division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Mason professors Esherick, Dr. Bob Baker and Dr. Pam Baker have been working in a diplomatic effort to promote peace and shape the world view on America and its citizens. “More than anything, we overcome linguistic challenges by having strong interests in the American culture,” said Marlon Moreno, a Mexican coach who visited the United States as part of the program in mid-August. Esherick and Bob Baker began working with the State Department on a new sport initiative […]

  • From NFL Manager to Mason Professor

    Sports April 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm Comments are Disabled

    Nothing came easy for Charley Casserly. As a 26-year-old coach at Minnechaug High School, Casserly lost everything he owned in a house fire. He had just $500 in the bank, a car with 120,000 miles on it and various pieces of old furniture that he acquired from Goodwill and the Salvation Army. “I didn’t have a lot,” Casserly said. “But I had enough.” After paying his own way through both high school and college, Casserly developed a strong work ethic at an early age. He picked up a variety of different jobs, selling newspapers and working at a local grocery store to pay tuition at Bergen Catholic High School. He held down three jobs during the summer to help pay for his education at Springfield College. And at age 28, he finally caught a break. Casserly was offered an unpaid internship with the Washington Redskins, where he worked directly with legendary coach George Allen. “I had been in the working world for a long time,” Casserly said. “But when I had the opportunity to go to the Redskins, I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime.” Casserly originally planned on spending seven months as an intern before making a […]

  • Recruiting Profile: Julius Rosa-DiStefano

    Sports April 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm Comments are Disabled

    After a three-year absence from postseason play, the Patriots look to gain a boost next year from incoming freshman soccer recruit Julius Rosa-DiStefano. Rosa-DiStefano committed to George Mason University in August 2011 and has since been utilizing his experience as a two-sport athlete to prepare for the upcoming challenge of being a Division I college athlete. “I’m really looking forward to playing in college,” Rosa-DiStefano said. “I look forward to playing with players who are better than me and getting better as a player. Hopefully, I will get to start and earn some playing time.” Throughout high school and his earlier years, Rosa-DiStefano participated in both club soccer and basketball. During his high school career, Rosa-DiStefano played soccer for Southwestern Youth Association. He also made the freshman, junior varsity and varsity basketball teams for Westfield High School in Chantilly. Rosa-DiStefano enjoys the diverse attributes that the two sports add to his overall athleticism. “Playing basketball and soccer helps me since they both bring something different,”Rosa-DiStefano said. “Soccer helps with my endurance and speed, as basketball works with my jumping and athleticism.” Courting Rosa-DiStefano was not an easy task for Mason. Rosa-DiStefano was aggressively recruited by many Division I schools for […]

  • Enough is Enough: Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino is Just the Latest Victim of Unjust Media Exposure

    Sports April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm Comments are Disabled

    It is not our culture or our society that is the issue. Ironically enough, it is the ruthless and reckless regard of journalists today. It is an unfortunate reality that “got ya” journalists, the men and women across the nation who devote their time and efforts to bringing down public individuals, are widely recognized for their work. It’s a shame that honest journalists can seemingly not exist in a world that enjoins ever greater dirt digging and mud slinging.But that is what journalism has become.The role the media plays throughout this nation is incredible. Take, for instance, the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman controversy in Florida and think about the impact of the pictures that have surfaced – an outdated picture of an innocent-appearing Martin sitting side-by-side with a prison mug shot of Zimmerman.At what point did it become okay to crucify someone in  public, abusing the power of the media to destroy the reputation of someone who does not have the platform to print a newspaper, air a radio or television show or communicate his or her words on a widely renowned platform?But it is not the power that is troubling. It is the lack of responsibility displayed by members of the media that, in […]