HFU Athletics on the Prowl!

Holy Family University’s athletics program is one of the few programs that continues to grow each semester. This program plays a vital role in the school’s growth because the director of athletics and all the coaching staff continue to recruit a diverse group of students. The athletics department has been doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes for quite a few years now. They have finally announced that there will be a few effective changes to the HFU athletics program and the campus itself, especially inside the campus center.

The year 2021-2022 has resulted in a few accomplishments for all the HFU teams. To start the fall 2022 semester, the HFU volleyball team competed in their season-opening trip in New England with matches against Purdue Northwest and Valdosta State on Saturday, August 27, 2022. The Tigers set the tone for the incredible season they are looking forward to. The athletics department has major goals that the men’s and women’s teams will all come home with the conference banner.

Holy Family University head Volleyball coach Collin Sibilia is pleased to welcome Matt Parisi and Angie Smith to his staff as assistant coaches. Sibilia said, “I am very excited to welcome both Matt and Angie to the coaching staff. They both offer a lot of volleyball knowledge, along with positive attitudes and a kind heart. Angie and I have worked together for three years, and Matt and I have known one another for close to a decade. I am lucky to have them both, and I cannot wait to get going with the season!” The athletes on the team are truly happy for the new coaching staff, and this has given them the confidence boost they all needed. 

Men’s and Women’s Soccer

The men and women also started their season on the Tiger Field. The women’s soccer teams did not start the season as bright as they hope. They lost their first game to Saint Anselm. The game ended with HFU 0, Saint Anselm 2. They wanted to win their first game, but unfortunately that did not happen. However, they are persistent, and giving up is not an option.  The men’s team continues to work hard, and they are all filled with excitement.

Julia Stephen was asked about the team’s goals this season. She responded, “I would say for us to be successful and continue to show everyone who we truly are as a team! Our goal is to get better each game as the season goes on and make our way to the CACC championship!” With the enthusiasm she presented, I am eager to see if they will make it to the championship.

Holy Family athletics has been holding Pennsylvania State Athletic Conferences which is bringing a lot of highlights to the school. If you are interested in watching any of the soccer games that will be taking place at HFU’s New Tiger Field, feel free to check out their website.

Saturday, September 17th, I had some free time, so I went to show some support to both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Tiger Field. The women played at noon, and I was happy I attended this game because a historical moment was made. The women scored a 9-0 victory to win the game against Felician University. This is the first time in 11 years this has happened for HFU soccer. The highlight of this day was when I noticed that Julia Stephen scored twice. I can only imagine the joy she was experiencing.

After the women’s marvelous win, the men’s team played at 2 pm, and of course, they won, 3-1. They got the victory over the regional-ranked Felician University. It is Fair to say HFU soccer teams had a supreme day on September 17th, 2022.

In my opinion, this legendary pick needs to be on a plaque!!    

Women’s and Men’s Cross Country

During the Tiger’s first run at the Delaware Open, both the women’s and men’s cross-country teams opened their 2022 season by challenging themselves to run with Division I athletes. Attending this meet to execute to their full potential resulted in a few personal bests. HFU went straight back in action with two meets the following weekend: first at the Stockton Invite on Friday, Sept. 9, and then on the following day at the local Philadelphia Metro Classic held at Belmont Plateau. After the first few meets, HFU Anthony Faust (Pennsauken, N.J./Bishop Eustace Prep) has been named the first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men’s Cross-Country Rookie of the Week of the 2022 season.

Holy Family will compete in four meets over 13 days at the GBC Fall Classic on September 16. The Tigers will then take two weekends off before returning to action at the NJIT XC Challenge on October 8. Then they will prepare for the CACC championship that will take place on Sunday, October 30. The tigers will then wrap up their season on November 17th at the east regional competition. 

Coming Fall 2022     

Student-athletes opening to an amazing season is not all that the Holy Family athletics program has going on. It was brought to the public’s attention that Holy Family athletics programs will have two new sports teams to broaden their horizons. These teams will be Esports and women’s bowling which will be starting in late September or early October. These sports are meant to include everyone together, especially the students who enjoy playing video games and enjoy being in a fun environment. Esports is growing worldwide, and readers can learn more about HFU Esports.

 After interviewing a few athletes and staff, women’s bowling seems to be capturing a lot of attention on campus. “Women’s bowling will also be one of the new additions to expand holy family athletics starting this year. It’s exciting to be able to provide new prospective student-athletes with an additional opportunity to compete at the collegiate level,” said Director of Athletics Timothy Hamill. Women’s bowling is growing and has seen much success at regional and national levels.

With the director of athletics being so excited, I ventured out to see how the students feel about this new addition. While interviewing Tomiwa Daniels a nursing student here at HFU, she was one of the few people to be completely honest and straightforward when asked about bowling. She noted, “I think it would be a good option for people who do enjoy bowling and would like to do it on a competitive level. However, I do think that the school does not have enough facilitation and as far as I can see resources to carry out a successful bowling team with enough equipment, time, effort, and practice (workout time in the exercise rooms). Also, there’s an aspect of competition in our conference or region that we would have to think about I am not sure how many schools around us have a bowling team so who would the school compete with?”

If you are a person interested in women’s bowling, you should join the team.

Coming 2023-2024

Holy Family athletics is also excited to announce that coming 2023-2024, there will be a new men’s lacrosse and a women’s acrobatics and tumbling team. The addition of acrobatics & tumbling and the men’s lacrosse team will be Holy Family athletics’ 16th and 17th varsity programs. The entire athletic department is excited about these new changes.

The school has recently announced that they have hired their first-ever men’s lacrosse coach, Daniel Keating. According to Holy Family Athletics, “Keating brings with him nearly 20 years of coaching experience at both the college and high school level, having most recently spent a second stint as the head coach at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. While there, he led the program to a 27-10 record over two seasons, developing 21 All-Catholic League players including one All-American.” The athletic department did an amazing job hiring someone that has experience with an All-American player. This will bring highlights to the school.

Anne Prisco, Ph.D., president of Holy Family University was interviewed by the athletic department about having an acrobatic and tumbling team and she gave a beautiful response: “We are pleased to provide new opportunities for student-athletes to excel in their sports and the classroom. We know that student-athletes have a higher burden when it comes to balancing sports and schoolwork, so as we grow programs, we also grow resources to ensure we can support them in everything from academic support to mental health counseling. Our view is that our student-athletes are students first, so we strive to ensure a holistic and balanced experience. I look forward to cheering these new student-athletes on to victory next academic year.”

We are all excited about this new team but while conducting my interviews I overheard many students say, “Why bring new sports such as tumbling before making cheerleading a sport”? And I must say I completely agree. Let’s hope the cheerleaders will create a story with logical reasons and bring it to the right person to review! Let’s Go HFU cheer team!

Anyone interested can always go on the Holy Family University athletics website and apply to become a part of these teams.

Want to come support? Click here to see all games and meets.

Kimoya Henry-Ellis is a fourth-year Secondary Education English major.