Gender equality extends to lacrosse at CCM

Photo by Stephanie Brady Sarah Majerscak with her teammate, Jon Tomakalo in the CCM weight room.

Photo by Stephanie Brady
Sarah Majerscak with her teammate, Jon Tomakalo in the CCM weight room.

By Stephanie Brady

When a trio of women’s lacrosse players found themselves without a team of their own at the County College of Morris, they decided to take up their sticks and play with the men.

Khelsae Andican, Sarah Majerscak and Carli Jo Vieldhouse have joined the CCM lacrosse team, effectively converting the sport for male athletes at CCM to a co-ed one.

During the fall 2014 off-season, they practiced with the boys and Coach Todd Cieri.

“Once you have been at a few practices you feel special to the team,” Vieldhouse said.“You feel like you’re a part of the boys. It’s very difficult, but very rewarding and simple at the same time.”

Cieri said he doesn’t think gender matters in a sport. While his mother was growing up, she was a trailblazer on her basketball team, and his sister ended up playing for a boy’s lacrosse team while she was in middle school. From these personal experiences, he said gender is irrelevant to him.

“I’ve made it very clear to the team that it’s totally cool,” Cieri said. “I’m down with it and they have to be down with it or else they’re not going to be on the team.”

Still, even though gender isn’t an issue with the team, the female athletes have been facing their own challenges playing with all male athletes.

“Some challenges I’ve faced during the practices would be keeping up with the momentum of the game and basically just learning how the boys play and keeping up with their pace,” Vieldhouse said.

Lacrosse is a physically demanding sport. Specifically, men’s lacrosse has different contact rules that the women have to adjust to. Under certain circumstances, men are allowed to hit the opposing players.

Additionally, during the spring semester, with everyday practices, players are expected to participate in 5-mile runs and perform pushups until they can’t do them anymore.

“They still need to be more acclimated to some of the physicality of the game, but there’s definitely an awareness of what’s going on out there,” Cieri said. “Everybody out there’s like ‘Whoah, girls are playing with the guys,’ but they’re better than some of the guys are.”

The men have faced some challenges as well with coping to the new female players. They immediately needed to decipher what is acceptable or not on the field with them. At first, Cieri said, it was difficult for them. For example, if a male player didn’t check a female player as hard, the other boys challenged him to go harder. If he then went too hard, they questioned why he was being so rough. As time went on, they have realized that the women can be major contributors to their team.

“I do feel like an equal, and that’s how I want to be treated,” Majerscak said. “Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t be as tough as a guy can be. It’s part of the game. Boy’s lacrosse is more physical than girls. I am playing their sport, so I assume they will hit me and not care.”

The difficulties that some players have had with coping hasn’t stopped any members of the team from being supportive and encouraging toward the female athletes. In fact, Cieri said the women sometimes get cheered on far more than the men do when they perform correctly.

“They are all very supportive; they cheer us on just like the other teammates when we make a good play or move, and we cheer them on the same way,” said Majerscak, a hospitality major. “They also help us out when we need improvement on moves and plays.”

Luckily, for the lacrosse team, there are no cuts. The female athletes have been official members of the team and will continue to be as long as they uphold the same responsibilities as every other player including at-tending practices and maintaining a proper grade point average.

“It gives them an opportunity to play a sport they truly enjoy,” said Derek Zacatenco, exercise science major and lacrosse player. “It just shows the confidence they have to come out and work hard with the boys.”

Cieri has worked to make practices and study halls an environment that everyone feels comfortable in and is treated with respect. Most importantly, everyone is treated as an equal player on the team.

“The message I am trying to send is that a girl can do anything a boy can do,” Majerscak said. “It might be difficult, frustrating, and awkward, but if you love it, it’s worth it.”


Commentary, two-year colleges offer more focused learning

BY TAYAH GRACE SWEDLUND Acting Senior Managing Editor

“You’re not going to a county college, wait, are you?!” I remember the first time I heard those words. My heart sank and I realized that others disagreed with what I saw as a smart decision for my future. For whatever reason, attending a county college wasn’t seen as an equivalent to the four-year schools my peers were attending.

Contrary to their point, County College of Morris empowers students in making prudent financial decisions and gives them the ability to gain valuable work experience, not to mention the personal attention afforded by the professors.

According to the Pew Research Center, “there’s a wider earnings gap between college-educated and less-educated Millennials compared with previous generations.”


Automated cars finally get their licenses

BY BRIAN PEREYRA Technology Editor

Computer-driven cars have been on the roads of California for more than four years now. The Department of Motor Ve- hicles is now requiring the self-driving cars to be registered and to have testing permits. These permits allow 29 vehicles from three different companies to be driven on freeways and in neighborhoods.

The permits are regulating the testing that has been underway for quite some time. Google alone is very close to completing 1 million miles. The search engine company has been fond of the automated cars, which navigate using high-tech sensors and extremely detailed maps.

Personal commuting offers students advantages

BY ERIC CHOI Features Editor

Incoming students at County College of Morris are acclimating to college life now that the fall semester has begun. CCM is a commuter school, and as such many students use the New Jersey Transit local bus system to commute. While using public transportation is economical and alleviates the local traffic burden, it can be limiting at times.

This annoyance can be understood through the experiences of Kleo Purbollari, a full-time CCM student who had taken the public bus during the Fall 2013 semester.


Drew University mentorship program returns


PHOTO BY JOSEPH TROCHEZ Drew University students Samara Grossman, Elizabeth Myers, Passi Rosen-Bayewitz, Cordelza Haynes and Harry Baugartner.

Drew University students Samara Grossman, Elizabeth Myers, Passi Rosen-Bayewitz, Cordelza Haynes and Harry Baugartner.

Drew University’s Two-Year College Teaching Certificate program has returned to County College of Morris this semester for its third run.

Six Drew students and six CCM professors are enrolled in the mentorship program that CCM Professor Bill Day founded three years ago. He laid down the groundwork and established how the program would run. This year, CCM English Professor Dr. Phillip Chase, has taken over the role of coordinator.


Baseball starts to heat up for post-season; Yankees sit home


More than 160 games are in the books, as the regular season in the Major Leagues comes to a close. Now, the MLB’s best battle it out for the World Series crown. With post-season baseball starting Tuesday, Sept. 30, the slate is wiped clean for all remaining teams that will participate for a chance to play in this years Fall Classic. The autumn air sweeping through the stadium means that you have reached the playoffs. The first step, of many, to winning it all. But what happens in the next month is unpredictable. Favorites and underdogs take center stage, and as the weather cools down, baseball heats up.

“The Royals have a chance to go far this post-season. Their pitching rotation can do some real damage,” said Akash Agnihotri, a CCM nursing major. “I think the Royals could go deep into the postseason.”

The game might still be too slow for many, but the competitiveness is unquestionable. Players, and even careers can be made or broken in the month of October. The New York Yankees’ own Reggie Jackson is a prime example of just that. Being nicknamed Mr. October for his incredible postseason play, having a career batting average of .357 in five World Series appearances. It takes a different type of player to show up when the game counts.


OPINION: Yankee fans pay tribute to legendary captain

Sports Editor

As another season winds down in Major League Baseball and post-season hopefuls make their push into the playoffs, there is one person who continues to transcend the sport, once again stealing the spotlight.

Derek Jeter is wrapping up one of the most successful careers the sports industry has ever seen, both on and off the field. He will finish with a .310 career batting average, over 3,400 hits (6th all-time), over 350 stolen bases, 14 All-Star Selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, 1996 Rookie of the Year, 2000 World Series Most Valuable Player, and of course, as Captain of the New York Yankees. Based on these stats alone, what we are looking at is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, a living legend if you will.