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Hilbert Cheer Celebrates a Successful Fall

Hilbert College’s cheerleading team has been working hard throughout the last few months to support the football and basketball teams at their games.

Julia Dombrowski a cheer team member, said she enjoys the camaraderie the team has built throughout the semester.

“A favorite part for me is having everyone come together and getting closer as friends which help our stunts improve too from everyone working together as a team,” she said.

Since Hilbert Athletics fall under division III, the cheer team is equally present for both, men and women’s games.

The girls have been practicing four times per week as of now where they work on cheers, stunts, creative time-outs, and a halftime dance.

“It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get where we want to be,” said Krista Stephany, another team member. “It doesn’t just happen over night.”

The team holds try-outs for anyone who is interested and being a part of the semester. The team does not require past experience. The team, as of now, has a cap of 15 people, as there are only 15 uniforms available.

The three team captains, Dombrowski, Stephany and Kat Pappas explain how they help the team lead practice and focus on getting everyone on the same rhythm.

Pappas says she’s enjoyed seeing the team strengthen their bonds with one another.

“Watching the team change from freshman year until senior year and seeing how much everyone has connected is my favorite part about this team,” Pappas said.

Due to funding shortages, the cheerleading team does not currently fall under Hilbert Athletics. They are student government funded which means they also are expected to follow student government regulations. However, they are really trying to be under athletics in the near future.

The team hopes to hold their first cheer clinic this upcoming February for anyone interested. This clinic is a great fundraising opportunity for the team.

Head coach Colleen Kumiega says she’s extremely proud of the girls and wishes people would take it more seriously and give them the credit they deserve.

“These girls are my spirit. They give me the energy and enthusiasm to live the cheerleading life that I missed myself. I am literally so proud of them,” Kumiega said. “They work so hard day in and day out and people don’t take it as seriously as an athletic sport as it really should be.”

Hawks Basketball Off to a Solid Start

The Hilbert Hawks Men’s Basketball team is off to a good start for  the 2022 – 2023 season.

The Hawks are currently sitting at .500 with a record of 3-3 overall and sit at first place in conference play despite not playing a conference game as of yet.

“Winning a college basketball game is not easy, “said head coach Rob deGrandpre, “Being more disciplined and executing when games are on the line would assist us greatly.  We have some young players that are learning how to manage games in critical situations. We’ve had the luxury of playing at home in five of our first six games. The job will definitely get more challenging when we hit conference play and face more nights on the road.”

DeGrandpre said he believes the team needs to work on defending in order to keep playing basketball at a high level.

“Scoring isn’t a problem for this team,” he said. “We have lots of guys that can put up points.  But playing great defense and helping one another on the defensive end has to be a priority if we are going to get where we want to go.  At the end of the day, if you want to be a great player, you have to dedicate yourself to being great on both ends of the floor. We have good players that are learning this component of college basketball.” 

On Friday November 11th, the Hawks opened their season with the annual Hawks Against Hunger Tip-off Tournament against Morrisville State. In the first half, it looked like it was going to be a close game as the score at halftime was 43-38 in favor of Hawks. However, that began to change in the second half as the Hawks began to pull away out scoring Morrisville State 47-30 winning the game with a final score of 90-68. The Hawks were led by guard Quran Briggs with 18 points, and forward Jahmel Demery with 15 points.

In their most recent game on Tuesday November 29th, the Hawks hosted Medaille College. In the first half, the Hawks looked like the better team overall, leading the Mavericks by a score of 48-38 at the half. By the second half, the Hawks continued to out play Medaille outscoring them 39-33. When the clock hit zero, the Hawks dominated Medaille, beating them 87-71. Forwards Nevada Eldridge and Jahmel Demery led the Hawks in points, 15 and 14 respectively.

Forward Jahmel Demery said he was proud of the way he and the team have performed so far this season.

“I think as a player, I played pretty good in the first game,” Demery said. “The team’s performance was good, but there are still a few things we need to work on. Last games performance was great for me as a player, and for the team as well. That was our first time playing a full complete game overall. As a player my goal is to remain consistent and to continue to play at a high level while pushing my teammates to play better and work harder each day in order to improve our overall performance on the court.”

The Hawks have proved that they are a much better team than their record shows. Many players have contributed to the Hawks success so far, but there are a few that stand out. Sophomore guard Quran Briggs leads the Hawks in scoring with 116 total points (19.3 points per game), and fellow sophomore forward Nevada Eldridge, second in scoring with 73 total points (12.2 points per game). Junior Jahmel Demery leads the Hawks in rebounds with 45 total rebounds and 7.7 rebounds per game.

“Our group never appears to be satisfied. They like challenges, and truly see themselves as being able to compete for post season play come February”, deGrandpre said.  “There are a lot of games left to be played (3-3, 0-0).  We’ll prepare the team like we always have… one opponent at a time.” 

 The Hawks look to keep up the great work this season as they travel to Aurora, New York on Tuesday December 6th to take on a well-coached Wells College Express team, but look to get the job done.

“Wells College is a good program and they are well coached”, deGrandpre said.  “We have spent the week combing through film and putting in some extra fundamental work in practice which we feel will be beneficial as we play out the rest of the semester.”

Women’s Basketball Looks Forward to Upcoming Season

The Lady Hawks are excited about their prospects in the upcoming basketball season.

Coming off a season in which they finished 4th in the conference standings and hosted a home playoff game which they ended up losing 60-68, they are looking to improve on last years disappointing end to the season.

Head Coach Nicole Bullock said she is excited about some of the teams new additions.

“Obviously if you look at are roster now were deeper in a lot of areas but were still young,” Bullock said. “Allowing Macy and Ashley to be leaders of the group and continuing to push are newcomers to expand there game at the collegiate level.”

Macy Kisner and Ashley Schroeder have re-joined the team for their 4th and final season, both earning all-conference 3rd team honors last season.

Bullock also mentioned the newcomers who “bring a lot of energy, passion, and excitement to the game.”

“It’s just a matter of making that high school to college level transition in a timely manner,” she said. “So the quicker we can do that and allow them to still be successful with what there good at will be advantageous to us.”

The Lady Hawks have started there season off 0-2, losing close games to SUNY Oswego and Fredonia. They take on Medaille University tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Hafner.

Attending College While Raising Children Presents Challenges

Attending college as a parent can be extremely stressful. It may be difficult to reach deadlines, show up to class, fully focus on assignments, and so much more.

Hilbert College Student, Justine Chitwood, experiences these issues every day in her academic career. Raising three children and attending college as a Junior, she is pushing her way towards graduation because she is determined to do so.

“It is something I have struggled with for some time now,” she said. “I want the best for my family, and I am determined to make sure they do not receive any less. The key to balancing everything on my plate is time management.”

Chitwood said she has been experiencing many issues trying to balance so much on her plate, but she is pushing through because she is determined to do so.

Chitwood was also asked why she chose to go back to college after she had left the first time.

“I have always been someone who pushes for what they want,” she said. She said the decision to go back to school was difficult, but she knew she had to for her children.

Chitwood is still attending Hilbert College, but she is doing it online. She has found that balancing her schoolwork is easier when she was able to do it from home. She is working on her time management, and she hopes to make a change in her children’s lives. Being a parent and going to college is difficult, but it is not impossible.

Men’s Volleyball prepares for its Upcoming Season

The Men’s Volleyball Program was reformed in the Spring of 2020 and has slowly started to find success that it had back when it was in its first iteration.

This year the team is coming off a three-win season and hoping to add more. The season does not officially start until January, but they are starting Fall Ball in November. The team is looking much better then before with many new recruits being brought in to help make the team better.

The team is coached by Calvin Crosby who besides being the Men’s coach, is the women’s volleyball coach as well. Mr. Crosby is very confident in this team’s ability next season, he said,

“With the new recruits coming in and the returners all coming back I can see this team winning double digit games this season.” Crosby said. “I am really expecting a lot from this team this year, as we continue to grow as a program.”

With the season not starting until January this Fall “season” is going to be used to make sure the team is ready for the actual season to start. The next few seasons look really good for them as they look to make a name for themselves at Hilbert.

Hilbert Enters Academic Advising

Hilbert is currently halfway through the semester which means it is time for academic advising. Academic advising is where students meet with their advisor to make their schedule for the upcoming semester.

During this process, advisors are here to guide students in making the best possible schedule to ensure they are on track. Students should meet with their advisors sometime between the last two weeks of October in order to be prepared for registration. Students unaware of how to schedule a meeting with their advisor should email them or stop by their office to see if there is a sign-up sheet. After students meet with their advisor, they will be approved for registration which will begin November 2nd.

Registration can be done through Self Service on the assigned day for each class level. To register for Spring classes, the academic advising process is necessary so it’s best to contact your advisor soon.

Kameron Milton, sophomore student at Hilbert College studying Cybersecurity, said the academic advisement process is helpful to him.

“Academic advising teaches me about how my classes work and the easiest way to graduate. It makes the process of making your schedule a lot easier and stress free. Also, my advisor is very helpful because she gives me resources to succeed in school”, said Milton.

Milton gave a couple of tips to any students who haven’t done this process yet.

“My number one tip is to look at your major map before your meeting, so you have an idea on what classes you need to take. Also, it’s best for you to try and get this process done as soon as possible so you can register on time.”

Mary Ann Hobar, chair of the Forensic Science/CSI department and advisor, said there are a lot of things she likes about academic advising.

“What I like the most about academic advising is getting to meet and know the students, finding out what careers they are interested in, explaining internships that are available, answering whatever questions they may have and helping them stay on track with the courses they need”, said Hobar.

Hobar also mentions that academic advising is beneficial for both students and the advisors.

“They have the opportunity to ask questions about specific classes in our program and what is required for them”, said Hobar.

She also adds that students are able to make a schedule that works best for them whether they are athletes, commuters, dorm students or have jobs.

Located on the Hilbert website there is a pre-advisement checklist that students can print and fill out before their meeting. A link for this checklist will be provided below. The checklist is helpful to students because it prepares them before meeting with their advisor.

Hilbert Students have High Hopes for Buffalo Sports Teams

For decades, the people of Western New York have been obsessed with their sports teams, including the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. As the 2022-2023 seasons are currently underway, Hilbert students talked about their views on the teams and their expectations for the seasons.

The Sabres’ season began October 13th, with a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, but anticipation for this year’s team began early last summer. In the 2022 NHL draft, the Sabres owned three first round picks, selecting Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, and Jiri Kulich. During free agency they signed 6’2’’ defenseman Illya Lyubushkin and addressed their subpar goaltending situation with the addition of Eric Comrie. They even retained veterans such as Vinnie Hinostroza and named Kyle Okposo the team’s 20th captain in franchise history.

In addition to that, the Sabres are icing the NHL’s youngest team this season, with stars such as 2018’s first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin, 2021’s first overall pick Owen Power, and other first round picks including Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and Jack Quinn. Rounding out the roster, are leaders of the team Alex Tuch, Tage Thompson, and Jeff Skinner.

With a roster as promising as this, Hilbert senior Jon Heck shared his thoughts on the team. Heck, who has followed the Sabres since 2009, is knowledgeable on the sport, familiarizing himself with not only the Sabres rosters each season, but with other NHL rosters and junior players in the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL.

While Heck hopes for a Stanley Cup this season, his realistic goal for the Sabres is to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

“I think they can very well compete for a wild card spot even though their division is stacked with good teams,” he said. “It would be a step in the right direction, given the twelve seasons without playoffs.”

It personally means a lot to him for the Sabres to succeed, given the fact that he’s never watched a live Sabres playoff game.

While Heck has high hopes for this current season, he sees better days ahead for the organization.

“This past draft was super exciting, with the three first rounds,” Heck said. “Even guys taken in the later rounds look really promising, and our goalie prospect pipeline is really good.”

Buffalo’s other major sports team is also booming this season, with even higher expectations. The Bills, who are 8-3 , are seen as a powerhouse team in the National Football League and were Superbowl favorites at times this season.

Last offseason, following their heartbreaking overtime loss to Kansas City, the Bills made several moves to solidify their position as a top team in the league. Most notably, the added outside linebacker Von Miller, who was fresh off a Superbowl victory in Los Angeles and drafted cornerback Kaiir Elam. At the start of this season, Quarterback Josh Allen led the team to blowing out the defending Superbowl Champions and defending top seed from the AFC. Their only loss to date was by two points to the Miami Dolphins.

Bills fans can be found all over Western New York, including Hilbert College. Junior Jamel Harris talked about his fandom, and what the Bills mean to him. Harris, who has been a diehard fan since 2017, is hoping for a Super Bowl this season. While talking about expectations, he said “Anything besides having a Super Bowl trophy at the end of the season will be falling short.” Despite quite high expectations, he believes its possible, as “they’re on track to lock up the number one seed, which is absolutely necessary to win a Super Bowl. I don’t believe a team can make it without a first-round bye.”

Compiled with that, Harris believes this year’s Bills is the deepest roster in the league. He said, “There are legit starters, with three to four quality players at almost every position on the team.” And so far this season, Harris beliefs are proving to be true, as key players such as Dawson Knox, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, and Tre White have all missed games at some point this season.

Sports will always be one of Buffalo’s defining points to the people who call it home, and those looking at it from across the country. Its fans are passionate, loyal, and tested. But the upcoming with current optimism and hope, it’s clear the future is bright in Buffalo.

Media Club Helps Students Hone Skills

New school, new opportunities to get involved with clubs. For all you DMAC majors, check out the Digital Media Club.

The Digital Media Club is for DMAC (Digital Media And Communication) students to try and really get involved with their majors.

According to one of the members, Kenny Trometer, Media club is, “basically a club, where students from around campus, come together, and work on movie projects, journalism projects, podcasts, music. Pretty much anything to deal with digital media.”

When it comes to what the club is providing for students in the DMAC program, it really provides students with tapping into their skills and finding their true potential in their field.

“It provides experience that they’ll need for the future,” Trometer said. “Say for example, if you want to get in the broadcasting business, we’ll provide you more experiences and more time to practice with the tools. As a result, You’ll better understand your major, and what you want to do.”

With college, students are looking to gain that experience to be put onto their portfolio. This is a way for business and companies see what the student has done and what they can provide the company. When it comes to the Digital Media Club, they can help students with not only creating one, but helping them add to it.

“Yeah. Stuff like sports games, take some pictures, interview with the coaches; Start your own business, or freelance for a couple of local newspapers. Make movies, put that into a festival, that’s what we’re going to do here in the spring” says Club treasurer and member, Jamal Harris.

Student under the DMAC program, they can go on to have successful careers, which is what the club has experienced with. Harris said.

“Yeah, I couldn’t give any specifics, but I believe so.”

Clubs usually have a goal for students, and with this one; Eric Stevens, the head of the club, has his goal for the club.

“The major goal for me, is to create stuff,” he said. “Basically, having a creative outlet for people to do things that they want to do. So, a chance for them to explore music, art, video production. Give people a place to be creative because what I’ve seen, none of the other clubs right now, seem to do that. It’s mainly just, kind of regular activities going on, not really any creative type media.”

“Also, to teach people how to do things that they want to do. Offering an opportunity for anyone to be creative,” he added.

So, for any DMAC majors wanted to be free to create an opportunity for them, this club is a perfect place for students to enjoy for everyone.

Offense Performs Well Despite the Loss to the Hiram Terriers

Hiram, O.H. – The Hilbert Hawks had some jaw-dropping plays despite their 27-59 loss against the Hiram Terriers on November 5, including a one-handed catch, angry run, and two deep passes, all resulting in touchdowns.

The Hiram Terriers started off hot, scoring their first five drives of the game. Despite the solid quarterback pressure by the defensive line, Hiram quarterback Xavier Reyero was able to avoid it, passing for three touchdowns in the first quarter. The rushing attack was also a challenge for the Hawks, with 279 rushing yards and three total rushing touchdowns on the day.

Arguably the top two offensive performers of the day for Hilbert were quarterback Nicholas Rinkers and wide receiver Quincey Bishop. Rinkers was 15-24 and had 369 total passing yards to finish the day. Bishop was one of the top receivers on the Hawks offense with two deep touchdown receptions, the first being 34-yards and the other 29-yards. Bishop finished with 63-total receiving yards.

The Hawks found themselves down 42-0 in the second quarter, until freshman wide receiver Andre Augustiniak made an incredible one-handed catch and running 58-yards for a touchdown on second-down and six. This play brought some life to the Hawks offense that lasted the rest of the game. The Hawks primarily found success through screen passes and the deep-ball when the defense gave them the open field.

Later in the third quarter, the Hawks scored another touchdown when freshman Tight End Ja’Heim Virgil caught a 34-yard deep pass and trucked a defender to get in the end-zone. Virgil made an “angry runs” type of play and made sure he scored on that opportunity to put the Hawks at 13-52.  

Defensively, the two Hawks who had an impact were Linebackers Taivaughn Roach and Nicholas Maines. Roach had eight total tackles on the day while Maines had seven and two tackles for a loss of 8-yards. Another named mentioned frequently throughout the broadcast was defensive end Clifford Zeigler, who was applying some pressure on Hiram’s offensive line, and finished with four total tackles on the day, with two of them being for a loss of 14-yards.

With the fall sports season ending, the Hilbert Hawks will play the Wittenberg Tigers for the final game of their inaugural season on November 12 at 1PM.