Parade Day was not only controversial on campus but off campus when it came to the sports teams. The women’s and men’s lacrosse teams, the baseball team and the softball team were all scheduled to play away games over Parade Day weekend.
The rumor that the coaches set the away games up purposefully is not completely true, as most of the teams played conference games for which a neutral party, the conference director, schedules games and the coaches have limited say on where the games will be played.
The softball and baseball teams were scheduled to play an away game at Elizabethtown College over Parade Day weekend and had to book hotel rooms for their games.
“The game against Elizabethtown College was a conference game, so the conference games are not scheduled by me; they are scheduled by a conference director,” softball head coach Mia Collarini said. “I am happy with how it turned out, it was a conference game so it was not under my control, and I have respectful girls who would rather be playing that weekend anyways.”
The games for both teams were canceled that weekend due to the poor weather and conditions on game day.
Both players and coaches are impacted by the activities surrounding Parade Day and many of them feel that it is better for the team to not be around for the event.
“Originally we were not supposed to be here for Parade Day, but the series got postponed so the upperclassmen got to stay but the underclassmen were not allowed to stay due to the dorm situation. All the underclassmen went home and only the seniors stayed,” senior pitcher on the baseball team Matt Calamoneri said. “This is going on four straight years for me so it’s normal to not be here for it. Honestly it’s a huge distraction, we have a season to focus on. I came to The University as an athlete first.”
The men’s lacrosse team was slated to play Catholic University in Washington, D.C., on March 15, the day after Parade Day, meaning they would also have to stay in a hotel before the game.
Men’s lacrosse head coach Doug Sage has had both home and away games scheduled in the past over this specific weekend.
“We are here to play the game first. The game against Catholic University was scheduled by the conference director and they wanted us to go there Sunday of that weekend, so we practiced and prepared for the game like we always have,” Sage said. “That is the way it has been for the years I have been coaching, where the games for that weekend just happened to be made by the conference director; some were home and some were away. We are in season and we have prepared and practiced for those games like all the others.”
The men’s team beat Catholic 8-5 after rallying late in the game to score four fourth-quarter goals.
Senior defenseman and captain Ryan Millard is accustomed to playing over Parade Day weekend and being able to ignore the distractions of the festivities to focus on the game.
“By having the game in the same area of the parade, it can distract players from the game,” Millard said. “So we are better off having the game away. That way we can focus on the task at hand, which is always playing the game.”
Similarly, the women’s lacrosse team played the State University of New York at Oneonta, another long distance away from Scranton.
When it comes down to it, Parade Day can be a distraction for sports teams. Even though they might not have a say in where the game will be played, the teams are all better off having an away game scheduled over Parade Day weekend so that their players can do what they came to this school to do: play the sports they love.
March 27, 2015.