An End-of-Semester Sports Evaluation

As the semester swiftly comes to an end, BC students—caught up in the midst of finals—spend large amounts of time studying, giving finals the entirety of their attention.

Finals—rightfully so—are all-consuming to BC students. Practically isolated from the rest of the world, many spend the majority of this week nestled in O'Neill or Bapst, hoping to finish the year strongly.

With the semester winding down, very few of us have the time to attend and keep up with BC sports. If you have been fortunate enough to do so, consider yourself lucky. However, if you haven’t, and if you’d like to, check it out:

The BC men’s football team finished the regular season with a 7-5 record, with some impressive wins against teams such as USC, Virginia Tech, NC State, and Wake Forest. The team also had some disappointing (and very close) losses, against powerhouses Clemson and Florida State.

Overall, the team finished with the same 7-5 record as last year. However, for some reason, this year felt different. With an offense powered by graduate student quarterback Tyler Murphy and with young, emerging offensive stars like freshman Jon Hilliman, sophomore Myles Willis, freshman Sherman Alston and freshman Marcus Outlow, the team will likely have a strong offense for years to come.

The team was solid enough to clinch a bowl game, and not just any bowl game—the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. This game, to be played on December 27 in Yankee Stadium against Penn State, will certainly prove to be a unique match up. If BC manages to edge Penn State, it will be a definite statement.

Turning to the court, the BC men’s basketball team currently holds a 6-3 record. After a relatively shaky 2-3 start, the team—headed by new head coach Jim Christian—cranked out an impressive four wins in a row.

Gavel Media/ Kristen Morse.

Kristen Morse / Gavel Media

This season, SuperFans have seen a revitalized basketball team. Junior Olivier Hanlan—a star from last season—alongside graduate student transfers Aaron Brown and Dimitri Batten have effectively rejoiced the team. Senior Patrick Heckmann, junior Dennis Clifford and sophomore Will Magarity have also effectively stepped up their game and added to this team’s new found sense of chemistry.

With an incredibly difficult and ACC-heavy schedule ahead, the Eagles have found their stride at an opportunistic time. In the near future, the Eagles will have to face Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, North Carolina and Pittsburgh. Will these games be difficult? Certainly. Will the BC men’s basketball team gather some losses? It is very likely so. But will the Eagles be a strong, competitive team? Absolutely.

Last, but certainly not least, we turn to the ice. The BC men’s hockey team—BC’s flagship team for the past decade—has certainly had some early troubles. At this point in the season, the word “early” may be slightly inappropriate. The Eagles have played 17 games so far, and have posted a 9-7-1 overall record and a 3-4-0 conference record.

Tori Fisher/ Gavel Media.

Tori Fisher / Gavel Media

This is obviously less than satisfactory, especially for a team that was so dominant last season. At this point last season, the BC men’s hockey team was at 11-4-2, after which the team turned around subsequently won 13 of 14 games.

The biggest story of this season is the absence of Johnny Gaudreau. It’s impossible to not miss such a big presence on the ice. However, this season’s team doesn’t quite boast the chemistry that last season’s team did. In the words of Jerry York, “We’re not a dynamic offensive team, and I think we understand that as a team. We play much more rock-hard defense.”

But here’s the thing—we’ve posted a 9-7-1 record. Though this may not be good for Boston College hockey, it certainly is a good record, especially when one factors in having arguably the most difficult schedule of any team.

But in the words of Jerry York after the BC versus UNH game, “We’re not where we want to be yet.” York dropped this with practically no frustration in his voice—rather, he sounded incredibly optimistic. And if Jerry York isn’t worried, we certainly shouldn’t be.

Overall, the BC men’s football team, the BC men’s basketball team and the BC men’s hockey team have all had impressive seasons. Furthermore, all of the teams really have the chance to make serious statements in their upcoming games.

For football, beating a program like Penn State would prove how impressive this season’s team is. For basketball, keeping the winning streak alive proves that the Eagles can be legitimate ACC competitors. And for hockey, the Eagles have the opportunity—like last year—to begin a hot streak and set themselves up for a championship run.

All in all, SuperFans should be incredibly proud of what they’ve seen this year. For the first time in a long time, we can honestly say that the football, basketball and hockey team are good teams. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out if we can honestly say that they’re great.

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Joe Castignetti