The scholastic year is back. That means Temple’s athletic teams have a fresh start as well. It’s time for school spirit, mascots and enthusiasm. But for those who are new to the campus atmosphere or need a refresher on Temple athletics, this guide is designed for you.
Since it’s been a while since some have been in a classroom, The Temple News has decided to go with an elementary school theme: the alphabet. As the year progresses, keep an eye out for the subjects of these 26 letters: – some athletes, some coaches and some facilities involved with Temple athletics.
A is for Ambler Sports Complex. A beautiful sports complex that the football team plays its annual Cherry and White Game, this facility is located about 30 minutes from main campus. The soccer, softball and baseball teams each play here too.
B is for Big 5 (plus 1), a unique grouping of Philadelphia’s six Division I basketball teams. Temple, La Salle, Villanova, Saint Joseph’s and Penn make up the Big 5, while Drexel has made its claim to fame as the sixth.
C is for Christmas, Dionte Christmas that is. The leading scorer in the Atlantic Ten Conference and the A-10’s Most Improved Player returns to make it Christmas all year long. OK, so maybe only during basketball season.
D is for Dawn Staley. A Philadelphia icon since her high school days, Staley has led the women’s basketball team to appearances in four straight NCAA Tournaments. Staley also has guided Candice Dupree, a two-time WNBA All-Star, and Kamesha Hairston to the WNBA.
E is for Edberg-Olson Hall. Located at 10th and Norris streets, the facility serves as the practice turf for the football team on a daily basis. The Owls have high aspirations after reeling in the top recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference, as rated by Scout.com.
F is for Fran Dunphy, who sports a mustache deemed worthy of a promotion last season and patrols the sidelines for the men’s basketball team. Now in his second season after replacing legendary coach John Chaney, Dunphy is looking to return Temple to the postseason.
G is for Gymnastics. The men’s gymnastic team often celebrates Eastern College Athletic Conference championships. The team has collected 23 of them, the most recent coming last year.
H is for Hooter. The fun-loving, entertaining mascot is always visible at Temple events. Hooter can typically be found bobbing his head to music.
I is for Intramurals. If you’re not blessed with the athletic prowess to make one of Temple’s varsity teams, intramural sports are a great way to meet new people and keep those competitive juices flowing. Flag football, volleyball, basketball and softball are just some of the available sports.
J is for Amanda Janney, who coaches the field hockey team. The Owls’ 13 wins last season were the most the program recorded since 1991. The team plays its home games at Geasey Field, located along 15th Street behind the Student Pavilion.
K is for K’s, which Temple pitcher Tom Dolan filled the scorecard with last season. The junior put up a team-high 70 strikeouts last spring as he went 6-5 with a 3.96 earned run average.
L is for the Liacouras Center, home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The building will celebrate its 10th anniversary this season.
M is for Mid-American Conference. The football team is a new member, after playing as an affiliate the last two years. The Owls scored an emotional victory over the MAC’s Bowling Green last season, snapping a 20-game losing streak.
N is for Navy, the football team’s first opponent this season. The Midshipmen, utilizing their option-offense, bolted past Temple, 42-6, in last season’s finale.
O is for Owls, the nickname for Temple’s sports teams. The nickname was chosen because Temple was initially a night school, and Owls are nocturnal. The university was also the first to label its teams as the Owls.
P is for Paradise Jam, a tournament in which the women’s team will participate in November. The team will take on Purdue and Duke, which bounced them from the NCAA Tournament’s second round last season.
Q is for Questions. Any questions about Temple athletics, if not answered by this helpful article, can likely be answered by checking out the Owls web site, www.owlsports.com.
R is for Bonnie Rosen. The second-year lacrosse coach brought a strong resume to Temple. Rosen built Connecticut’s program from scratch. She ultimately led it to top 20 national ranking. The Owls finished 6-11 under Rosen’s guidance last season.
S is for Travis Shelton, who was named an ECAC All-Star for his efforts as a wide receiver and kick returner for the football team. Shelton was also named a preseason All-American by “Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.”
T is for the Track and Field teams. Both the men’s and women’s teams have featured record performances in recent years, particularly in the field events, where Bryce Buffaloe and Amanda Cole have left their marks.
U is for Underclassman. The football team played the most true freshmen in the country last year and will likely feature plenty of underclassmen again this year.
V is for John Vogtman, who competed in the Visa Men’s Gymnastics Championships, held in San Jose, Calif. Vogtman became the first men’s gymnast to compete in the championships since Aaron Murphy did so in 2001. Murphy now coaches Temple’s women’s gymnastics team.
W is for Skip Wilson Field. Named after Temple’s longtime baseball coach, this field is located at the Ambler Sports Complex. Several of Wilson’s players, including Bobby Higginson and John Marzano, reached the major leagues.
X is for Xavier, a university that sports a strong volleyball program. Temple and Xavier are typically among the frontrunners for the A-10 crown.
Y is for Youth. Two men’s soccer players, both freshmen, were named to the Preseason A-10 All-Rookie Team. Mackenson Altidor and Jared Harris are the honorees representing just a couple incoming freshmen poised to make a difference at their respective sports.
Z is for Casey Zellers, a junior defender on the women’s soccer team.
Terrance McNeil can be reached at email@example.com.