Top 10 Sports stories of 2022

From new coaches to new administrative duties, Temple University saw many changes during Arthur Johnson’s first year at the helm.

Temple Football freshman quarterback E.J. Warner got his first snaps under center in Temple's game against Lafayette. | ERIKA MONN/ THE TEMPLE NEWS

1. Basketball to fashion, guard builds “Battle Tested” 

By Isabella DiAmore

Khalif Battle, a sophomore guard, dribbles a basketball while wearing his “Battle Tested” t-shirt at Amos Playground on April 24. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In April, Temple Men’s Basketball guard Khalif Battle launched his own t-shirt line, “Battle Tested,” in one of the first Name, Image and Likeness deals signed by a Temple athlete. Battle is a recognizable personality on campus due to his social media and on-court presence and used his fashion sense to create the brand. 

2. A rivalry in decline: Does anyone still care about the Big 5? 

By Samuel O’Neal

Temple Men’s Basketball clinched a share of the Big 5 for the first time since the 2012-13 season. THE TEMPLE NEWS / FILE

On Nov. 30, The Palestra hosted its first doubleheader for Big 5 schools since 2016. Temple  secured its share of the Big 5 title on Dec. 6, but the once prestigious accolade now means little because of recent lackluster fan attendance. This begs the question — does anyone still care about Big 5 basketball?  

3. A story of recovery: Khalif Battle’s comeback 

By Nick Gangewere

Redshirt-sophomore guard Khalif Battle found inspiration in playing through the pain. ERIKA MONN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Battle broke his fifth metatarsal on Dec. 1, 2021 and missed the remainder of the 2021-22 season. However, Battle returned to the floor this season with vengeance, working through mental and physical pain. Battle’s perseverance throughout the offseason enhanced both his and the team’s confidence. 

4. Mathis out as Warner leads Owls to win in debut

By Javon Edmonds

Freshman quarterback E.J. Warner passes the ball in Temple football’s game against Lafayette College on Sept. 10, 2022. | Erika Monn / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In September, freshman quarterback E.J. Warner made his first appearance for Temple Football. Warner replaced former starting quarterback D’Wan Mathis and went on to keep the starting job for the remainder of the season. Warner’s performance in the Owls win against Lafayette College served as a precursor for his steady play throughout the rest of the season. 

5. Group brings mental health awareness to Temple athletes 

By Nick Gangewere

President of Morgans Message Natalie Demasi (Left) and Vice President Peyton Rieger (Right) fight to defeat the stigma around athlete mental health. | THE TEMPLE NEWS / EARL KUFEN

With mental health becoming an increasingly prevalent topic among student athletes, sophomore soccer player Natalie Demasi introduced a Temple chapter of Morgan’s Message, a non-profit organization that supports collegiate athletes dealing with mental struggles. The group brings together Temple athletes for weekly meetings and social media campaigns. 

6. Temple alum strives to increase student engagement 

By Christopher Duong

At STAR Complex on Oct.6, Katie Colbridge Ganzelli, Temple marketing coordinator for on-campus initiatives, spoke about her new initiatives to increase student game attendance. | ISAAC SCHEIN FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Katie Colbridge Ganzelli, 2016 sport and recreation management alumna and marketing coordinator for on-campus initiatives, is hoping to increase student turnout for Temple Athletics events by promoting events for fan engagement. She is utilizing her experiences as a student to do so, bringing new initiatives like creative theme games and giveaways to increase fandom. 

7. Davis becomes Temple’s all-time leading scorer 

By Samuel O’Neal

Mia Davis, a graduate student forward, stands with her teammates after becoming Temple’s all-time leading scorer at McGonigle Hall on Feb. 2. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Former Temple Women’s Basketball forward Mia Davis broke the Temple record for all-time points scored on Feb. 2. Davis surpassed the mark of 2,194 points needed and etched herself in the Temple record books. 

8. Drayton fills out football staff 

By Nick Gangewere

Temple has filled more than a dozen football staff positions since firing former head coach Rod Carey on Nov. 29, 2021. | ZAMANI FEELINGS / COURTESY

Temple Football head coach Stan Drayton completed coaching hires in January, bringing in completely new offensive, defensive and support coaches. Drayton’s first staff brought a newfound outlook to Temple’s football program built around youth and the return of the team’s “Temple Tuff” moniker The new additions had a variety of experience levels entering Temple, but Drayton united the group under his vision. 

9. Johnson plans to reconnect Temple sports fans 

By Isabella DiAmore

Temple University President Wingard (right) gifts Arthur Johnson (left), the new Director of Athletics, his own Temple Football jersey, during a media conference in the Fox Gittis room inside the Liacouras Center on Oct. 7. | AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Arthur Johnson, vice president and director of athletics, hoped to restore a connection between Temple fans and the university’s athletic programs after being hired in October 2021. Johnson is utilizing his more than 25 years of sports management experience in his leadership position at Temple. 

10. Big 5 alumni team up for The Basketball Tournament 

By Javon Edmonds

Former Temple center Damion Moore and members of The Basketball Tournament’s Big 5 alumni team warming up in the first round of the 2022 TBT at Rucker Park in Harlem, New York City on July 16, 2022. | Sam Cohn / Philadelphia Inquirer

Temple had three former players at The Basketball Tournament in August, teaming up with team Big 5. The Big 5 alumni team combined players from Temple, Villanova University, Saint Joseph’s University, La Salle University and the University of Pennsylvania. Temple alumni, like former Temple guard Khalif Wyatt, was the first to be brought onto the squad. 

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