|THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS||VOLUME XXII NUMBER 1 Fall 2006|
Who's Making News in Owl Sports
Lucey Changes Course
Owl Volleyball Team on the Rise
Butcher Reaches KSC Milestone
Watson Earns 200th Career Win
"Running has been such a positive part of my life," says Witkowski, a Keene native. "I wanted to create a similar experience for the students." She says she had two major goals when she began the team: the kids would have fun and they would develop a strong team community. "Cross-country is the first sport most of them have ever done," she says. "Some students might not take the time to exercise if they weren't given this opportunity."
The response was positive. In just one year, the team grew from nine to 24 runners. This fall, they hosted their first meet at Keene State. With the "William Tell Overture" playing in the background, the young runners took off on the 1.4-mile course. Prizes included ribbons and Owl T-shirts and hats.
Witkowski, recipient of Keene State's 2005 Scholar-Athlete award, says the program encourages the students to do well in the classroom. "In order to run on the team, they have to keep their grades up," she says. "That's really important to me. Some of the runners from last year's team had their best grades ever during the season."
Wagner Chasing Lyons
John Maryanski '05 just completed his first season as the strength and conditioning coach for the Bakersfield Blaze, the Texas Rangers' A team in the California League. The wear and tear of a 142-game schedule was challenging, says Maryanski, who played four seasons of baseball for the Owls. "You build a lot of relationships throughout the year with staff and players," Maryanski says. "Even though we finished dead last in our league, 12 players got promoted to Double A over the course of the season. That's what minor-league baseball is all about, development for the higher levels. Being around a sport I love while being part of a team and getting paid for it was a dream," he adds.
Maryanski, named a 2005 All-America athlete by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, is hoping to get a promotion next season to the Rangers' Double-A team in Frisco, Texas. Like the players he works with, his ultimate goal is to reach the majors.
Success on the Gridiron
Even though KSC lacks a football team, Laudano knows the school's athletic training program prepared him well to work in the sport. "Thanks to the excellent classroom instructors and clinical instruction, the program doesn't limit your opportunities when you graduate," Laudano says. At KSC, he worked with several Owl teams and the Keene High football squad. "The program exposed me to the truth of athletic training in terms of the long hours, road trips, early mornings, and late nights," Laudano says. "But it taught me to work hard and always strive for your goals."
After graduation, Laudano worked as an athletic trainer at Yale University, in the Arena Football League, and with the Buffalo Bills. He also did summer camp work with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers before landing his position at Indiana State.
Known as the school where Larry Bird played basketball, Indiana State is rebuilding its Division I-AA football program. Occasionally, the Sycamores move up and play top teams. This season, ISU began its season in front of 50,000 fans at Purdue University.
Laudano had to go onto the field several times to attend to an injured player. "When you're on the field during a big game everything becomes silent. It's pressure, knowing millions of eyes are on you, but that's what makes this profession so much fun." says Laudano. "Your books are not with you on the field, so your work in the classroom and as a student is priceless.
"When I was at Keene State, I never thought I would get this far. But I never gave up on becoming a head football athletic trainer, and I'm thankful every day to everyone who helped me along the way. And it all began with the staff and program at Keene State."