Welcome Back, My Friends!
In my opening letter to the student-athletes this fall I offered these lyrics from an album by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside!” Those words were also meant for the parents and family members of our student-athletes – in fact many of you probably know this song a lot better than your sons and daughters! It is still the start of a new school year and athletic seasons. There is always excitement in the air at this time of year. New people are here, and I’m one of ‘em. We do expect your sons and daughters to graduate within the next four years, but we want their positive relationship and yours with St. A’s to be for a lifetime!
With that in mind, I urge all of the 490-plus student-athletes here to take part in all that St. A’s and the Manchester area have to offer. Most especially, I ask them to support each other. As a father with a son and daughter that have, and still do, participate in college athletics, I know the “…thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat...” that comes from being a parent. AND, how difficult it can be at times to cheer passionately for your team and children, while also showing respect for all the competitors, coaches, officials, and the game itself.
Respect is the key word, and an important one at Saint Anselm College. We present that as a part of everyday living, and as a Northeast-10 Conference priority, we mention that word prominently in the pregame announcements for every game or match. In essence, it’s the Golden Rule of this department and the College. Ninety-nine percent of our fans have already shown me they are some of the best anywhere. But, that one percent can make it difficult for the remaining 99 percent and the competitors themselves – our own sons and daughters – to enjoy the competition fully the way it was meant to be. I have already seen and heard both this year. Passionate fans make for a fun atmosphere, but not when that passion is misplaced. In fact, I know a prime reason one of our teams moved the home team bench away from the grandstand a few years ago was to avoid the one percent! I plan to change that situation sometime soon – but when and for how long is partially up to you. To make that happen, I need your commitment to help keep your public support of your team, coaches, and sons/daughters positive at all times. If some around you persist in acting negatively, I urge you to politely ask them to please stop, change or leave. If it persists, please feel free to ask one of our staff at the games to intercede, and of course always feel free to contact me at your convenience. This is an important part of who we are.
The Anselmian Way can carry you far in life – whether you spend it here in Manchester, or as far away as Hong Kong! It has been great to see the support for the teams playing so far and I urge each of you to continue that display throughout the school year. Let’s welcome our alums back for Homecoming the right way this week! On Tuesday you can watch volleyball take on Southern New Hampshire at 7:30 p.m. and men’s tennis against Colby-Sawyer at 3:30 p.m. Women’s soccer battles Franklin Pierce on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Saturday, football takes on Pace at 1 p.m., with field hockey meeting Southern Connecticut State at 7 p.m. Women’s tennis plays host to Saint Michael’s at 1 p.m. on Sunday. I hope to see all of you supporting your friends. Remember, the best way to have friends and fans is to be a good one!
Dr. Kelly J Higgins
Director of Athletics
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