The first-ever Spring Storm Madness pep rally occurred Tuesday night as Keuka’s winter sports teams were recognized for their accomplishments while the eight spring sports teams were introduced to the community.
Tuesday night saw a number of firsts for the Keuka College athletics department.
First, the men’s volleyball team picked up its first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) victory with a four-set win over Wells College.
Then, the Weed Physical Arts Center was transformed into a massive pep rally as students, coaches, faculty, staff and administrators packed the gym for Keuka’s first-ever Spring Storm Madness.
Decked out in green, these participants eagerly cheered on the Storm’s winter sports teams and their many accomplishments while giving a warm welcome to Keuka’s eight spring sports teams.
The event was organized and run by senior Nate Smith (Hilton, NY/Hilton), a men’s soccer standout who was extremely pleased with the turnout and the support shown to the Storm’s student-athletes. The event was also organized by Keuka’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) with assistance from the Student Senate.
During this pep rally-style celebration, members of Keuka College and the surrounding community got the chance to meet these student-athletes and participate in school spirit activities.
For senior Montana McDonald (Romulus, NY/Romulus), a member of Keuka’s women’s basketball and soccer squads, the highlight of the evening was towards the end of the festivities, when hundreds of Keuka student-athletes, coaches and administrators participate in the Storm’s version of the viral “Harlem Shake” video.
“Having the ‘Harlem Shake’ costume competition among the teams was exciting because we all were dressed up and we really got the crowd excited,” said McDonald, who along with the members of the women’s basketball team dressed up in 1980s-style apparel for the video.
“With our video, we wanted to show that our school is full of high-spirited, intense athletes as well as a student body that is 100 percent supportive of us. We want other NEAC schools to see that off the floor we are a bunch of crazy college students that love to dress up and have fun. It was really exciting and such a fun way to kick off the spring sports season.”
Among the games that occurred during the pep rally: a tug-of-war contest amongst the classes, a sack race featuring members of the SAAC and a paper airplane contest.
Additionally, there was a dance-off and assorted costume contests. Assorted prizes and Keuka paraphernalia were given away during the Spring Storm Madness.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams and their coaching staffs were honored for successful seasons that saw the women post a 20-4 overall mark (16-1 in the NEAC) and claim the school’s fourth NEAC North Division championship in seven years.
The men’s basketball team went 10-13 and 8-7 in NEAC play and won the most games since the 2008-09 season.
Among the highlights: seniors Teddy Tuggles (Rochester, NY/Gates Chili) and Mariah Mouzon (Elmira, NY/Elmira Free Academy) each surpassed 1,000 career points during the season, while five student-athletes earned All-NEAC honors.
For the women, juniors Jessica Bandrowski (Center Moriches, NY/Center Moriches) and Danielle Gravel (Sidney, NY/Sidney) earned first-team All-NEAC, while Mouzon was named third-team All-NEAC.
For the men, Tuggles garnered second-team All-NEAC while sophomore Trevor Healey (Wethersfield, CT/Wethersfield) was named third-team All-NEAC.
While Storm Madness has always honored the fall sports teams while introducing Keuka’s basketball teams and its men’s volleyball squad, this unique pep rally gave fans their first look at the Storm’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis and golf teams.
“It was really exciting because the spring sports never really have the chance to be recognized and we have some of the most successful teams on campus,” McDonald said. “All the athletes were really excited and absolutely loved being announced, along with getting the chance to throw items out to the crowd.”