St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) has announced plans to introduce the first ever collegiate football team in Rockland County history. The team is set to compete in the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) in fall 2018.
“St. Thomas Aquinas College is honored to join the Collegiate Sprint Football League,” said college president Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, S.C. “The STAC Football Spartans will continue the College’s tradition of academic excellence, competitiveness and service to the community. We recognize these same values in the member institutions of our League. St. Thomas Aquinas College is proud to stand alongside the student-athletes of the CSFL.”
STAC’s first game is scheduled as a home contest against Post (Conn.) University on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Torne Valley Sports Complex in Hillburn.
Director of Athletics, Gerald Oswald is thrilled with the opportunity presented by the CSFL. “Sprint football will add increased excitement and enhance the student life experience. Our athletic department has built a strong reputation and this will create another opportunity to engage the local community to become more involved with the college. We are thankful to be added into this prestigious league and we look forward to our first game next fall.”
The Spartans will join as the tenth member of the CSFL that includes area schools Army West Point, Caldwell (N.J.) University and Post. The remainder of the league is comprised of Chestnut Hill College, Cornell University, Franklin Pierce University, Mansfield University, the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Pennsylvania.
Sprint Football is a full-contact, intercollegiate, varsity sport with the same rules as regular college football, except that all players must weigh 178.0 pounds or less. Sprint Football will not only bring college football to the area, but it makes a great addition to STAC’s sports program, joining 20 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s teams.
St. Thomas Aquinas College has also announced the hiring of Head Coach, Matthew Barry, kicking off the Spartan’s inaugural season in Sprint Football. Barry comes to STAC with 20+ years coaching and leadership experience. “We are excited to bring Sprint Football to STAC and to the county,” says Head Coach Barry. “With STAC’s extensive athletic program, it couldn’t be a better place or time to introduce college football. We’re looking forward to building a successful program and giving student-athletes another chance to excel both on the field, in the community, and in the classroom.”
The league has existed since before World War II and was initiated by the president of the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Sovereign Gates. He wanted to ensure that the smaller, talented student-athletes still had opportunities to compete in football on the intercollegiate level. All current CSFL members are from the Northeast. For more information on the Collegiate Sprint Football League, visit www.sprintfootball.com.