Renegades prepare for upcoming season

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

As the Fall 2014 semester begins, the Renegades athletic organization plans to add more sports teams, strengthen current teams and increase student involvement with new marketing strategies.

Mike Sempek, president of student athletics, said the Renegades board will include Scott Wilson, vice president of student athletics, Michael Kutsick, lacrosse team captain, and Ryan Miller, baseball outfielder.

“I want to spread the word about our athletics and let people know that we do have them, even at an art school such as Columbia,” Sempek said.

The Renegades will become more visible to the college community through an increased online presence, by making the Renegades more accessible on the college’s website, as it has not been in the past, Sempek said.

“When incoming freshmen are looking on Columbia’s website for sports they can’t find it,” Sempek said. “So they end up thinking we don’t have any at all.”

The Renegades will also be looking to partner with Frequency TV, Columbia’s student-run television network, along with the Television and Cinema Art + Science departments so that upcoming sports events are publicized, he said.

Sempek said there are several sports that are not represented by Renegades teams.

“We don’t have a basketball team right now, but I know there is a lot of interest for the sport at Columbia,” Sempek said.

Any student can start a team as long as they have a captain and committed players.

He or she must go through the process of being recognized by Aldo Guzman, director of student activities and leadership, submit the recognition to the Renegades’ staff and find a faculty member willing to sponsor the team. If the group meets all of the requirements, they can become an official team, Sempek said.

As the school year begins, the Renegades teams will host tryouts in preparation for the season.

Wilson said this year’s goal is to allow people to stay active.

Sempek said one sport that he is especially excited to see at Columbia is the lacrosse team.

“Baseball and volleyball are pretty much established,” Sempek said. “Lacrosse is a team that is co-ed, so it’s growing quickly.”

Kutsick said the lacrosse team reestablished itself last year after a hiatus of several years, but is now preparing for the upcoming season.

“Starting a sports team at Columbia isn’t an easy task due to the limited amount of funding from the school,” Kutsick said.

He said any student can participate, but he or she must have dedication, ability and the mindset to love and understand the game.

“The main goal is to get the team trained and ready for the spring season, which is when we will compete in a lacrosse club conference,” Kutsick said.

The Renegades baseball team will host tryouts on Sept. 6, 7, 13 and 14.

“We’re looking for players,” said Corbin Merriman, baseball team captain. “We want to recruit students who want to get better not only individually, but also as a team.”

Merriman said it is rare to find Columbia students who played baseball in high school, but people who played previously are likely to make the team.

Merriman said he aims to win the team’s division this season. The baseball team is scheduled to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in three games straight during the week of Sept. 29.

Columbia will host a free athletic game once a month with the location to be determined. The sports being played will include dodgeball, basketball and more, Sempek said.