Club sports athletes take home honors
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
At the second annual club sports awards, wich was hosted by the Office of Campus Recreation and headed by assistant director Andrew Marullo on April 23, several individuals were recognized from a variety of campus’ different club sports.
Jesse Komaromi, who runs the dance program and won Coach of the Year, said it was “beautiful” to be recognized and that winning was a true honor.
“The girls were chanting ‘Jesse, Jesse, Jesse,’ and then they announced that I won,” she said, “and it was just so great.”
Everyone could nominate who they would like for a chance at receiving for each award. Then Marullo and his graduate interns voted on all the categories to decide who the recipients would be.
This year, in addition to Komaromi’s Coach of the Year win, men’s ice hockey’s Jason Pierce won Volunteer of The Year, Taekwondo’s Delano Wood won Club Sportsman of the Year and Elanna Sanon from women’s rugby won Club Sportswoman of the Year. The ceremony also took time to mention the efforts of men’s rugby’s Palmer Piana, who, at a separate event, was named Club Sports Leader of the Year.
“When I started in my position, there was no banquet for club sports, so we decided that it would be a good idea to have something at the end of the year to bring the teams together and celebrate their accomplishments,” Marullo said. “So spring 2018 was the first one we did, and we did dinner, awards and team speeches—pretty basic, but [the ceremony was] something to celebrate the year.”
In addition to the awards, there was an academic excellence recognition award given to the team with the highest collective GPA. This year’s award was awarded to the dance team, which held the highest marks out of every club sports team affiliated with the office.
Komaromi said that was impressive because the team, like cheerleading, is one of the only sports that goes for the full school year.
“We’re together from August to May, so we need to have strong team chemistry,” she said. “We dance at all the football games and men’s and women’s basketball and then have our competition season, and they’re all very committed. I think it helps because I danced here myself, so I know what it’s like with school, the team and working.”
However, to be in that type of time commitment, one must have to be willing to put all the work hardwork in, and Marullo said that Komaromi is one of the most committed coaches they have.
“I’ve known her for the last two years and she’s fully committed. Most coaches are, but she’s, like, above and beyond, and it’s nice to see from a club coach,” he said.
However, she is not the only one going the extra mile.
Pierce, who said he has special needs and was unable to attend college, was asked by the men’s ice hockey team to handle their equipment and wash their jerseys, and it is a job he takes with a lot of pride.
“One of the players called me up and asked me if I would be interested in washing their uniforms,” he said, “and he went to the high school where I work at in East Haven, so he knew the quality of work that I did and asked me if I would be interested, and I said I would.”
Pierce said he has been washing the jerseys for two years and has been putting his own money and extra time into the operation by going to the laundromat and buying materials to transport them in.
He said he is more than happy to do what he does for the team and that when he commits to something, he always sticks with it. “I’m pretty much a behindthe-scenes guy, so when I get recognition like I did, I didn’t expect it,” he said. “I had no idea there were awards, but I heard that my name was presented, and for me to get it was an accomplishment because it shows to me that what I did didn’t go unnoticed.”