RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 5, Issue 3








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In This Issue:


Ah summer,a time to stop, relax, and prep for the next season. All three big teams will look to learn from both the successes and failures of last season. With football just around the corner, let's take a look at what's in store for RPI this season.

Men's Hockey: Pre-Season Preparation

It’s hard to know until the pucks start dropping exactly how good the rest of the ECAC is going to be next season, but part of the off-season fun is prognostication, so let’s take a quick gander at what’s in store for “ECAC Hockey” (as the league will now officially be known as, or as I like to say, “get the L out”).

Three of the top scorers in the league who were supposed to be coming back have flown the coop – Dartmouth’s David Jones, Clarkson’s Shawn Weller, and Union’s T.J. Fox.

The top returning scorer in the league is Quinnipiac’s Brandon Wong, who scored 27 goals and added 17 assists to tie Jones among ECAC skaters with the most points nationally. The Bobcats have a big loss to make up for in d-man Reid Cashman, easily the best player in QU history, but they still have a very strong team and are bringing in another good class, so maybe this is their year.

Clarkson loses Weller and not much else, so they should still be a force, especially bringing back much of the D-corps and last year’s top goaltender in the league, David Leggio. This is the year for the Knights to accomplish something because there’s a good chance they might need to spend 08-09 in a “reload” phase.

Union is probably going to be a complete mess. They lose goaltender Justin Mrazek, Fox, and Olivier Bouchard. They do have guys like Josh Coyle, Matt Cook, and Mario Valery-Trabucco who hit the net with frequency last year, but they seem to have a weak incoming class and will be leaning on a freshman goaltender.

Elsewhere, SLU still has a balanced team and should still be solid. Dartmouth may take a step back but should be easily hosting a playoff series in the first round. Brown doesn’t show any signs of improvement at all, but Colgate might get better based on a decent recruitment class. Princeton seems to be getting better every year since their current coach took over, and Yale’s new coach is getting his team into better shape as well. Cornell is Cornell, and they’ll be in the thick of things by the end even after losing some good players, and Harvard could bounce back to some extent after a weak year last year.

Here are my way-too-early ECAC predictions.
1. Clarkson
2. Quinnipiac
3. St. Lawrence
4. Princeton
5. Cornell
6. Dartmouth
7. Harvard
8. RPI
9. Colgate
10. Yale
11. Brown
12. Union

Expect places 4-10 to be fairly close, as it seems to be every year.

In other news, the NCAA will be moving the men’s game in the same direction as the women’s game in the near future, adding a second referee to the ice to replace one of the linesmen. This gives us the exciting possibility of seeing two Murphys in one game. The ECAC has also hired a new director of officials in long time and practically legendary NHL referee Paul Stewart, so maybe he’ll finally be the one to whip them into shape.


Women's Hockey: Engineers Look To Recruits

With just over two months until the start of the 2007-2008 season, the women's hockey team recently announce their recruits for next season.

Joining the Engineers this fall are three ladies, one at each position. Up front, Kendra Dunlop from Granum, Alberta, joins the squad after playing last season for Warner Hockey School. In 49 games for the Warriors, Dunlop had 23 goals and 24 assists for 47 points.

Blueliner Victoria Germuska, who comes from Brownsville, Ontario, joins RPI after playing for the London Jr. Devilettes last season. Germuska tallied 5 goals and 22 assists in 30 games for London. She also picked up 2 assists in 6 playoff games for the Devilettes.

The final recruit for the Engineers is goalie Sonja van der Bliek. Van derBliek is from Toronto, Ontario and last season played for the Toronto Jr.Aeros. In 16 games, she accrued a 10-2-2 record with a 1.38 goals against average.

RPI open play September 29 with a home exhibition game against Dawson, The ladies begin the 2007-2008 season on October 5 at Boston College, the first of only three non-conference road games the Engineers play this season. The other two come November 16-17 when the ladies travel to Detroit to take on Wayne State in a weekend series. The home non-conference schedule includes games against North Dakota (2), Maine (2), UConn, Northeastern, and Robert Morris (2). The series against Maine occurs on Homecoming weekend (October 19-20).

The Engineers begin their ECAC schedule October 26-27 with a home stand against Yale and Brown. RPI's first league road trip is up to the North Country to take on Clarkson and St. Lawrence November 9-10. Senior Appreciation Night is February 16 against Cornell. The ladies finish the season on the road February 22-23 at Brown and Yale.


Football: Building on Success

The Engineers return to the field this September after finishing last season on a high note. They ended the regular season a mildly disappointing 6-3, but then rebounded and dismantled a highly-ranked Cortland State in the ECAC Northeast Bowl 26-7.

The Engineers will be looking to replace some key players from last season’s team, most importantly Jay Bernardo. He rushed for over 3500 yards and scored 48 touchdowns over the course of his career at RPI, the latter mark tying him for the school record with Dan McGovern. Isaac Williams and Jason Sgarlatta look to pick up some of the slack created by the departure of Bernardo, and expect freshmen Luke Bartnik and Nick Costa to push for playing time.

Despite losing two-time All-American Jon Branche, the Engineers seem to be set through the air, as prolific combination QB Jimmy Robertson and WR Brendan McGowan both return, along with solid contributors Eren Savasli and Chris Graef. Playing time for the freshmen will be hard to come by in this group.

The defense returns to the field looking to build on their opportunistic ways of last season. Despite giving up close to 300 yards in offense, they only averaged a little over 17 ppg allowed. This is due in large part to the 31 turnovers that RPI’s defense forced last season. Cornerback John Tesiero led 11 Engineers in interceptions with 4, and Tom Rayhill led all returning defensemen with 74 tackles, including 11 in the ECAC Northeast Bowl against Cortland. James McLaughlin and Vince Scicchitano led the harassing defensive line with a combined 16 sacks of opposing quarterbacks. The Engineers should be able to rely on their defense this year, especially early on as they try to establish an offensive identity.

The team is led by Joe King, in his 19th year at RPI. The schedule is a little unkind this year, as the big rivalry games with WPI and Union are both on hostile turf this year. Good luck to the Engineers, and Let’s Go Red!


'07-'08 Events

With the men's hockey schedule out, it's time to start planning for our two in-season events: Pep Band Alumni Night (PBAN5) and Freakout 2008!

PBAN5 will take place om November 3rd vs. Brown. This will put us back in line with our previous (though unofficial) tradition of having PBAN the Saturday after Black Friday. Expect to see some details over the next few weeks, and we're looking for volunteers to host this year's student/alumni mixer.

Freakout! will feature the Engineers facing off against Princeton on February 2nd. Though it's too early to have any serious details, get your travel plans set as we're gonna do this thing right.

If you're interrested in helping out for either of these events e-mail Chris at farrar@azhrei.net and let us know how you'd like to help.


From The Managers

Hello Alumni,

With summer break already half over and Student Orientations about to begin, we're well underway with preparations for the band's upcoming year. But first, a quick recap of the events that occurred since our last column.

In April, the band once again played at Accepted Students Day, entertaining several thousand visiting students and family members throughout the morning and handing out flyers while talking with potential new band members. The incoming class seems very promising from an instrumental standpoint, so we'll see come August and September how things pan out!

We also performed for the second time at the opening ceremony of Relay for Life, and fielded a team to participate in the Relay, raising $1,485 for the American Cancer Society. It was a great experience that we expect to repeat in years to come.

We also lost several members and former officers to the draw of graduation and paid employment, an unfortunate occurrence we face each summer. We hope (and expect) to see them at Freakout and Alumni nights for years to come. :P

We'll be performing at two Student Orientation sessions this summer, on July 14th and 21st, to help promote the group among incoming students in an atmosphere that isn't as chaotic and full of groups vying for attention as NRB is. The jury's out on how effective it is as a recruiting tool, but it's also as much a fun excuse to get together over the summer as anything else.

We'll once again be performing at the Welcome Fest during NRB week as well as organizing the second annual "100% Natural Noise" event for new students to come meet the band and play some music on the Saturday of NRB. It was a fun event last year and drew in a lot of freshmen without the stress of the crowded first rehearsal, so we hope to build on the success this year.

The band plans on traveling to Colgate and Cornell for the men's overnight road trip this coming season (so start planning now if you want to meet us there!) The other trips are still undecided, though with all 3 teams' schedules set, it's only a matter of trying to figure out how to fit in another 3 or more road trips while skipping as few games as possible. Look for a better idea of our other trips in the fall newsletter.

That about sums it up for now. As always, feel free to get in touch with us at pepband@union.rpi.edu if you have any questions or comments for us.

-Natalie and Gary

The Managers


Final Notes

So, to recap:

  • Keep an eye out for electronic versions of the team schedules. An e-mail will go out to the list when they are posted to the Files section of the Yahoo Group.
  • PBAN5 - November 3rd vs Brown!
  • Freakout! 2008 - February 2nd vs Princeton!
  • If you haven't already done so, please go to the APB Wiki at apbwiki.rpipepbandalumni.org and contribute your stories.
  • Want to get involved in making RPI Pep Band Alumni (and Friends) a success? If so, be sure to e-mail Chris at farrar@azhrei.net.
  • Be sure to take a look at the Message Boards and Photo Gallery! Both can be accessed using the same account. To sign up, check out the instructions in the files section of the Yahoo Group.
Next issue: Summer time, student orientation, football preview, and event news!