RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 3








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In This Issue:


Wow, Q3 is turning out to be pretty busy! New men's hockey coordinator, lots of recruit info, some life updates, and the annual student orientations are mking things pretty exciting.

Men's Hockey: A Look Ahead

I had originally meant to take some time and review the incoming class in this newsletter, but I looked back and realized that Tom had some pretty thorough coverage of them in the final column of last season. As such, I'm going to keep this mostly to a preview of the season ahead, and what we can expect from the Engineers as we pass the halfway point of the offseason.

On paper, RPI is looking like a team on the upswing. Some good talent is joining the ranks this year, and draft picks such as those last month can only strengthen our recruiting position in coming seasons, as Seth Appert can market RPI to prospective players as a place to get an education while still being noticed by the NHL.

The Engineers should be strongest on defense, where the returning sophomores (with a year of experience under their belts) should step up from day one and both continue and improve the strong play they showed much of last year. With the addition of the incoming Mike Bergin and last year's transfer Mark Zarbo on the blue line, RPI will have 9 very capable D-men fighting for the regular 6 spots on the ice, and the competition should help keep everyone on top of their game.

Up front, the addition of some skilled freshmen will remind the upperclassmen that they're going to have to work if they want to keep their ice time. Players like Andrei Uryadov, who took some bad penalties last year but were needed on the ice for experience - and just to fill out the roster - may be hitting the stands in favor of the young blood if they don't smarten up their game.

Between the pipes, newcomer and Columbus draft pick Allen York will come in to replace graduate Jordan Alford. A walk-on goalie to replace Will Neubert will probably be seen close to the beginning of the season. York will likely split playing time with Mathias Lange early in the season while Appert gets a feel for his goalies' capabilities. Lange has been inconsistent in seasons past and you can expect York to see plenty of ice if Lange doesn't find some consistency.

Elsewhere in the ECAC, last year's regular season champion Clarkson loses their top goaltender David Leggio, who is replaced by two underclassmen and an incoming freshmen (also a draft pick, in the seventh round), none of whom have seen significant D-I ice time. With the loss of some other impact players like Clitsome, Dodge, and Zalewski, Clarkson may not be quite the powerhouse they were last year, but George Roll will most likely keep them in the upper end of the ECAC.

ECAC champions Princeton retain much of their top talent, including Goalie Zane Kalemba. This season will be a test for the Tigers to see if last season's success was a fluke or if they really are a top-tier ECAC team. Dartmouth, Colgate, and Harvard all bring in good recruiting classes this year, while Brown and St. Lawrence will be hoping their incoming players are enough to help get them out of the gutter they ended up in last year. Union and Quinnipiac's recruits look questionable at this point - they may have a tough time this coming season if some returning players don't step up to fill the shoes of last year's graduates.

I'm no good at predictions, especially preseason ones, so I'm not going to make many here. I am going to say that RPI has the talent this year to get home ice in the playoffs without a doubt, as long as they don't fall victim to the constant letdowns that plagued the team last year. The schedule is solid again, with nonconference games including Vermont, UNH, UMass, Miami, BU, and possibly Denver. A year of experience under their belts should be key for this year's returning sophomores, and I'm expecting them to step up and take charge from day one this season.

I'll be back in October with the early season review and more thoughts on what's coming down the pipe as the season continues. Hopefully I'll see some of you in Quebec City as RPI takes on Vermont in their season opener on October 11!


Women's Hockey: Here Come The Recruits

The women's hockey team recently announced that seven ladies will be joining the Engineers as the class of 2012. These ladies will look to help the Engineers improve on a 13-15-5 record overall (6-12-4 ECAHL) last Year. Of the seven recruits, three are forwards, three are defensemen and one can play both positions. The recruits with a comment from Head Coach John Burke (taken from the RPI Athletics website) are:

Name Pos. Ht. Hometown/Previous Team
Amanda Castignetti D 5-4 Anchorage, AK/Shattuck St. Mary's (MN) - "Amanda is a strong, defensive-minded defenseman. Her positional play and first pass instinct will be very helpful at our level. She has won three National Championships at the U19 level with Shattuck and this winning attitude will help our program."

Katie Daniels D 5-3 Rockton, IL/Chicago Mission
" Katie is an offensive minded defenseman who moves the puck extremely well. As a captain for the 2007-08 U19 National Championship team, she brings leadership qualities that will be invaluable to our program."

Laura Guillemette F 5-3 Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, PQ/Notre Dame
" Laura is a smooth skating, skilled forward who comes from a storied program at Notre Dame, Saskatchewan. Her solid hockey sense will allow her to have an impact at our level."

Alisa Harrison F 5-5 Vienna, VA/Washington Pride
" Alisa is a complete player who is competitive and has good puck skills. Her leadership qualities will benefit Rensselaer and our hockey program."

Kristen Jakubowski F/D 5-11 Lake Placid, NY/The Northwood School
" Kristen will add size and strength to our class. Her versatility to play both forward and defense will make her an asset to our program."

Sierra Vadner D 5-6 Apple Valley, MN/Minnesota Thoroughbreds
" Sierra is another offensive minded defenseman whose skating ability will add to our team's speed. We believe she will benefit us on even-strength and on special teams."

Jill Vandegrift F 5-5 St. Paul, MN/Minnesota Thoroughbreds
" Jill is a hard working, skilled forward that will add offense. She was captain of a successful Minnesota Thoroughbred program and will make a strong two-way impact on our team."

The ladies kick off the 2008-2009 season September 26 and 27 with exhibition games against the Toronto Aeros and Stoney Creek at the Houston Field House. The regular season begins on October 3 at HFH against Northeastern. The next day is hockey packed with the women taking on BU followed by the men's Red/White game and Skate with the Engineers. The Engineers first road game is to Chestnut Hill, MA where they will face Boston College on October 11. Last year's game against BC was also suppose to take place in Chestnut Hill but had to be moved to Troy because of too much fog in BC's arena. After a two game road trip to Mercyhurst and a two game home series with Niagara, the ladies dive into ECACHL play with home games against Brown and Yale on October 31 and November 1 followed by road games at Dartmouth and Harvard and a home-and-home series with rival Union. After a two game road series with Robert Morris, RPI finishes the 2008 portion of their schedule December 5 and 6 at Quinnipiac and Princeton.

The 2009 portion of the schedule sees the ladies competing in their first ever in-season tournament when they travel to St Cloud, Minnesota for the Easton/St. Cloud State Showcase on January 2 and 3. The Engineers will face host St Cloud the first night and North Dakota the second night. RPI finishes the season with 14 straight ECACHL games including the finale, February 21 at home against Colgate.


Football: 2008 Outlook

The Engineers return to the field this September looking to build on last season’s NCAA berth. RPI finished the season 8-2, winning both trophy games (on the road, no less), but losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament to the College of New Jersey on a last second field goal.

The offense this year looks to be set, with almost all of the key contributors returning. Bob Munier, Nick Costa, and Isaac Williams all return to headline a balanced rushing attack. Prolific quarterback Jimmy Robertson is back for his senior season, flanked by Eren Savasli. The Engineers will be looking to replace Brendan McGowan and Chris Graef at wideout, but there look to be a number of promising freshmen receivers to vie for playing time, led by Odonel Jimenez, Ray Pasco, and Chris Perry. The offensive line looks to be a strength again this year, with a solid returning cast and number of promising recruits to push for playing time. Nick Lalumia will likely handle all of the kicking duties again this year.

On defense, the Engineers might have a tougher go of it this year, as they need to replace the dynamic duo of Anthony Casale and Tom Rayhill at linebacker. Standout Tim Acker returns to solidify the defensive backs, and Anthony’s brother Nick returns to anchor the defensive line. Joe King has never had trouble finding linebackers who could play, so we have faith that he’ll mold another good group out of the youthful athletes he’ll have at his disposal.

The schedule may be RPI’s best friend this year, as both WPI and Union rivalry games are on the ’86 Field. Union’s game has been moved from its traditional end of season spot to the first weekend of November. Utica and Rochester look to be tough contests on the road. The team will be led again by Head Coach Joe King, returning for his 20th season at RPI. Let’s Go Red!


Upcoming Events

Looks like the hockey schedule is official, and thus the dates of our events for this year are all set. We're looking for some new ideas this year, especially as they relate to PBAN6. To recap, the dates for this year are:

Pep Band Alumni Night 6: Saturday, November 8th vs. Dartmouth
Big Red Freakout 2009: Saturday, February 14th vs. Yale

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for either of next season's events, please let us know!


Life Updates


So, as alluded to in the intro, there's been a few life updates the last couple of months that have kept us pretty busy. The one that's kept Chris and Terry the most busy (and caused this newsletter to be just a hair on the late side) is the early addition of one Ryan Farrar (Class of 2029? 2030?). Those interested in pictures can find them at azhrei.net

Other life updates come from Troy, as Sarah and Brenden Conte tied the knot in May. Several pep band alums were in attendance who (mostly) behaved themsleves

One last update for this quarter, as we send our congratulations to Nick DiLiberto and Jen Keeley. Nick and Jen celebrated their marriage on June 21st this year

If you have a life update you'd like to share, please e-mail us at pepband@rpipepbandalumni.org.


From The Managers

Hi Alumni,

So it's summertime and although the band isn't playing at the moment, we had a pretty good end of the year and are looking forward to an even better start in the fall:

We finished the spring '08 semester with two events, Accepted Students Celebration and Relay 4 Life. The band had a good time playing in the morning at Accepted Student's day—President Jackson even stopped and listened to us for a song (142 “Gimme Some Lovin”). In the afternoon we met a lot of interested students at the activities event. The pep band had easily twice as many members volunteering as any other club, let's just hope our enthusiasm will translate to lots of new musicians in the fall. The band also played for the opening ceremony of Relay 4 Life, as well as organizing a team to walk all night help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Student orientation is coming up soon and the band is attending SO4 on July 25-26 to pep up the place and generate interest for new students. Hopefully we will meet some future members, as well as see some older members. Maybe some of our recent graduates will show up and play with us if they can make it. :-)

In the fall we are anticipating a good start to the hockey season with an early road trip to Quebec City on October 11th to see our men's hockey team play Vermont and the USA under-18 team. Football and women's hockey open in September, and we are excited about playing for as many home games for both sports as possible. As usual we are planning on a few additional road trips later in the year at times TBA.

For now we hope you are all enjoying your summers, and hope to see some of you in the fall for Freakout!

-Bonnie & Kevin


Final Notes

So, to recap:

  • RPI Musicfest 2008 will be held on October 17th & 18th as RPI opens up EMPAC. If interested, please contact Peter Pedone in the Alumni House.
  • Congrats to the Contes and the DiLiebrtos!
  • RPI Pep Band Alumni and Friends is looking for a new Women's Hockey Coordinator. Due to personal commitments, Yuri Koester will be stepping down once a replacement can be found. Interested candidates should reach out to Yuri or Chris.
  • APB Wiki wants your stories and updates. If you have something to share please be sure to post it at apbwiki.rpipepbandalumni.org
  • Electronic schedules are coming! Be sure to check out the FIles section of the Yahoo Group.
  • Please send any other ideas/comments/suggestions/whatever to Chris and Terry at pepband@rpipepbandalumni.org.
Next issue: Hockey season approaches, football underway, and PBAN6.