Mission Makers: Hawks Super Fans


February 15, 2021
By: Father Benet Phillips, O.S.B.

Stoutenburgh Gym for the most part is quiet. Although the men’s and women’s basketball student athletes are practicing, running plays, learning drills, and perfecting their skills, there is no basketball season this year. I think it’s safe to say we all miss the sounds of DE- FENSE as the bleachers shake with the enthusiastic support of the Saint Anselm College basketball SUPER FANS. We miss the sounds of Drew Litz ’78 providing ongoing analysis and color commentary. We miss seeing Keith Dickson and Corey Boilard and their assistant coaches strategize, encourage, and keep their players focused on the game and shot clock. A perhaps most of all we miss seeing our student athletes play some of the best D-II basketball in the region, if not the nation!

While we could focus on what we miss, in this issue of Hilltop Headlines we honor what we have: SUPER FANS - who travel to campus, throughout the northeast and beyond to cheer our Hawks to victory. Decked out in blue and white, they support our Hawks when we win and when we lose. These loyal Anselmians boost the spirit and noise level of Stoutenburgh Gym. As super fan Alice Dunfey ’68 noted, “We all miss the basketball games – our winter entertainment—we were thrilled when they had the scrimmage in December.” Alice, and her husband Mike Dunfey also a member of the Class of 1968 are loyal supporters of the college and Saint Anselm Athletics.

When we are able to attend games again and when you scan the faces in Stoutenburgh Gym you will no doubt see some very familiar faces and friends: Don Healy ’60 himself a three-year member of the Hawks men's basketball team who later served as a team captain. Ed Cantlin ’62 and Dave Swan’62 keeping track of DII stats, prospects and player development. You would see Jim’69 and Pat’70 Davenport, The three Toms from the Class of 1968: Tom Killion’68, Tom McGrath’68 and Tom Fitzgerald’68. You would see Jim’77 and Kim Rodriques, and Bob’71 and Jeanne Furfari.

As you continue to tour Stoutenburgh Gym you would see the “men in black” in the monks section led by Abbot Mark Cooper, OS.B.’71 and often joined by Brother Basil Franciose, O.S.B. ’17. You would see former members of the faculty: John Romps and John D’Espinosa. You would see people who work to keep our student athletes in good academic standing: Dean Mark Cronin, Kenn Walker’85 of the Academic Resource Center and Professors Mike McGuiness’78 and David Guerra to name but a few. You would see President Joseph Favazza, Senior Vice President Jim Flanagan, Joe Emmons ’04, and many members of the Noon Time League.

As you follow along you would come to bench. You would see dedication personified in Coaches Keith Dickson, Joe O’Shea and Steve Drescher’87, along with Corey Boilard and Colleen Moriarty.

You would see Connor O’Brien ’21 and other Keys supporting the teams and offering Benedictine hospitality. And you couldn’t miss, even if you tried to, the smell of popcorn and hotdogs being sold by the baseball team.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention two of the Hawks most enthusiastic supporters who are no longer with us: Professor Bill Farrell who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. Bill had served as the voice of Hawks home basketball games since 1974, earning legendary status both on the Hilltop as well as throughout the conference and Father Jude Gray, O.S.B. a beloved member of the Saint Anselm community, who served the Department of Athletics in a myriad of ways after coming to the Abbey in 1962. A former professional baseball player with the Cleveland Indians organization, Fr. Jude coached the baseball team in the early 1970’s.

These are certainly unprecedented times but Athletic Director, Daron Montgomery encourages all of us to keep the Hawks soaring higher. He wrote, “We will overcome the vast challenges that lie ahead and emerge stronger. We will find our resolve as an athletics department and demonstrate our resiliency as a campus community, even though many miles may separate us. We will wake up every day ready to work relentlessly in the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence, and remain collectively focused on supporting one another in the weeks and months ahead.”

Thanks to all our SUPER FANS the mission of Saint Anselm lives on -- one game at a time.