It is not “just a prank, bro.”


Staff Writer

There has been recent controversy over the YouTube channel “DaddyOFive” and its video content. The channel contains several videos of two parents loudly berating their children, physically attacking them and destroying their property all for what they deem to be “pranks.” This kind of behavior on and off the Internet is simply unacceptable.

Thankfully, many YouTubers have vocally criticized both the parents and the nature of the channel itself, among them “Philip DeFranco”, Ethan Klein of “h3h3Productions” and even Steve-O of “Jackass” fame. Their biggest concern with these videos is that they are nothing more than thinly veiled child abuse, with the parents using the children’s emotional and physical turmoil as a means of gaining publicity as well as monetary gain.

A petition has been circulating requesting the Child Protective Services investigate the household and the parents themselves have insisted that the videos themselves are nothing more than harmless fun, though their children’s’ reactions would say otherwise.

The channel has since gone into full defensive mode; the videos have all been removed and the only video that remains now is a half-hearted apology from the callous parents that operate the channel. In their “apology,” they are more interested in demonizing Philip DeFranco than offering remorse for what is obviously child abuse.

With that said, the saga of “DaddyOFive” raises an important point as to what has been passing as a “prank” on YouTube for far too long. When one hears the word prank, images of harmless gags such as whoopee cushions, joy buzzers and ink-filled gum usually come to mind.

However in modern parlance, pranking has come to define actions that are much more lazy and, frankly, more excessive. A YouTube that is labelled as a “prank video” contains what used to be considered assault and abuse.

These pranks can include things as juvenile as screaming in people’s faces as they walk innocently down the street, hurling racial slurs at minorities or simply running up to individuals and punching them for no apparent reason. Upon meeting with a (justifiably) violent reaction, the instigators immediately try to deescalate the situation by shouting the classic catchphrase “It’s just a prank, bro!”

Now that these pranks are being pulled on children for the sake of arbitrary internet attention, there is finally some backlash against the sorry state of what internet pranks have become. The couple that make up “DaddyOFive” will hopefully see some major consequences for their actions following what could best be described as a collective epiphany from web users.

When it comes to senseless abuse, be it verbal or physical, it is never “just a prank, bro,” it is a major offense that carries with it major penalties.

If you would like to sign the petition to have Child Protective Services investigate the makers of the channel “DaddyOFive”, you can do so here:

Lighthouse Literary Guild at SU offers community to local writers



Salisbury University’s Center for Extended and Lifelong Learning (CELL) started creative writing classes this month through their Lighthouse Literary Guild program. The courses run for three weeks this month.

CELL offers three classes taught by SU faculty and area residents, each with a different theme and focus, a press release from SU reported.

Mindie Burgoyne, a travel writer and photographer featured in The Washington Post and CBS News, teaches “Travel Writing: Sharing Your Journey.” The class shows students how to find subjects and hone them for compelling travel narratives. Burgoyne is also a past president of the Eastern Shore Writer Association.

The class entitled “Using Journaling as a Springboard to Creative Writing” gives aspiring writers a way of starting the creative process, taught by long time creative writing instructor Shannon Hinman.

“Getting Real, Close to Home” helps participants use life experiences to guide their writing. Nancy Mitchell, a professor in SU’s environmental studies department and a poet, teaches the course. “Close to Home” has a poetry concentration, but is open to any genre.

CELL classes are open to all ages, but they typically draw senior citizens. Mitchell liked this about the courses, since the participants offer a different perspective from college creative writing students. “They have a very rich experience to draw from,” Mitchell said.

Typically, the CELL students work on an assignment, email it to their instructor and then workshop it with their peers at the next class. After the writers revise their work, they have a portfolio at the end of the six-week course.

In addition to classroom activity, the writers do different exercises to guide their creative process, such as sitting alone and finding their place to write. “People are afraid of that silence,” Mitchell said.

In Mitchell’s course, she likes to break down preconceived notions about writing in her class. She said that students sometimes bring the idea that writing is “an elitist activity,” but through the course, she tells students to embrace their own voice.

While the courses are more open-ended and the structure is designed to fit the needs of the class, some of the CELL participants prefer a stricter, syllabus driven course.

The Lighthouse Literary Guild courses provide a community for the writers. Mitchell said, “Writing is a real solitary practice. You really need a community of writers so you don’t feel like…‘am I talking to myself?’”

The goal of Lighthouse Literary Guild is “to be the destination on the Eastern Shore for both local and vacationing writers,” their website says. They also plan to promote the works of writers in Salisbury and the region through readings.

The CELL programs try to create a link between SU and the city of Salisbury. “Our overall goal is to build community,” Mitchell said. “To even get students involved—that would be good.”

Reach Out Editions helps sexual assault victims

Reach Out Editions. Image

Photo by Haley Dick


Gull Life Editor

According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds.

Sexual assault is a widespread issue that cannot be narrowed to just one month of focus. However, April is nationally known as Sexual Assault Awareness month, which was designed for victims of sexual assault to know that they are not alone, and that the hardships they have endured are being addressed.

RAINN states that “ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.” Look around the room. College students generally fall in this age range, and many students struggle to take the initiative to get the help and support they need.

Capptivation, a small company consisting of four partners, has designed an application that allows sexual assault victims on high school and college campuses, as well as their loved ones, get the help and support they need at their fingertips. The brains behind the operation are Jack Zandi, Billy Sadik-Khan, Racquel Giner and Zach Csillag.

The application, known as Reach Out Editions, compiles information that was found buried under various PDFs and student handbooks on how to seek help following an assault, and brings it to the hands of the user. The administrators of the campuses are provided information from the team on how to update the information on their personal displays to best benefit the student users.

Jack Zandi, contributor to the data maintenance of Reach Out Editions and cofounder of Capptivation, and his colleagues are high school friends who regrouped after college and brought their own beliefs and educations to the table to collaborate to create an app to aid victims of sexual assault in any way possible.

“We felt like creating an app would be unique and a lot of fun to do from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” Zandi said. “If we could help a neglected part of the population then we felt it was a win-win on a massive scale for us.”

Their inspiration for creating the app stemmed from being overall civically minded, but ultimately sparked when media attention started to focus on sexual assault more frequently and in depth. After doing some research on how to seek help and develop a plan of action, the creators noticed how difficult it was to locate support services, giving them the idea to make a change.

“We want to help people that want to help themselves and their friends, and if we can give them an avenue that is not only easy, but is useful, then we feel like we are creating not just a service, but a function for people of all backgrounds to find vital information in their most trying time,” Zandi shared.

The app itself is catered specifically to whichever college or university a student attends, so student victims simply must type the name of the university into the organization slot and personalized information will be generated. Some of the categories include campus resources, which indicates to students exactly where to go to seek immediate help, reporting options in which students can learn the different ways to handle the assault, and various advocacy and educational links that can take the matter of sexual assault farther than one incident.

The application serves roughly 2600 two and four year colleges, as well as various high schools who felt it necessary to have the resource available to their students. It is free to download, and all activity within the app remains completely anonymous.

Senior art displays in Fulton Hall gallery


Staff Writer

The 56th bi-annual Senior Art Exhibition, “Transcendence,” opened on Tuesday, April 4. Salisbury University’s graduating art students have their work on display in the Fulton Hall art gallery.

art gallery photo

Fulton Hall art gallery, photo by Franny Clark

Senior students worked together to plan and orchestrate two different shows. The Fine Arts show is open now until Saturday, April 22 and the Graphic Design show runs from May 1 to May 20. Each show has an awards reception where artists present their portfolios and interact with others in the industry.

Using their specific track, each student chose an overall theme for their work. Elizabeth Kauffman, professor of the Senior Exhibition course, notes that this show is looked forward to every year and is always changing with the different skills and techniques of each graduating class.

At this time, pieces in the gallery range between photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, mixed media and more. Students display their best work encompassing themes close to their heart, including photographs of nature, sculptures of animals, self-portraits, mystical creatures and character drawings.

Rachel Price, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in glass, created a series of three photographs that used steel, iron and glass on female bodies to depict body dysmorphia. Throughout her work, she wants to bring awareness to mental illnesses and show support to those who may be struggling with body image.

“I feel as though body dysmorphia is not as well-known and often overlooked, and it is not always tied with eating disorders—it can lead to them,” Price said. “I wanted my photographs to show the impossible beauty standards set by the media and how this leaves an unrealistic impression on girls at a very young age.”

With the help of Rise Up Coffee on campus, Katherine Mellos, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in photography, used her love of coffee to create a series of photographs showing the process of producing coffee from start to finish. She shows the steps in coffee making by capturing moments of movement from the grinding of coffee beans to the pouring, serving and drinking of the beverage itself.

Another student, Chris Foreman, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in glass, created characters frozen in time influenced by pop art. Fusing together glass and steel, his work includes four figures on display in the gallery.

These are just a few of the many pieces featured in the “Transcendence” show. Students can stop by before April 22 to see these creative pieces for themselves, and visit May 1 through May 22 to see the Graphic Design show. The exhibit is housed in Fulton Hall 109 and is free to the public. The schedule can be found on the University’s website.

Spring: The worst of the seasons


Staff Writer

It is that time of year again. We are  in the midst of the season that many people dread despite its beauty. Spring has sprung and the human race is paying for it. However, there are ways to make this predicament more bearable.

The accumulation of pollen from plants cover everything in a horrible snot green color. Not only that, it is a human’s immune system’s worst nightmare. Allergies target people of all ages, race and gender. They ensure that there will be repercussions when going outside during the spring season, including but not limited to: coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and dry or itchy throat.

The weather is horrible because of its unpredictability. It is often cold in the mornings, yet extremely hot during the afternoon. Buildings are either blasting the air conditioner or still using heat because people are unsure what is needed.

When it begins to consistently be nice outside, the average student becomes very unproductive. The classic dilemma that they face during this season is whether thumbnail_IMG_9434they should go to class/study or take a trip to the beach to enjoy the weather.

Once it begins to get warm out, the bugs come out of hibernation. Mosquitoes are naturally everyone’s least favorite, and the millions of ants that invade their homes in search of food are so hard to get rid of.

The largest problem the Eastern Shore faces is gnats, fruit flies and drain flies, which can all seen around the Salisbury campus. They are frustrating as they land on belongings and are impossible to kill.

However, there is hope! There are ways to survive this spring season.

The student wellness center located at Holloway Hall has free allergy medicine available. It comes in a little brown bag and includes salt to gargle, cough drops and some allergy medication. Medication will help with symptoms, but also make sure to clean air condition filters and dust. This will help reduce the amount of pollen that can further impact allergies.

Enjoy the weather when you can! Study outside or take a break during the day. To deal with cold mornings, wear a sweater that you can take off.  It also will be helpful in cold, air conditioned rooms.

There are many ways to treat a bug problem, such as sprays, traps and bug bombs. There are natural remedies for flies that could be cheaper. Get a bottle (like a Gatorade bottle or water bottle) and fill it up with either apple vinegar or alcohol. Cover the opening with clear plastic and seal with a rubber band or hair tie. Poke small holes in the plastic and then wait. The flies like the sweet smells from the vinegar and alcohol and once they get into the bottle they won’t be able to find their way out and will die.

Spring is a storm that we all must endure before the great season of summer liberates us from its evil. This is why it is important to know how to weather this storm in the best way possible.

Berkman career win mark just a step towards greater goal


Sports Editor



After a game-winning overtime goal from senior offensive middie Brendan Bromwell, the Sea Gulls celebrate a win over then-No. 6 Gettysburg College. Hannah Wichrowski photo

SU men’s lacrosse senior face-off specialist Duncan Campbell scoops up a groundball and rushes toward York’s side of the field. The senior fakes a pass and rips a shot into the lower frame of the goal. 1-0 Gulls.

Last week marked one of the most highly anticipated matches of 2017. No. 1 Salisbury hosted No. 3 York (Pa.) in the considered Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) regular season title game.

From Campbell’s opening goal—his first of the season—the Sea Gulls’ offense showcased their talents in front of a national audience to win 17-10 and claim home-field advantage in the upcoming conference tournament.

The Sea Gulls are soaring into the CAC Championship Game on Saturday with a 16-1 overall record. However, it was one win recently that rose above them all for this team, one step in the greater road to a second-straight National Championship.

Back on March 29 up Route 13 at Wesley College, SU men’s lacrosse head coach Jim Berkman struck gold, and some maroon too, with career win No. 500 in a 26-4 victory. With 11 National Championships, 19 conference titles and 28 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) appearances all under his belt, this particular victory has been a long time coming for the historic head coach.

“All the work he’s put in over the years—it shows year after year, and I’m glad that I could be a part of it,” SU senior goalkeeper Colin Reymann said.

In all of those accolades, coach Berkman sees the hard work that so many players and coaches have put in alongside him on and off the field.

“It’s just a tribute to all the players and coaches that have been here over the last 29 years and how hard they’ve worked to make this all possible,” coach Berkman said. “It’s something to honor their efforts and success over the last 29 years. I just happen to be the guy that’s running the ship.”

“It’s definitely a very special moment for him, and he’s humble about it the whole time. All the credit goes out to him in his 20-plus seasons in lacrosse and at Salisbury,” SU senior attacker Carson Kalama said.

It is the humbling quality that may provide the greatest foundation for such a successful men’s lacrosse program. It seems fitting that this honor comes after a 2016 season that saw much adversity towards the start of NCAA Tournament play. In 2017, coach Berkman also faced a key mentor in his life: Gettysburg head coach Hank Jancyk, who has accumulated over 420 wins in his long career.

All but one season of coaching—at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam—have been here at Salisbury for coach Berkman. Since then, the former All-American midfielder at St. Lawrence has capitalized on his time at Salisbury, using his numerous experiences at different stops along the way.

As one of his favorite moments, coach Berkman fondly remembers his first title at Salisbury, facing Hobart College in 1994. One that matches that memory is the 2008 National Title that he had the opportunity to win with his son Kylor, a three-time National Midfielder of the Year.

“He was a guy that made a big impact to our program. He didn’t go Division I, and he stayed here,” coach Berkman said. “He won a couple championships and played in three championship games.”

The maroon and gold continues to run very deep in the Berkman family. His daughter Keli was a member of the 2010 Salisbury women’s lacrosse team that won a National Title under current head coach Jim Nestor.

Berkman’s Salisbury imprint stretches beyond Sea Gull Stadium into the SU Soccer Complex, leading the SU women’s soccer program for seven seasons and to two CAC Championships.


SU freshman attacker Josh Melton tries to round the corner vs. the CNU defense. Hannah Wichrowski photo

For the many players that have played under Berkman and walked the tunnel walk, they feel an impact from their head coach, making them both better players and better people. The culture that Berkman has developed trickles even to the players today.

“I feel like there’s role models to look up to in every class, even some of the younger guys on our team you can look up to at times,” Reymann said. “We just have a great culture.”

At the core, it is the hard-work ethic that has created the foundation for many of Berkman’s players.

“He’s taught us many things that relate to lacrosse, but importantly, [about] being a better man. On and off the field, I think one of the biggest lessons that he’s taught me is that effort equals outcome,” Kalama said.

Within the future playoff games, there may lie yet another milestone for the head coach: 500 wins just at Salisbury University. It is a milestone that the seniors are keeping an eye on, and it may align with an early round of the NCAA Tournament.

At the end of the day for Berkman and his Sea Gulls, the win at Wesley is just that—a win on the road to greater prizes: a CAC Championship and then potentially a trip to Boston in late May.

“Anything that results in us doing our jobs on a day-to-day basis is just icing on the cake,” coach Berkman said.

While this men’s lacrosse program enjoyed a brief celebration on a Wednesday night in March, their hunger grows for greater rewards from the top work ethic that coach Berkman teaches his players each and every day.

From weak link to cornerstone: Sea Gulls’ pitching staff


Staff Writer


Note to readers: this article was originally published prior to the 2017 CAC Tournament.


SU junior pitcher Brad Keith delivers a pitch from the mound earlier this season. Sophie Wilson photo

When the Salisbury baseball team’s 2016 playoff run was cut short following a loss to Penn State Berks in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, it left a bitter taste in the mouths of all the would-be returners.

The dominant offense that was known throughout last season for averaging almost 10 runs per game had hit a cold streak at the worst time, scraping across just eight runs in three regional matchups. The lack of production, combined with continued struggles on the mound, gave SU an early exit from the NCAA tournament and a long offseason to ponder what could have been.

But the Sea Gulls had their work cut out for them preparing for their 2017 campaign. It was no question that their formidable offense would return strong.

All eyes would be on the pitching staff after recording the second-worst ERA in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) at 6.50 and struggling for the majority of the season. Junior right-hander Connor Reeves, a go-to reliever for the Sea Gulls, was a part of the returning bullpen that knew they needed to improve.

“We needed a little bit of everything for this year,” Reeves said. “We really weren’t that strong in relief or starting.”

With a handful of returners, Salisbury was poised to have a comeback year on the mound, especially behind two strong returning seniors in Pete Grasso and Jeff Oster. Both Oster and Grasso were two of the top Sea Gull starters last season, but saw room for improvement in endurance of the starting pitchers.

“We would always start off five innings strong,” Oster said. “But then, in the late innings, giving up two or three runs that would let teams back in the game.”

Using the motivation from the end of last season, the pitchers went to work preparing for the upcoming season. SU head coach Troy Brohawn started the year issuing a challenge to his staff, telling his pitchers they needed to be better this year if the team was going to succeed.

In the beginning of the season, it was a new year, but the same Gulls, with the pitching staff showing similar flaws from the previous season in their first seven games, allowing double-digit runs to opponents in five of those seven. Salisbury began the year with an underwhelming 7.43 ERA and a 3-4 record.

The Sea Gulls were not going to let this be the story of their season again. Following a four-game stretch of losses in mid-February, the pitching staff met to address the recent struggles and to figure out their next steps.

“We didn’t want to be the weak part of the team,” Grasso said. “We had a meeting after those games, and we really came together and said ‘we don’t want to be the weak link of the team.’”

Fast forward to the middle of April, and the Sea Gulls stand at the top of the CAC standings with a 24-8 record. While the offense has produced this year by averaging over eight runs per game, it is the once shaky pitching staff that has formed into the backbone of the squad.

Salisbury holds the second-lowest ERA in the CAC as a team at 3.31 with multiple pitchers recording sub-3.00 ERAs as well. The statistical improvements from last season are numerous, from a better team ERA to lowering opponents’ batting average from over .300 last season to just .235 this year.

“With three seniors leading the staff this year, experience plays a big role,” coach Brohawn said. “We had a young staff last year and they’ve learned from it; I think as a staff in general we are more aggressive this year.”

Those three seniors—Micah Wells, Oster and Grasso—have certainly stepped up to coach Brohawn’s challenge and are not taking anything for granted in their final year.

“All the alumni always say ‘don’t regret anything for your final season,’ so coming into my last year I never wanted to regret something,” Oster said. “It’s my last season and I don’t want to leave anything out there; I think it’s the same for [Pete] and [Micah].”

Oster has been the top starter that coach Brohawn has turned to so far this season, getting the nod nine times and recording a 5-0 record and posting the fifth-best individual ERA in the CAC at 2.91 while also holding opposing batters to an average of .204.

Grasso, a two-way athlete for Salisbury, has been as dominant as ever on the mound this season and holds a CAC-best 1.38 ERA throughout his 11 appearances with a 5-0 record as well.

“I’ve been pitching more to contact this year, last year I would get deeper in counts and it would be 3-2 every batter I faced,” Grasso said. “Now I attack early and let them hit it and our defense makes the plays.”

Other than the Sea Gull standouts, the entire pitching staff has bought into the new aggressive mentality, relying on their mental toughness to help them succeed. The mentality of each SU pitcher has played a big role in the improvements from last year, as well as their work ethic.

“I’ve been here for five years now, and this is the hardest working staff I’ve been around,” Oster said. “We work hard every single day in practice and it’s been showing.”

With the CAC tournament coming up soon, Salisbury seems to be getting hot at just the right time on the mound, with starters putting forth countless quality starts and relievers slamming the door when they enter the late innings.

Coach Brohawn knows exactly who he will rely on down the home stretch of the season.  Aside from their top performers, Sea Gull fans can expect to see continued success from bullpen guys such as juniors Ryan Gough, Andrew Kramer and Logan Manz.

“We’ll probably go with a six- or seven-man staff through the tournament and role with it through that,” Brohawn said. “We’re going to rely on [Wells, Oster and Grasso] to continue to set the tone early and hopefully the guys behind them can follow their lead.”

The dominant pitching staff that has formed this season for Salisbury has been exactly what the program has needed, and each member has a few ideas on why this year is the one where everything has fallen into place.

Some attribute it to the closeness of each of the guys on the team, stating that the atmosphere in the pitching staff has improved greatly. Others feel it is the competitive nature teamed with the snowball effect, where the young pitchers see the seniors performing at peak levels and they want to out-do them.

No matter the reason, this is a different effect of that meeting called back in February, and now the pitching staff has turned themselves into the strongest part of this Sea Gull team. With the postseason right around the corner, the timing could not be better and, from the looks of it, the best is yet to come.

“Our confidence is through the roof—we’re going to run through [CACs],” Grasso said.

With a mentality like that, the enthusiasm becomes contagious, and it is clear to see that everyone on the pitching staff is on the same page.

“With our staff that we have and our starters, it’s probably the top in the nation and we are going to go out there and give our team the best chance to win,” Oster said. “We’re looking to run through the CAC, going through the Regionals and hopefully winning some games in the World Series.”

Under the Feathers: Salisbury WLAX’s Gabbi Nieves


Sports Editor


Gabbi Nieves - SU Athletics

SU Athletics photo

No. 6 Gabbi Nieves

Senior midfielder for Salisbury women’s lacrosse

Hometown: Centreville, Va.


What are your majors/minors and career aspirations?

“Communications major with a marketing minor. My major focus is on journalism and PR, so I hope to do something with that in my future. I love to write, so hopefully my future employer needs a writer!”

What made you want to play women’s lacrosse at, or simply come to, Salisbury?

“I always knew I wanted to play lacrosse in college, but I was unsure of where to go until my senior year. I was looking at some small Division I schools, but Salisbury really caught my attention because of their dominance in Division III. Not to mention my brother went here and played lacrosse, so that first introduced me to the school and women’s team.”

What has been your favorite moment as part of SU women’s lacrosse while here at Salisbury, and why?

“My favorite moment on the women’s team here at Salisbury would definitely be winning the National Championship my freshman year [in 2014]. Just getting to the Final Four and being a part of something so special was amazing. Being a freshman and having the opportunity to play in that national championship game was also amazing. We’ve had good seasons since then; however, [we] haven’t ended up where we want to be. We’re very hopeful that this year is the year that we can get another ring.”

What do you enjoy about playing middie, and what do you believe you bring to the team with your abilities?

“What I love most about being a middie is being able to make an impact on both ends of the field. Defense and offense are two totally different aspects of the game. However, I love being able to play both and help our team get the job done on both ends. With that being said, I think being able to play two positions on the field brings a lot to the table—myself and the rest of the middies love our position, so that passion really shows when we get out on the field.”


After a win over Mary Washington in the CAC Semifinals, Salisbury looks ahead to match-up with top-seed York (Pa.) in the conference championship. Hannah Wichrowski photo

April 8 was Senior Day for you and some of your teammates. What was going through your mind during that moment, and what do you feel makes your senior class so unique/special?

“The morning of senior day I woke up and of course it hit me and I was sad. Not because the season is anywhere close to over yet, but because the fact that I’m about to graduate in two short months is unreal. I remember every senior day from the grades above me, thinking, ‘it’ll be a long time before that’s my senior day.’ But I was so wrong. These past four years flew by and all of us seniors kept saying how he couldn’t believe it was our senior day.

“I think our senior class is so unique and special because we’re close on and off the field. We’ve been together since freshman year in the dorms and since then all of our friendships have grown immensely.”

What is your favorite part of Salisbury University Athletics or your team-environment here at SU?

“My favorite part of SU Athletics is mainly the atmosphere. Everyone on the different sports teams are friends for that reason and with that, everyone on my team are all friends on and off the field. We have great team chemistry and that comes from being close off the field.”

What are your hobbies and interests off the field?

“Some of my hobbies and interests off the field would definitely be just hanging out with my friends and family, exercising whenever I have free time and eating. A lot.”

Where is your favorite place to go for a meal or snack on- or off-campus? Favorite food?

“Favorite place to go for a meal would hands down be Chipotle. If not Chipotle, I’ll go to East Moon, Ruby Tuesday’s, Panera Bread…basically anywhere. I love Hungry Minds on campus as well as Chick-Fil-A. Favorite food is mac ‘n cheese.”

What music do you listen to in order to get ready for game-time, or what do you like to generally listen to?

“In order to get ready for a game, I listen to major pump-up music. Hip hop, pop…and lots of rap.”

Baseball: Sea Gulls win second-straight CAC Championship


Staff Writer


SUbaseballchamps (1)

The Salisbury baseball team celebrates their 2017 CAC Championship. Zach Gilleland photo

The No. 16 Salisbury University baseball team is headed back to the big dance.

For many of the Sea Gull seniors, they can add back-to-back Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Champions to their resume. SU punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament, blanking Mary Washington 21-0 on Saturday in the CAC title game.

“These seniors bust their tail day in and day out,” SU head coach Troy Brohawn said. “To see them right now—it’s a great feeling as a coach.”

Salisbury (30-8, 21-1 CAC) put up 21 runs on the Eagles’ pitching staff to cap off an incredible run that saw the offense put up 82 runs in a four-game stretch.

But even with the dominant run, winning the conference was just the start.

“Winning the conference—we got our goal,” senior pitcher Pete Grasso said. “We’re not finished, so we’re going to focus on the [NCAA Tournament] regional and take it one step at a time. It’s a good feeling but we know we’re not done.”

After a 2-4 start at the beginning of the season, the Sea Gulls have won 28 of their last 32 games. For senior catcher Tom LaBriola, the conference title added another accolade to the captain’s SU athletic career.

“Just playing with these guys has been awesome and it’s been an awesome four years,” senior catcher Tom LaBriola said. “Last game on this field—it means a lot.”

Saturday’s game saw the final game at the SU Baseball Field. The Sea Gulls will move to a brand new facility starting next season. It will be constructed in the current lot that holds the intramural fields.

A story throughout the tournament, the offense continued to roll, scoring 21 runs off 17 hits. The Salisbury lineup contributed top to bottom with eight of the nine starters recording a hit and eight different Sea Gulls drove in a run.

Grasso took the mound for SU after facing Mary Washington on Tuesday. The Eagle offense had no answer at the plate, producing only six hits.

The right-hander delivered eight shutout innings, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine batters off of 107 pitches.

Grasso lowered his ERA to a CAC-best 1.34. The pitching staff that struggled early in the season has seemed to hit its stride.

“I’ll take my three starters over anybody in the country,” coach Brohawn said. “Win, lose or draw, I’ll take them. They go out and compete, which is a huge thing for me.”

The senior produced at the plate as well, going 4-for-7 with a solo blast in the ninth inning. 773 days after he hit his first home run at SU Baseball Field, Grasso trotted around the bases for the Stadium’s final-round tripper.

“We didn’t want to stop scoring runs,” Grasso said. “We wanted to keep tacking them on and keep our same approach.”

The Sea Gulls batted around three times in the game and scored in six different innings, including an eight spot in the first. The offense has now scored 20 or more runs in four of its last five games.

Freshman center fielder Justin Meekins led the team with four runs scored, finishing the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Sophomore third baseman Jack Barry connected on SU’s other home run of the game, a two-run shot to left for his CAC-leading twelfth of the season.

With the CAC Tournament in the rearview mirror, Salisbury will play four non-conference games before starting the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re just going to continue to do what we are doing well,” LaBriola said. “We’ll just take everything, look forward and keep working hard.”

Couple furnishes SU’s third largest donation

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Photos by Sawyer Cornelius


Staff Writer

Salisbury will soon be equipped with an all-new Center for Entrepreneurship with the Rommels’ donation.

Dave and Patsy Rommel are Salisbury locals with deep ties to the University and its goal for student preparedness, especially within the business fields.

Dave Rommel began his professional career working for Rommel Electric Company, which was founded by his father in the late 1970s.

He grew the family business into the current Rommel Construction Group that specializes in electrical, mechanical, traffic and transit work.

The company also operates several Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealerships and Ace Hardware locations throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Dave Rommel’s mother is an SU alumna herself and is committed along with his wife, Patsy, in helping a new generation of entrepreneurs find success.

On Thursday, President Janet Dudley-Eshbach announced an overwhelming $5.5 million gift from the Rommels.

This benefits the establishment of the new Center for Entrepreneurship at the Plaza Gallery Building in downtown Salisbury, in addition to funding future campus and Perdue School activities.

The esteemed announcement was the culmination of SU’s eighth annual Phillip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery program, which provides some $200,000 in annual funding for young entrepreneurs throughout the region with Shark Tank-style competitions and pitches.

The news came as a prelude to Friday’s Entrepreneurship Competitions, also sponsored by SU, that offers close to $100,000 in annual cash awards.

The $20,000 Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence initiated by local entrepreneur Richard Bernstein in 1986 is a cornerstone of the local support and yearning for entrepreneurial accomplishment.

“Patsy and I are thrilled,” Dave Rommel said. “It is an honor to be able to support our hometown University, and very easy to support something as progressive as this.”

The new Center is expected to be operational for student and public use by 2020.

It will feature shared co-op spaces, six offices, construction garages for winners of mentioned competitions, manufacturing space dedicated to robotics and a small assembly with usage of 3-D prototype printing services.

For clothing creations, textile workshops will grant sufficient space for manufactured apparel to be sold through an on-site “spirit store” at the downtown location.

Perdue School Dean Christy Weer underscored the day’s takeaways for those considering SU enrollment and business study interests.

“I think this gives students a greater vision of opportunity that not just any school can provide,” Weer said. “We hope to serve students in greater ways than ever before as a result of these coming improvements.”

The new center is only a portion of a much larger vision that the university and the City of Salisbury view on the horizon.

Their joint efforts aim at designating 30 acres in downtown as a Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zone by the Maryland Department of Commerce. SU was recently announced as a qualified institution.

If said distinction is attained, the spurring of economic development and job creation with the assistance of property and income tax credits is promised to follow.

President Dudley-Eshbach described the recent years of city-university partnership.

“When I began in 2000, I felt the University was very inward-looking,” Dudley-Eshbach said. “It is extremely important that we have a connection to not only locals, but also residents of the Eastern Shore, entire State and ultimately the nation for assisting students through their entrepreneurial ideas.”

The Rommels’ gift is SU’s third largest financial donation to date and ushers in a new age of student opportunity and community cooperation.