TOWSON, Md. - Towson men's lacrosse held its second-annual Face-Off Night dinner on Saturday, Jan.19 at the West Village Commons Ballrooms. The event, which brought together over 250 current student-athletes, family and Tiger alumni, is the traditional kick-off to the lacrosse season.
"Our Face-Off Night is a terrific way to really unite our alumni with the current players," said head coach Shawn Nadelen. "It's really special for our players to share in the tradition of Towson Lacrosse. Our players have to earn the right throughout the fall semester to wear their jerseys. They don't have any [team gear] that has Towson emblems until now. Tonight is a great night to generate excitement for the 2013 season."
Spiro Morekas, the voice of Tiger Athletics, served as the emcee for the evening, welcoming current Towson staff, alumni and current players and Nadelen to the stage throughout the evening.
Director of Athletics Mike Waddell opened the evening with remarks on the growth of the men's lacrosse program before former midfielder Nick Balducci ('87) took the stage to share with the crowd his memories of his time at Towson and address the current players. He encouraged them to stand together and remember that every time they take the field, the alumni go with them.
Nadelen spoke briefly about the growth his program has experienced, on and off the field as well as his expections for the upcoming season before the part of the evening both alumni and current players looked forward to the most - the jersey presentation.
Each Tiger newcomer receives his game jersey from program alumni, many of whom wore the same number as the current player to whom they present the jersey.
"Receiving the jersey was an awesome feeling to know that I'm really a part of this great family," said freshman Patrick McGuire. "Being welcomed into such a great tradition is a wonderful thing."
Ït's the connection that goes on tonight," said alumnus Frank Mezzanotte ('73). "But the more important thing [as alumni] is giving the younger players an idea of what the bigger picture is. It's not just playing the next four years at Towson. It's beyond that; it's careers and opportunities in front of them. We want to be there to help guide them."
The Tigers will open the regular season on Friday, Feb. 8 against High Point at 3 p.m.