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RC Sport Plays Its Final Season

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-Sports Editor

Roanoke College’s Cricket team will be cut after the 2011 season due to lack of funding required to continue this sport.

“It’s really hard to accept this, as cricket has been my life for the past three years,” Team Captain Hank Lewis ‘12 said upon hearing the news.

Cricket was one of the first sports played at RC when the college moved to Salem in 1847 and has drawn mainly students to RC since.

“It’s a disappointing decision, but we hope it does not have an effect on enrollment and retention for students interested in this sport,” said Dean of Intercollegiate Sports in the English Tradition John Marshall.  “We hope students who play or would like to play this sport can find baseball a suitable substitute.”

There is not enough funding in the Athletic Department to keep this sport because the team must travel to Pennsylvania and New Jersey every weekend to play Temple University and other schools that are the only remaining institutions to have collegiate cricket. 

“It is simply too costly to transport the dwindling number of players up north to play these schools,” Marshall said.

“My dad came to Roanoke to play cricket, and his dad played cricket at Roanoke.  It’s heartbreaking that the tradition will end with me,” Lewis said.

There will, however, be a ceremony during the last home cricket match in late April to commemorate RC Cricket history and its memorable players.  There will be a display set up on the second floor of the Homer C. Bast Center to recognize these players and their accomplishments as the longest played sport at Roanoke comes to an end.

“My father hasn’t missed one of my games yet, so he’ll definitely be at the ceremony.  I wish my grandfather could be there too, as he still remains the top bowler in RC history,” Lewis said.