Intercollegiate Athletics

Intercollegiate Athletics


St. John's College competes in a variety of intercollegiate athletics, from sailing regattas to the annual croquet match against the U.S. Naval Academy.


Sailing

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St. John's College has an intercollegiate sailing team, whose mission is to introduce students to the exciting world of competitive sailing on the Chesapeake. As member of Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, the St. John's College Sailing Team plans on competing in three to four regattas per semester in FJs, 420s, and lasers. The sailing team has a dedicated coach and practices several times a week, including weekly scrimmages with the Naval Academy.


Crew

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Located at the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Severn River, Annapolis is synonymous with water sports. The Hodson Boathouse, one of the loveliest in the mid-Atlantic region, serves as headquarters for an active crew program. Sweep-oar rowing and sculling are extremely popular sports. The college team, coached by athletic director Michael McQuarrie, practices five mornings per week and compete in intercollegiate regattas. Also, many Johnnies learn to row just for fun.

The college has a small fleet of boats, from lasers to a 22-foot Cape Dory sloop, along with many rowing dinghies, canoes and kayaks in which students may explore the beauties of the Chesapeake. An annual Sail Picnic, organized by The Friends of St. John's, provides an opportunity for students to sail aboard large yachts.


Fencing

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The St. John's College Fencing Union is a year-round club for the sport of fencing. It is open to all adults and children interested in fencing in central Maryland, as well as to students of St. John's College. Our fencers practice and compete in all three modern weapons -- foil, épée, and saber.

The club hosts tournaments on behalf of the Maryland Division of the United States Fencing Association, open to all USFA members of the appropriate ranking. The undergraduate students also compete against other collegiate teams in the Baltimore-Washington Collegiate Fencing Conference (BWCFC), a 12-school consortium of varsity and club fencing teams.

The club practices in in Iglehart Hall on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Floor time and instruction are available on-site. Equipment is also available for use at the club.

For more information, please contact: Coach Robert Smith, coach@sjcfencing.org


Croquet

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St. John’s College is steeped in rich traditions. One of its longest standing and most cherished traditions is croquet. In addition to the annual croquet match with the U.S. Naval Academy, St. John’s competes at the National Collegiate Croquet Championships, where Johnnies go toe-to-toe with some of the top colleges in the country. St. John’s holds more national titles than any other team in the league.

Contrary to appearances, croquet actually involves a lot of strategy. “It’s more of a thinking game than most people realize,” says Drew Menzer (A13), the team’s Imperial Wicket. “You can hit the ball really well and lose because you made bad tactical decisions.” For this reason the St. John’s team’s practices consist mostly of games, rather than repetitive exercises. Players simultaneously learn the physical aspects of the sport and the strategies needed to win. 

The holistic approach to the game has resulted in the St. John’s team developing an unusually aggressive style of play. With less pressure placed on players during practice, they are more willing to take risks. “What helps is to try bold shots that you can’t do well yet,” says Menzer. “It makes you better.” With so many aggressive plays made during practice, the team becomes used to high-stakes, high-return maneuvers. “Sometimes what was once a risky move can be a pretty good choice once you’ve practiced it so many times.”

True to the St. John’s spirit, all students are welcome to join the team, even if they have no prior experience. The croquet team is usually out on the field three times a week, willing to give newcomers lessons. “It actually takes much longer to master the game, but it’s pretty simple to learn the basics and start playing,” says Menzer. “We invite students to come out and learn to play anytime.” The friendly atmosphere and carefree nature of the game attracts a lot of students; many end up becoming good friends as well as teammates.  “Having other people learning with you is always a lot more fun, says Menzer.” -Nutchapol Boonparlit (A14)