For The Hill Academy lacrosse players, No. 45 isn’t just a jersey. It’s a way of life.

first_imgWhen Brendan Bomberry played his first game for Denver in 2015, he wasn’t wearing the jersey number he had waited years to. An upperclassman had already claimed No. 45.At North Carolina, coaches ensured the same didn’t happen to Bomberry’s high school teammate, Chris Cloutier. They knew Cloutier also went to The Hill Academy, a sports-focused center of fewer than 300 students in Toronto. They knew the story behind 45 and what it symbolized at Hill.“The second you walk through those doors at the Hill, they fully invest you,” Cloutier said. “You learn how to be a good leader. It’s one of the main focuses of the Hill. And, ya know, being able to wear 45 just takes you back to what you were taught.”At the Hill, the number is everywhere. It’s a part of the chant that ends each practice. It’s on a jersey hanging on the wall of the gymnasium. It’s pressed on a pinnie awarded to the practice player of the week. But the number is never worn in games.On a Monday evening in May 2008, a youth club box lacrosse team called the Toronto Beaches were playing a game in Newmarket, Ontario, when a defender struck Jamieson Kuhlmann with a blindside hit. The defender’s shoulder drove into the head and chest of the Hill 10th-grader and he collapsed. The kid teammates called “Jammer” couldn’t get up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe team trainer, a long-time Kuhlmann family friend, ran onto the field. Jamieson passed out. The trainer helped carry him off and, minutes later, the sun sank below the horizon. Jamieson never regained consciousness, and after two days in the hospital, his parents removed life support.The Hill, which was only in its second season, retired its No. 45 lacrosse jersey in honor of Jamieson.“There’s a reason why he’s not here,” said Jamieson’s mother, Michelle Weber. “And for them to put such emotion into someone, and maybe even not trying to live his life, but taking aspects, pieces of it, and trying to make their life that much better, it overwhelms me. It really, truly does.”The next spring, after graduation, Jason Noble made a pact with several other teammates. If it was available, they would all wear 45 in college to honor Jamieson.In 2010, Noble wore 45 as a freshman at Cornell while Zach Palmer did the same at Johns Hopkins. A year later, Jason’s brother, Jeremy, claimed the number at Denver.The Hill Academy is slowly collecting jerseys from multiple alumni who have worn 45. Jason Noble’s jerseys are featured here. Courtesy of Brodie Merrill The same goes for Randy Staats, who has the number and a pair of wings tattooed on his right shin, started college in 2012 at Onondaga Community College. He eventually donned it for two seasons at Syracuse.And, for the past two, Bomberry has continued the legacy. The players wanted the number to serve as a daily reminder to work hard and be the best person you can be at all times.“Because you never know, if you take a day off or you’re not pushing hard enough, are you going to get that day back?” Jason Noble said.• • •Before Jamieson’s first game for the Hill, head coach Brodie Merrill came into the team’s dorm and told the newcomer he needed a jersey number. Jamieson looked across the room to dorm parent Dan Noble, who Jamieson called “D-Nobes.”The 26-year-old was in his first year at The Hill Academy after concussions ended his professional football career in Europe. Noble moved into the dorms of the Hill, living with the students and coaching strength and conditioning.Jamieson told Merrill he wanted 45.Jamieson wore it in part because Noble had as well, but Merrill also remembered he wanted it for Rudy, the hard-working title character in the 1993 film who wore the number after improbably walking on to the Notre Dame football team.Jamieson took interest in the underdogs who worked for everything because he saw himself in them. At a young age, he passed to everyone on the field, even if they weren’t going to catch it. He did it so much his mother questioned him about it one day, wondering why her son spread the ball around even if the other players weren’t as good as he was.“You know what, Mom?” Weber remembered her son saying when he was in middle school. “One day, they are going to catch it.”After Jamieson’s freshman year, his parents saw adolescence take its toll on their son. His grades slipped to a 62 average, his mother said, and he wasn’t as happy as he used to be. So, his mother sold her house to afford the Hill.She and Jamieson’s father, Mark Kuhlmann, saw the Hill as the solution because it prides itself on getting students out of their comfort zone. It pushes for high academic performance and Division I athletics, something her son embraced. It forced Jamieson to adjust, because at a school with fewer than 30 kids at the time, there wasn’t a junior varsity team for him to settle in with.Courtesy of Michelle WeberAt first, Noble remembered Jamieson being quiet and keeping to himself. The close-knit community soon changed that, though. His history teacher had told Weber that they had “never seen a kid read so much.” Before Jamieson went to the Hill, Weber didn’t remember him enjoying reading at all. Jamieson’s grades rose to an 81 average, she said.His rediscovered confidence translated to the field. He earned the nickname “Jammer” and learned to lead in different ways. He energized the team even when on the bench, and Staats remembered Jamieson always relaying a joke or sharing his infectious smile as players came off the field.Late one night during Jamieson’s time at the Hill, Noble overheard something he found remarkable through his floor. In the room below, Jamieson’s roommate, a hockey player, wasn’t sure if the Hill was the place for him. He considered leaving. As the classmate talked through his anxieties, Jamieson shared his own story. He reminded him there was nothing to lose, that he might as well just go for it.“His story and his legacy, it’s become so powerful because a lot of our students kind of see themselves and see what Jamieson did as inspiration,” Merrill said. “To be a good teammate. To be hardworking. To be humble in your approach.”During the spring term of his sophomore year, Jamieson filled out a self-evaluation sheet for the lacrosse team. He didn’t rank any part of his lacrosse skills higher than a six, except for conditioning. His highest self-graded marks came in work ethic, attitude, health and efforts in the classroom. In overall success, he granted himself a nine out of 10.“I think I have improved a lot but there is always room for improvement,” Jamieson wrote in the comments section of the sheet. “I think that because of the set up at the Hill (coaches, practice) and my work ethic, I will one day achieve my goal of playing college lacrosse.”Jamieson’s self-evaluation now hangs on the gym wall at The Hill Academy. Courtesy of Brodie MerrillBefore her son’s death a few months later, Weber wrote a letter to the Merrill family, which is in charge of the academy. In awe of how much her son had improved in less than a year there, she thanked them for all they had done.Jamieson embraced the Hill, which is an acronym for the four ideals of the academy. “H” indicates the highest level of achievement, pushing each student to reach their full potential. “I” stands for independence, emphasizing independent thought. The first “L” represents leadership, stressing that each member of the team must lead in their own way.In life, Jamieson mastered the first three. After death, he became the final symbol: a second letter L for “Legacy.”• • •Dan Noble never planned to stay at the Hill, but after Jamieson died, D-Nobes couldn’t leave. He had to pass on the boy’s legacy.“It was my purpose,” Noble said.At the first team practice following the accident, Noble got emotional. He changed the team chant, which had always been “Hill Pride.” From then on, the team would say “4-5 Hill Pride” after breaking down each meeting.“It was there to be a reminder that we never have to do any of this,” Noble said. “We get to do this and what an opportunity this is and to be grateful.”The papers Jamieson wrote his goals on now hang on the gym wall at the Hill, along with his old jersey. There’s an assembly each year to teach his story to the students who sat where he once did. The team awards a No. 45 practice pinnie each week to a player who embodies Jamieson and the Hill’s core beliefs.The number’s reach expands each year. Several Division I women players now wear it. Merrill has represented Team Canada in his former player’s number. Players often ask teammates from the Hill if any opponent wearing 45 is a fellow alum.Jamieson Kuhlmann Field was founded in 2008 in Toronto. Courtesy of Michelle WeberEvery year since Jamieson died, there’s been a memorial tournament in Toronto in his name. Before each game of the “Jammer Classic,” players are asked to read a plaque next to Jamieson Kuhlmann Field. The first part of the plaque expresses Jamieson’s values. It alludes to him throwing the ball even to those who might bobble it. They will “catch it in their hearts and remember you for the pass.”“May all those who play on this field draw inspiration from a remarkable young man who was called upon to play the game elsewhere,” the script continues. “Jamieson’s Legacy will remain with us forever.”It will carry on. Bomberry will graduate from Syracuse University next month with hopes that No. 45 will remain on the roster. He plans to pass the jersey on to Owen Hill, an incoming freshman who will be the third Hill Academy player to wear 45 with the Orange.“(No. 45 has) taken on a life of its own,” Noble said. “But it’s Jamieson’s life.” Comments Published on April 11, 2018 at 10:40 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Michael D Higgins confirms he will seek second term as President

first_imgAfter much speculation, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins has today confirmed that he will run for a second term in the Áras. The President has previously maintained that he would only hold the position for one term. But after seven years in Áras an Uachtaráin, he has come to change his decision.A statement issued today said “President Michael D. Higgins wishes to confirm that he will be offering himself as an independent candidate, under Article 12.4.4 of Bunreacht Na hÉireann, when the Ministerial Order for a Presidential Election is made later in the year. “The Government has been informed of this decision.“The President’s programme of official duties and engagements continues.”The next Irish presidential election is expected to take place in October 2018.Other candidates have expressed an interest in seeking nomination to run for the presidency including Donegal artist Kevin Sharkey. If elected, the painter and former broadcaster would become the first black president of Ireland.  Michael D Higgins confirms he will seek second term as President was last modified: July 10th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SAGA to Cease AmeriCorps Program Hopes Another Org Will Save It

first_imgSAGA AmeriCorps volunteer Maia Wolf (second from right) poses with other AmeriCorps members last year. (Photo courtesy Maia Wolf)Nineteen AmeriCorps volunteers throughout the state were told this week their positions, including stipends and benefits, could end on Monday.Download AudioAs a second year AmeriCorps member, Maia Wolf volunteers at Discovery Southeast, a nature education nonprofit. She got the news the same way fellow AmeriCorps volunteers in Juneau, Anchorage, Homer, Seward and Cordova did – in a teleconference Tuesday.The volunteers thought they had secure positions through July. Wolf says they’re frustrated.“It’s financially difficult for a lot of people. We’re coming out of college. We don’t have a lot of savings and so not having something lined up and having so little time to look for a new position is difficult,” Wolf says.The volunteers affected are specifically AmeriCorps members with Southeast Alaska Guidance Association, or SAGA. The Juneau nonprofit is ceasing operation of its AmeriCorps program due to financial troubles, and hopes another program in the state can take it over. SAGA has been bringing AmeriCorps volunteers to Alaska for 20 years to work on service projects on public lands and volunteer with schools and nonprofits.Discovery Southeast Executive Director Shawn Eisele says the organization plans to support Wolf for the full length of her contract, regardless of what happens to the AmeriCorps program.AWARE hopes to do the same for its AmeriCorps volunteer.Saralyn Tabachnick is the executive director of Juneau’s domestic abuse and sexual assault prevention nonprofit. She says the AmeriCorps volunteer at AWARE serves as a children’s advocate and fills a real need.“She works with kids who are living in shelter, acclimates them to shelter, spends time with them, safety plans with them, facilitates groups for them, helps them feel like the unique people that they are,” Tabachnick says.She says if SAGA’s AmeriCorps program doesn’t get picked up by another organization, AWARE will try to raise funds to keep its volunteer on as long as possible.Faith Lee is the coordinator of Sitka AmeriCorps, the program that might take on SAGA’s volunteers. If it’s financially viable, Lee says Sitka AmeriCorps could ensure SAGA members had support to complete their terms.“We would take on all of the reporting, filing, payroll, health insurance,” Lee says.The Sitka School District runs the community’s AmeriCorps program. Lee says the administration is figuring out what the budget implication of doubling the number of AmeriCorps members will be to the district.SAGA receives $250,000 in federal funds as well as community contributions to run its 11-month AmeriCorps program.Lee hopes Sitka AmeriCorps can help out.“I felt really bad that 19 young adults were maybe not going to have an advocate and that’s something that I really take to heart because I want them to have a great experience. I want them to leave a footprint and make an impact and feel good about their service. And hopefully continue to volunteer for the rest of their lives,” Lee says.Sitka’s 6-year-old AmeriCorps program and SAGA’s have had a great relationship in the past, Lee says.“They actually mentored us and shared everything when we first took on AmeriCorps. They were wonderful. Without them, we would’ve really struggled. SAGA has contributed to our state for many years. If I can help in any way, I’m more than happy to put that extra time in,” she says.SAGA board member George McGuan says faced with a $350,000 debt and no way of repaying it, the board is seeking legal counsel to figure out what to do next.last_img read more