Fall practices ramping up for QU lacrosse
By Shane Hulsey
The Quincy University men’s lacrosse team’s first game isn’t for another four months, but you wouldn’t know it by watching them practice: the chatter, the competition, the aggressiveness. All these things were on full display.
“Our practices are pretty intense,” Eric Ruppel, head coach, said. “They’re pretty high-flying affairs. Our energy is incredible.”
Quincy will join Lander University, Davenport University, Lewis University, and Caldwell University as one of five NCAA Division II schools participating in their first year of lacrosse in 2020. Ruppel said the Hawks are out to prove they can compete and win in their first season.
“We’re looking to do some damage throughout the country,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who want to be here, who want to make it happen, who understand this is an uphill battle. All they want to do is win and prove themselves to the country.”
Andrew Borror is a junior and transferred to Quincy from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Borror said he’s ready for a fresh start at QU.
“I’m just ready to play ball and ball out with the brothers again,” he said. “I’m excited to start something new at a new program.”
Borror said he has been quite impressed with the caliber of play he’s seen out of the younger players on the roster.
“When I first came here and saw all these freshmen, I had my doubts,” he said. “But they’ve proved me wrong, and I’m excited to see what they have when the season gets here.”
One of those freshmen is Jiulio Fortugno. Fortugno hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and will play close defense for the Hawks. Fortugno said he and one of his best friends, Grayson Kuan, made their decision to come to QU after playing in a tournament in Las Vegas.
“We both ended up getting some pretty good offers,” Fortugno said. “We’re actually roommates here. We really like the school a lot. Our coaches are great. Our teammates are great. We’re excited to get to work and hopefully make some history for QU.”
The Hawks open their season Feb. 15 in St. Louis against Missouri Baptist, followed by their home opener Feb. 26 against St. Ambrose.
Fortugno hopes to give Hawks lacrosse fans plenty to cheer about at that home opener.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the whole Quincy town in our stadium cheering us on,” he said. “It’s going to be a great feeling getting that home win.”