Forty years ago, a former high school All-American from St. Louis landed at Amherst and, among the preppy New England crowd, felt like a fish out of water. Taking matters into his own hands, he created the Amherst water polo team.Thirty-five years ago, the first female joined the team to begin the program’s storied tradition of being the only competitive coed club sports team at Amherst. Thirty years ago, an inside joke based on Burgess Meredith ’31’s character from the Adam West Batman TV show led to a much needed less racist and more aquatic mascot for the team: the Yo-Ho Penguin.

Following a fantastic showing at the Middlebury Invitational at the end of September, the Jeffs looked to continue their strong season at the Williams Fall Classic. The Classic is held at the Williams College golf course where Amherst has found success in the past.

The Jeffs finished third of 11 teams at Midd., highlighted by a fourth place finish by sophomore Jamie Gracie. Gracie continued her strong play by finishing tied for 12th overall.

Although Gracie continued to play well for the Jeffs, the team finished in eighth place.

The Amherst Yo-Ho Penguins participated in a tournament at Williams this past weekend. The team was coming off a 4-0 home stand that put the Yo-Hos at the top of their division. Many players were unable to attend the tournament this weekend due to prior obligations, but the team was able to play with a smaller roster.

In sports, success is measured by triumphs and defeats, elation and anguish. Throughout her four years at Amherst, Naomi Bates has experienced the entire spectrum of emotion on the track. Quite possibly the most successful track and field athlete in Amherst College women’s track and field history, Bates cites her humble beginnings on the track as a middle school desire to hang out with the boys of a local all-boys school.

I’m sure many of you have seen the pictures all over social media of Amherst athletes with “milk” mustaches on their faces. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, that isn’t milk! In any case, the social media campaign has not only garnered a lot of attention itself but also has brought attention to a previously little known group on campus called the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).


The Amherst men’s lacrosse team starts official practice this weekend as well, looking to build off a 2013 campaign that saw the Jeffs in rebuilding mode.

Amherst returns All-NESCAC senior captain Devin Acton who was one of the league’s offensive leaders last season, along with a host of other contributors who will look to improve on an eighth place finish in the NESCAC last season.

Coach John Thompson, along with the rest of the Jeffs, is very excited about how the offseason has gone.