If you came from a small town like I did, then you probably arrived at college with similar memories of homecoming: the crisp October air on your face, endless amounts of school spirit, the anticipation and excitement of your high-school football team playing their rival from the next town over on home field as the entire community gathered around to watch.
But Homecoming at Hopkins is nothing like this. It’s not in the fall and it’s not about football.
Instead, our Homecoming was made to coincide with the lacrosse season, because at Hopkins, lacrosse is our marquee sport, our number one tradition.
Outside of the hospital or the medical school, if anyone knows anything about Hopkins, they know that Hopkins is an icon in the world of collegiate lacrosse.
Established in 1883, the Hopkins men’s lacrosse team has won the most national titles of any other college lacrosse team with 44, the next closest being the United States Naval Academy with 17.
Hopkins truly stands alone atop the rest of the collegiate lacrosse world.If you play lacrosse, Baltimore is where you want to be.
Back in 2004, the state of Maryland made lacrosse its official team sport, and the city of Baltimore serves as the unofficial lacrosse capital of the world.
Within the city’s perimeters are five consistently top-20 ranked collegiate lacrosse teams: Hopkins; Loyola University Maryland; University of Maryland; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Towson University.
In Baltimore, you will find the greatest college lacrosse rivalries: the Hopkins-Loyola rivalry, known as The Charles Street Massacre, and the Hopkins-Maryland rivalry, quite simply known as The Rivalry, which commenced when the two first met back in 1895.
Likewise, the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum can be found on our own Homewood Campus.
For 134 years, lacrosse has been the heartbeat of the University and even greater Baltimore. Lacrosse has the power to rally school spirit and connect the student body with scores of local lacrosse fans.
This past weekend, crowds of students and alumni came to Homewood field as the Hopkins men’s lacrosse team welcomed the University of Michigan Wolverines to Homewood field for their annual Homecoming game and senior day ceremony.
As expected, the Blue Jays did not disappoint, claiming a 19-9 victory against Michigan.
Game highlights included: sophomore attack Kyle Marr’s three goals and six assists, the five different Blue Jays that tallied two goals apiece, junior attack Shack Stanwick’s goal that extended his point-scoring streak to 45 games and the best extra-man unit in NCAA lacrosse going five-for-five on man-up.
Still, the game was not the main source of excitement.
Blue Jays from near and far came to Homewood Field to commemorate the program and honor numerous former Blue Jays by celebrating the anniversary of their national championship team.
Senior captain of the 1967 national championship team, Jerry Schnydman, and his former teammates walked onto Homewood Field together for the first time in years, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their national title.
“Most of us do not live in Baltimore and had not traveled back in years,” Schnydman said. “It was great to relive old stories and games together.”
Recounting his undergraduate homecoming experience, Schnydman has fond memories of the crowds, excitement and particularly his own senior day game against the Navy Midshipmen, who had not lost a game since 1959.
“The stands were always packed for Homecoming. There was never any standing room so people were packed two and three deep around the fence,” Schnydman said. “I remember a certain excitement was added by the screaming and yelling from the crowd when we ran onto the field.”
In the final homecoming game of his Hopkins career, Schnydman and the Blue Jays were victorious against the defending national champions of the past seven years.
Winning 9-6, Hopkins was the first team to beat Navy in eight years. After that, the Blue Jays went on to win the 1967 National Championship.
Joining the ’67 team, many other former Blue Jays returned to Homewood in order to celebrate their own national title anniversary alongside the Hopkins lacrosse giants that came before them. In the special halftime ceremony, the University honored the national championship teams of 1957, 1967, 1987 and 2007.
Lacrosse at Hopkins remains a deeply entrenched tradition that also works to strengthen school spirit. Even students unfamiliar with the sport come to the Homewood stadium to enjoy it and witness the sports ability to bring the University and the community together.
“When I was accepted to Hopkins my senior year at [Baltimore] City College, it was a dream come true,” Schnydman said. “When I began playing lacrosse at 12 years old, I would take two buses to get to Homewood every weekend for the game. Playing for Hopkins is something I will always cherish.”
Correction: The photo for this article was originally misidentified. It was not, in fact, from the Hopkins Homecoming game on April 20, 2017. It was from last year’s game. The News-Letter regrets this error.