By Matt Jenkins
BEVERLY — Endicott College Director of Athletics Brian Wylie and a quartet of Gulls athletes were present at The Salem News headquarters yesterday afternoon to accept the school’s second straight North Shore Cup trophy.
Gordon College Director of Athletics Jon Tymann and Salem State University Director of Athletics Tim Shea were also on hand with student-athletes from their respective schools to honor the Gulls.
The North Shore Cup is essentially the brainchild of these three schools’ athletic directors, with the purpose being to enhance the already spirited rivalries these schools have across all sports.
“I don’t know where it originated, but I did try to get it going with the predecessors from (Tymann and Wylie’s) institutions. But there was not a lot of interest,” Shea said. “I revisited it two years ago and we sat down and agreed that it would be a good concept and a good idea.”
The formula is pretty simple: three points for a win, two for a tie, and one for a loss when any of the three schools play against each other. The total points earned are then divided by possible points earned for a winning percentage.
Endicott topped the list this year with a percentage of 86, Salem State was second at 67, and Gordon finished third with 49.
“It says a lot about Endicott College. We’re a Commonwealth Coast Conference powerhouse with conference championships the last couple years, and representing teams going to the NCAA tournament,” Endicott junior baseball player Taylor English said. “We can’t thank President (Richard) Wylie and Brian Wylie enough for providing us with the fields and opportunities to succeed on and off the field at Endicott.”
All the student-athletes involved obviously take each game, meet or match seriously, but all agree that having a little extra motivation doesn’t hurt.
“I think the student-athletes embraced it whole-heartedly. When you give them another opportunity — not that they need reasons to play, because they compete every day — it just brings greater awareness to each of our three institutions,” Brian Wylie said.
“They’re three very distinct and very different institutions, but this brings more awareness — not just of what’s happening on the field or courts as far as wins and losses, but also with community service. There’s just greater awareness for the North Shore. I think our students embrace it whenever we play Gordon or Salem.”
Shea also looks at the arrangement as a solid economical move for the three colleges.
“Hopefully, we end up playing each other in all of those sports. That just saves us money because we’re playing in our backyard rather than driving two hours somewhere else,” Shea said. “That’s working out and we’ve added more games (to the North Shore Cup) and, hopefully, we’ll ad a few more.”
Endicott will now be displaying the North Shore Cup in its trophy case for another year, while Shea and Tymann would love for their programs to take it over next year.
They all agree that is only increases the competition level between the three colleges.
“I was glad when Tim brought it up. This is my fifth year as AD and we’re trying to find ways also to promote what we’re doing,” Tymann said. “If you look at the success of the Beanpot and things like that, obviously we’re not the Beanpot, but wouldn’t it be fun to have a competition within a competition. When Tim brought the idea up we loved it. We’re still tweaking the scoring and how it works, but it really has brought our schools together.”
The hunt for the third North Shore Cup title is well underway now with the fall season in full swing. The focus on any battle between teams from Endicott College, Gordon College and Salem State University has no doubt increased over the past couple years, but the competition remains friendly.
“The games are always fun and I think this Cup is just good, friendly competition. It’s something we can all try to strive for being North Shore schools,” Endicott women’s soccer player Madison McKinley said.
“We can’t really get mad over it; it’s really just for fun.”