Competition was fierce and spirited, but it took a backseat to an amazing display of sportsmanship.
At Mercyhurst Prep athletics fuel the energetic and dynamic rhythm in the day-to-day heartbeat of our school. Our athletes win on the field and they win in life. Each year dozens of MPS student athletes go on to compete at the collegiate level. Members of our rowing team are consistently awarded scholarships and compete on their college rowing teams.
The combination of outstanding athletic programs and the Mercy charism builds pride and spirit as well as some of the region’s finest student athletes. We boast eight state championships, and we always field athletes who make us proud, win or lose. In 2012-13 and again in 2013-14, our MPS women’s tennis team claimed the state championship. In 2014 women’s doubles took home the PIAA AA title. The MPS family rallies around all of our student-athletes who always show their Laker Pride. Our Laker tailgates are a new tradition that harnesses the energy of our fans and Lakers young and old.
About MPS Athletics
Very few schools can boast a baseball field in their own backyard, but Mercyhurst Prep is proud to be one of them. This could be your field of dreams as it has been for so many talented Lakers and teams that MPS puts on the field annually. Earning Region titles and District 10 Championships and going to the PIAA State Western Final in multiple seasons have become the standard for coach Randy Durkoske and his staff. If America’s pastime excites you, step up to the plate and take a swing at winning a District 10 and State Championship with the MPS Lakers.
Winter at Mercyhurst Prep is marked by pride and spirit and one constant– the sound of basketballs bouncing in our Laker gym. Our boys’ basketball program has always been one of the most respected in the region. Led by coach Sean Baer ’99, an alumnus and teacher at MPS, our Laker men continue to thrill the fans with an intense and fun brand of basketball that has helped MPS secure a place in the PIAA playoffs more than a few times and advance to Regional Championships and the ultimate District AA Title. Only the strong survive in this sport. If you have that winning attitude and desire to play hard every minute of every game, this is the place for you. Across the state of Pennsylvania, everyone knows that “Mercyhurst Prep Lady Lakers” means only one thing: EXCELLENCE. Led by alumnus and coach Dan Perfetto ’92, year after year MPS puts an incredibly talented, well-coached basketball team on the floor to take on any and all challengers. The fans have been treated to years of great regular season and playoff basketball with the promise of more to come. If you have the desire to work hard and be a District 10 and State title contender, the gym doors are open and we await the arrival of your talents.
Each winter season, Mercyhurst Prep presents a consistently talented bowling team and has captured Metro League championships three times in the past decade. Lady Laker bowlers are serious about this sport. Our experienced coach, teacher, and MPS alumna, Sarah Gdaniec ’05, says there is always room for interested bowlers. If you are a beginner or can consistently pick up the 7–10 pin split, join the team in this great sport.
The Mercyhurst Prep cheerleading team is Marked by Pride and Spirit at the highest levels. Our Lady Laker cheerleaders have two very distinct functions: supporting other MPS teams with spirit-filled cheering during games and competing in state, regional, and national competitions. The support they lend during games is invaluable to leading our athletes to victory, and the championships they earn on their own merit continue to bring MPS to the highest levels. Come display your enthusiasm, athleticism, and talents as an MPS cheerleader with alumni coaches Tina Asmus ’00 and Cassie Ford ’12.
Cross-country is a great fall sport at Mercyhurst Prep — truly an exercise in self-discipline and an experience of camaraderie that lasts a lifetime. Coach Dave Stolar promotes a winning attitude at MPS by qualifying our Laker boys and girls class AA teams and individuals for the State Championships in Hershey during multiple years. If you want to earn your way to Chocolate Town, join the Laker cross-country team, have a great time, and run with the very best. Noah Curtin ’17 won the 2016 PIAA State Cross-Country Championship!
The Mercyhurst Prep Dance Team is a performance group that was revived under the MPS athletic department in 2017. The dance team performs at various athletic and school events throughout the year, including home football games, select boys and girls basketball games, Laker Day, and various community events. The dance team is open to any Mercyhurst Prep student in grades 9 through 12. MPS alumni and dance team coach, Melissa Helsley Melfi ’91, began dancing at the age of two and was a dance teacher/choreographer at Little’s Dance Studio for over 10 years. She was trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap along with other techniques and specializes in the Luigi Technique.
Laker spirit abounds as football season arrives each August. Our home games are played in the beautiful Mercyhurst University football stadium following tailgate picnics on our adjoining MPS campus. Many times in the past 25 years, MPS Laker football teams have advanced to the District 10 playoffs, experienced undefeated seasons, were regional champs multiple times, and ultimately captured the District 10 Title. This sport gives our student-athletes the chance to play right away and a chance to win. Coach Jeff Root and his dedicated staff invite you to take your place as a Laker in our successful tradition of MPS football.
MPS golf teams for both MPS girls and boys let Lakers tee it up on some of the most challenging and scenic courses in the entire district. Coach Kathy Lynch leads our MPS girls team, which has secured two District 10 Championships in 2016 and 2017 and the State runner-up trophy. With the graduation of several seniors every year, there is a place for you. On the boys’ team, placing members in the District 10 tournament and beyond is the norm. Led by coach Kirk Skelton, MPS has finished in the top three in regional play. MPS is the place for golf, and players have the potential for earning college scholarships.
Mercyhurst Prep is the exclusive school for rowing in our region. Rowing offers MPS Laker men and women the opportunity to compete on our beautiful bay and Lake Erie as well as waterways across the United States and Canada. Weekend regattas are the proving grounds for this extremely rigorous, prestigious, and tradition-laden sport. Our MPS coaching staff, led by alumnus Dave Geiger ’87, brings experience and enthusiasm, which help make rowing a unique team experience that very often leads to college scholarships for our Lakers.
Winning championships has become a fall tradition at Mercyhurst Prep when it comes to Laker soccer. Both boys and girls teams are led by experienced coaches and faculty, alumnus Doug Bakka ’88 and Jamie Borowicz, who create a challenging but fun environment. The girls won the PIAA State Championship in 2010 and D10 title in 2017 and 2018, while the boys were the PIAA State runners-up in 2010 and 2011. The girls went to the 2016 and 2017 PIAA State Championship and won the PIAA State Championship in 2017. The boys have claimed six out of the last nine District 10 Championships. MPS is the place where you can kick in at the highest level.
The crack of the bat and pop of the ball in the glove are the sounds heard as Mercyhurst Prep softball players compete each spring. Our team of talented and dedicated young women takes a back seat to no one when it comes to hard work and preparation, and this gives our Lady Lakers a chance each year to win a District 10 Championship with coach Rod Fucci. Come be a part of this fantastic sport!
Swimming & Diving
Swimming is a competitive sport at Mercyhurst Prep with Laker swimmers earning medals at the district, state, and national levels. MPS has five state championships in the last decade. There has been so much success that MPS now boasts of being one of the most accomplished teams in the region. Coach Katie Cowan, a seasoned and highly regarded swim coach and assistant coach Mike Geary ’16 have their sights set on adding to the remarkable tradition at MPS. Our home pool is located at the beautiful Junker Center of Penn State Behrend. Swim with the MPS champions and become one yourself!
Winning championships in tennis have become expected at MPS. For 17 straight years, the MPS girls served their way to the District 10 crown and are poised for more. This incredibly successful Laker team is a four-time Pennsylvania class AA team State Champion. Join coaches Chelsea Czerwinski ’13 and Cassidy Schultz ’09 and the rest of the team to continue one of the most successful traditions in any sport in District 10. Come take your place on a team that simply refuses to lose. The MPS boys tennis players display physical and mental strength in this demanding sport, coached by Kelly Manning. Tennis, which is both an individual sport and a team sport, lends itself to helping develop lifelong friendships and lessons on hard work. This is a great opportunity for Lakers to excel in a sport that can be played an entire lifetime.
Track and Field
Running, jumping, and throwing are the focus of this intense outdoor sport for girls and boys. Mercyhurst Prep is proud each season to produce District and State qualifiers and champions. Whether it is running distance or sprints, doing long or high jumping, throwing the discus and javelin, or putting the shot, every Laker has a chance to compete, have fun, and become part of a spirited team. Get to the starting line and be a part of this great group of student-athletes. Dave Stolar is the track and field coach.
This exciting sport gives Lady Lakers a chance to jump right in and be part of a talented team with coach Kelli Denial ’04. From beginners at the junior varsity level to experienced players at the Varsity level, Mercyhurst Prep is competitive and seeking to claim a District 10 or State championship. The team is always looking for spirited players who want to compete.