May 24, 2012
WASHINGTON - While most of their classmates were participating in Senior Week activities last week, members of the Georgetown baseball team were practicing and then hopping on a bus for a long ride to Ohio for the team's final series of the regular season. And when those classmates were taking part in graduation exercises this past Saturday on the Hilltop, the baseball team was in Cincinnati looking to find a way for the Hoyas to make their way in to the BIG EAST Baseball Tournament.
While the Blue & Gray fell short in their goal of making the BIG EAST Tournament - it would have been the program's first appearance in 26 years - the eight graduating seniors did have a special memory to take with them.
The Hoyas beat Cincinnati, 15-4, in the season finale, and finished the year with a 24-29 overall record, including a 10-17 mark in the BIG EAST, tying for eighth place and finishing just percentage points out of a spot in the tournament.
After the win over Cincinnati, the team bused back to campus and on Monday morning in Riggs Library, the eight graduating seniors - Billy Cosmopulos (Seekonk, Mass./Moses Brown [R.I.]), Mike Garza (San Antonio Texas./Douglas MacArthur), Nick Geary (Miami, Fla./Ransom Everglades), Will Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep), Kevin Johnson (Peabody, Mass./Belmont Hill), Bobby Kirby (Bel Air, Md./Loyola Blakefield), Andy Lentz (Farmington Hills, Mich./Brother Rice) and Rand Ravnaas (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints' Episcopal) - took part in a private graduation ceremony with Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia, and their families.
Arriving just before 11 a.m., the group donned their caps and gowns and formed a mini parade into Riggs Library, where they were joined by DeGioia and other University personnel as their families, friends and coaches looked on. After an address from DeGioia, each player was presented their diploma and had a photo taken with the president.
It was a special moment for the 2012 senior class, a team that won more games overall (24) and in league play (10) than any Georgetown team since the 2006 season.
"When I was walking to get my degree, it was a surreal experience," Geary said. "You see the classes ahead of you graduate from when you step on campus and you think that day will never come for you, but it did and it was amazing. The whole ceremony was perfect, it couldn't have been any better."
"The feeling crossing the stage was somewhat surreal, as it seemed like just yesterday that I began my freshman year," Garza said, "but walking across the stage with the same guys that I have gone through the thick and thin of things with was a truly gratifying and unforgettable experience."
And while they were not able to participate in Senior Week activities or to be here for the main ceremony on Saturday, the players each said their graduation on Monday made it even more special.
"Baseball provided us with an incredible opportunity to not only be accepted into such a prestigious institution as Georgetown, but also to graduate and be part of the Hoya family forever," Cosmopulos said. "I consider myself extremely lucky to have spent four years here playing baseball. The bond that I have made with my teammates is one that is stronger than any normal relationship. After sharing blood, sweat and tears with the guys in my class and my team, I can truly say they are my brothers and those connections wouldn't be possible without baseball here at Georgetown."
"I'll have a ton of memories from the field, but surprisingly enough, I don't think I will ever forget taking up multiple tables in Lau with 10 or 12 other baseball guys trying to study for finals while also trying to get out of Lau with enough time to sleep before our game the next day," Garza said. "There are so many memories, from athletics and academic to social, that we have shared together, but they are memories that I don't think any of us will ever forget."