Fordham Chapter announces Life For Life to support the rare disease community set for July 28

FORDHAM LFL 17 TWITTERThe Fordham Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its Lift For Life to support the rare disease community on Friday, July 28th.

Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes.

Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport.

This will be the first Lift For Life event for the Fordham Chapter since 2014. The program is excited to be helping tackle rare diseases again.

Fans and supporters can make a donation to either the Rams offense or defense by visiting the Fordham Chapter fundraising site.

The proceeds from the Fordham Chapter Lift For Life supports Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to life skills development, patient focused programs and rare disease research.

Today, the challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. Here at Fordham we take pride in the opportunity to shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

Fordham started tackling rare diseases in 2011 and is excited to be back in the Lift For Life rotation.

Please support the Fordham Chapter and help the Rams reach their $2,000 team Lift For Life goal.

Beyond The Trophy: Stephen Hodge, Fordham University


Name: Stephen Hodge

College: Fordham University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-2, 212, senior, linebacker

High School: Shawnee HS in Medford, N.J.

About Stephen Hodge: A tackling machine, Hodge has appeared in at least 11 games in each of first three seasons with the Rams. As a junior he led the nation among FCS schools in solo tackles with 94 and was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. A preseason All-American this year, the President of the Fordham Chapter is a legacy at Fordham as his older brother Chris played for the Rams from 2001-03. This would have been his third year as a starter for a Rams squad that won the Patriot League title in 2013 and earned an FCS postseason berth. A two-time member of the Patriot League academic honor roll, Hodge has missed all of this season with an injury.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

HODGE: Favorite experience that I enjoy most is ringing our victory bell after every home win. It is an awesome tradition.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

HODGE: My past teammates such as Andrew Milmore, Tom Fisher, and Vince Antinozzi informed me of their experience and how awesome the whole process was. I’ve been blessed with a lot and it feels good to give back.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

HODGE: Definitely beating Temple last year on a last-second play. I had about 200 people their because the game was in Philadelphia. Plus I got to play at Lincoln Financial Field, home of my favorite NFL team, the Eagles. It was sort of like a perfect storm. Oh yeah, my sister also got engaged that day, too. She kind of stole the spotlight.

What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play, and what makes them so difficult?

HODGE: Toughest team we have faced is probably Villanova. They have a great program. In our most recent series we are both undefeated at home.

What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?

HODGE: My major is finance and I would like to think all those public speaking classes helped out in addressing my team. Probably not, though.

Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?

HODGE: I don’t really have one. It was Luke Kuechly at Boston College. He’s a real hustle player and I respect that.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

HODGE: Well I already said Kuechly before I have to go with Jon Dorenbos. The magic man. Best long snapper in history.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

HODGE: Army’s Michie Stadium. The place is awesome. Although, the last experience I had there wasn’t too great.

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?

HODGE: Not feeling like I got ran over by a truck every Sunday after Saturday’s game.


Chapter Members Honored with Many Awards

Three players from Uplifting Athletes Chapters were recently named to the prestigious 2013 Capital One Academic All America first team.

Only 24 players were recognized as first-team selections from among all the FBS and FCS football programs nationwide.

Two of the three with Uplifting Athletes roots, Penn State’s John Urschel along with Nebraska’s Spencer Long, are offensive linemen.

The third member of the first team is defensive lineman Brett Biestek from FCS Fordham.

Nebraska fullback C.J. Zimmerer and tight end Jake Long and St. Francis running back Kyle Harbridge made the second team. Zimmerer also was honored with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the Huskers.

Speaking of the Big Ten, Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson, Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland and Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien were tabbed as Player of the Year at their respective positions.

Borland and Budzien each also hauled in the sportsmanship awards for their respective programs from the conference.

In addition to those top players, six other players from Uplifting Athletes chapters made the Big Ten first team.

Three of those, running back Ameer Abdullah, defensive lineman Randy Gregory and defensive back Ciante Evans, hail from Nebraska.

Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederius (Burlsworth Trophy), Urschel (Campbell Trophy, Lowes Senior CLASS Award) and Penn State defensive lineman DaQuan Jones were also named to the first team.

Arizona’s running back Ka’Deem Carey was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and was the only unanimous player voted first-team All Pac-12.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was littered with first-team selections from undefeated and No. 1 ranked Florida State.

Quarterback Jameis Winston (Heisman, Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien Trophies) was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year and was joined on the first team by nine Seminole teammates.

Three offensive line, Cameron Erving, Tre’ Jackson and Bryan Stork (Rimington Trophy) and wide receiver Rashad Greene joined Winston on the first-team offense.

On the defensive side of the ball lineman Timmy Jernigan, linebacker Telvin Smith and defensive backs Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks made first team. Kicker Robert Aguayo (Lou Groza award winner) made it 10 FSU players on the first team.

When it came to the Patriot League and the FCS squads aligned with Uplifting Athletes, Fordham was very well represented.

Rams quarterback Michael Nebrich was the Offensive Player of the Year, linebacker Stephon Hodge was the Defensive Player of the Year and Joe Moorehead was Patriot League Coach of the Year.

Eight other Fordham players made the first team, including wide receiver-kick returner Brian Wetzel who was selected on both sides of the ball.

And finally, six Princeton players were named to the All-Ivy first team for 2013.

Congratulations to all the award winners for being recognized for excellence on the field and in the classroom in 2013.

Together … We Are … Stronger!

Beyond The Trophy — Tom Fisher, Fordham

Each week we will feature a college football player who is either a member or an officer in a Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

FisherName: Tom Fisher

College: Fordham University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-7, 312 pounds, senior, offensive tackle

High School: Westhill High School, Syracuse, New York

About Tom Fisher: A big mobile left tackle, Fisher came to Fordham as a tight end and played as a freshman at both tight end and offensive line. This season he is one of the anchors up front for the Rams. The President of the Uplifting Athletes chapter at Fordham, Fisher was a two-sport standout in high school and won a state basketball title his senior year. The Rams are having their best season in decades. Fordham has one of the top 10 ranked FCS offenses in the country and overall the Rams are ranked No. 9 in the country. With a win over Georgetown last Saturday, Fordham is 7-0 for the first time since 1930.

As a player, what is your favorite part of game day you get to experience at your home stadium?

Fisher: I love running on the field as a team, and of course when we score touchdowns, but my absolute favorite part is ringing the Victory Bell after a win.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Fisher: Thus far, I think I would have to say beating Temple at Lincoln Financial Field on a last second touchdown to finish a game winning drive. Beating an FBS opponent on the road was a thrill, and I am still lost for words over the way that the game ended.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what if anything has this experience done for you?

Fisher: The year before I became involved, one of my close friends, Andrew Milmore, was the president of the chapter and had a successful year raising money for pediatric brain cancer.  Before he graduated, my friend Vincent Antinozzi and I had expressed interest in becoming involved with Uplifting Athletes. Vince took the initiative and began organizing who would be involved in the chapter, and he asked if I wanted to be involved, and I gladly decided to join him.

So far, this experience has taught me many lessons. First and foremost, it has put every aspect in my life in perspective. I have become more thankful for my blessings, and less agitated about my struggles.  Becoming involved with Uplifting Athletes has also made me realize how much more we all have to offer outside of our normal daily activities. It is entirely possible to devote some effort to helping others, whether it’s for children battling cancer, or any other issue that one would like to support.

What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play and what makes them so difficult?

Fisher: Year after year since I’ve been at Fordham, we have struggled against Lehigh and Colgate.  Both have been teams who execute their scheme well, and find whatever it takes to win games.

What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?

Fisher: I am a political science major, and things that I’ve used as a result of my major are my ability to clearly explain the mission of our chapter to others, whether it be in person or via email. I have found myself writing a lot of papers and doing a lot of presentations, so I think that has helped me be able to be clear when I explain what exactly our mission is.

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?

Fisher: One of the reasons I chose Fordham was because of the quality of the education, so primarily I hope to find a career that I truly enjoy. Other than that, I would rather not even think about life after football.

Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?

Fisher:  Johnny Manziel is definitely quite entertaining, but I also like to watch the offensive lines of dominant teams like Alabama because I truly appreciate the beauty of a bunch of fat and sweaty guys working as one unit to physically dominate their opponents.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Fisher: Joe Staley, an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers, because he plays offensive line the way it’s meant to be played. He plays with a mean demeanor to the echo of the whistle, and he physically dominates his opponents.

What was or is the inspiration for the Rare Disease your Uplifting Athletes Chapter is raising money for to be part of the fight?

Fisher: Ty Campbell was who inspired us to raise money for extrarenal rhabdoid tumors. When we adopted him as a member of our team, we were all able to see someone who was battling such a terrible disease still have a smile on his face.  After meeting someone with that condition, it motivated us to want to prevent future children to have to suffer the same way that Ty did.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Fisher: Playing at Columbia is always fun because they are our rivals. It was also exciting to play on the same field that the Philadelphia Eagles play on this season when we played Temple.