The Stony Brook Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its annual Lift For Life to support the Rare Disease Community on Sunday, March 8th.
Lift For Life is the signature fundraising event for the Stony Brook Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Stony Brook is a part of Uplifting Athletes’ nationwide network of chapters led by college football student-athletes.
Each chapter embraces the mission of Uplifting Athletes by using college football as a platform to inspire the Rare Disease Community with hope through the power of sport.
The 2020 Stony Brook Chapter Lift For Life will be a competition featuring a medicine ball toss competition between six football student-athlete led fundraising teams.
Fans and supporters can pledge every yard of the longest medicine ball toss for each team. So choose your favorite team comprised of Seawolves players and visit the Stony Brook Chapter Lift For Life fundraising page to pledge now! You can also make a flat donation to any team.
The proceeds from the 2020 Stony Brook Chapter Lift For Life support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.
Today, the challenges faced by the Rare Disease Community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The Stony Brook Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community to shine a spotlight on rare diseases.
The Stony Brook Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2014 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. Their inspiration comes from the long-term relationship between Seawolves head football coach Chuck Priore and a rare disease patient, Joey Ferminella. That relationship between our program and Joey continues to serve as an inspiration for all of us.
Please support the Stony Brook Chapter and help the Seawolves reach their impressive $6,000 team Lift For Life goal.
The cornerstone of the Uplifting Leaders program is our network of Chapters on campuses across the country led by college football student-athletes.
This past weekend, 39 leaders from 20 schools gathered in Atlanta for a high impact and fast paced weekend of learning and development during our 11th annual Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference.
The 2020 conference provided an opportunity for our Chapter leadership to develop relationships that stretch beyond the football field, to absorb enhanced mission and vision insight based on Uplifting Athletes’ four programs – Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders – and to plot a chapter strategy for 2020.
“The difference for me this year was it’s a new group of guys mostly, but you establish similar quality of relationships,” said Clemson Chapter leader and Tigers’ long snapper Jack Maddox, who was attending his second conference. “I have a year of experience now, so I know more about what’s going on. I’m not overwhelmed as much and I know what we can and can’t do at our chapter. It’s such a valuable weekend.”
Following a meet-and-greet dinner Friday night, the conference kicked off Saturday with a full day of programming. Four breakout sessions led by Uplifting Athletes staff were followed by an “entering the real world” question-and-answer session with former college athletes.
“I loved that the athletes had an opportunity to meet individuals with rare diseases outside of a hospital setting,” said Carol Unger, whose 32-year-old son Matthew is diagnosed with the ultra rare disease WAGR Syndrome. “I feel it is important to note that our children grow up, although some may still be at the maturity level of a 7 or 8 year old, and cherish those opportunities to meet with folks from the outside world.”
The first day of the conference closed out with a work session on three of Uplifting Athletes’ main events – Lift For Life, Reps For Rare Diseases and Touchdown Pledge Drive.
“Since Penn State is such an established chapter, my journey here is to learn what else can we do next to help support the Rare Disease Community,” said Penn State Chapter leader and long snapper Chris Stoll, who is in line to be the next PSU Chapter President taking over for quarterback Sean Clifford.
“I’m very excited to be more involved at another level. Sean did a great job and put a lot into it. But he’s our starting quarterback now and that’s a big job. I’m pumped to be here again and to meet so many guys who have passion for the rare disease cause and for using their platform to make a difference. And I’m very excited to get more involved at the next level.”
Sunday started with Dr. David Fajgenbaum, a former Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft grant recipient, founder of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network and rare disease research pioneer, sharing his story via a live video conference.
The conference wrapped up with some additional highlights of Uplifting Athletes’ programming that is available to support the rare disease cause and a work session to kick off 2020 at the chapter level.
A special thank you to all our sponsors and supporters who made this conference possible, Deloitte, Sanofi Genzyme, Jean Campbell and JFC Consulting and the College Football Hall of Fame. With your help, these young men are making a difference in the Rare Disease Community.
Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who
is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy
Name: Zach Lucas
College: Stony Brook
weight, class, position: 6-4, 240-pound, redshirt senior, tight end
High School: Old Tappan High
School, Northvale, N.J.
About Zach: Each of the last
three seasons has appeared in double-digit games for the Seawolves and will
finish his career with nearly 35 appearances. Two years ago he appeared in 11
games on special teams, last season he saw action in the same number of games
at tight end and recorded his first collegiate reception. This season the New
Jersey native has made nine catches for 71 yards – both career-high numbers. Zach participated in the Stony Brook Chapter Lift For Life
before joining the leadership team in 2018. He learned the details behind
running a chapter and the importance of the Rare Disease Community to the
SeaWolves’ football program. He took over as the Chapter President in 2019 and
attended the Leadership Development Conference in January of 2019 before
overseeing the Stony Brook Chapter Lift For Life this past spring.
is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
LUCAS: My most
memorable experience as a college football player was my first career start. I
was faced with trials and tribulations but ultimately overcame them to become a
starting tight end for Stony Brook.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting
LUCAS: As a college football player we
have a platform to create change and help others.
have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
learned to appreciate the little things more. Getting to meet people with rare
diseases it was inspiring. From the joyful spirit about life you couldn’t even
tell all the pain and suffering them have been to. It was incredible.
advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college
have to take advantage of the opportunity. The life lessons you learn and
relationships you build will last a lifetime. It isn’t always easy, but it’s
unmatched to anything I’ve been a part of.
is your favorite NFL player and why?
LUCAS: Tom Brady. He is the GOAT!
you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose
LUCAS: Warren Buffet; I would love to
absorb some of the knowledge about finances and life from him.
Stony Brook roared back from an 18-point halftime deficit capped
by kicker Nick Courtney’s 22-yard field goal as time expired to upset FCS No. 5
The road victory marks the second time in program history the
Seawolves beat a team ranked in the Top 5. Stony
Brook defeated No. 2 Richmond in 2016.
Stony Brook scored 10 points in the final 92
seconds after trailing 35-20 midway through the fourth quarter. The Seawolves
scored the final 16 points.
Quarterback Tyquell Fields was instrumental in
the rally, throwing for a career-best 321 yards with one passing TD and a pair
of rushing touchdowns. His 1-yard plunge with 1:32 to play pulled the Seawolves
to within 35-33 after a failed two-point conversion.
Stony Brook then used all its timeouts and forced the Wildcats to punt with 21 seconds to play. The Seawolves connected on a 40-yard completion from Fields to Nick Anderson in the dying seconds to set up the game winning field goal by Courtney.
Lehigh: For the third straight game the Mountain Hawks’ fate came down to
the final play of the game. And for the third straight time Lehigh walked away
with a victory. Austin Henning’s 27-yard field goal as time expired lifted
Leigh to 3-0 in the Patriot League with a home victory over Georgetown. The
Hoyas rallied with a 72-yard touchdown bomb on fourth-and-4 and added a
two-point conversion to tie it up at 24 with 1:23 to play. Lehigh answered by
calmly traveling 59 yards in eight plays to set up the winning kick. Lehigh
Chapter President and wide receiver Jorge Portorreal posted a team-high eight
catches for 103 yards to help the Mountain Hawks win their fourth in a row.
Penn State: Nittany Lions quarterback and Penn State Chapter President Sean
Clifford threw four touchdown passes, three of them to tight end Pat
Freiermuth, as the undefeated Nittany Lions posted a 21-point soggy and rain
swept victory at Michigan State. Penn State is 8-0 for the first time since
2008, is 5-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2011 and moved up to No. 5
in the rankings. The Nittany Lions defense produced three turnovers, limited
the Spartans to seven points and broke up eight passes.
Marist: Redshirt freshman running back Hunter Cobb ran for 178 yards and
a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries and the Red Foxes defense forced a pair of
turnovers to upset Davidson on the road in North Carolina. The Red Foxes
defense limited the No. 3 FCS rushing offense in the country to 202 yards on 46
carries. Cobb’s 89-yard touchdown run in the third quarter is the
fourth-longest touchdown run by a Red Fox in the program’s 27-year FCS history
and the longest in the last seven years and earned him the Uplifting Athletes
Rare Performance of the Week.
Western Michigan: Senior running back LeVante Bellamy posted a
career-high four touchdowns and rushed for 178 yards to lead a Broncos ground
game that rolled up nearly 400 yards and six touchdowns in their victory over
Bowling Green. Junior linebacker Treshaun Hayward led a WMU defense that limited
the Falcons to only 266 total yards with 13 tackles (10 solo), two sacks and
three tackles for a loss.
Illinois: The Illini rushed for a season-high 242 yards and its defense
forced a pair of turnovers in the rain-soaked victory at Purdue. Senior RB Dre
Brown had a career-high 131 yards on the ground to help Illinois win its second
in a row and get to 4-4 overall. Junior cornerback Tony Adams became the first Illini with interceptions in
back-to-back Big Ten games since Vontae Davis and Kevin Mitchell both did
it against Penn State and Wisconsin in 2007.
Clemson: Running back Travis Etienne and wide receiver Diondre Overton
each scored three touchdowns as the undefeated Tigers extended their winning
streak to 23 games with a 52-point victory over Boston College on homecoming at
Memorial Stadium. Clemson’s defense held the No. 6 ranked rushing offense in
the country to only 96 yards on the ground, scored a touchdown on a fumble
return and had eight tackles for a loss.
Princeton: Led by a defense that produced three interceptions that led to 17
points, the Tigers rallied in the second half to overtake Harvard for win No.
16 in a row. Tigers quarterback Kevin Davidson threw for 312 yards and three
touchdowns and linebacker Jeremiah Taylor had one of those interceptions and a
team-high 13 tackles.
Florida State: Seminoles running
back Cam Akers rushed for 144 yards, completed a couples pass for 26 yards out
of the “wildcat” formation and tied a school record for rushing touchdowns in a
game with four to lead FSU to a homecoming victory over Syracuse.
Baylor redshirt freshman kicker John Mayers
missed a 38-yard field goal early in the game, but drilled one from the same
distance into a stiff wind with just 21 seconds remaining to propel the Bears
to 4-0 overall with the victory in their Big 12 opener over Iowa State.
Late in the third quarter, the Bears led 20-0
before the Cyclones offense caught fire and ripped off 21 unanswered points on
three consecutive drives to surge in front with 3:45 to play.
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer rallied his
squad with a clutch 13-play, 54-yard drive that set up the winning field goal.
Brewer was 7-of-10 on the decisive drive and converted three times on third-down
The Bears have won six straight games (dating back to 2018 season)
for the first time since opening the 2016 season 6-0.
Penn State: Sophomore quarterback Sean
Clifford had a career night and set a school record in only his fourth start.
The Penn State Chapter President set personal records for yards passing (398)
and completions (26) and he set a school record for passing yards in a half
with 287 in the blowout of Maryland. Clifford also scored the first
rushing touchdown of his career on the Nittany Lions first snap from scrimmage.
The shutout by the Penn State defense was the first at Maryland since 1970.
Penn: Senior running back Karekin
Brooks scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs covering 2 and 31 yards
to seal a road victory at Lafayette for the Quakers’ first win of the season.
Penn was nursing a four-point lead entering the final 15 minutes before Brooks
found the end zone twice. He finished with 202 yards on 29 carries.
Brooks’ 202-yard game was the third 200-plus yard
game of his career and in the process he became the first player in program
history to post three career 200-plus yard games to earn the Uplifting Athletes
Rare Performance of the Week.
The Victory Cannon will stay in Kalamazoo for the seventh time in the last nine
years after the Broncos rolled over in-state rival Central Michigan. The WMU
defense limited the Chippewas to 107 rushing yards and shut them out for three
quarters. Western Michigan Chapter President Justin Tranquill recorded the
first sack of his career, his second interception in 2019 and also had a tackle
for a loss.
Lehigh: It took one of the best
defensive efforts in recent Mountain Hawks history for Lehigh to post its first
victory of the season. Despite being on the field a whopping 37 minutes, the
Mountain Hawk defense held Merrimack to minus-25 yards rushing, recorded six
sacks, posted two takeaways and the only points Lehigh surrendered was a
second-quarter field goal.
Notre Dame: Behind a defense that posted
eight sacks and five turnovers, the Fighting Irish rallied from its first
halftime deficit of the season to outscore Virginia 21-3 in the second half in
a battle of previously Top 20 ranked teams. Defensive end Julian Okwara led the
defense with 3 sacks, two quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles, both of
which led to Irish touchdowns. Notre Dame Chapter President Drew White
tied for the team-high in tackles with seven including five solo stops.
Saint Francis: A blocked punt set up the Red
Flash for the only touchdown of the game in a defensive tussle in Rhode Island
with Bryant. In it’s three wins, Saint Francis has only surrendered 14, 13 and
six points. In a game that saw the two squads combined for 20 punts, the Red Flash
defense limited Bryant to 210 total yards, a pair of field goals and 2 of 17 on
third down. SFU Chapter President Nick Rinella paced the defense with eight
tackles including seven solo stops and a tackle for a loss.
Florida State: Quarterback Alex Hornibook, a
graduate transfer from Wisconsin, made his first career start for the Seminoles
and threw for a career-high 316 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over NC
State. The victory over the Wolfpack marked the first time since 2016 that
FSU has posted back-to-back victories in ACC games since the 2016 season.
Stony Brook: Junior quarterback Tyquell
Fields scrambled 50 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-down play to score with
11 seconds remaining to give the Seawolves a dramatic come-from-behind road
victory in their CAA opener. Stony Brook and Rhode Island combined to score 37
points in the wild fourth quarter that saw URI score a pair of touchdowns in
less than 30 seconds inside the final 2 minutes to erase a 10-point deficit.
Syracuse: Quarterback Tommy DeVito, the
first-year starter for the Orange, threw four touchdown passes for the second
consecutive game becoming only the second Syracuse quarterback in program to
have multiple four-plus touchdown games during his career in the comfortable
win over Holy Cross. Former Orange signal caller Ryan Nassib threw four TD
passes in a game four times during his career.
Princeton: Senior quarterback Andrew Davidson,
making only his second start for the Tigers, broke the Princeton and Ivy League
single-game record for touchdown passes in a game with seven in the victory
over Bucknell. Senior wide receiver Andrew
Griffin hauled in four of those touchdown passes to tie the 28-year-old school
and Ivy League record for touchdowns by a wide receiver in a game.
Fordham: Rams linebacker Ryan Greenhagen,
coming off back-to-back Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors,
appears to be a strong candidate to make it three in a row after posting 13
tackles, including 10 solo, a career-high 4.5 tackles for a loss and one sack
in a victory over Richmond. Defensive back Dervin Hylton Jr. knocked down a
pair of passes in the end zone in the dying seconds to preserve the second win
of the season for Fordham.
Clemson: The defending National
Champions made it 20 victories in a row thanks to its defense stuffing North
Carolina on a two-point conversion attempt inside the final two minutes to
preserve a one-point victory over the Tar Heels. It was the first road victory
for the Tigers at North Carolina since 2002.
Every touchdown scored during the month of
October by participating members of the Uplifting Athletes nationwide network
of college football student-athlete led chapters will help support the Rare
Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by college
football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the
players on your favorite team in their off-the-field efforts by supporting
their on-field performance.
“Uplifting Athletes’ college football chapters
provide a unique platform to raise awareness for the Rare Disease Community.
Touchdown Pledge Drive is an in-season student-athlete led initiative to shine
a national spotlight on rare diseases,” Uplifting Athletes Director of Sports
Impact Brett Brackett said. “We are grateful to each and every school that is
participating this year by spreading awareness and encouraging their fans to
pledge per touchdown scored during games in October to support the mission of
Clemson, Colgate, Davidson, Fordham, Illinois, Kent State, Lehigh, Marist, NC State, Northwestern, Penn, Penn State, Saint Francis, Stony Brook, Syracuse and Western Michigan chapters have each committed to helping Uplifting Athletes Tackle Rare Diseases by participating in Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019.
Fans can simply make a pledge
to their favorite college-football student-athlete led chapter for each
touchdown they score in October. Then as the games
unfold, watch and cheer as each touchdown scored helps raise money to support
the Rare Disease Community.
The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019
support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare
Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting
The challenges faced by the Rare Disease
Community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle
alone. The grassroots effort of our nationwide network of teams is uniquely
positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on
favorite Uplifting Athletes Chapter using college football as a platform to shine a spotlight on the
Rare Disease Community, and
support their efforts by signing up for Touchdown Pledge Drive 2019 today!
Kent State exploded on homecoming weekend, posting a school record
750 yards of offense and averaged a record 8.9 yards per play on its way to 62
points and victory over Bowling Green.
The last time the Golden Flashes posted more than 700 yards of
offense was in 1948 against Connecticut. In perfect balance, Kent State had 375
yards rushing and passing.
All three quarterbacks, Dustin Crum, Woody Barrett and Kavious
Price had a touchdown pass. Crum led the way with 310 yards and three TD
Joachim Bangda and Jo-El Shaw each went over 100 yards rushing and
the Golden Flashes had 11 players catch at least one pass.
For the first time since 2004, Kent State had a 300-yard passer
and 100-yard rusher in the same game. Price threw his first career touchdown
pass in the first quarter and caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter to
become the first Golden Flashes player to throw and catch a TD pass in the same
game since 2012.
Kent State Chapter President Antwan Dixon had three catches for 29
Syracuse: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tommy DeVito accounted for more
than 370 yards of total offense and five touchdowns to pace the Orange past Western
Michigan to snap their modest two-game losing skid. DeVito threw for 287
yards and four touchdowns and tacked on another 85 yards and a score on the
ground. The Broncos, behind 356 yards from QB Jon Wassink and 165 yards on the
ground from RB LeVante Bellamy, kept this a nip-and-tuck affair through three
quarters. Syracuse scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull
Orange kick returner Sean,
Riley became Syracuse’s career leader in kickoff returns (107) and kickoff
return yards (2,299) with two kickoff returns for 32 yards in the victory over
WMU. He passed Qadry Ismail (105 kickoff returns, 2,290 kickoff return yards)
in both categories to earn Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.
Stony Brook: Redshirt sophomore RB had a breakout game, rushing for a
career-high 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Seawolves in a
commanding victory over Fordham at home. The win was the 12th straight
victory for Stony Brook at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The Seawolves’ defense
limited the Rams to 38 rushing yards on 30 carries.
Baylor: Led by a defense that recorded eight tackles for a loss and three
sacks, the Bears escaped Rice with a road victory to stay unbeaten. Bears DE
James Lockhart collected his first career fumble recovery to end a sequence of
three plays where he recorded a pass break up, a tackle for loss and a fumble
Princeton: The Tigers are replacing a wealth of talent from an offense that
sent a couple players to the NFL ranks. However, their opening act of 2019
looked a lot like the Ivy League championship team of a year ago. Princeton
piled up nearly 550 yards of offense and 49 points to overwhelm Butler in its
NC State: Two huge plays by the Wolfpack special teams were key in the home
victory over Ball State. NC State’s Thayer Thomas returned a blocked punt 76
yards for a touchdown and, in the fourth quarter, Max Fisher blocked another
punt that set up the Wolfpack inside the 10-yard line and led to a touchdown.
Clemson: Before the second quarter was a minute old the Tigers had already
posted 24 unanswered points to overwhelm Charlotte for a record 19th victory in
a row for the defending National Champions and consensus No. 1 team in the
Florida State: Led by running back Cam Akers, the Seminoles raced out to a 21-0
first quarter lead on Louisville and never looked back to even their record at
2-2. Akers finished with 115 yards on 29 carries and scored two of his three
touchdowns in the first quarter.