Countdown to Cortaca: Bombers in the Bronx, Part 6

By Kerry Regan, June 23, 2022

Football team takes part in Cortaca Jug photo shoot at Yankee Stadium.

From November 10-12, 2022, Ithaca College will be hosting a weekend-long “IC in the City” experience in New York City for alumni and current students, faculty, and staff.  The centerpiece of this event, the 63rd annual Cortaca Jug football game between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland, will take place on November 12 at Yankee Stadium. To highlight this amazing opportunity, we will be publishing a yearlong series titled “Countdown to Cortaca: Bombers in the Bronx,” highlighting the entire weekend.

In the latest installment, we’re highlighting a photo shoot at Yankee Stadium featuring the two squads.

The four captains of the 2022 Ithaca College football team arrived at Yankee Stadium the morning of May 23, their equipment bags filled with everything they needed for the day—home blue uniforms, helmets, pads, cleats…and baseball gloves.

They needed their full football gear for a photo shoot that day with Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland coaches and captains for promoting the 2022 Cortaca Jug game at Yankee Stadium, to be held on Nov. 12. The baseball gloves came out at the end of the shoot’s on-field portion, along with a clandestinely secured baseball from Head Coach Mike Toerper. Moments later, defensive back Michael Roumes ’24 made a boast that will likely serve him well at dinner parties for years to come: “I played catch on the field at Yankee Stadium.”

Such was the nature of the two-hour shoot, which amounted to a casual tour of Yankee Stadium. The group visited half a dozen on- and off-field locations offering iconic backdrops while enjoying near-perfect weather: sunny skies, temperature in the upper 60s, and an occasional breeze for that natural windblown look.

Photographer Al Cappello directed his subjects to be natural, which left some room for interpretation. “Sometimes you want to smile,” said senior offensive lineman, Jake Villanueva ’22. “But I’m more game face on this one.”

During the on-field session, Cappello took individual shots of each captain in poses of the player’s choosing. After striking several especially expressive action-figure stances, defensive back Antwan Robinson ’22 asked for one more. “How many you got?” Cappello asked. “I can go all day,” Robinson replied.

Claire Marziotti was also on hand, taking photographs of both squads. When Cortland players had their sessions with Cappello, the IC captains tossed around a football, took group selfies and chatted with, among others, game sponsor Marc Hudak ’90. He and close friend and business partner Bob Garone ’87 arranged to have the game played in Yankee Stadium and organized the photo shoot.

Take a look at more of the action during the photo shoot.

As might be expected, nearly everyone in the group also had their cell phones out taking personal photos. In this festive atmosphere a casual observer might not have noticed that the IC and Cortland players respectfully avoided one another, in much the way that just-crowned NHL conference champions refuse to touch their new trophy for fear of jinxing their shot at the Stanley Cup.

And speaking of famous trophies, all three of the Cortaca Jugs were there, two of them filled with scores from earlier eras, the third still offering space for future outcomes. As the winners of last year’s game, the Cortland contingent carried them in, apologizing for not having the most recent score in place due to issues finding paint that would properly adhere. “That’s alright, take your time,” came the Ithaca retort.

Hudak had also arranged for the IC group to attend the Yankee game the night before the shoot. Yankee outfielder and IC grad Tim Locastro ’14 didn’t play that night — maybe that’s why they lost 3-1 to the visiting Chicago White Sox.

“This has been a really cool experience,” said quarterback AJ Wingfield ’23, expressing sentiments shared that morning by each of the captains. “We stayed in a nice hotel, we went out to the game last night…. It’s been unreal.”

Coach Toerper put it in perspective.

“The No. 1 thing, and this holds true in everything, every piece of our program and everything we do. You’ve got to enjoy the journey. And I think today was a part of enjoying the journey.” 

Stay in the Loop

Planning and preparation continue for IC in the City and Cortaca Jug 2022. For more information and to learn about opportunities for alumni, students, faculty, staff, and IC community members, please visit the “IC in the City” homepage.