Picture Perfect

By Patrick Bohn ’05, August 7, 2019
Bombers and Red Dragons get a taste of MetLife Stadium football field during the official Cortaca photoshoot.

The 61st Cortaca Jug football game between Ithaca College and Cortland State University will be played on its biggest stage yet this fall — MetLife Stadium, the home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets. To shine a light on this historic matchup, we are running a series of stories highlighting everything you'll need to know about the Jug, both past and present.

The historic Cortaca Jug matchup at MetLife Stadium between the Ithaca College Bombers and SUNY Cortland Red Dragons is still a little more than three months away. But the captains and coaches of the two squads recently got small taste of what they’re going to see in November when they took a trip to East Rutherford for an on-field photo shoot to help promote the game. 

I’d never been to MetLife Stadium, so getting a chance to see the facilities and then step out on to the field, I was pretty much in awe, said defensive lineman John Hadac ’20 when he was asked about seeing the 80,000-seat stadium — home of the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets — in person. 

Once he and his teammates got on to the turf however, the fun began. “We all had a lot of adrenaline,” Hadac admitted. “But when we got out there, we just started playing catch, and hanging out. It was great to get together as a group and catch up with the guys.” 

Will Gladney

Will Gladney has caught touchdown passes from two different quarterbacks in the Cortaca Jug. This perfect throw, however, came from his head coach. (Photo by Perry Bindelglass)

For Will Gladney ’20, one of the highlights of the day was getting to catch passes from an exceptional quarterback — who also happens to be his head coach. Dan Swanstrom, who has won his first two Cortaca Jug games at the helm of the program, was an accomplished quarterback at Rhodes College, throwing for more than 7,500 yards during his career and being named a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, awarded to the outstanding Division III player of the year.

Being around [Coach Swanstrom] in such a loose atmosphere was a lot of fun, said Gladney, who was named a preseason first-team All-American by d3football.com. I just wanted to soak it all in.

After a few highlight-reel catches, Gladney and his fellow co-captains Kyle Berna ’20 and Michael Conley ’20 got a chance to celebrate, with the duo hoisting Gladney onto their shoulders.

That was a lot of fun, laughed Conley. Especially considering I had tried to [play defense] against Will, and that didn't go so well.

“My family couldn't believe I was going to be in a photoshoot at MetLife Stadium.”

Michael Conley ’20

The faces of Gladney and fellow co-captains Conley, Hadac, Berna, and Nick Garone 20 will be seen quite a bit leading up to an event that will feature the largest gathering of Ithaca College alumni in one place at one time.  

With Cortland also having a large alumni presence in the tri-state area, two passionate fan bases are going to combine to try and break the all-time single-game Division III attendance record of 37,355. With a memorable photo shoot kicking off the experience, Cortaca 2019 is certain to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for alumni, students, and of course, players. 

Taking part in this Cortaca is going to be a lifelong memory,” Hadac said. 

You can catch up on all things Cortaca by reading our Countdown to Cortaca: The Road to MetLife Stadium series

Tickets and Merchandise

Tickets for the game are sold through Ticketmaster and at can be purchased at www.cortacajug.com.

Cortaca Jug 2019-branded T-shirts and other merchandise has arrived at the campus store and also is available on the website at: www.ithaca.edu/cortaca-shop.