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Most of the fall sports teams have been on campus almost two weeks for preseason camp, and now approximately 250 of Lafayette’s student-athletes are joining with some fraternity and sorority members to welcome first-year students to College Hill.

Members of the football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cheerleading, and cross country squads are on hand along with Greek system members to lend new students and their families a hand as they unload vehicles and get acquainted with residence halls.

“First-year students and their families are burdened with so many thoughts during this time. It’s very much a relief for them to have help with getting situated,” says Kevin Worthen, associate dean of students and director of student life administration.

The sports teams have been organized into two shifts, according to Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick, associate director of athletics, who has coordinated the morning’s events with the Office of Residence Life.

The football team practiced 6-8 a.m. and is working a 9-11 a.m. shift in relief of the other fall sports squads. Those student-athletes were up at the break of dawn to help with moving in from 7-9 a.m., and will hit the practice field to resume their preparations for the 2004 season.

“It’s rewarding to see how much the student-athletes enjoy helping out, and the first-year students and family members are grateful for their help,” said Keenan-Kirkpatrick. “The parents are especially excited to have others who are willing to give them a hand with everything.”

The teams are wearing Lafayette Athletics T-shirts featuring the new leopard logo.

This is the third year in which all of the fall sports teams have participated in move-in day. The program was started by the football team in 1999 and has become a campus-wide event.

“All the teams on campus are involved in community service, and they’re giving back to their own campus community and helping with the major job that is move-in day,” says fifth-year head football coach Frank Tavani. “We’ve been able to provide some manpower to help in the past, and now with all the teams participating it’s that much better.”

Two teams will open their seasons tomorrow, as the field hockey team hosts Virginia Commonwealth 1 p.m. at the Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex. The women’s soccer squad will get underway when it plays New Hampshire at the Vermont Tournament in Burlington, Vt.

The Leopard football team will kick off its campaign 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, as Lafayette welcomes Marist to Fisher Field.

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