In the race to prove school spirit that was the Settle the Score Challenge between Hobart and William Smith Colleges and St. Lawrence University, recent Hobart graduate Tim Sharkey ’10 and his mother, Barbara Buecheler Sharkey SLU ‘77 spoke up about their experiences as students at HWS and SLU.
The two are from a family of HWS and SLU graduates. Tim Sharkey’s mother, two aunts, an uncle, and brother all attended SLU, while he and another uncle attended HWS.
“We have connections to both schools. My sisters, Deb and Liz, both graduated from SLU in 1974 and 1980, respectively. Deb married a SLU graduate and Liz married a Hobart graduate,” explains Buecheler Sharkey.
However, In Tim’s opinion, SLU is no match for HWS.
“The setting makes HWS better than SLU. Having HWS set on the western shores of Seneca Lake creates a beautiful campus that is full of fun activities,” says Sharkey.
His mother, though, is an avid SLU supporter and begs to differ: “SLU, at this time, has better athletic facilities, food service and residence halls. Our son, John, attended SLU from 2001 to 2005, so I know what the campus is like recently. Academically, Hobart may be stronger.”
In addition to attending HWS football, soccer, basketball and lacrosse games against SLU, Tim Sharkey was a member of the club hockey team at Hobart. His mother adds that the Sharkey family was very involved in hockey, as both her sons John and Tim played cub hockey at their respective schools. With the rivalry very much alive, she even claims that “SLU by far has the advantage.” But her son tells a different story. Sharkey lets the numbers speak for themselves: in the SLU North Country Classic, he notes, Hobart club hockey was the runner-up in 2008 and then went on to claim victory in 2009 and 2010.
“Our team has been fortunate enough to create a friendly rivalry with SLU’s club hockey team,” Sharkey says. “They have traveled to Geneva to play in games, and we have traveled up to SLU for the past three seasons to play in their spring tournament.”
Although there is clearly some friendly competition between mother and son, school rivalry isn’t a major source of contention for the Sharkeys and, with a legacy of HWS and SLU grads, the family shows their support mainly through athletics.
“We often will gather at HWS or SLU for HWS/SLU sporting events,” Sharkey adds.
Both Tim Sharkey and Barbara Buecheler Sharkey agree that school pride doesn’t adversely affect their family dynamic, and the Sharkeys openly admit that they support both HWS and SLU. Loyalty will never be forgotten, though, as Buecheler Sharkey playfully adds, “With Tim graduated, I’ll cheer on SLU harder so maybe the rivalry is just beginning. GO SAINTS!”
The Settle the Score Challenge is based on alumni donations made in the month of June, and the school with the most loyal alums will claim bragging rights as well as an awesome prize: Matt Brewery will run a limited edition Saranac beer and soda label featuring the winning school. Once a winner is determined, these special edition products will be available online. To make a donation, visit the Settle the Score Challenge website.