Return of the Hurling Club

The Purdue Hurling Club is back for its fifteenth year running, and we’re bringing you the hurling news you deserve. Read on to find out what happened at the National Tournament, who’s on the new executive board, why the club finally sanitized the gear, which alumni managed to get engaged, and who is expecting the arrival of a very small future hurler.

A brief recap

UConn, Pitt, Purdue, and Montana at the 2020 National Hurling Tournament
2020 National Tournament attendees: UConn, Pitt, Purdue, and Montana

The coronavirus took the world by storm in March to force lockdowns across the globe, but not before college clubs from across the country trekked to Orlando, FL, for the ultimate test of hurling prowess: the 2020 NCGAA National Hurling Tournament.

Though various teams and players canceled due to the virus, Purdue joined contingents from Pitt, Montana, and UConn to battle it out in the Florida heat. A strong showing from the opposition and a slow start from Purdue saw early, but very close, losses to Pitt and Montana, leaving the team in the third-place slot after a final victory over UConn.

Pledging to return with a vengeance, Purdue grabbed the Shield and retreated into the Everglades to regather their strength. As the final whistle blew on the season, the Boys in Black and the premier collegiate hurling team reeled from not making a third National Championship in a row, retreating to quarantine emboldened by securing the decorative-use-only Shield and with a renewed vigor to capture the haul of a hurling lifetime: the NCGAA Cup.

Executive Board 2020–21

The club elected six board members to lead the club into its bright, post-coronavirus future:

Jack C.—”Jorts” to his teammates, and “Jack the Ripper” to his opponents—returned from a year abroad in Japan to claim the title of President.

Frankie M.—known for his inexplicable support of the St. Louis Blues and a tendency to misplace his shirt—survived the summer in St. Louis and took the seat of Vice President.

Maura G.—notable as the tallest girl on the hurling team and an extreme Mayo enthusiast (the county, not the condiment)—failed to embezzle any club funds and won reelection as Treasurer.

Patrick M.—an alleged resident of Rhode Island, as if the so-called “state” were large enough to fit more than one individual anyway—took on the roles of both Secretary and Recruitment in a move he may live to regret.

Jared M.—wilderness enthusiast and aspiring tiny home architect—returned from a spring and summer spent traveling around the country and occasionally selling commercial-grade explosives to parlay his skills into Fundraising and Alumni Relations.

Tanner N.—known for living in a van down by the river and eating discount bread—secured the second Fundraising and Alumni Relations spot, brought you the club’s beautiful new website at, and earned the dubious distinction of writing this newsletter.

Check out the Executive Board Spotlight on Instagram for more details on these illustrious individuals:

Back to School

Purdue students returned to class on August 24, and the club jumped straight into recruiting—meeting seven individuals through the “Virtual B-Involved Fair” and converting at least nine recruits into seasoned hurlers in the first two of three callouts. As team members post flyers on anything that stands still while carrying their weird-looking sticks to attract curious glances around campus, recruiting prospects can only improve.

As the Purdue administration cracks down on the coronavirus sweeping the country, hurlers made the tough decision to mask up for socially-distanced practices, using fine new athletic masks generously provided by the Schwertfeger household. Hurlers also struggled with the mandate to drink their cheap beer through a brightly-colored straw inserted under a mask, but are expected to survive.

Though the status of the traditional fall hurling tournaments remains uncertain and the University forbids outside travel, club members continue to recruit, train, and scrimmage nonstop—preparing to take the hurling world by storm.

Hurlers’ Stories

In an inexplicable turn of events, not one but two hurling alumni found themselves engaged these past few weeks:

Jacques and Morgan engagement

Congratulations to hurler Jacques S. and spouse-to-be Morgan L.!

Erik and Erika engagement

Likewise, congratulations to hurler Erik M. and Erika K. on their engagement—after meeting in the Augusta Hurling Club, no less!

Finally, former captain Trevor and his wife Leah D.V. are expecting a wee little hurler of their own! We can only hope they will someday send her to Purdue to carry on the hurling tradition.

Trevor and Leah expecting

Coach’s Closing

“Club members past and present, I hope you have enjoyed this scintillating premier newsletter.  Many hours have gone into drafts and edits, then cobbled together with all new material at the last minute!  

With external matches few and far between this year, it is only appropriate to focus more of our attention inward, to who we are, not just as members, but as a club.  Our shared history and questionably storied characters have purchased the club we see today, setting a foundation from which the current members can divine inspiration.  Our laudable efforts this year will be all the more meritorious as we exit the pandemic.

There is no telling when we may be rid of the scourge of 2020, so we can then return to pucking too close to house windows and congested streets.  What will happen in a year? The year after?  At some point, we have to get on with life.  Remaining smart and acting sensibly, we can do just that.

This year will have a very different look and feel.  Success cannot be measured in silverware; rather, the continued presence of the preeminent collegiate hurling club in the country at Purdue and the enjoyment of socializing and passionately competing in the love of the game.  

Boo COVID, Hon Purdue!”

—Matt Schwertfeger

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