Ayers: A history lesson about the Red Hawks and Profs

Ayanna Johnson maintains control of the ball surrounded by Montclair State University Players. Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2023. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

On Feb 14 — Valentine’s Day — Montclair’s Red Hawk Sports Network was kind enough to make a video dedicated to the Rowan Athletic community. The video has since been deleted but to summarize the video, there was a claim that we have always been a “thorn in the side of Montclair.” 

Now, anyone who has been involved with Rowan Athletics, whether that’s an athlete or a fan that pays attention to Rowan Athletics, like myself, may begin to scratch their heads. 

The first question that came to my head was, “are the Red Hawks seriously a rival to the Profs?” 

Rowan, in the Fall of 2022, won a historic five NJAC Championships across all their sports, which is the most in a single season for any institution in the history of the NJAC.  

When we look specifically at that season, the Rowan men’s and women’s soccer teams both went to Montclair State’s home field and beat the Red Hawks to win their own respective NJAC Titles. 

To be fair, Montclair did win the regular season championship, but does that really matter if you didn’t bring home the NJAC Title?

When you look at the history between the Montclair women’s volleyball team and Rowan’s volleyball team, you would easily come away with the conclusion that there is no rivalry that exists between the two teams. The relationship between the two teams is more like Tom Brady’s Patriots versus The New York Jets.

Montclair’s women’s volleyball team has an active losing streak of 6 games against the Profs. In fact, the last time the Red Hawks defeated the Profs was Oct. 31, 2017.

To better understand, the last time the Red Hawks defeated the Profs, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, and in that same year, citizens were able to witness the Total Solar Eclipse that captivated millions.

What I also find to be humorous is that most of the current Montclair and Rowan students were in high school the last time the Red Hawks won against the Profs. Fast forward to 2023, the trend for the women’s volleyball team has remained the same after a half-decade. 

Jumping from volleyball to the track and field team, the relationship between the profs and the Red Hawks remains consistent. Just this past year, in 2022, Rowan’s Men’s team secured it’s seventh straight NJAC indoor title

If we look at the history of the NJAC Championships and who they’ve gone to, during the five year span of 2017 to 2022, the Profs won a total of 22 NJAC titles across the fall, winter and spring seasons. In that same time period, Montclair won a grand total of five NJAC championships. 

Now, do you think a team that’s won five championships in five years can be considered a rival to a team that’s won 22 championships in the same time frame? 

The obvious answer is no.

Even if all the facts I shared haven’t been enough to prove my point, you can look to the official statement made by Montclair’s Athletic Department on Instagram

The statement read, “The Montclair State University Athletic Department values our relationship with the Red Hawk Sports Network, however, their content does not always reflect the opinions of the athletic department.” 

It’s safe to say not even Montclair’s own athletic department believes that they’re consistent rivals to the Profs. 

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