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Mighty Oaks Join Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Conference play to begin in 2015-’16 academic year

ESF has become a member of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC), giving Mighty Oaks athletes their first opportunity to develop conference rivalries and increasing the teams' chances of participating in national tournaments.

This marks the first time since ESF athletics gained varsity status in 2010 that the college teams will compete within a conference.

Also joining the conference is Davis College of Binghamton, N.Y.

The decision to extend membership was overwhelmingly approved by the conference's athletic director committee in a special meeting this past fall. The addition of ESF and Davis will bring the 13-sport league to 10 members next season. The new members replace St. Joseph's College and Yeshiva University, both of which departed to join the Skyline Conference.

"As president of the conference, I couldn't be more pleased to welcome these two fine institutions," commented HVIAC President Joe Bednarsh. "The addition of ESF and Davis will increase the diversity of our membership and contribute to the educational component of our member institution's programs. It will also allow the conference a larger geographical footprint and will no doubt help broaden the appeal of our schools and the HVIAC."

"ESF is proud to be joining HVIAC. Joining this conference will help with student-athlete recruiting, create rivalries with new schools and allow our student-athletes to win conference accolades along with national recognition," said ESF Athletics Director Dan Ramin.

ESF competes in nine varsity sports, five of which - men's basketball, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's soccer - are HVIAC-sponsored sports. ESF also offers men's golf, men's and women's track and field, and has a Woodsmen's team that competes in traditional timber sports.

ESF is coming off a fall season in which the men's cross-country team won its fourth straight U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship (USCAA), the women's cross-country team finished third (in the top three for the fourth year in a row), and the women's soccer team advanced to the national semifinals. The college currently leads the competition for the prestigious USCAA Director's Cup with 385.5 points.

The HVIAC comprises teams from colleges in New York state, particularly the New York metropolitan area. In addition to ESF and Davis, members are Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Albany N.Y.), Berkeley College (New York, N.Y.), Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, N.Y.), The King's College (New York, N.Y.), the College of New Rochelle (New Rochelle, N.Y.), Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Vaughn College (Flushing, N.Y.), Webb Institute (Glen Cove, N.Y.).

Several of the teams play under the auspices of the USCAA, as does ESF. The Mighty Oaks have already competed against some of the schools, including Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Berkeley College.