MORRISVILLE, N.Y. — SUNY Morrisville’s woods sport team is readying for its lumberjack season, which starts with a competition Saturday, March 7. The free contest will be held inside the college’s Nancy Sears Stowell Arena on Swamp Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It is the second time the SUNY Morrisville woods sports team has hosted the competition, which showcases speed and precision with axes, chainsaws and other tools of the trade in traditional lumberjacking challenges.
SUNY Morrisville woods sports team coach Seth Carsten, a former professional woodsman, is hopeful for this year’s 12-plus-member co-ed team, comprised evenly of lumberjack veterans and rookies of varying majors and abilities.
Co-captains and woods sports team veterans Agnes Olson, of New Berlin, and Joe Walsh, of Liverpool, both environmental conservation science students, are among those competing. Also returning are Alex Carlo, Kyle Monahan and Tom Morris.
Morrisville’s team participates in intercollegiate lumberjacking competitions across the Northeast, traveling to at least three events per semester.
Because it is not recognized as an official club or sport, SUNY Morrisville’s woods sports team has relied on donations for their registration fees and equipment. Hosting the event helps to defray some of their costs. Carsten also makes and repairs some of their tools at home, instead of buying new.
The college’s wood for practices comes from felling trees through the college’s environmental conservation science program and other programs, and helps absorb some of the costs other teams face.
Faculty and campus departments have showed their support, stepping in to help where they can. The college’s residential construction program has helped cut practice logs, while faculty and students in the mechanical engineering department helped build the team’s Peavey tools.
In the days leading up to the competition, Morrisville’s team is focusing on perfecting its timing and technique.
Two years ago, the team stepped into the limelight when former teammate Andrew O’Connell ’18 earned a ticket to the national STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series Championships, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Today, he is a traveling lumberjack for the Timberworks Lumberjack Show, sponsored by STIHL, doing exhibitions at fairs, sporting events and various shows.
Teams competing March 7, thus far:
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)
Finger Lakes Community College
Singles relay: super swede saw, single buck, axe throw, disk stack, pulp (wood) toss for distance
Doubles: crosscut to death, vertical chop, fire build
Triples: horizontal chop, barrel split
Team: crosscut saw, bow saw, team pulp toss, log roll, pack board (weighted pack) relay
SUNY Morrisville’s woods sports team schedule:
April 11 at Finger Lakes Community College
April 18 at SUNY Cobleskill
April 24-25 spring meet at the University of New Hampshire