Austin Sacket, junior midfielder, takes possession of the ball during action earlier this season. Sacket wears the number 9 in honor of a friend and former teammate who died in a motorcycle accident last year. (Carly Budd/Collegian photographer)

By Richard Gould
Staff reporter

Graduation is a time that everyone cherishes. You are able to walk down that aisle with your head held high and think about all the friends and relationships you made along the way. In particular you think about your teammates and the friends you leave behind. Junior psychology major Austin Sacket remembers his graduation from Cowley County Community College and his friendship with his soccer team captain Dayton Rodrigues. The week following graduation was a time that Sacket would never forget.

“Dayton graduated with me in the spring of 2010,” said Sacket. “He was from Tulsa, so he went back home to Tulsa. It was about a week after graduation he was in a motorcycle accident on a Tulsa highway.” This accident happened May 22. Funeral services were held the following Thursday in Oklahoma.

After the accident, Sacket was at a loss of what to do. “At first, like anybody else, I was completely struck. I didn’t know really what to do,” said Sacket. “For a while, I lost a lot of my direction. I actually took a semester off of school just simply because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after Cowley.”

Sacket needed some time to think about what he wanted to do with his life. “After I did that, I decided on Southwestern,” Sacket said. “I kind of got to thinking about what kind of person Dayton was and what his philosophies of life were and what he taught me.”

Not only was Dayton on his mind, but God was as well. “I got a lot closer to God through all of this,” Sacket said. “God put him in my life for a reason and God still has me here for a reason.”
Because of the loss of his best friend, Sacket not only has decided to finish out his schooling, but it has changed him into who he is today.

“In light of that, the experience has changed me even more. It has made me a greater person, a greater player and captain,” said Sacket. “It was probably the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my playing career and in my life.”

Richard Gould is a senior majoring in business administration. You may email him at richard.gould@sckans.edu.