You suit up in your pads and put on your helmet as you are walking out of the locker rooms and on to the artificial field turf. The first thing you notice when you look up at the stands is the great deal of people decked out in purple, black and white who came to watch Builder football. It makes you feel good to know that you have those people here watching you and to know they have your back as you prepare for what you have been practicing for all week.
Now, switch the scene to where you do not have any large pads to weigh you down or a helmet on your head. You are out on the soccer fields towards the Far East side of campus. Though you are playing hard, when you look around and you do not see very many of your friends or fellow Builders in the stands or on the sidelines to cheer the team on. It is tough, but you keep on fighting anyway.
Athletics are a major part of every college. They keep the student athletes fit and committed, while contributing to the social life for those not out for sports. We make a lot of memories at sporting events, but the problem is that there is a great deal of memories made at one sport in particular during the fall and not so much for the rest.
Football one of the biggest college sports in the nation fan wise. At Southwestern, it is no different. People from the school, community and surrounding communities come to enjoy Saturday night and afternoon football games. It is a great sight to see the stands filled up with dedicated people wearing purple, black and white. The brand new Richard L. Jantz Stadium, that of which the football team will be playing five games at this year, will only help to bring more people to the games.
I am not, under any circumstances, wanting people to stop going to the football games. It is more that I wish to raise awareness about the other sports that share seasons with football and are sometimes left out of the picture.
For example, Southwestern has a prestigious cross country program. The men are going for their 31st consecutive Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference title this year, a streak that has not come easy. The last time I checked, though, there are not a lot of people who paint up and go out to get rowdy for our runners. I know it probably isn’t the most entertaining sport to watch, but I for one do not want to see the men’s cross country streak to end and it never hurts to have people to cheer you on.
What about volleyball? I’ve gotten the chance to play volleyball for fun before and I found it to be much more challenging than it looks. Sadly, I have never taken advantage of the opportunity to go to a Builder volleyball game before, which is something I hope to change this year. If you are not busy, make the short walk to Stewart Field House and support our Lady Builders.
Last, but not least are the men’s and women’s soccer teams. For me, soccer games were fun last year. I remember standing on the sidelines with friends and shouting not so nice things at the other team. I also enjoyed how emotions run very high in soccer and how much players, coaches and fans get into the game. This year, the soccer teams will get a chance to play some of their games on the new field, which I hope brings more people to watch.
My message is that there is a variety of sports that are just now getting started for the fall season. Every one of these sports has student athletes who work hard both in the classroom and on getting their bodies prepped to take a beating throughout the season. I believe that all of those who partake in such sports at least deserve those of us who do not have the time or athleticism for sports to come out and encourage them to give 110 percent. I know that if I was big enough, fast enough or strong enough to rock a Southwestern jersey, I would want the people I see every day to have my back up in the stands and on the sidelines. The more people that come out to cheer, hopefully the more motivated Southwestern sports will be to bring home the KCAC title, which I think would be something that we could all be proud of as Builders.
Clinton Dick is a sophomore majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at clinton.dick@sckans.