The Revelation

Keeping Up with Our Alumni Athletes

Patrick Taylor captured this image of Sam Roffwarg

Patrick Taylor captured this image of Sam Roffwarg

Miley Ray, Sports Editor

    “Sports are literally my life; they always have been,” College Freshmen Soccer Player for the Mercer Bears Banks Tolley said. The former starter for the St. Andrew’s soccer team has always had a connection to athletics and decided to extend this passion from high school into college. The class of 2018 had seven students who decided to participate in college athletics, and with football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and swimming being represented, they are all having different experiences.

     “The biggest difference [between high school and college athletics] would have to be the time commitment, because I’m pretty much on my own in terms of keeping up with my studies and scheduling my practice times,” Swimmer at Washington University Jack Smithson said. “It’s a lot more to handle than high school.”

   Though college athletics can be overwhelming, there are many benefits to participating in sports at the next level.

    “My least favorite moment of my experiences at State so far was when I got the late invitation to join fall camp,” Football Player for Mississippi State University Joseph Garner said. “I hadn’t been there for two hours, yet I got chewed out by the head coach in front of the entire team, but there are incredibly fun moments to balance the good with the bad. My favorite moments are when the guys start to get into songs and everything stops and the older guys start to dance.”

    The hardest part about starting anything new is overcoming the fear of failure. These challenges were certainly relevant for Sam Roffwarg, a previous baseball player at St. Andrew’s and current player at Rhodes.

    “The biggest change is the fact that basically, you know nobody going in,” Roffwarg said. “You have to, at the same time, balance making friends and learning people’s names while also proving your athletic ability. It’s tough to balance athletic competition with personal relationships.”

    Roffwarg, Smithson, Garner, and Tolley all experienced ups and downs balancing the workload and stress from college sports, which can be a full time job in itself, but the positive experiences outweigh the bad. Even though college sports have their challenges, they are worth it for athletes dedicated to their sport that have a desire to continue to compete. Garner cherishes the opportunity to continue his passion for athletics, and he encourages people to take a leap of faith and participate in college athletics too.

    “If you’re hesitating, do it,” Garner said. “There are going to be ups and downs, but you must remember the low points because when you hit rock bottom, and if you play college sports you will hit rock bottom, it is a great place to build your foundation.

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