By Alyssa Grevenkamp
Many college student athletes have a great gig. They get to have some of their school paid for through athletic scholarships, they get to play the sport they love and they oftentimes get to travel and see the country.
For the most part, many Findlay games are played in Ohio and Michigan. The reason is because in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), all of the teams are either from Ohio or Michigan. That doesn’t mean that teams don’t play anybody outside of those states, though.
Last year, the women’s basketball team took a trip down to Florida over Christmas break to play in the Cruise n’ Classic. They got to go down for almost a week to play one game in Florida and one in the Bahamas.
Women’s basketball was not the only team to have the privilege of going somewhere nice during their season.
This year, the swimming and diving team traveled to California, women’s soccer traveled to Alabama, wrestling traveled to St. Louis and the track and field teams have traveled to Boston and Alabama.
Just a couple of weeks ago, UF’s softball and baseball teams were spending their spring breaks in Florida.
Some student athletes, specifically the softball players, say that they wouldn’t get to take trips like that if it weren’t for their sport.
“I really do like traveling as a student athlete,” said softball senior Megan Turner. “It allows for me to travel to different places that I would not go if I wasn’t a student athlete.”
Going to different places means seeing and trying new things every once in a while.
“One of my favorite parts about traveling is seeing new parts of the U.S. It creates good memories and allows for me to be in different atmospheres. I like being able to try new things, such as eating at different restaurants while traveling,” said Turner.
Being able to travel creates a different feeling for a team. It’s different than just having home games because traveling allows for more bonding time among teammates.
“I have always loved traveling as a student athlete,” said baseball junior Chase Goulette. “It’s fun to be able to hang out with the guys. Even though there are times where we try to keep them out of our room, guys are always coming into our room to talk and relax.”
Besides just hanging out and traveling, student athletes have to compete and perform at their event. For the track and field team, every meet throughout the season as one step toward preparation for the ultimate competition, nationals.
“Every meet leading up to nationals prepares us for nationals,” said track and field junior Lydia Guagenti. “Being able to travel all the way to Alabama and be surrounded by such talented athletes is awesome. There were many exciting performances and personal records that people achieved at nationals. I can’t wait for what outdoor season has to offer our team.”
The traveling environment isn’t always about fun and games, though. Many times, athletes have to do some type of work when they are on the road. It isn’t always easy to be motivated to do that homework because of the new environment the athletes are in.
“It is challenging to keep up with school work while on the road because we miss so many days of class and lectures so it’s hard to stay on top of things time to time,” said Goulette.
Turner has similar feelings about working on the road.
“At times it is hard to stay up on things on the road because of projects and exams. I am very fortunate to have professors that work well with my travel schedule so I’m grateful for that,” said Turner.
Although it is tough to stay on top of homework, student athletes usually create memories on trips that will last a lifetime.
One story the softball team will never forget took place last year coming back from their Florida trip.
“Last year on our way to the airport, we stopped at Chick-Fila. Coach locked his keys in the van so we had to wait for AAA to come and unlock the van,” said Turner.
Even though there are some rough parts with traveling for student athletes, there are many great memories and moments made from traveling around the country.