My Last Offseason... Ever
Earlier today, I talked to some of my teammates in my graduating class about the fact that this is literally our last off-season as Oberlin football players.
That thought is... crazy. When people tell you that college flies by, believe them. I used to brush it aside when upperclassmen told me that these will be the fastest four years of my life, but I didn’t really believe what they were saying. Sheesh, I was so wrong. These past two and a half years have breezed by without hesitation. After this semester, I will be a senior at Oberlin College. Writing that statement and believing it is so hard to believe, considering the fact that it felt like yesterday when I first arrived to Oberlin.
I remember adjusting to the new environment here and meeting friends who have become very close to me over time.
I remember walking into Knowlton Stadium and Phillips Gym for the first time over my visit. I was just a high school senior who was trying to “make it.” It was such an honor for me to attend Oberlin, and now I complain about the school every day over minuscule things just as many Obies do. (Don’t worry. The positives outweigh the negatives by a landslide.) For me, these events feel like they recently happened, but they really occurred over three years ago! Time moved faster than I could ever imagine over the course of my college football career. It’s a little bittersweet, but I am beyond grateful for the handful of memories and relationships that I have gained from this wonderful experience. As you experience the college grind with all sorts of exams, essays, and other sources of stress, you may not realize how fast life is moving. However, hindsight may creep around and show you that time will keep moving, regardless of how hard you have worked.
This offseason has been very rewarding for my football family. I’m very proud of this team and how hard it has worked so far.
With the help of T3 Performance, this football team has really taken physical strides this semester. T3 is a company that is dedicated to physical development for athletes. Oberlin and T3 established their partnership last semester, and the football team has absolutely loved it.
When I walk into the weight room, I already feel the intensity. One of the things I love about lifting with my teammates is that while the workout is very intense, there’s nothing but love and support being shared between teammates.
One of the most important benefits to having T3 by our side is that they provide us with quality strength programs that allow our bodies to grow specifically for our sport. Allow me to elaborate. My teammates and I are lifting heavier than ever now. The comparison between how we developed this year and last year is like night and day. People are more excited to get a challenging workout in. There are very few (if any) complaints heard in the weight room. This is because the team is continuing to build toward a championship culture here in Oberlin. That’s really the goal of any football team. They want to create a culture where sustained greatness can thrive. That’s why Championship teams like the New England Patriots and the Alabama Crimson Tide maintain their dominance. The problem? Everybody wants the same thing! This means that the team who works the hardest and develops the most during the off-season will win the most in the fall. This goes for the players and the coaches involved. While we’re grinding and becoming better football players, the coaches are actively looking for recruits to come to Oberlin. If they are not doing that, then they are watching film on our opponents. Trust me. The coaches are working hard just like the players are. Sure, they aren’t doing a bunch of squats and push-ups, but they are extremely dedicated in their roles as coaches.
In order to keep us competitive, the coaches came up with this little thing we like to call “The Ironman Challenge.”
For this challenge, the football team is divided into three different groups. Each member has the opportunity to earn points by performing specific tasks. Some of these tasks include physical feats such as squatting or benching a certain amount of weight. The tasks can also be academic, such as turning in “A” papers and exams. Some of them are charitable as well. We call these “good dude acts.” We can also earn points by performing a charitable act that displays good character. This could range from something as little as helping a teammate on a test to performing community service. The winning team only receives bragging rights, but bragging rights are more than enough to motivate us to win the competition. (Shout out to Team Alpha, by the way! We’re winning the Ironman Challenge this year, just so you guys know...)
Since this is my final offseason as an Oberlin Yeoman, I understand that I have to go harder than ever.
I came to Oberlin College to earn a degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Along with this, I came to Oberlin to ensure that its football program is left in a much better place than how I found it. This upcoming football season is easily the most important out of all four seasons I’ve played here. The reasons are pretty obvious, and the stakes are high for me. I want to walk out of Knowlton Stadium knowing that I did everything I could for this team. There is not a single doubt in my mind that we have the potential to go far. We just have to continue to put the work in. I love this team more than words can describe. I’m hopeful for my final football season, and I can assure you that it will be something special to watch. When football season starts back up in August, we will be ready. Come out to Knowlton Stadium in the fall to see all of our hard work pay off!