Friends and family weekend has now come and gone. Finally I can stop hearing all you motorists moan about having to park a little bit further away than you usually do, and having to walk (God forbid it) five minutes back to your dorm room. I would’ve thought everyone would be glad for a little bit more exercise … but no! I don’t get it. However, something that I did love about this past weekend, was seeing the bleachers absolutely rammed for the baseball teams.
Parents were packed in, students were watching avidly. It was a great atmosphere. But it left me feeling a little disappointed. I asked myself, “Why is it not like this every week?” It should be like that. Every single one of our sporting events should be rammed with supporters.
I’m fiercely proud of every aspect of Trinity. The work our professors do in research is incredible. Our choirs and orchestras are superb. Every single theatre production I’ve seen here felt professional. And yet … I don’t feel like we have enough “#TigerPride”… It’s all well and good wearing your maroon on Friday, but how do we show ourselves off on a national level? How can we broadcast Trinity best? The answer is simple (and maybe predictable if you know me…)! Trinity athletics.
Before I lose everyone who “doesn’t like sports,” just give me a second to explain my point. Sports in American society garner unreal levels of media attention, especially collegiate athletics. Now I know we’re “DIII” and therefore not on the same level as your UT’s and your A&M’s, but we’re damn good at what we do. We’re ranked #25 across all of DIII for athletics. Out of 400+ schools, we’re top 25. That’s impressive by anyone’s standards. And when you consider the size of our school that’s even more special.
Our 18 variety sports gain us national recognition. Sports are a huge part of our recruiting drive as a university. We have a ton of national champions and championship titles in our history. Week by week we have outstanding achievements from people on our campus. Just this past weekend, Kaci Wellik threw a no-hitter for the softball team against Austin College. She has not received anywhere near as much acclaim as I believe she should have. We need to celebrate those students on this campus who excel athletically, just as much as we do those who excel in the classroom.
The Tiger Network has been a huge element of the past year’s growth of sport on campus too. The excellent work of those in athletics and marketing, along with the students who help operate it, mean that we are now streaming more live events than ever, around the world, with high definition cameras, instant replays and play by play and colour commentators. We really are setting the standard in the DIII for broadcasting at this point, and yet I feel like many people don’t realise this. That’s a shame.
As ever, a lot of this lack of support for sports comes from how academically focused this school is, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Education is important. We’re STUDENT-athletes after all. But, if you’ll allow me one wish; I wish that each and every one of you who reads this column gives sports at Trinity a chance. Go out and support our softball team when they host the SCAC Tournament next weekend. Come back after the summer and watch Trinity football, volleyball, soccer and all the other fall sports next semester. Trust me “” it’s fun! The games become social occasions as much as they are sporting events. So I implore you. Give sports a go. You need to care about Trinity Athletics because they really are one of the most important facets of campus life.
And this is not just attempting to reach the student body. This is to all faculty, staff, friends, family and alumni too. You can wear your maroon. You can say you’re proud of Trinity and everything we do. But until you’re willing to support your university’s athletic teams… That’s just talk. Be a Tiger. Support your teams. Thank you.