The spring semester has officially begun, and senioritis has kicked in with full force. With the stress of finishing credit hours and graduation planning, it can be easy to develop a desire to rush through it all. However, athletic director Marsha Ford encourages graduating seniors to reflect on their growth during their time as student athletes. In keeping with that advice, senior soccer and softball player Katie Speer shared her mixed emotions regarding this important time in her life with The Triangle.
Like many others, Speer was hesitant about coming to Judson because of the distance from her home. It was not until she first visited the campus that Speer realized that Judson was a perfect fit. There are many aspects that led Speer to choose Judson, such as an opportunity to play soccer and softball, in addition to the welcoming atmosphere of the faculty and staff. However, the transition from high school to college is not always a smooth one and can often be discouraging. Speer explained that being a part of an athletic team was not only a deciding factor for her when she chose Judson, but it is also what encouraged her to stay. “Every year I found a new reason and purpose,” she said. “I always had a support system in my corner pushing me to be the best that I could be mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
The goal of the athletic department is to provide student athletes with an opportunity to acquire skills of discipline, time management, and teamwork. Ford hopes that by the time they become seniors, “student athletes will possess the skills that will make them effective leaders not only as athletes but in life as well.”
Speer agreed, stating she has been impacted by leadership and she has discovered that leaders can fit several different roles. “Being a Judson athlete has taught me a lot about leadership. There are the leaders that are always there to push you to do better and work harder, and there are also silent leaders who lead by example.” Speer said that she has been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn how to be a leader from several different perspectives.
As she has now stepped into this leadership role, Speer offers this advice to younger student athletes: “Our relationship with God is like playing sports, we practice every day, we conquer the great, but sometimes we fail. And that’s okay, as long as we learn from our failures and strive to be better.”
Seniors for both volleyball and soccer were honored during their fall seasons (soccer October 28, 2017, and volleyball November 7, 2017). Senior night for basketball took place on February 15, 2018, and softball will take place on March 23, 2018. The athletic department invites you to join them in celebrating our senior athletes and their accomplishments.