DIII sports prove crucial to student development

by Scott Schleisman

More than 25 percent of Simpson’s campus plays or playedintercollegiate athletics sometime in their career for Stormathletics. This active campus has a high turnout in sportparticipation, but does that mean that sports are important to thecampus as a whole?

“The reason students come to Simpson is because they want theoverall experience that it provides,” Beth Peck said, a formerSimpson tennis player and current admissions counselor. “Any time asport has success, alumni start to talk about the team, the campustalks about the team and the media talks about the team. All ofthese people get the name out there and make it very easy for theadmissions staff to recruit.”

All nine of the men’s sports and all nine women’s sports arefamiliar with success.

“The Iowa Conference is one of the toughest athletic conferencesin the nation,” wrestling coach Ron Peterson said. “Athletes areexcited to come here so that they can compete with and against thebest for possible national championships.”

Currently the fall sports are geared up for the end of theseason competition while the winter sports are just about to begin.Right now, multiple sports practices are held in the afternoon andwell into the evening. Sports require a lot of time from students,and they challenge students to manage their time effectively.

Despite the extra time commitment, students have a variety ofreasons for playing sports at Simpson.

“I thought that if I was physically able to play sports, whynot?” junior Scott McCarty said. “I know it’s clich����, but Iknew that I never wanted to look back and say, ‘what if?'”

Peterson said participating in athletic teams is important forstudents themselves, but it’s also helpful when they want their ownkids to pick up the basics of athletics.

“Anybody who is out for sports learns the basics fundamentalsand drills that they may someday pass on to their kids,” Petersonsaid. “It’s fulfilling to watch your athletes become better thanyou were. It’s also great to know that athletes had a positiveexperience while playing. They will remember playing a sport therest of their lives.”

While many people at Simpson follow athletic teams, some watchthem on a more personal level.

“At admissions, we take pride when students do well and gettheir name in the newspaper,” Peck said. “But even more than that,it’s a great feeling to know that the students that I recruited areactive and making positive memories for themselves.”

Many athletes at Simpson realize they’re here to get aneducation primarily, but they also know some of their work willhave to be done outside of the classroom.

“Any coach will tell you that academics come before sports,”senior Matt Siefken said. “The classes you take and the grades youreceive are regarded higher than the sports a student was out for;however, without sports at Simpson, there would be no collegeunity. Sports bring the campus together and give the school some ofits identity. It’s a piece in the puzzle.”

“Without sports and the other extra activities, students wouldjust receive a classroom education,” Peterson said. “A lot oflessons need to be learned outside the classroom, and that’s howsports improve students.”