Freshman athletes learn the balance

by Jessica McDonald

Athletics vs. academics, Simpson’s first year student athletes find the balance between playing sports and getting an education.

Simpson College has a record number of incoming first-year students, however, the high enrollment has not caused a significant increase in freshman athletes.

“It’s hard to evaluate and compare numbers from previous years of first-year athletes because football is so up and down with numbers,” said Sports Information Director, Matt Turk. “But every year, 30 to 40 percent of freshman participate in sports.”

This year, Turk expects the number of freshman athletes to max out between 45 and 50 percent.

Freshman participation is up in football. Fifty out of the 101 football players have freshman eligibility.

Both men’s and women’s soccer teams have a significant number of first year athletes with 19 out of the 38 men’s soccer players and 17 out of the 25 women’s soccer players being freshman.

Fourteen out of the 23 volleyball players are first-year athletes as well.

Rounding out the rest of the fall sports are women’s golf with four freshmen, women’s tennis with six freshmen, men’s cross country with two freshmen, and women’s cross country with six freshman.

Freshman Reed Weston did not plan on playing sports while he attended college.

“I just recently decided that I wanted to play football,” said Weston. “I’ve always played sports and it just was natural to continue playing.”

Unlike Weston, freshman Andrew Potter intended on playing sports while in college.

“Part of the reason I choose Simpson was because I really enjoyed my visit and I liked the football coaching staff,” said Potter.

Simpson keeps their first year students very busy when they first arrive on campus. Greek recruitment events and Liberal Arts Seminar events all take place those first few days freshmen are on campus. Athletic practice is just one more thing added to that, not to mention the beginning of actual classes.

“I’ve been really busy, but it’s worth it to be able to play football,” said Potter.

Freshman soccer player, Ashley Curran also feels a little overwhelmed.

“If anything, I’ve learned the importance of time management,” said Curran. “I know I need to get my homework done before practice.”