11 Nyack College Warriors Explain Why They Compete

College athletics are difficult to get into and even more difficult to master. Not only does being a college athlete require you to be incredibly skilled at your sport, it also requires a massive amount of dedication, hard work, and passion. You don’t play on a college sports team just “for fun” or because you want a new activity to do. Being on a sports team means that you are dedicating hours and hours of your week to practicing, pushing your body beyond it’s normal limits, and investing yourself in a team and vision. Getting up at 6 am to run suicides, staying up late to finish homework because you were away all day for a game, being sore all the time because you are striving to excel at your sport, and having to constantly defer what you want for the good of the whole team, are just parts of what it takes to be an athlete. It takes sacrifice and commitment to be an athlete. And although it is difficult, we willingly choose to play our sport and be a part of our teams. So why do we do it? Here’s the reasons our athletes give for choosing to compete:

Photo credit: Thomas Trott
Photo credit: Thomas Trott

I’ve spent most of my life comparing myself to other people and always trying to be better than the girl next to me. But through these last few years of playing lacrosse I’ve realized that God giving me the ability to compete in the first place is enough of a blessing in it of itself. He’s given me teammates who have become my sisters that get up every morning and practice to become better players so we can be a better team. So instead of comparing myself to them I’ve made the decision to compete for them.”

-Victoria Lopez-Nash, Women’s Lacrosse

I compete to represent myself in the best possible way. There’s no better feeling than setting a goal and working harder than everybody else to achieve it.”

-Frank Martin, Men’s Basketball

“I compete in track & field and cross country because running offers one of the most honest competition. What I mean by that is, when it comes to running most of the action happens behind the curtains. You train 3-4 months for just one particular race. And when it comes to race day the only determinant in winning or losing is not about how the team performs but how much hard work was invested by the individuals themselves. That in itself teaches a runner a lot about accountability and about life through goal setting. A lot of people wonder, what is the logic of punishing yourself each day, of striving to become better by running miles after miles and putting your body through so much pain. The value in it is what you learn about yourself. In these sort of situation all kinds of qualities come out – things that you may not have seen in yourself before.”

-Ian Mirtile, Cross Country

“I compete because I know that sports can be a limitless way to create a lasting legacy for Jesus if we live, compete, and play with His purposes”

-Madeline Barbarino, Women’s Lacrosse

Photo credit: Thomas Trott
Photo credit: Thomas Trott

“I compete because it is my way of giving back to the Lord what is rightfully His. When I was struggling to find a school as a high school graduate, God showed me Nyack. He brought everything together so perfectly and then made sure I understood that it was indeed a humongous blessing to be able to go to Nyack, but that it also meant I would be giving back. So I obeyed Him, and I compete for two reasons: 1. Soccer is a platform to show my teammates and competitors Jesus and glorify God 2. I would be wasting the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has blessed me with if I didn’t play. Competing is so much more than what happens on the field; I get to be a Warrior for Christ everyday.”

Rebecca Lawler, Women’s Soccer

I choose to compete because the nature of competition drives me. I enjoy the personal fire it lights for me not to be better than the girl next to me or the girl on the opposing team, but to be better than the me who stepped on to the field the day before. I choose to compete for the glory of God, because I have been blessed with the ability to play the game I love and share it with 14 other girls I call sisters and teammates. I compete to be better day in day out, to push myself past not only the limits of others but my own limits.”

-Kat Padilla, Softball

I compete because building relationships through sports is unlike anything else. Competition turns individuals into a family.”

-Annah Aguilar, Women’s Volleyball

“The opportunity doesn’t present itself back in England and it’s that special feeling that you get when playing at a challenging but comfortable level for yourself, division 2 suits me and still challenges me.”

-Jack Henley, Men’s Soccer

The reason I compete is because I have a deep passion for sport. Competing at the highest level of sport pushes me to be stronger individual throughout each tournament I play in both mentally and physically. It also helps me to strive to reach goals outside of sport.”

-Elliot Wakefield, Golf

Photo credit: Thomas Trott
Photo credit: Thomas Trott

I compete because I feel like I owe it to everyone to be my best and I feel like competing isn’t something you just do on a field but it’s something you do throughout your life. You compete to be the best you can be. There are a lot of athletes who would love to be able to play on a team at the college level but I was blessed to have the opportunity that they don’t have. So I owe it to them to show that I deserve to be here and I owe it to myself not to waste the opportunity I was given.”

-Phil Erwin, Baseball

“I compete to create a platform on campus, in the conference and hopefully nationwide that Brings Glory to God. I believe competing on a team is an atmosphere God uses to mold us into the people he created us to be.”

Coach Anne Reis, Women’s Lacrosse

Photo credit: Thomas Trott
Photo credit: Thomas Trott