Alex Dressman, senior and goalie for the women’s soccer team, reflects on her time as an athlete at William Jewell College.
As a student-athlete at Jewell, I’ve had the daunting task of taming the wild beast that is time management. Sustaining peak performance in both the classroom and the 6-yard box has required me to develop a stronger sense of self-discipline, to prioritize my health over taking on additional commitments and to learn greater reliance on the Lord. Although critical thought and inquiry were not needed to make a quick-reaction save, the application of this type of analytical processing was definitely at work during pre-practice conversations among teammates. Many away trips this year involved stuffing my soccer bag to the brim with Capstone research and mentally revising a paper during warm-ups. Not to mention the bus rides, consisting of both men and women half-past exhausted and on the brink of school-related despair. But take heart; somehow each bedraggled and beat up player managed to fight the good fight and make that 9 a.m. class come Monday morning.
There were, and still are, many advantages to doing life alongside a group of equally committed, mostly crazy and extremely close young women. For one thing, eating three plates of food in one sitting at a meal was never called into question. I could always count on my teammates to wear our self-proclaimed badge attire without fail: sweats, a dry fit jersey of some sort and a Jewell soccer pullover/hoodie. On days where the struggle was too real, I knew there were 22 others in my boat. Community was always guaranteed, as the girls I played with became my closest sisters. Marrying off a teammate, lifting up another through her ACL recovery and huddling together with heads bowed in prayer – these are the experiences that stand out so far during my time at Jewell and have helped shape me into the woman I am now.
In terms of the athletic department and playing for this institution, I have appreciated the privilege to play the sport I love on scholarship and have a platform to boast about Jesus. At the same time, I see the need for changes to be made in order for William Jewell to achieve greater success in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) conference and maintain a high standard of excellence among the athletes competing at such a high level. I hope to see the Mabee Center and turf field remodeled and upgraded to match the caliber of the training facilities at other institutions in our Division II conference – right now, ours are simply not sufficient for optimum progression in athletic development. I have friends from opposing schools in our conference who are provided with gear that is financially covered by the program, premier athletic training equipment and stadiums that reflect the type of funding I had dreamed of when I was a kid. It is my chief hope for our athletics to be radically transformed in staffing and facilities to match the outstanding stature of our curriculum and school facilities.
Photo courtesy of williamjewellphoto.com.