It’s a gloomy Monday and rain is blessing Abilene with its presence. Most students on campus are excited that temperature has dropped significantly and they are getting a break from the constant high 80-90 degree weather.
ACU football is on the practice field, experiencing the sharp, cold winds and raindrops first-hand. As students spend their afternoon bundled up in their dorms, apartments and homes, the football team begins its week of preparation.
This week is unlike any other week at ACU. It is homecoming week. Prestige Alumni revisit their old stomping grounds and prospective students flock to campus to experience this unique college experience.
The spirit on campus begins to rise as the week inches closer to the weekend.
The game of football is a lot more complicated than people realize and can, in some cases, be closely related with how players service other people in their lives.
I am with the same 80 players and coaches six days a week. We workout, have meetings and practice with each other every day, yet whenever leisure time approaches, I find myself still wanting to surrounded by the same group of men.
If you asked past and present student athletes from Abilene Christian about their time spent on campus, memories and relationships would be the most discussed topics.
During football training, I cannot begin to express how tense and aggravated doing the same routine for months at a time makes players. Sometimes, it may cause you, as a player, to question your dedication level to the sport.
Then, all of a sudden someone like Blake Spears, senior offensive lineman from Abilene, or Nick Richardson, junior defensive end from Waco, bursts in to the room with a hilarious gag that lights up the entire room and automatically lifts the spirits of coaches and athletes.
It’s moments like that that keep you going through the grind of two practices a day.
Relationships are the most important aspect of life as a student-athlete. You come across so many people not only from different parts of the country, but in different walks of life. Some players knew that ACU was the school they were destined to attend, such as Randy Gober, freshman running back from Waco, and others were directed here strictly by God’s acts, like me.
There is one thing I am extremely grateful for everyday, that I get to watch my teammates get better, mentally and physically, and start to learn how to become men.
This Saturday is more than a competition against the University of Incarnate Word. It is more than the game of football. It is about honoring this university, the alumni and coming together with my family to achieve a common goal.