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Opinion

Division III athletes play for love of the game

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September 27, 2012

Falcon athletics have made great strides in the past few years.

Whether it is hockey, basketball, track or softball, UW-River Falls is rising among the national ranks of Division III athletics, and the campus and community have noticed.

At last week’s football game against UW-Stout, over 1,600 people packed the stands to see the Falcons under the lights. Over the last four years, I have never seen the stadium that full.

The new Falcon Center is making strides and is set to be a state-of-the-art facility, an an envy of the WIAC upon its completion. All of these things and many more are reasons for us all to take an extra set of pride in our athletic community.

This year’s homecoming theme is Falcon Pride. While this can mean a variety of things for everyone, I feel that it takes on an extra special meaning as a student-athlete.

When you put on that Falcon jersey or UWRF apparel, you take on the UWRF identity and the values it stands for.

While everyone takes pride in UWRF for different reasons, know that you are now part of something bigger than yourself.

This is especially true as a member of a Falcon athletic team. The time commitment and drive to play college athletics is no easy task.

Division III athletes don’t receive any athletic scholarships or extra perks to play the game.

We simply play for love of the game and the thrill of the competition.

As a senior, I know my playing days are numbered, and while I don’t even want to think about that, I know that all I can do is go out there and make the most of every opportunity I have been given. I would give anything to be able to play even one more year.

So my message for the student body is this: go out and enjoy what UWRF has to offer.

All UWRF students are allowed into athletic competitions for free if they bring their student ID.

Homecoming is the perfect time to showcase your support for what Division III athletics stands for: dedication, drive and determination.

You don’t have to be a student-athlete to understand what these core values mean to anyone, no matter what their field or background.

Take in a game, be a part of the exciting atmosphere. If nothing else, try something new. Who knows, you might start a new tradition or create lifelong memories. Or just come to show that you take pride in all aspects of campus life.

Athletics are a big part of university life. Falcon athletics continue to improve day-by-day, and the state and nation are watching.

Ashley Goettl is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the Student Voice from fall semester 2011 to spring semester 2013.