If you ask 100 different Division III athletes why they play a sport you will probably get 100 different answers. Despite their differences, every answer will most likely revolve around loving the game so much that it would be impossible to give it up. That is what makes D3 athletes such a special breed. There are no academic scholarships, no glitz and glam, and almost no recognition. We do this because we truly love the game.
People hear “Division III” and immediately associate this with “lower level,” or less of a work ethic. That's simply not true. Division III is not for everyone and everyone is not able to handle D3. We put in hour after hour: lifting, conditioning, practicing with our teammates, working alone to improve our skills. We do this because of how much we love anything and everything related to our game. We love playing in empty gymnasiums two hours away on a Monday night despite the 8:15 Tuesday morning class looming over us. We love getting back onto the bus after a road game and seeing 20 boxes of Domino’s pizza ready to be devoured. We love waking up at the crack of dawn for a practice. We love it all.
Every D3 athlete at one point or another had a conversation with a person explaining to them that being a Division III athlete is something to be celebrated, not looked down upon. It is not supposed to be easy to play a sport in college; if it were then everyone would do it. D3 is no different in that regard. While challenging and not necessarily glamorous, playing offers so many opportunities. Without a doubt, my best friends at Cabrini College are also my teammates and I am sure the same is true with all of our other sports. My teammates become my brothers; we want to lay it all out on the line for each other.
Division III sports are played for the love of the game. At the end of the day, each D3 athlete participates for a different reason. The most common one between us all? We love our sport too much to say goodbye.