The Class of 2021 spring athletes are wrapping up their final collegiate seasons in just a few weeks. It’s safe to say that this year’s seasons were not what Colgate athletes expected them to be. Although students had limited schedules and were challenged with facing the same teams multiple times, many of the seniors felt grateful they had a season at all during the pandemic. To better understand what spring seasons looked like, the Maroon-News interviewed senior field hockey captain and midfielder/defenseman Meredith Rappaport (MR), senior lacrosse captain and attacker James Caddigan (JC), senior lacrosse captain and attacker Courtney Quirk (CQ) and senior outfielder Mia Guevarra (MG) for a better understanding as to what playing one’s last collegiate games during a global pandemic looked and felt like.
What did your senior season look like?
MR: Unfortunately, I tore my ACL a few days before our first game, but we’ve been playing really well and it’s exciting to get some patriot league wins!
JC: Far from what I imagined it would be when I decided to come to Colgate. I am extremely grateful just to be able to compete everyday with my teammates.
CQ: My senior season has been one of the most unique seasons I have ever experienced, but also one of the most rewarding.
MG: Usually during the softball season we play closer to 50 games and this year we are playing only about half of that.
What advice would you give to younger student athletes?
MR: Play in every practice and game like it is your last. This past year taught us that the world is unpredictable, and you truly never know when the last time may be.
JC: To depend on their teammates and cherish the relationships they form throughout their time here. I really believe there is nothing more valuable in the Colgate experience than the people you meet and bond with.
CQ: Cherish every moment and never to take any game or practice for granted, even when it’s hard, because you never know when it could be taken away.
MG: Take advantage of the opportunities playing D1 athletics can give them. Beyond the wins and losses, cherish the time you get with your team because those memories will last a lifetime.
What is your favorite memory in your collegiate athletic career?
MR: Coming back from summer and seeing your team for the first time in a couple months is always amazing. Playing field hockey during the warm August sunsets also just hits so differently.
JC: Our season opening win in 2019 against #10 Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. It was our first game under Coach Karweck and a huge win for our program. I was also able to have my parents and cousin there to see it which was special.
CQ: Last year when we beat Cornell for the first time since 1998. Our team played so well and came together in a way I’ve never seen before.
MG: Some of my fondest memories come from the Spring break trips we have taken over the past few years.
How do you think playing a sport for Colgate has impacted you?
MR: Greatly increased both my confidence and leadership abilities. I have learned the importance of having a support system, and it is through athletics that I discovered my interest in mental health and advocacy work.
JC: Taught me how to execute on things that I set out to do. Over the last four years there were definitely times where I felt overwhelmed and unsure if I could manage all of my responsibilities, but over time I definitely learned how to manage my time and prioritize what was most important to me and my experience here.
CQ: Playing a sport at Colgate has taught me what hard work is and the importance of leadership — both lessons I will take with me after school.
MG: The value of balancing the rigorous schedule of D1 athletics with academics… The competitiveness and drive that softball has given me will most definitely translate into the work world. Beyond that, playing for Colgate has also helped me create a network of many Colgate athletics alum that are always so willing to talk about life after sport and life after college.
What will you miss the most about playing for Colgate?
MR: I will miss my teammates the most. It is an incredible experience getting to know so many different people with unique life goals that all come together with the common interest of field hockey and wanting to compete at a high level.
JC: I will definitely miss being around my teammates more than anything else. We are a close group of guys and it will definitely be weird to not be with them every day next year. I will definitely do my best to keep up with them and the team though!
CQ: I will definitely miss my teammates the most and being with my best friends every day, making memories in the locker room, in practice or at games.
MG: I’ll miss the teammates I have had the privilege of getting to know, play and travel with these past few years. I know many of these friendships will continue even after I leave Colgate.
Who’s someone who you’ve met through your Colgate sport and couldn’t live without now?
MR: I would not be able to live without my teammates in my class. I’m so proud of all of them and feel very fortunate to have experienced Colgate field hockey with such a supportive group of people. We’ve grown and overcome so much adversity together and will continue to be there for each other as we go forward in the next chapter of our lives.
MG: I couldn’t live without my fellow senior class that I have had the privilege of playing with for four years, Bella Crow and Christiana Cottrell. They have seen me at my lowest of lows and highest of highs, and I am forever grateful for our friendship.