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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Integrity and sincerity exist on the field of play

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  “Are you honest and truthful in all you say and do? Do you maintain strict integrity in business transactions and in your dealings with individuals and organizations?” The Guilford College website outlines these questions on the page dedicated to describing the Quaker testimonies that directly influence the core values that our campus embraces.

  Although Guilford is no longer directly affiliated with the local Quaker meeting in North Carolina, the school continues to embody core values that the Quaker testimonies influenced. For those of you unaware of the testimonies, they are simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. 

  How does this Quaker lingo fit into the sports section of the newspaper? Athletes and coaches cite an overwhelming influence of integrity, one of the Quaker testimonies, on their experience with sports.

  One might say that athletics have no room for integrity, and that athletes just get on the field or the court and, at the start of a game, immediately initiate aggressive and violent behavior. Think again. Most Guilford athletes have a different approach to playing their sport.

  Athletes, especially on a college level, bring a thought-out approach to sports. In fact, teamwork and camaraderie define “athlete.”

  Binford resident advisor and sophomore offensive lineman Faris El-Ali values teamwork and levelheadedness in game situations.

  “If you fight (in a game), you’re undisciplined and selfish,” said El-Ali.

  He believes that playing sports, specifically football, does require a certain level of aggressive competition, but to allow aggressive tendencies to take over during game play is unfair to your teammates. 

  “You have to be aggressive, but you have to understand that it’s between the whistles,” said El-Ali.

  Beyond individual athletic dedication to maintaining good sportsmanlike behavior, coaches also work to instill an attitude of communication and teamwork in their athletes. 

  “I think communication is the biggest key,” said Dennis Shores, head softball coach.

  Coach Shores emphasizes the importance of teaching players not only how to play softball, but how to apply skills learned on the field to their lives.

  “I’m pretty clear from day one; they don’t walk,” said Shores. “They give 100 percent, and once you instill that, it carries over into their studies.”

  But, do athletes continue to practice their athletic integrity off the field once the referee has blown the final whistle and the clock flashes zero? Athletes replied by saying that the discipline and dedication learned from playing sports directly affects their lives outside of sports.

  Senior softball captain and Hodgins R.A. Morgan Andrews says that playing softball and creating a family environment on the team has taught her invaluable lessons that influence her daily life.

  “Athletic integrity consists of good sportsmanship, hard work, desire, dedication, and having respect for not only yourself, but also for your teammates and the other team,” said Andrews.

  The word integrity manages to encompass both religious integrity and athletic integrity.

Chad Wagoner, a sophomore transfer from East Carolina University, finds that his Quaker faith and his attitude on the baseball field share common aspects.

  “In worship, I just relax and let my mind go; and, in a game, I also try to relax and stay focused on the task at hand,” said Wagoner. “If I’m not relaxed, I’m uptight and can’t play well.”

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