What it means to be a Guilford Quaker

What it means to be a Guilford Quaker

Here at Guilford College, athletics is something student-athletes are deeply passionate about. Here we value being able to represent the name Quakers on the front of our jerseys. But it is more than just a representation of the name­ — it is the meaning behind the name and our determination and passion for our respective sport and the school.

Just ask any of our athletes.

“Being a Guilford College Quaker to me is something very special,” said sophomore soccer forward Christian Torres. “It isn’t something that you can just say. You have to be able to feel it to express it.”

I am a sophomore offensive lineman for the Guilford football team, and when I came to Guilford, I never knew that being a Guilford Quaker would mean as much to me as it does now. I came to Guilford to play football but also because of the academic prestige of the school.

I wanted to come to a school where academics were just as important as the sport I play. And Guilford is exactly what I was seeking. The respect and admiration from the outside community I have received is remarkable when I say I attend Guilford College. The same effort we put into our sport is what we put into our schoolwork because making the grade is what allows us to play.

It is not just the wins and losses that are important to me. I play this game to change the way other schools look at Guilford’s football program. I play to gain respect for our school and program. Guilford football is something I hold dear to my heart, and the teammates I have been able to play with have made me love this game so much more.

Being on the football team has allowed me to gain a great deal of new friends who will have my back until the end. Of course, I am not the only Guilford athlete who feels this way.

“Being on the Guilford softball team has made me realize how a group of girls can become so close, how we can rely on each other and know that we will have each other’s back,” said junior softball pitcher Casey Snead. “It has made me a better person by becoming more responsible, respectful and it has showed me how to work together with a group of girls that I have never met before.

“It’s crazy to think that you come to school not knowing anyone and how you leave having friends that you couldn’t imagine ever having.”

The same goes for any sport. For me, being with my teammates has greatly improved my character and maturity as a person. Being a Quaker is a way to improve one’s character. We become better people and athletes.

“Above all else, I believe that we do all we can for the sports we love to give our fans and community something to be proud of,” said senior lacrosse attacker Chandler Zirkle. “When we go out on that field, we give our absolute best in promoting our school’s core values in stewardship, equality, excellence, justice, diversity, community and integrity.”

As a Quaker athlete, promoting our school’s core values with our passion and devotion to our sports is something that comes from the heart. It is a part of each of us and something we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We give our all for the sport we play and the school we represent.

For athletes, our seasons go by quickly. As a football player, my offseason begins two weeks after the season is over. That’s when I begin training for the next season. From December until August, we train for eight long months in order to prepare for three months. Off seasons are long and strenuous, but the reward for all our hard work and dedication is a great payoff.

And after being here and experiencing Guilford, being a Quaker isn’t just wearing a jersey with the name Quakers on it. It’s about being what a Quaker represents.

That is what it means to be a Quaker.