Quakers join in DIII Week celebration

Last week, Guilford College participated in Division III Week, a NCAA event where Division III colleges across the nation celebrate the impact of athletics on the campus and community.

The NCAA released a facts and figures sheet detailing the impact athletics has at Division III institutions acrosse the country in the last year. Division III is the organization’s largest with 449 active members. According to their report, around 36.7 percent of NCAA student-athletes compete at the Division III level.

Student-athletes, on average, also account for 25 percent of the student body at the Division III institutions. The median number of student-athletes at colleges who sponsor football is 537 and 282 at those that do not.

The report also showed that Division III student-athletes participate in club suports and intramural sports at a greater rate than the overall student body. They also report greater time management skills, show greater involvement in volunteering and have a graduation rate five percent higher than the overall student body.

The Guilford Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted different events throughout the week.

With a week full of events, athletes from all teams across Guilford College’s campus came together to participate in events of all kinds.

Division III Week began on Monday, when SAAC provided student athletes with a nutritious breakfast. Tuesday brought in one of the more anticipated events, the athletes vs coaches basketball game.

The coaches kept the game very close and withstood the youthfulness of the athletes, only losing by three points with a chance to tie at the very end.

Wednesday brought a cornhole tournament that had a large showing. Over 10 teams participated, with from athletes of all different athletics teams.

The men’s basketball team continued their recent success by taking home the $40 prize money when sophomore Joah Logan and first-year Evan King got the win over the men’s lacrosse team. 

Friday presented athletes with an opportunity to take over Guilford Elementary’s Physical Education session. SAAC ended Division III week with a Walk for Water event which brought athletes together in an effort to raise awareness for global warming and raise money for those with water insecurity.

SAAC provided many fun yet meaningful events throughout the week for our Division III athletes. However, the focus of Division III week was not on the events themselves, but the things learned and the opportunities presented at the Division III level.

“You can do so many things, you are not just an athletes, you are not just a student, you can do things outside of your sport,” said junior volleyball captain Kylee Crook. “My college experience would not be the same without them.”

For the student-athletes, playing a sport has not only been fun but a great learning experience.

“You learn a lot about yourself,” said senior men’s lacrosse attacker Zach Berkowitz. “You learn to hold yourself and your teammates accountable, you learn leadership in a whole different capacity.”

The environment of a small college like Guilford is common amongst the Division III schools across the country.

“I love the small atmosphere at Guilford. Everybody knows everybody and you make great relationships,” said senior women’s lacrosse defender Amber Dubois.

“I have great relationships with my classmates and my professors, so I know I can get great recommendations later, in the future. It’s all about connections and that’s what I love about it.”

Those who are involved in Division III treat it with a passion and recognize the advantages that it has over Division I and Division II.

At Guilford College, 432 students of the 1,323 here participated in Division III athletics last year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Whether it is through their skilled performances that bring excitement to the campus, their hard work in the classroom that brings a smile to their professor’s face or their service to the community itself, Guilford College would not be the college that it is without its Division III athletes.