The “Law of the farm.”
This simple quote on the back of my very first Comet T-shirt has a very significant meaning attached to our 2015 Comet football team. There are a few rules about our farm that people need to know: Clock-in come August, return when the job is finished in November, work hard, sacrifice and play with a chip on your shoulder. Our football field is the farm – this farm is more than just land and crops -- it’s our heritage and our future. From 1844 to 2015 and beyond, Olivet football is a brotherhood.
Coming into my first collegiate football season, I was a wide-eyed freshman who came from the middle of nowhere, to another middle-of-nowhere. With the chance to continue playing the game I’ve loved since I was born, I knew coming to Olivet College, and a football team stacked with 32 seniors, would be a great experience for me to develop, learn and feel what collegiate football is all about. Being on a scout team facing against perhaps the best offense in the MIAA averaging 45.2 points per game humbles me very deeply knowing just how much I have to improve.
By sticking with my commitment to play football at Olivet, I was lucky enough to witness our team accomplish great things. Such as our first 7-0 start in school history and becoming co-conference champions with a 6-1 record tied alongside Albion and Trine.
Throughout the season, I didn’t hear a negative word slip from any of the seniors’ or coaches’ mouths – all positivity – even when times got tough after starting out 7-0 for the first time in Olivet College history, then dropping a rivalry game to Albion College. This team never hung its head. Instead, this loss made us realize what the most important thing is about football.
To have fun.
Comet football isn’t glamorous – far from it – but with a genuine coaching staff and players who want to be here, a team can go from average to extraordinary in four short years; consequently, these 32 seniors turned around this program from going 0-10 to 9-1 in a four-year span. This amazing accomplishment is a tribute to both the coaches and the players’ will to compete every single day.
Without embracing the grind during camp in mid-August, and throughout the grueling 10-week season, I wouldn’t be the football player and better person that I am today. Our whole team plays for the love of the game; I wouldn’t trade anything in this world to continue playing the game I love -- every single practice, game and workout we had to bring our own will to become conference champions.
Receiving the opportunity to play on a team so close to perfection is a privilege. Playing with arguably the greatest team to ever go through Olivet College is an experience I will hold near to my heart for the rest of my life. These seniors paved the foundation, and it is our privilege as underclassmen to work tersely to continue this new tradition of Comet football.
During the season, I’ve met so many great people and made friendships that will last a lifetime. There’s just something different about the people you play football with, and it’s a family through thick and thin. If a team wants to be great, they must stay the course.
From the coaching skits to the final walk into the locker room, this football season has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. With one chapter closed, a new chapter begins for Comet football. Thank you, seniors, for your many sacrifices.