One of the most devastating aspects of school shutting down is the cancellation of spring sports, leaving many seniors without closure to their DePauw athletic experience. Across all spring sports, 36 seniors will not be able to play their final games in a DePauw uniform. Many of them reflect on what their DePauw athletic experience meant to them.
Senior baseball player Nick Casey said, “DePauw Baseball has given me the opportunity to not just grow into the best player I could become, but also develop into an overall, well-rounded person. I was fortunate enough to be able to contribute on the field early in my career and I felt that prepared me for any situation I faced in the years that followed. It gave me the experience to be able to compete on the field as well as develop my abilities to be a better teammate to those around me. I am grateful for all of the lifelong friends I have been able to make and I cherish the moments I have made with them in my time at DePauw. These past four years have reassured my love for the game and my desire to compete with such a great team and I am forever thankful for the opportunities that have been presented to me along the way.”
Senior Bronson Rago, who joined the men’s track and field team his junior year, experienced DePauw in a unique manner, as he said, “This past year, I grew to be one of the leaders of the team. Though I didn’t make much an impact in terms of scoring, I could feel myself serving an essential role on this team. Over fall break, I passed the National Strength & Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam. This allowed me to develop a strength & conditioning program tailored specifically to the needs of the sprinters and throwers alongside Coach Demarco Henry, the assistant throwing coach. This put me in the unique role of serving as a teammate on the track, but a coach in the weightroom. It put me in a position to support my teammates to the best of my abilities. I felt like I served a valuable purpose on the team, which is one reason why I’ll forever love the world of athletics.” Rago was skeptical about joining a team after high school football due to his health, but found his place throwing javelin and mentoring younger students.
Track athlete Cole Martin said, “My track experience has been a lot of fun. I’ve really enjoyed having teammates that push me to be the best I can be, both on and off the track. I’ve loved the training that comes with a track season as opposed to a cross country season, especially some of the faster stuff. It adds some much needed variety and can be a lot of fun. Most of all, I love how supportive the track team can be during competitions. Some of my favorite memories are of races that I wasn’t even competing in because I loved how everyone was able to support and motivate their teammates.”
Track athlete Natalie Gruzka said, “I am a more disciplined, empathetic, and stronger person by being on the DePauw track team. “Team” doesn’t quite cover it: we are more of a family. I found my closest friends at DePauw— friends I’ll have for life. Even though track can be considered an individual sport, the DePauw team doesn’t see it that way. We support each other individually so that the team as a whole is stronger. As Coach Kori always says, the DePauw team is “classy”. His coaching built the foundation for a tight knit, unstoppable team that is unlike anything I’ve ever been involved in.”
The DePauw athletic experience was unique for every single senior, and their contributions will be remembered.