First and foremost, thank you to the graduating Hodag class of 2018 for nominating me for the Crowley Spirit Award. It means the world to me that my peers, people whom I look up to both on the Ultimate field and in life, view me as a recipient worthy of this award. Secondly, I would like to thank all of the former Hodags for their continued support of the program—the network that this team has built since its inception is incredible.
My Hodag career honestly has not felt like a long time at all. However, in my Junior year, I cannot help but to think that my time on this team is already more than halfway over (even with a fifth year). I would be lying if I said that my college career has gone how I imagined it would. I have unfortunately torn ligaments and needed offseason surgery twice in the past two years—something that has significantly dented my playing time. However, it was in these moments when I really felt and where I continue to feel “Hodag Love.” Hodag Love is the care packages sent to my house post-op from teammates and their families. Hodag Love is the unwavering support that I got from my coaches and teammates when I told them I was going to be sidelined for 8 months and then when I had to tell them again. It is this unwavering love and support that drives me to be the best teammate I can be each and every time we practice and compete whether I can be on the field or not. Initially joining the team, I was a little skeptical about the whole idea of Hodag Love—but now I am honored to be the person that gets to count to three at the end of every practice with my teammates, my brothers, surrounding me shouting the thing we believe in most—Hodag Love.
It is difficult to put into words what winning this award means to me. I love this team. I love everyone currently wearing the Baby Blue on Sundays, everyone who wore it before me, and everyone who gets the privilege to wear it long after I am gone. I have heard about Kevin Crowley and his commitment to the team, both on and off the field, and his love of the game, but more importantly his love of life and his teammates. Winning this award is not something that I take lightly: to be associated with Kevin’s name and the previous Hodags that have won this award is an extreme honor. I will continue to try and be the fiercest competitor and best teammate I can on and off the field, in Kevin’s honor.