The men’s soccer team has had another outstanding season, winning the Club National Championship yet again. I played on the team in 1996 and 1999 when we also won the nationals, so I know the high they are feeling. However, after transferring from BYU to a small East Coast college and playing on their NCAA-sanctioned, Division-III squad, I have noticed some things that maybe the Soccercats take for granted.
Even though I play on a college- sponsored, NCAA-sanctioned soccer team, the fulfillment I thought that would come as a result of being in the “big time” never really materialized.
Sure, locker and training room perks are great, and we don’t have to buy our own uniforms. But everything has its price.
At BYU I experienced soccer in a context I had never thought possible. Brotherhood, unity of purpose, prayer before games, team temple trips-could a college athletic program really be like this?
Yeah, you are only “club” national champions, but you are blessed to play with a bunch of guys motivated by the love of the game, and by their testimonies of the gospel. No amount of scholarship money or free gear could replace the depth of character that comes from your personal sacrifices to play soccer for the BYU men’s extramural soccer team. You are united in sport and in spirit-do you think that happens just anywhere?
The grass on NCAA Division-I fields isn’t always greener than that under your feet right now. Believe me. Be grateful.