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Falling In Love With the Game


 by Lauren Roth

Valentine’s Day is a rather controversial holiday, some people look forward to treating their loved ones to a special dinner and lavish presents, while others think it’s pointless to celebrate. No matter the opinion on Valentine’s Day, it’s a major holiday and it’s coming up. The best way to appreciate Valentine’s Day is remembering what you love, whether that is someone or something. Student athletes have a unique love for their sport, it is something that began as a small hobby and then flourished into a part of their identity. This Valentine’s Day weekend, check out what some of our Maroons have to say about their love for their sports. 

“This may be cliche, but I definitely love the runners high I get on long runs. I think it’s especially great whenever I’m running with people. I love running. I love the interactions with people during practice and I think that’s what caused me to want to continue to run in college. I would have missed that way too much”

 – Tim Hoffstaetter, men’s track & field

“I fell in love with basketball at a very young age. I remember playing basketball in the second grade with a youth league, but my love started even before that by spending countless hours on my outdoor hoop with my family. Those times were a major reason I started to fall in love with basketball. Once I started getting older, basketball became one of the biggest parts of my life, and I owe it to my family.” 

– Hayden James, men’s basketball

“I fell in love with team sports because being a part of something larger than myself was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. I fell in love with the competitive atmosphere of field hockey and the combination of skill and athleticism required in the sport. I knew I loved field hockey enough to play in college because every worry in my life disappeared when I had a stick in my hand. I feel so blessed to have played this sport and connected with amazing athletes along the way.” 

– Claudia Roncone, women’s field hockey 

“I started playing basketball when I was 5 years old and fell in love with it at a really young age. I loved the competition and enjoyed being on the court. As I got older and started playing on different teams I continued to fall in love with basketball and sports in general, and realized I wanted to play in college. Practice and games were always my favorite part of my day. My dad plays a huge role in my love for basketball, as he introduced it to me and some of my best memories playing basketball are shooting around and practicing outside with him.” 

– Kristina Harrel, women’s basketball

Whether you are a student athlete, parent, or an avid fan for the Maroons, make sure to show your love and support at upcoming home games! The next track and field team and the women’s basketball team will be in action on Saturday, February 12th in the Cregger Center.