Athletes adjust to college

Rebecca Littrel, Lamp Staff

Playing in college is a dream of every young athlete, yet according to, only 7 percent of high school athletes go on to play collegiate athletics.

Here at Lincoln Land, new athletes are thrown into the cycle of collegiate athletics, a new environment, and a heavy class load all at once.

“It’s hard being so far from home, but I am getting my school paid for, so it’s worth it,” said Madison Fields, a freshman softball player from Connersville, Indiana.

“Juggling softball, classes and study tables, all while trying to have a social life, is tough,” Fields said. “You just have to learn from your mistakes and manage what little time you have wisely.”

According to the NCAA Graduation Success Rate 2017 report, about 40 percent of Division 1 athletes transfer before their junior year, and 33 percent of college athletes quit after just one year of playing.

Adapting to a new school is hard enough, but sometimes it’s not always the best fit for the athlete.  Sophomore baseball transfer Alex Harbin said “I am really happy with my decision to transfer to LLCC. The coaching staff is great, and the team culture is really good for some of us just having met one another”

Though some of the athletes must adapt to a new environment, others know Springfield like the back of their hand.

Freshman soccer player Lucas Witmer grew up in Athens, just 30 minutes from Springfield.

“Living at home isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Although I wish I had the responsibility that comes with living on my own, staying at home gives me one less thing to stress about,” Witmer said.

Athletics in college teaches many different tasks students might need later in life. Things like time management and people skills help young adults grow. Being involved in collegiate athletics can be a lot at times but can also be very rewarding.

For those who go to college, the NCAA reports 87 percent of athletes who continue playing graduate with a degree.

“The feeling of being part of a team full of athletes who worked so hard to get where they are is fulfilling. Knowing we all put our blood, sweat, and tears into the game we love means a lot.” freshman softball player Riley Yard said.