Hot Take: First-Year Athletes Hard to Spot This Year

By SAM MATHAI

Concerned students all across campus are having a hard time identifying the new additions to our varsity sports teams this year. I found our peers in various states of panic and worry over the topic.

“I mean, if it weren’t for their pastel shorts, backwards hats (preferably also in a nice shade of Nantucket red), high school lacrosse jackets and brand new Nikes, it would be impossible for me to tell who the freshman lacrosse players are,” a fellow student told me. In their doubt and their confusion, they forgot to give me a name by which to credit them, but they seemed sincere.

Students added that it would be impossible to track down freshman athletes if it weren’t for the fact that they moved in packs across campus. Like herds of entitled meerkats, they shuffle around Worner, El Pomar, and the quads cautious and wide-eyed.

“Would you be able to tell me who the soccer freshmen are?” I asked a passerby, as I pondered this on a bench by myself. They ignored my question entirely, but their wide-eyed look of shock and confusion at my presence gave me everything I needed to know. I understood; there are no dead giveaways this year.

If you look past the soccer shorts, soccer shirts, soccer hoodies, and the look of ‘I just came from soccer practice,’ the new soccer stars could be anyone.

Of course, this would be the appropriate time to mention that the women’s soccer first-years in particular are shining this year. I would interview Camille Weaver and Riley Prillwitz about their goals in the Albany game that propelled the Tigers to victory, but I couldn’t find them. It was like they had donned their Carhartt pants and Birkenstocks—they blended in so well I was unable to tell them apart from the cheery multitude that is the student body of Colorado College.

What can we do to fix this? How we can we allow our student athletes to stand out from the rest of the student body that they mix so well with? “If only they had some kind of identifying mark. What if we got them all backpacks or something?” a student suggested to me.

“Are you kidding me? Would the school really do that to athletes? Just give them a backpack or something that makes sure everyone knows they play a sport?” I usually try to hide my skepticism, but perhaps that response wasn’t my best effort.

Sure, backpacks plastered with athletic logos might stand out against the climbing packs dusted with chalk or the Patagonia bags fresh off the store shelf, but it doesn’t seem like something the school would do.

So for now, the freshman athletes remain mysterious. Keep your eyes peeled for any articles of clothing that seem obviously sporty, any facial expressions that suggest one is exhausted from practice, and most certainly keep your nose keen for any unusual smells that often come from athletes (men’s lacrosse is the most pungent.) The first-year athletes may be blending in, but don’t ever forget, they walk among us.

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