Putting the “student” in Student Athlete

    Now, for most of us, the four years (or five for some) that we spent in college resembled some version of the movie Animal House. While you may have never found yourself on “double-secret probation” there was beer pong, pizza, ramen noodles, more beer pong, late nights and did I mention drinking?

    Homework and studying were put off until the last minute and red bull or coffee became your best friend for the night as you burned the midnight oil in the library. Despite having to work harder than you ever had in your entire life, they don’t call college the best four years of your life for nothing; did we mention the beer pong yet?

    Finally, years and years of hard work culminates into one afternoon.

    Graduation day.

    Putting on that funny looking hat, slipping on graduation robes and getting the chance to walk across that stage to be acknowledged for the greatest achievement you have accomplished up to that point in your life is a moment every college graduate will cherish forever.

    Now take what I said about the college experience and throw it out the window. This story isn’t about how many keg stands you did in college, or that eating contest you won. Are there even any real winners in an eating competition? It’s about the men and women who gave up the chance at having a typical college experience for the opportunity to represent their school on the playing field, court, course, pool, diamond or track.

    Now, I’m not saying that these kids didn’t enjoy the full college experience. For many of them, they’re college experience was as enriching and enjoyable as yours or mine, if not more so. Having been both a student athlete and just a student, I know first hand how different the two lifestyles can be.

    6 a.m. workouts, followed by class, a quick lunch before another practice, back to class and then you try to squeeze in any homework you can before your eyelids become heavier than all the weight you lifted in the gym that day.

    Is it seriously only 9 p.m.? It feels like midnight!

    I’m not saying you won’t find student athletes wandering around midtown, if they’re of legal drinking age of course, but when you’re peeling yourself out of bed at noon the next morning, just know that they’ve already put in a full days work.

    That’s the life of the student athlete. They have to completely dedicate themselves to school, while basically working a full time job to stay competitive and play a sport at Florida. It is no easy feat, to put it lightly.

    So when these athletes complete both their playing and academic careers, they deserve an extra level of recognition.

    The University of Florida proudly graduated 57 student athletes this weekend. From football stars to golfers alike, all were awarded degrees signaling the completion of their collegiate studies.

    For some, you have already thanked them with your applause and fandom while attending games. For others, this may be the first time you have ever heard their name. Whatever the case may be, they are all student athletes at the university you love and they deserve to have their moment in the sun.

    Here is a list of all 57 graduates and their major.

     

    Baseball

    Vickash Ramjit – Geography

    Cody Dent – Sport Management

    Buddy Munroe – Anthropology

     

    Men’s Basketball

    Kenny Boynton – Sociology

    Erik Murphy – Recreation, Parks and Tourism

    Mike Rosario – Criminology

     

    Football

    Stephen Alli – Psychology

    Tim Clark – Sport Management

    Christopher Guido – Health Science

    Kedric Johnson – Anthropology

    Scott Peek – Sport Management

    Jesse Schmitt – Economics and Political Sciences

     

    Men’s Golf

    Tommy Mau – Anthropology

     

    Women’s Golf

    Isabelle Lendl – Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

    Mia Piccio – Psychology

     

    Gymnastics

    Nicole Ellis – Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

     

    Lacrosse

    Ashley Bruns – History

    Cara Canington – Sport Management

    Caroline Chesterman – Telecommunication

    Kitty Cullen – Criminology

    Brittany Dashiell – Health Science

    Emily Dohony – Criminology

    Sam Farrell – Family, Youth and Community Services

    Erin Graziano – Family, Youth and Community Services

    Mikey Meagher – Criminology

    Jamie Reeg – Health Education and Behavior

    Colby Rhea – Family, Youth and Community Services

    Kayla Stolins – Criminology

    Gaby Wiegand – Sociology

     

    Soccer

    Jo Dragotta – Anthropology

    Holly King – Elementary Education

     

    Softball

    Kelsey Horton – Food Science and Human Nutrition

     

    Men’s Swimming and Diving

    Rodion Davelaar – Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Brian Howell – Biology

    Gabriel Huen – Food and Resource Economics

    Cameron Martin – Zoology

    Sean Saley – Food and Resource Economics

     

    Women’s Swimming and Diving

    Sarra Lajnef – Political Science

    Sharla Milne – Health Education and Behavior

     

    Men’s Tennis

    Billy Federhofer – Telecommunication

     

    Men’s Track and Field

    Zane Breakiron – Family, Youth and Community Sciences

    Josh Izewski – Food and Resource Economics

    Max Lang – Statistics

    Kemal Mesic – Anthropology

    Jeremy Postin – Recreation, Parks and Tourism

    Bryan Turner – Botany

    Terrell Wilks – Family, Youth and Community Sciences

     

    Women’s Track and Field

    Callie Cooper – Horticultural Sciences

    Kaitlin Davis – Psychology and Microbiology

    Monique Harris – History

    Dierdre Lee – Health Education and Behavior

    Paige Morton – Recreation, Parks and Tourism

    Alexis Muniz – Animal Sciences

    Mandy Perkins – Telecommunication

    Caitlin Schuessler – Criminology and Anthropology

     

    Volleyball

    Chloe Martin – Business Administration

    Sundai Weston – Public Relations

    While Vitamin C’s song “Friends Forever” seems to be the popular song choice  around commencement time, I’ve always enjoyed GreenDay’s “Good Riddance” more.

    “Another Turning point, a fork stuck in the road

    Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go

    So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why

    It’s not a question but a lesson learned in time.”

    On behalf of Gator Nation, we thank you for the time, blood, sweat and tears you put into your craft over the past four years. You are the reason Gator fans are so rabid about their school and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

    “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right

    I hope you had the time of your life.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Nick de la Torre
    A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC