25% of our student body is a varsity athlete.
For a school of roughly 2400 students, this number is significant in that one in every four students plays a sport (or more if you want to be technical). I think this adds to the sense of community that Middlebury fosters within the campus. I love that these student athletes are not mere names with celebrity-status that are constantly reproduced in the school newspaper or announced over the loudspeaker at games—but in fact, they are our roommates, lab partners, the person who asked for the salt shaker at Proctor dining hall, etc. They are our friends.
The love and support we show to our fellow peers by attending their games and cheering as loudly as we humanly can adds another dimension to our community as students of all walks of life convene at these sporting events. It is not just other athletes who attend to support the other teams. It’s everyone. Perhaps they used to play in high school or they’ve never picked up a lacrosse stick. Whatever their views on sports is, none of it matters because for that time block of when they are sitting in the stands, their level of enthusiasm for Middlebury surpasses all else.
The athletic events adjoins Middlebury and its relationship with the town as many come to spectate the ‘college games’. There is honestly nothing cuter than seeing little tykes running around at a hockey game, wearing their favorite player’s jersey. Whether or not we are a college student or a townie, when we win, we all cheer triumphantly. When we cry, we cry together as one.
This weekend was a spectacular one for Middlebury’s wins as women’s soccer advances to NCAA Sectionals, field hockey makes it to Final Four, women’s volleyball heads to regional finals, football wins their final game of the season against Tufts, cross country teams qualify for NCAA Championships. Congrats, all!