While You're Away, Athletes Still Play

It’s January 11 and Boston College students are slowly making their way back to campus, moaning and groaning for more rest time. From the end of finals to our first day of classes, winter break lasted a good three weeks; compared to many of our friends at other schools, that’s nothing. Compared to the athletes, however, our break seems like a millennium in length.

Selly Sallah / Gavel Media

Selly Sallah / Gavel Media

Currently, four players from the BC Men’s Hockey Team are playing with Team USA in the IIHF World Junior Championships. Alex Tuch, Noah Hanifin, Ian McCoshen, and Thatcher Demko have been practicing with Team USA since finals week. The four of them have been playing in the international tournament, in Montreal, since December 26 and will wrap up on January 5.

As for the rest of the Eagles Ice Hockey Team, they returned to action yesterday, playing Brown in the Ledyard Classic. They have another contest at Dartmouth tonight and will play two more games before students return from break.

The football team didn’t even get to spend Christmas at home because they were prepping for their bowl game. While Christmas in New York is legendary, you’re normally hoping to spend the holiday with family and loved ones. The football team, though, arrived in New York the day before Christmas and spent their holiday practicing and prepping for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on the 27th. Their winter break finally began on December 28, the day after a disappointing loss to Penn State.

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Photo courtesy of Boston College Athletics / Facebook

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams played an abundance of games over break, starting on December 21 and continuing periodically for the remainder of their "free" time. Collectively, they made trips to Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida. Both teams scheduled five total games over break, and with practice taken into account, players maybe got a three-day break at most.

Swimmers had to be back this week because they have a meet before break is over. And finally, women’s lacrosse and softball both have to be back this week as well, as practice begins for their seasons.

While we are soaking up the sun, shredding on the slopes, or partying with our high school friends during break, our athletes are back on The Heights working hard to give us something to cheer for upon our return.

Photo Courtesy of Boston College Athletics / Facebook

Photo courtesy of Boston College Athletics / Facebook

Many would ask: why is it that these students put themselves through this? Those reading this might be thinking about how much that sucks. As if our break isn't short enough already, having to go back early would be awful.

That was my reaction when an athlete told me that he wasn’t going to be able to spend Christmas at home, but his response put things into perspective. “We knew what we were getting ourselves into, we signed up for this and we love what we do,” he told me.

So, hats off to our athletes for their commitment and love for their sports. As the new year begins, I'm going into 2015 with a new appreciation for our athletes and all that they do. Superfans, let's kick off the new year with a very large thank you to our athletes for giving us something great to root for.

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