About one hundred freshmen and a handful of current Pacific University students reported to the first fall football camp in 2010.
No one had any idea of what it would take to play college football or what the coaches would be expecting.
We were at a program with no current tradition, no current expectations and no identity.
I remember showing up to the first practice and being one of nine quarterbacks fighting for the starting job. This meant each of us only had three or four reps to prove ourselves.
Going 0-9 that first season was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through in sports.
After winning a state championship in high school and growing up in a culture where winning was an expectation, losing and finding positives to grow from each loss was very tough.
It was extremely difficult to stay positive and trust the process when every one wants immediate results. The tough times we fought through brought us together as a team and made the wins that much sweeter.
When the final whistle blew and all the fans stormed the field after our first win against Puget Sound, the biggest weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I felt all the blood, sweat and tears that we put into those first 17 losses finally worth it.
From that first win, to having a winning season in our senior year, we got to see all the hard work pay off.
We were able to build a program the right way and build the culture that we wanted.
From 0-9 to a conference title in five seasons is more than we could have ever imagined.
We preach championship level expectations and that is something that will never change. Being a football player at Pacific offered me an experience that I could never have gotten anywhere else.
All the trials and tribulations we faced, from the losses and tearing my anterior cruciate ligament, helped me to grow as a man.
I learned to persevere through the tough times and to always have a positive attitude when things are not going as planned. Playing football also taught me that it is important to celebrate your accomplishments, but to never settle and be satisfied.
Th e “ champ i o n s h i p l e v e l expectation” mind set is one I take into every aspect in my life. To be the best in school and work is something I will always keep with me. The relationships we made will last forever.
We built more than a program; we built a family.