When most students are following in their holiday traditions and visiting family, the winter athletes are using their winter break to practice, play games and work on their team dynamics

The athletes did not get much of a winter break, however, these are the sacrifices they make for their team and the sport they play.

These student athletes got about a week break around Christmas time to go home to family and friends.

Women’s basketball sophomore guard Rikki Wiggins said her break was “just enough time to go Christmas shopping and see family.” Then they were back in the gym getting ready for games. The women’s team had a tournament in California during winter break, playing on Dec. 18, 20, and 21. They started league play as soon as Jan. 4.

The commitment may seem harsh to some, but for these winter athletes their sport makes is a worthwhile payoff.

Junior forward Erica Schultz said, “As much as I love having that free time home, I would make this sacrifice over and over again because to me, basketball is extremely worth it.”

Shultz, who returned from a semester abroad in January and has been a major contributing factor to point scoring, said that the team is getting to know each other better which is ultimately making them a better team.

The men’s team had a similar schedule to the women, playing games near Christmas day and returning from break on Jan. 4.

Though these teams do not get the whole winter break like other students these athletes accept the sacrifice they make to play a winter sport.

“I feel that basketball is more important than a little free time so I don’t really mind giving up my break” said guard Cameron Hayes.

Forward Robby Babek said that giving up breaks is the sacrifice most athletes have to make.

Babek said that spending all that time over break with the team definitely made them better because they had the opportunity to build team chemistry and become closer.

The men’s wrestling team also competed during winter break, they traveled to Las Vegas to play against other colleges at the Desert Duals on Dec. 20.

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