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Exploring Athletes’ Motivations: Why Goucher Athletes  Choose to Play at the Division Three Level 


Written By: Imani Ward 

*This article is a student submission from COM 142 News and Reporting with Dr. David Zurawik*

National Division III Week kicked off on Monday, April 1, marking a time for all individuals  associated with Division III sports to celebrate the importance and impact that DIII  athletics has within our community. As a Division III athlete myself, I find it extremely important to recognize and honor the hard work of student athletes at the DIII level. Here at Goucher, athletes are not only expected to excel in their rigorous academic classes, but also to undergo intense training to compete in the highly competitive Landmark Conference. Below, you’ll find statements from athletes describing why they chose to come to Goucher and compete at the Division III level. 

Eain Waples – First Year Student  

Source: Goucher Men’s Soccer instagram

“I chose Goucher College because the location was nice and I would be really close to home. What I like about being a student athlete at Goucher is being able to attend classes with my teammates and living with them every day. I became a DIII athlete by being recruited from one of my club soccer games to come play at Goucher College. I could’ve gone to a higher level, but I wanted to go somewhere I could have an immediate impact on the College level. The thing that motivates me is 100% my family; without them, I wouldn’t have been able to play the game of soccer that I love.” 

Katie Kanaskie – Senior  

Source: Goucher Athletics Website

“I chose Division III to have a balance between academics and athletics. I was keen on enjoying a well-rounded college experience, delving into athletics while also immersing myself in clubs and my academic interests. Goucher has played a pivotal role in helping me achieve this goal, and I am thrilled with the preparation it has provided for my future post-graduation.” 

Emma Kistner – Sophomore 

Source: Emma Kistner

“I chose to play at the Division III level because I knew I would get to explore new venues of my life. While I initially chose Goucher for the track & field program, I have been able to find a family in the swim team and also learned that I am a more well-rounded athlete than I thought. At Goucher, I have found a community that supports me in all my endeavors, whether they’re athletic or not.” 

Jaylin Briston –First Year Student  

Source: Goucher Athletics Instagram

“I chose to play my sport at the Division III level because I knew that I would be given an actual opportunity compared to other divisions. I enjoy my sport and did not want to view it as a job. What made me choose Goucher was the environment. Goucher is a small school with pretty much everything possible around it. Campus is also very quiet and peaceful. What I like about being a student athlete is that it pushes me to do better in school, because without good grades I cannot participate in my sport.”  

Jillian Spooner –First Year Student 

Source: Jillian Spooner

“I chose to golf at the Division III level because of the amazing support offered by coaches and teachers. I chose Goucher specifically because my coach was the most understanding of the student-athlete life and the team felt like family. I love being a student athlete because I get to continue growing in a sport I love while getting my degree in Public Health. I love it even more at Goucher because it’s not super stressful.” 

It is clear that Goucher student-athletes are extremely grateful for the opportunities and experiences provided by Division III Athletics. While sports careers may not last forever, the ability to play the sport you love while bettering your future is extremely rewarding for many student-athletes. Division III Athletics fosters holistic development by giving student athletes a nurturing environment where they are able to excel and exhibit excellence.  

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