National Student-Athlete Day (NSAD) is celebrated annually on April 6.. This day provides an opportunity to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of student-athletes. Many student-athletes take on roles as leaders in their community and serve as role models for other students. The day is dedicated to encouraging families, schools, and communities to support their student-athletes in their journey. How can you support student-athletes? Cheer them on both on and off the court or field. Support them in their higher goals and aspirations.
At WNMU, we are one big team! Thank you to all the student-athletes for your hard work and dedication. The Mustang Newspaper Staff interviewed student-athletes of WNMU. We asked them this question, “What qualities make a good teammate? What are some reasons you like being part of a team?”
Eduardo Ocon is a student-athlete for the Mustang Cross Country Team. He is a Junior majoring in Accounting. He answered, “Some qualities that make a good teammate are that they are there for your fellow teammates during their time of need, helping newcomers learn their way around campus and outside the campus. I like being a part of a team because it makes you feel at home. If you are not doing any sports or extracurricular activities, I would recommend joining one. It will help you connect around campus and create a family away from home.”
Megan Custer is a member of the Lady Mustang Volleyball team. She is a Sophomore and is majoring in Nursing. Custer said, “The qualities that make a good teammate are loyalty, trust, hustle, and passion, for both the team and the game. You always need a teammate that you can trust to get the job done in the game and one that you can trust to have your back off the court. I like being a part of a team because you always have a person who can relate to you, in both the struggles and triumphs. A good teammate should be loyal and trustworthy. To see your teammates around campus every day and be friends with them is fantastic!”
Jenika Padilla is an upcoming senior majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Cell Molecular Biology. She is a representative of the Lady Mustang Basketball team. “To be a good teammate means having qualities such as commitment. We have to want to be there and work hard for each other. Basketball is a long season, and we have to stick it out. Another aspect of a good teammate is communication. Communication with each other on and off the court is needed to build a bond. Patience is also a key to be a good teammate; not everybody picks up on things as quickly as others. Lastly, be uplifting, we have to be each other’s hype man on the court. It makes the game much better. One of the reasons why I like being a part of a team is the friendships we build. We get so close throughout the year that we become a family. I like being part of a team because it challenges me always to do my best, not just for myself, but because we want to do our best for each other. The memories we make together, through the wins and losses, long bus rides, hotels, and games are great, and I will look back on to them in the future,” said Padilla.
Ruan du Preez is a Sophomore majoring in Business management. He is a member of the Men’s Tennis team. He said, “A good teammate needs to be supportive, motivated, understanding, compassionate, and have the willingness to help and learn. Some reasons I like being on a team are that it helps to motivate me. It also holds me accountable for my actions, especially for workouts. Finally, it keeps the competitiveness of the sport alive.”
Isley Moana is a Junior majoring in Social Work. He is a member of the Mustang Football team. “Being humble and having great hard work ethics tend to influence your peers, and realizing that this game is much better than yourself puts you in an unselfish mindset to want the best for all your teammates. Being part of a team is a privilege. It is the blessing that the Lord wants to surround you with the people who will thrive with you is what ultimately means the most to me. The memories we built together and all the bonds that are created are what should be acknowledged. I admire the competition, and all the challenges football brings. The game brings out a different part of yourself, where you want to put that extra work in to be a step ahead of your competition. You find a certain thing or somebody that will push you to do more than what is asked. Mine have always been my parents and all the sacrifices they have made so I could experience the lifestyle of a student-athlete, and only the Lord knows how thankful I am for them,” said Moana.
Jessica Martinez is a part of the Lady Mustang Softball team. She is a Nursing Major in her Sophomore year. Martinez expressed, “I believe the qualities that make a good teammate include being selfless and doing whatever it takes to help the team be successful to the best of their ability. I believe that a good teammate can remain positive in any situation. Overall, a good teammate has one another’s back in any positive or negative situation. The best part of being on a team is the bonds you make through the good times as well as the hard times. Being able to be a part of a team allows you to be around a group of friends who all share the same love & passion for a sport.”
Britney Lovato is a Sophomore majoring in Elementary Education. Lovato is on the Cross Country team. “Having the team I have makes it easy for me to be a good teammate. This includes pushing my team members to achieve their best, being a constant cheerleader, and motivator for them. It means being happy for their successes and picking their heads up when they have a bad race. It means caring about their wellbeing and health. It means not only being there for them for sports purposes but also for life itself. The one main quality that makes me a good teammate is a love I hold for each and every single one of them. People like being on a team for several reasons. I love being a part of my team because they are a family away from my family back home. Running is not considered the most fun sport. We, runners, endure pain like no other. I know when I am running a race and feeling that excruciating pain, that my family that I call my team is feeling the same way. Nonetheless, we choose to put one foot in front of the other for each other. We choose to wake up every morning, whether it is freezing cold or blazing hot so that we could run on a trail or path that together ventures us into the unknown. Everyone labels us as “the crazy team that runs every day,” but to me, I love being a part of a team that I can call my family,” answered Lovato.
Brenda Dominguez is Senior double majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology and Chemistry. Dominguez is a team member of the WNMU Women’s Golf Team. “I think a good teammate is someone who pushes you to be better without making you feel like you’re not doing enough. Someone you can talk to on and off the course, and that no matter what, tries to have a positive mindset. The best part about being on a team is having a set of people who understand what you are going through. Being a student-athlete can be overwhelming at times, so having people there that can understand and help you through tough times is a privilege,” said Dominguez.
The Mustang Newspaper wishes all student-athletes to enjoy this special day and continue to feel the love and support of those around you. We hope that you continue your individual development academically and athletically to prepare for the lifelong journey ahead. Go Mustangs!