The Paw Print
“They have no off switch, it’s been replaced by the will to win.”
At last, the conference offseason was over, and it was finally time to play for keeps. It was time to prove that hard work pays off. It was time to cash in the blood, sweat, and tears that no one sees or hears about. The offseason months can feel like years in the mind of an athlete. The competitor within hungers for battle and yearns for victory. It has been programmed within them through years of training and sharpened by rigorous discipline. Whoever plays for fun doesn’t want it bad enough. The Lady Grizzlies play for greatness. They play for excellence.
This inner greatness knows no offseason. The commitment to excellence has no off switch. It burns with the brightness of the sun, and sheds light on the power of passion. There is no off. There is no off-time, there are no off-games. Memory doesn’t let you off the hook. It clearly recalls the feeling of failure and the pain of defeat. It burns, like the tears of not being good enough. It stings, like the sweat in the eyes that blur your vision. It’s real, like the sight of blood – like the realization that this is not just a game.
It was time to play for keeps, and the Lady Grizzlies kept it real. The Adams State Softball team played hardball with New Mexico Highlands, handing them four consecutive losses to start the in-conference season. It was evident in their excitement that the Lady Grizzlies were enjoying every moment of their dominant opening weekend. Their energy never wavered. Their faith never faltered. And when they fell behind, their burning hunger for victory took over.
This hunger, this source of synergy proved to be contagious and quickly consumed the home crowd in attendance. It felt like fans had as much of an effect on the game-play as the players did, surging to their feet and lending their cheers of support at critical moments. Each time the pressure reached its highest point, New Mexico Highlands buckled, and the Lady Grizzlies were there to take advantage. From maintaining leads, to rallying from behind, no situation was too difficult to slow their progress toward victory.
Games are often won or lost in split-second moments – The blinking of an eye, the breaking of the ball, the slowness of reflex. But luck follows the well-prepared and fortune favors the brave. The Lady Grizzlies performed with an added energy that never ran empty. They never lost their hunger. They have no off switch. It’s been replaced by the will to win. They are battle-hardened competitors.
There is no down time in this team of athletes. Turn down for what? Greatness is not measured in moments of mediocrity. It is weighed in buckets of sweat and tears that are wept. It is paid for in blood.
You, victorious athletes of Adams State University, you elegant warriors… We Salute You!