By River Mitchell
Club sports at Springfield College are back this year. For some, club sports can bring people new exposure to different sports they have never played before. For others, club sports allow people to get playing time in the sports they love without the pressure of being on an NCAA team.
It also opens a new door for people to create bonds and friendships with other students.
Springfield College added club soccer into the fold this year for both men and women, allowing students to play competitively against other schools.
A lot of students have a difficult decision to make. Do they play club sports, or do they try to compete in regular NCAA athletics? This situation directly applied to freshman Corey Raftery.
“If I ended up trying out for the actual team, I probably wouldn’t have gotten any playing time,” Raftery said. “Whereas for club sports, you actually get more playing time than what you do for normal sports.”
Raftery, unaware of tryouts for the main team, had to settle with joining the club team for a year. However, it all worked out in Raftery’s favor. “I actually think I am probably going to stay on the club team, and probably not try out (for varsity),” Raftery said.
The club soccer team also allows graduate students to participate, so there is no eligibility requirement for who can play.
Team member Ryan Steiner decided to give club soccer a try for a different reason.
“There were some things going on in my personal life, and I was kind of trying to find an outlet at the same time,” Steiner said. “Really just to stay active, be in a routine, was a big thing, too.”
On top of the fact that it’s a great way to get exercise and to fill up some time, it’s also a great way to make friends and meet new people as well.
“It was a great time,” Steiner said. “Made a lot of close friends, we still hang out, we’re still practicing in the offseason.”
As for Raftery, the same thing applied.
“We had two practices a week, and there’s so much time after those practices during the week that you can just bond and chat with them.”
Outside of practices and games, the team still made an effort to hang out in Cheney or someone’s dorm.
The team’s inaugural season has a less-than-desirable record at 2-5-1 record, but they had a few winnable games slip through the cracks. That didn’t stop them from having fun.
“It was a great vibe,” Steiner said. “Everyone was excited to play, be around each other, get to know new faces, and we all just had a pretty good time together.”