"Luther Athletics: A Community of Excellence" [10/10]

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"Luther Athletics: A Community of Excellence"
A note from Aaron Schmaltz '12, Inside Giving intern

Sometimes I have to step back and admire student-athletes. Luther is one of many Division III schools to offer championship experiences. This means that Luther athletes are driven by the passion of their sport and the discipline of their practice. As a result, the level of distinction and excellence is unmatched.

When it comes to athletics, Luther College constantly maintains a commitment to the liberal arts. It is largely upheld by faculty and staff that academic achievement and athletic excellence go hand in hand. Luther Sports have been integrated into the curriculum, and they now contribute to our knowledge of the world. Indeed, we've come a long way since beginning intercollegiate athletics on May 17, 1891.  

Approximately 211 IIAC titles later, students are still participating in the sports they love. Whether through clubs, intramurals or varsity, students manage to find the atmosphere that's right for them.

"Playing tennis at Luther has been one of my best experiences in college. All the guys on the team are great friends," remarks Tyler Van Heest '11.  "We have a great time together, both outside of tennis and out on the court.  On top of that, nothing beats getting to throw on blue and competing for the Norse."

"Playing Ultimate Frisbee has been great for me," says Karl Bear '12. "I have been playing since freshman year and has been a really nice social group on and off the field. It's helped me meet a lot of people that I've come pretty close to, that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise."

Many students also appreciate the quality coaches and outstanding facilities available on campus.

Michelle Boursier '12, a Cross Country runner, admires the facilities available for runners at Luther.  "The outdoor facilities are great for my needs. The new track is fantastic and the fields are beautiful.  It's also been nice to stay active and enjoy the hidden trails in the town of Decorah.  I feel far more connected to this area than if I was just a student staying mainly on campus."

Melissa Erickson '12, also a Cross Country runner, revels in her athletic experiences: "My coaches Yarrow Pasche, Steve Pasche and Jeff Wettach teach their athletes to approach running not only from a competition standpoint, but also as a lifestyle that we can carry with us after our time at Luther."

This approach to athletics not only enhances a sense of community at Luther, it also grounds students in a worldview that will be useful in years to come. There is a certain balance between sports and academics, one which, when practiced daily, ensures a healthy future. And when it comes time to prove ourselves on the field, amid the roar of the crowd, the pelt of the rain, and the chaos of emotion, the Luther Norse will not fail.

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