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Pio to Pio

October 03, 2018

Lewis & Clark wide receiver Dejour Williams.

The environment at Lewis & Clark encourages student-athletes to achieve their full potential both in and out of the classroom. Small class sizes, freedom to pursue more than one sport, and support for extracurricular and cocurricular activities are our hallmarks.

With the fall sports season heating up, we asked five seniors and recent graduates to offer words of wisdom to the incoming class of Pioneer student-athletes. Here’s what they had to say.

Dejour WilliamsDejour Williams BA ’19

Hometown: Round Rock, Texas
Major: Psychology
Sport: Football

What advice would you offer high school students looking to play football at the DIII level? 
Football is football. At the end of the day you will be able to accomplish the same things guys at higher division schools do as long as you put in the work. Be ready to work hard and be the best you can be. 

What do you wish you knew coming in to L&C? 
One thing is how much more rigorous college is compared to high school. People always told me that college would be much more challenging, but I guess it’s one of those things you don’t really know until you’re here doing it yourself.

How do you balance athletics with your academics?
The best way to balance everything I have to do, whether it’s football or school, is by planning. You have to have set times to get things done and stay on top of everything. It’s important to schedule time to do a project between your practice times, and to schedule naps throughout the day!

Volleyball player Annika San Nicolas.Annika San Nicolas BA ’19

Hometown: Kapolei, Hawai‘i
Major: Psychology
Sport: Volleyball

What advice would you offer high school students looking to play volleyball at the DIII level?
I would say to work really hard in class so that you don’t have to worry about getting accepted into schools. This allows you to be able to select the perfect college that fits your needs when decision time comes.

What do you wish you knew coming in to L&C?
I wish I knew about all the resources and connections I had available coming into Lewis & Clark. Our school and athletic department do an amazing job providing resources and connections for almost everything, and I wish I knew this coming in so I could have taken advantage of it from the very start.

How do you balance athletics with your academics?
I balance athletics and academics by using several time management strategies, being realistic, and prioritizing. I like to use the planner our athletic department provides us, as well as Google calendar to plan out my weeks. I try to be as realistic as I can when I am setting aside chunks of time to get homework done, watch game film, as well as destress and relax. Lastly, prioritizing what task is most important is key so that you have a plan and get things done in a timely manner.

Cross country runner Ryan Nguyen.Ryan Nguyen BA ’19

Hometown: Santa Rosa, California
Major: Chemistry
Sport: Cross Country

What advice would you offer high school students looking to run at the DIII level?
Something that I really appreciate about DIII athletics is that everyone involved has a genuine passion for their sport. The cross country and track programs here are excellent support systems and always emphasize our role as student-athletes, not just athletes. To anyone interested in running at the DIII level, I would suggest reaching out to coaches you are interested in running for and set up a weekend to actually visit the campus and meet the team. My own visit to campus really confirmed my decision to come to Lewis & Clark! 

What do you wish you knew coming in to L&C?
Something I wish I knew coming in to L&C (and college in general) is how the day is so different. There will be a lot more free time than high school, even when taking a full course load, and how you use it can either hurt or help your academic experience. Playing a sport definitely makes this easier, however! To balance my schedule, I try to do something completely outside of academics at least once a day. Typically, this means practicing the piano or taking a walk through Tryon Creek, the state park next to campus.

Rower Charlotte Copp BA ’18.Charlotte Copp BA ’18

Hometown: Carlisle, Massachusetts
Major: Environmental Studies
Sport: Rowing

What advice would you offer high school students looking to row at the DIII level?
My advice for anyone is to jump in, try something new, and take that leap of faith into a world that seems unknown. I walked on to the rowing team and had no idea what I was doing. I found it interesting and fun, so I worked hard to be present and dependable and all of that has paid off. 

For many of my teammates, they joined crew because they wanted to make friends. Sports (in general) are a great way to make “forced friends” and get to know people you may not otherwise meet in your classes. Also, the Lewis & Clark coaches take the time and effort to get to know you and care about your health and education.

How did you balance athletics with your academics?
I’ve learned what works well and what doesn’t for me. I learned that I am a morning person—I do all of my academic work before classes begin every day—and that I am a really good manager of time. I also learned that I need athletics as a way to release any stress, so rowing is now a necessity. Routine is great for me, so my day-to-day is very regular. Usually, I wake up around 7 a.m. (or earlier), do homework, go to class, row, have dinner with the team, and go to bed at a reasonable hour (like before 10 p.m.), because this consistent schedule allows me to function at my highest level.  

Mali PetersonWood and her dog.Mali PetersonWood BA ’19

Hometown: Sonora, California
Major: Psychology
Sport: Soccer

What advice would you give high school students looking to play soccer at the DIII level?
Have a desire to prioritize your academics over your sport the moment you step on campus, but embrace the opportunity to have a tight-knit group of teammates that will help push you in all aspects of your college experience, from the classroom to the field.

What do you wish you knew coming in to L&C?
I wish I knew how helpful and accommodating the professors on campus would be toward helping you reach your full academic potential. 

How do you balance athletics with your academics?
I learned how to balance my academics and athletics by becoming a proficient scheduler and reserving time each day for studying and homework. The free time on your schedule isn’t always necessarily “free” because you have to know yourself and the way you study and prepare in order to maximize your performance in the classroom.

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