Catrina Atanda

Catrina Atanda: Summer Diaries #2

Hello, everyone!

The past week has been interesting, to say the least. The team is officially a full week into summer training, and at this point, we're all used to the humidity and our early morning/late night routine. A few of our players played with a summer league team, which concluded Tuesday after they won the championship game in the Region 3 tournament in Greenville, South Carolina. It was very nice to have those 4 players back among our ranks.

Monday through Thursday we ran at 7:30 AM, and Friday at 6:00 AM with men’s soccer (as per usual) with a couple of lifts here and there, and we also had a team meeting. Our meeting was at the beginning of the week and us eleven seniors prepared a PowerPoint presentation that explained our team goals for the season both in the classroom and on the field. Once again this past spring semester, my team finished first out of all of Clemson Athletics with the highest GPA: 3.51. We beat our men’s soccer counterparts by .01.

All of the coaches and student-athlete academic advisors had a meeting the week after school ended in which they did all of the math to figure out the GPAs for each team. Men’s soccer’s results came out first, only to be ruined shortly afterwards when our score came out .01 higher than theirs. Us women’s soccer players will continue to tease them about that...at least until December, when we find out the next semester's GPA results.

Joking aside, the major thing to take away here is that our GPAs were very impressive for student athletes, and that Clemson Athletics as a whole had a collective GPA above the 3.0 mark, which is a huge credit to our university. As I said in my previous post, the majority of us student-athletes that are here in Clemson this summer are all taking at least one class to get ahead, as well as to take a lighter load when our sport is in season. We have done a great job so far of staying consistent both on the field and in the classroom, so it should be a piece of cake for us to continue along that path.

Aside from sports and academics, my team celebrated my 21st birthday exactly one week ago today. We went to Joe’s Pizza in Central about ten minutes away, which was delicious. The nice thing about the event was that we also got to establish even more team togetherness at my birthday dinner, since all were invited: from freshmen to seniors to fifth year players. It was great to have a chance to bond with the seven new freshmen, and it's another opportunity to have everyone involved and feel like they're a part of a special event. Another big thing we celebrated as a team was America’s Independence Day this past Monday. I went home (as did many of my teammates) for a well-deserved three-day break, but those who didn’t decided to get together to go to Lake Hartwell with some of the soccer guys, one of whom has a lake house. At night, when just about everyone had returned to Clemson, we all went up by the Dike Hills and rowing docks to watch some fireworks. Some of our friends on the football team brought sparklers and set some fireworks off themselves. It was a very relaxing and patriotic past week.

Now that the fun's over, it's time to focus on why we're here: to perform well, both in the classroom and on the field.

Talk again next week!

— Catrina Atanda

Editor's note: Catrina is a student athlete at Clemson University who is receiving college credit for her columns this summer. Read her first post here. — Zoë Hayden

(Photo credit: Scott Ritchie/Flickr)

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