Not all athletes are mindless jocks

Dillian Schorfheide, Sports Reporter

Say what you want about people who play sports, we are not just sweaty people who think about tackling a running back or shooting a three-pointer.

Some may say those who play sports are just jocks and they do not care about anything besides sports. I find this is not true at all.

For me, I grew up with my parents who, in their own ways (my mom with swimming and my dad with football), were pretty good athletes in high school. They did not compete at the level I did in high school and almost did in college.

I played soccer on both the Wesclin high school team and for the O’Fallon Kixx, a club team, down in southern Illinois. My junior and senior year I was named to the All-Conference team for the Cahokia Conference for those high school seasons.

Needless to say, sports have been a major part of my life, and I now am pursuing a career in sports journalism.

But I am not just a jock.

I was friends with every clique in my school: the “band geeks,” “the jocks” and everyone else. I could “fit in” with anyone.

While some athletes were glorified in the small-town setting, we did not act like we were better than everyone else. Three towns fed into Wesclin and we cared about our towns and everyone in them. We were all nice, and we had our soft sides too.

I love Taylor Swift’s songs, and I will proudly say it. Some of us “jocks” would turn into complete softies when we talked to a girl. Generally, we would not just follow our favorite sports teams; we would follow the news and be able to talk deeply about it.

Most importantly, we cared about others. When there was a death in one of the three towns or a town nearby, everyone would be there. Yes it is a nice thing to do, but a lot of times those who did not know the deceased well would still go; yes, including the so-called “jocks”.

While it is easy to say how my life has been in a small town, which could differ greatly from Chicago’s bigger schools and cities, I can definitely say the guy or girl who you call a jock, is not just hard-hitting, sports-minded 24/7. We have soft sides and care about many things. Look at Eastern athletes as well, none of them are “jocks”.

It just takes getting to know the layers underneath the sports behind an athlete to understand who they are.

Dillan Schorfheide is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]