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Deciding to switch sports: a farewell to football

By Brynden Grow
On February 29, 2020

Photo courtesy of Curt Freed

This off-season for football rolled around and we started getting into the groove of things. I was getting up early in the mornings to go to weights, had class soon after, and then would condition in the afternoons. Things were going good, I would say.

Then my best friend from home, Dalton, came on a visit for the bowling team here the first week of the semester, and I was able to hang out with him for the day. We went to bowling practice that day and I watched him bowl with the team. It was a cool experience. I had bowled all throughout high school and bowled with Dalton for two years. I knew some of the bowlers on the team and got to talking with my buddy, sophomore Daniel Hall. He mentioned to me that they needed guys to bowl due to injuries. I said I’d love to, but had already talked to head coach Geoff Poston about it before; we could never get things set up with football being in the way. Well the men’s team coach, Brian Rickert, ended up asking me to come bowl a tournament to fill in the missing spot that they needed. When I joined the team that morning, I was having a blast. I was learning new things everyday and still am. The tournament I bowled at was different than anything I had ever done before and I didn’t do too bad either. 

After the tournament, I talked to Rickert and Poston and told them that I wanted to bowl next season. For those that don’t know, bowling and football start in the fall and bowling goes throughout the winter as well. I knew in my head that I couldn’t do both to the best of my ability. It had run through my head before that I didn’t know if I wanted to play football next season and that I really wanted to bowl as well. Football is a job, just as is any sport in college. But I think it is one of the most physically demanding sports there is. After playing it for 14 years, my body is wearing down quickly. I wear braces on both my knees during workouts, I have a messed up wrist and shoulder. It just gets too much at times. The team came up with the saying “All in.” That’s what we would break down on everytime. If you weren’t all in, then what’s the point of being there in the first place? I gave everything my all at football, and when I knew that I wasn’t going to be “all in” anymore, that’s when I made my decision to end my football career and resume my bowling career. 

Like I said, I played football for 14 years. It’s been in my blood ever since I was born. It was always a dream of mine to play football in college and I was able to fulfill my dream when I came here to Ottawa. I started my entire sophomore season and even though the season didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, I still had fun out there playing. This decision had nothing to do with other people, like my teammates and coaches. I’m still going to treat them with the respect they deserve and support them for as long as I live. Those guys are my brothers and I’m truly grateful for that. To the game that I fell in love with as a kid, I want to say thank you. Thank you for all the lessons that you taught me and for all of the memories I made with you.


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