Athletics Campus Life Student Organizations

Rising in Ranks from Varsity to Club Sports

Four year varsity football. Four year varsity track and field. First Team All-State athlete. And after all that in high school, NOT a collegiate varsity athlete. Why?

Near the end of high school, I was seriously considering the possibility of playing varsity football at my future college. Every time I weighed the pros and cons, no matter how I spun it, I realized that there were not enough benefits to outweigh the drawbacks. As a mechanical engineering and mathematics double major, I am very studious and prioritize my academics above all else. Coming from an intensive and structured high school experience in my hometown of Las Vegas, NV, I saw college as the time for me to experience freedom in a variety of aspects. The time commitment of varsity sport practices every day, multiple times a day, was something that I couldn’t justify to myself since it would dictate my entire schedule. While I arrived at SMU with no intentions of joining varsity sports there was still a missing piece. Health and fitness are integral to my identity so I always knew that I wanted to continue that in one way, shape or form. However, simply going to the gym did not fill the void of being a part of a team.

Each year, SMU holds a club fair the Saturday before classes start where new students can learn about the various organizations on campus. My freshman year at the club fair, a few guys yanked me aside and asked, “Did you play football in high school? Because you’re playing Rugby now.” Unsure of whether to commit or not, I signed up for the first practice. By the end of the first week of practice, I was hooked to this novel sport. On and off the field, I have made some of my best friends through Rugby.

As a Club Sport that only practices 3 times a week, Rugby allows me the flexibility to attend practices at my own decision while still being able to compete against other schools and represent SMU like a varsity sport does. This is something true about all club sports here at SMU!

If you’re someone who was a student athlete in high school, can’t see yourself doing the same in college, but want to continue with your athletic endeavors, I highly suggest club sports as an alternative. They strike a perfect balance between a hard-working team that competes for SMU and a relaxed club that fosters lifelong friendships.

Nathan DeVera

By Zoe Patterson