Written and Media by John Dudley.
[divide]“How and why did I get myself into this?”
These thoughts ran through my mind as a freshman at Greenville College. As a newcomer, I spent most of my time learning a playbook and doing homework.
For the past four years, I have been a part of the Greenville College football program and played wide receiver on a Panthers offense that wasn’t suited with a large number of plays for wide receivers. As a result, I continually asked myself, “Why am I here?” I couldn’t answer this question until the end of my college career.
I’ve seen many guys come and go from the football program throughout my GC years. Most of them stayed for one season and then moved on. However, it wasn’t that simple for me. I didn’t always agree with the way things were done in the program, the call on the field, and I didn’t always get the amount of playing time I desired, but, Greenville College football taught me how to face adversity and take life’s challenges head on. When I started listening and trying to understand the concepts the coaching staff taught, I figured out why I was in the program. I realized that they truly cared about the well-being of the players.
The community at GC convinced me to stay and continue with the football program. The coaches said we had it but I needed more than words to believe it was there. I learned firsthand that community is “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” We shared a common attitude, interest, and goals. This fellowship amongst the players and coaches made us a family.
Throughout my years at GC, we had our ups and downs. We went 9-2 and 7-3 in two different seasons and had a shot at a conference title both years. We finished 3-7 and 2-8 the following seasons. It was the tough years that the coaching staff explained football was just a game that teaches us about adversity in life.
A transformation is made in the players that stay in the football program all four years because of the coaches and players. This past season is the perfect example of how the coaches impacted the players. We began the season 0-5 without winning a single game by the mid-season point. Offensive coordinator, Josh Flannery, told the offensive players the team wasn’t defined by wins or losses. The scoreboard didn’t change the way Flannery approached his job. His attitude set the football coaching staff apart from other programs. A larger focus was placed on development of the players rather than the results of games.
I’m so glad I stayed at Greenville College. I learned so much about myself and why God put me here.