Written & media by Mike Ward.
If you have been on Greenville’s campus longer than the average orange-folder-toting high schooler, you learn to identify a few things about the campus. First and foremost, you identify that there will always be V for Vendetta-esque tire swings sprouting from one of the campus’s trees. Secondly, if it has recently snowed, there will be an abnormally large snow ball decorating Scott Field. Other forms of vandalism include: mattresses, sofa sets, and cardboard shanties. That being said, these temporary forms of student amusement are of course, temporary. What is more prevalent however, between classes, is the donning of black and orange garb scattered throughout the swarms of students moving from one building to another. Specifically, about one third of the student population will be donning the clothing they were given at the beginning of their sporting season at Greenville. Needless to say, the student athlete population at Greenville is very easy to identify. They may travel in packs and more than likely, highlight themselves from other sporting teams around campus. In fact, I am here to state that each sporting team explicitly identifies themselves by how they dress themselves to such an extent that they are the antithesis of the 90’s hit books, Where’s Waldo. Similar to the male members of the music scene, who wear such tight to the leg pants that they have to dangle their keys from their belt loops, the athletic teams make it easy to identify that they are in fact athletes via jumpsuits, sporting team emblems, and an overall aura that reeks of athletics. Rather than having to think about whether or not an individual is an athlete and what sport they play, I and anyone who is attentive ought to subconsciously identify athletes around campus. If you cannot identify the athletes around campus, than I hope the following synopsis aids you in doing so.
Girls Soccer: Sweatpants, athletic shirt, and obscenely large headbands or pre-wrap in their hair that resemble halos more than headbands. The girls donning this attire usually do so because of the simplicity of it. And heck, who blames them for not wanting to bother with Bobby Pins, overly tight denim, and the overall complex world of women’s attire? Furthermore, their game speaks louder than any hipster-esque attire could.
Boys Soccer: Sweatpants, soccer shoes, possible soccer Jersey, and/or a European haircut. It is difficult to generalize a team of over 50 unique individuals. However, this team more than likely wears indoor soccer shoes around campus. Not a bad idea or look. The old-school Samba Adidas tennis shoe never goes out of style. Overall, I am perplexed when I see a soccer player dress in jeans. It is an anomaly. It is kind of like a dog on its hind legs, or the first time a baby walks; you cannot help but look and think, “That is a first.”
Boys Basketball: Michael Jordan Jumpsuits with their numbers stitched on the chest, basketball shoes under arm, and overly large headphones.They also, many wear a sweatshirt that looks similar to what you would find at a state school during Greek week. These boys also have the highest tendency outside the football team to cut the sleeves (or entire sides) of their shirts and “showcase” their skinny, yet veiny biceps. Needless to say, whenever these boys get dressed up, it’s a photo opportunity—literally.
Girls Basketball: In season: Jumpsuits, comfy slippers, and haired pulled up. Out of season: Blending in the crowd. During basketball season these girls are similar to the boys in that they wear comfortable warm up jumpsuits that proclaim that they are ready to compete. However, in the off-season it is hard to identify a majority of the team.
Baseball: Straight brim cap, orange warm-up tee with a number on the back, Majestic Brand pullover, Oakley Sunglasses, a little bit of Camo, and the occasional pair of cowboy boots. Possibly the easiest team to identify is the Baseball team. Either with their “G” team hat or a straight brim MLB cap, the majority of the baseball team more than likely dons a baseball cap from day to day. Beyond the hat, they also may have a ¾ pullover that keeps their throwing arm warm, but also provides the opportunity for flexibility. Accompanying these two prevalent pieces of attire is the all-important pair of Oakley sunglasses—don’t leave home without ‘em.
Volleyball: By far the hardest team to identify as student athletes is the volleyball team. Besides game day jumpsuits, this team prides itself on dressing up.
Track/Cross Country: Tights, jumpsuits, tights, and more tights. I will never get used to seeing Josh Dees or Ross Baker in tights, but this is what they feel comfortable in and that is all that matters. Long distance runners either rock short-shorts or the tights. This is ideal for them, since it is the least amount of weight and restriction.
Tennis: Sports jackets, tennis shoes, polos, game day jump suits, and the customary tennis skirt. (Girls team only, thankfully. Can you image Ryan Mulholland in a skirt?) Since I rarely have an idea who is on the tennis team until I go to tennis meets, this team, like the volleyball team, is hard to identify around campus when it is not a game day.
Football: EMAP sweatshirt, EMAP t-shirt, and EMAP shorts. When you have one hundred plus individuals on a team, it makes it extremely difficult to generalize. You have the anomalies of Kirk Pearce and Cody Lopez who dress up on a daily basis, but for the majority of the football team, it is casual Friday everyday. The Cali boys wear whatever they wear in that foreign land and the rest wear Greenville College football attire on the daily.
Softball: Headbands, sweatpants, sweatshirt. Similar to girls’ soccer, these girls let their game speak louder than their attire. Comfort is key when you have a fall and spring season.
Needless to say, the goal of this article is not to poke fun at the attire of the student athletes on campus. Rather, it is an attempt to highlight each specific team and each individual on each. Of course it is easy to lump people into groups and generalizations as I have done above. However, this neglects to see each person as God had intended—unique and different. Although a student athlete’s clothes may lump them into one third of the campus’ contingent, it does not define them. Next time around campus, take the guides I have given and guess what team they may be a part of. Immediately after doing so, go up to them, say hi, and get to know them as an individual. That, of course, is much more important.