Austin Hilliker, Sports Editor

From the high school standout, to the C team benchwarmer, there’s a place for everyone to play. Not everyone has the talent to play at the highest level of sports, Divison I.

An even smaller percentage will move on to the professional world of sports. But for some of us, making money in front of thousands of fans isn’t the dream. Some of us want to put academics first and put athletics second. Division III offers that exact experience.

Being able to participate in sports is a privilege. The opportunity is something that only a select group of people get to experience and without it, sport fanatics and athletes would feel an everlasting void within themselves.

Luckily, Division III can fill any such void. With a strong emphasis on academics and an equally as strong passion for athletics, Division III is the best place for any athlete to play.

Division III is equally as competitive as any other division across the nation. It offers a different experience than other levels within the NCAA.

According to, a site that deals with finding the best college for its visitors, “Division III does not have the same prestige or level of competition that Division I or II have. Though Divison III athletes are still committed to their programs, they tend to lead more well-rounded lives than athletes at the other two levels.”

Living a pleasing and fulfilling life is something that only this level can offer. Many athletes are very grateful for the experience. Whether it be academics, athletics, or just everyday life, Division III has a place for everyone.

“I was able to compete at a highly competitive level without having to put my academics second,” senior and former volleyball player Allison Wood said. “My coaches and professors were extremely supportive of me being successful on the court and in the classroom.”

It’s not every day that you can get professors and athletic coaches on the same side. It’s hard to match up schedules for each, thus creating a hectic experience for the athlete. Division III professors and coaches understand that most athletes came to this division of the NCAA to play sports, and get an equally important education.

When it comes down to the reality of it, some of us just didn’t get recruited to play at the highest level.

“I choose Division III because I wasn’t a Division I caliber player and Division III gave me a chance to keep playing football, while at the same time offering better academic programs than a lot of bigger schools,” senior football offensive lineman Matthew Baker said.

Division III gives its students everything they want and more. It gives students a chance to compete at a high level in athletics, a chance to gain a rewarding education and the opportunity to live a well-formed overall life. This level in the NCAA has it all.

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