Favorite Teams at SMU

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: Eric Bell is a member of the Saint Martin’s Soccer team

Do you ever find yourself bored or struggling to find something to do outside of class? Is there something you have always wanted to try? Are you looking to meet new people and make new friends? If the answer is yes, you should seriously consider getting involved in Saint Martin’s sports. This doesn’t necessarily mean joining a sports team, although I highly encourage it. There are many different ways to be a part of athletics here. 

During my first year on campus, I have realized the importance of getting involved in the community here, and a great way to do this is through sports. From my experience, getting involved in athletics has given me many great memories, and many amazing friendships. This school does a good job at trying to get students involved, and we should take advantage of these opportunities. 

The cool thing about athletics is that there is always some sport going on all year long. Because different sports have different seasons, going to multiple sporting events is very easy. Also, because Saint Martin’s is such a small campus, getting to these sporting events when the Saints play at home is super convenient. The sports facilities are close together, so you don’t have to travel far to catch all the action.

Right now, one of my favorite sports to go watch is basketball. It is a great spectator sport for multiple reasons. First off, the men and women play during the same season, so there is almost always a game going on every few days. Second, there are lots of people who fill the stands, so it is easy to meet new people. Simply sit down next to some unfamiliar spectators and you can leave having made a few new friends. Finally, the games are played indoors with heat and music. Who doesn’t love being inside during these bitter cold months?

I couldn’t write an article about this without adding soccer as my favorite sport at Saint Martin’s. I feel like I have a slight bias towards the sport because I’m on the men’s soccer team, but selfishly I hope some of you guys also find soccer as your favorite sport here.

It is hard to pick just a few sports to call my favorite here because one thing that makes Saint Martin’s so special is how sports support each other. Members of one sport will come out to volunteer at another sport’s game, doing things to help the game run smoothly. For example, I can recall members of the basketball team retrieving balls at a soccer game. This was helpful because when the ball went out of play and rolled far into the grass, someone other than a player could go and get the ball. It also helped us from losing soccer balls, which is another positive. Another example is that the men’s soccer team volunteered at a women’s soccer game at the beginning of the year to raise money and awareness for a cause important to one of the coaches on the women’s soccer team. These instances show how Saint Martin’s is such a caring community- one we are lucky to be a part of. 

Do you have a favorite sport here at SMU? If so, what is it? If not, what can you do to change that? College is all about making the most out of your time here, and what better way to do that than supporting your school’s teams? 

See you at a Saints home game!

Who Takes Care of Our Campus

Emmanuel O. Son, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Danyka Nebel

Taking care of a private Benedictine university is a blessing, but not an easy task. In order to take care of Saint Martin’s University, many departments must work together to make the campus a better place. New Assistant Director of Public Safety, Daryl Henry, talks about who exactly takes care of our campus. Henry served for 20 years in the Security Forces in the Air Force, 15 years as a Security Supervisor at the Tacoma News Tribune, and two years at the University of Washington Security. 

Henry states that everybody takes care of campus and plays a role in that duty. However, Public Safety is mostly responsible for overseeing the campus and looking out for students, faculty and staff, guests, and buildings. Some of Public Safety’s main duties on campus include assisting with escorts at night, given the department runs 24 hours a day. Officers can escort students and faculty to and from their vehicles or buildings at any time of the day. Officers can also assist with transporting students or faculty members who need medical assistance to other parts of campus. Throughout the day, officers are also performing security checks by doing a number of patrols throughout the day, such as walking around buildings and looking out for anything out of the ordinary that might be happening on campus. The Communications team of the department is responsible for making student and staff IDs, as well as taking phone calls. They also serve as the SMU Visitor Center, making sure to always be welcoming towards newcomers to campus. 

Some other departments and offices that contribute to taking care of campus are facilities, grounds, and maintenance. Because of the areas where they do work, those departments also contribute to doing security checks for the campus, since they are also constantly going around campus, Henry states. Workers for grounds do work by edging, grass and field maintenance, trash pickup and campus clean up, and whatever it takes to keep the campus looking clean. Workers at facilities are mainly in charge of making sure that buildings function properly. This includes doors, sinks and restrooms, walls and ceilings, and the overall internal and externals of the buildings. 

A department of campus that Henry is thankful for is Bon Appetit. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he mentions that they do a great job in feeding members of the community. He also is thankful for Monk’s Bean being a convenient stop for a cup of coffee. Because of the early mornings and long hours he and other officers work, Bon Appetit’s breakfast serves as a quick and convenient meal, he says. 

Other departments such as the Abbey, Campus Ministry, and the Counseling and Wellness Center do a good job of checking in with the students and their well-being. They both serve as guidance to members of the community. He mentions that many college students are facing a number of difficulties and are often overwhelmed, so it’s always important to have people who can guide you through tough situations. “If you’re dealing with more than your capable of, it is always good to have someone to speak to,” he says. “The Monks are some of the nicest people that I have ever talked to.” 

Henry states that there are also some ways that students and staff can help take care of campus. One important thing to remember is compliance with either a student or full-time staff public safety officer. For example, always comply with an officer when asked to show identification and answer honestly. If there is anything out of the ordinary that is seen, one of the first steps that should be taken is to call Public Safety or the correct department in charge and not just walking past it. Always have the Public Safety phone number saved and be prepared to call it. Henry mentions that despite the patrols done by officers, Public Safety cannot always be everywhere so, “keep your eyes and ears open to unusual situations or people in the area and calling that information in.” “Instead of having ten sets of eyes out there, we’ll have hundreds of sets of eyes,” Henry describes it. 

Athlete Spotlight: Noah Boyd

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

As the second semester is off and running, we have moved along into a new sports season! Spring seasons are gearing up and before they get completely underway, The Belltower decided to catch up with a student-athlete on the Saint Martin’s track and field team, Noah Boyd. 

Noah Boyd is a freshman on the team. Before he was a Saint, Noah attended Olympia high school where he played football, track, and was also a member of the basketball team. Way to go Noah!

Currently, Noah has found an event he is very passionate about, competing in the 400 hurdles. With being so busy, he was gracious enough to take some time to share a bit about his first year as a Saint. 

“It’s been pretty good”, said Boyd, “I’ve had decent grades as far as school goes and track has been pretty good.” Boyd then got into more about being a student-athlete here at Saint Martin’s. “Honestly, just everyone has been really friendly.” This is a common theme from students about being here. With such a small campus, everyone seems to know everyone, and the people seem to be able to develop pretty close connections here. Maybe it’s because people have a better chance of getting to know each other, but everyone is friendly and welcoming. As a lot of Saint Martin’s is comprised of student-athletes, many people here understand what each other are going through and respect the time and effort it takes to juggle school and sports. Even for people who don’t play sports here, the school does a good job at getting people involved, so much that many people do some sort of extracurricular activity.

“A lot of people on the track team have been very talkative and been really open to me,” Boyd said. It is awesome that freshmen especially feel like they have a place here, as we all know transitioning into college from high school can be very difficult. 

Teammates being communicative and open are important because they can help answer any questions new student-athletes on campus may have. These types of teammates can also help others feel comfortable just being themselves. People should feel all they need to be is themselves, and it is great if others can help them get there. This is a lesson to all of us, whether we are teammates or not, is to be able to appreciate people for who they are.

Finally, when I asked Boyd about what he is excited for in the future here, he replied with, “Competing, honestly.” That is a great answer, and an answer that resonates well with many student-athletes. I think I can speak for the majority of athletes on this one: we just want to play. It is truly a blessing to be able to play the sport we love at this level, and we are all truly grateful to be where we are today.

Boyd then goes on to say, “I’m a walk-on so I haven’t got to go to any meets yet, but I look forward to getting better and hopefully getting a scholarship soon.” That is a great mindset to have, and I am confident that his goal of getting better is what will help him going forward. I wish him all the best. Good luck Noah and enjoy your time here. 

Saint Martin’s University Track and Field/Cross Country logo

Via: Saint Martin’s XC/TF (@SMUSaints_XCTF) / Twitter

Club Interview: Pacific Islanders Club

Saint Martin’s is known to host many exciting events, organizations, and clubs. One of the clubs to get to know is the Pacific Islanders Club. The club members discuss the name of their club and the activities and events they do, “We are known as the Pacific Islanders Club or PAC-I for short. In our club, we host small events throughout the semester that consist of but are not limited to Movie Nights, Bingo Nights, Mental Health Nights, and many more. We’ve danced traditional dances, sang traditional songs, and spoke on issues occurring in the Pacific Islands during Multicultural Week, for clubs inviting us out to talk on certain topics pertaining to what’s going on in the Islands, and lastly collaborated with the KaPuso Club in the past for an event we called “Family Night” and will soon be hosting our solo event as well.” 

The club discusses the events that they participate in, “The Pacific Islanders Club is part of any and all events that we get invited to, currently we are working with the Hui O’ Hawai’i Club to perform at the Lu’au.” 

All of our campus clubs bring something unique to Saint Martin’s. The club members discuss what their club brings to Saint Martin’s “Our club brings diversity to Saint Martin’s University. We are a club that consists of members who’re from different parts of the Pacific, individuals that are representing their culture, families, and islands. Individuals who have different stories and cultures to share with the SMU Community.” The club members discuss reasons why students should join their club. “Although our club is called the “Pacific Islanders Club” or “Pac-I” for short, we’re honestly a melting pot of different ethnicities. Individuals from near and far have joined our club, people who identify as PI have joined our club, and people who don’t identify as PI have joined our club as well. We’re open and accepting to all and only wish for the best for those who’re here to make their mark and want anyone and everyone that joins to know that we care and we see how far you’ve come!” 

The PI club has an impact on all that join, and want to create a welcoming environment for those who join them, “Our club is important because it provides a safe place for those who’re far from their homes, who feel like they don’t have family out here in WA, and it’s open to anyone who enjoys hanging out and just having good vibes. We want to bring together the students of the Pacific Islands, provide a sense of “home” away from home, and educate and share our cultures and traditions. As well as being an educational space, the PI club hopes to serve as an affinity space – meaning that we push to not only create a safe environment but also encourage our club members to strive for academic excellence seeking help not only within the club and provide resources to better serve their needs. The club members add on “Shout Outs’ to those who had to leave their islands to come to the mainland to make their mark! Shout Outs to those who are the first in their family to come to college! And Shout Outs to all of those who are trying their best to make it in this huge world! We see ya’ll and wish you all the best!”

“Thank you and Fa’afetai tele lava!”

Mental Health in Student-Athletes at Saint Martin’s

Malia Pinder, Staff Writer

Athletes are provided with trainers to help with any sort of physical problem that could stop them from performing, but unfortunately, a majority of athletes are not provided this same care for their minds. If you ask most athletes, they will say that their sport is more mental than physical, that they prepare their minds just as much as their bodies for competition. So why is this care for the mental side not provided? 

It’s because athletes are not typically portrayed as people who struggle with mental health. Athletes are portrayed as confident, tough, and untouchable. What people do not see is that most athletes are perfectionists who face failure and defeat daily. Olivia Schmidt, a junior on the softball team at Saint Martin’s, said “We as athletes expect perfection just as much as our coaches do… We as athletes put the most pressure on ourselves, fearing to let down those around us”. This pressure, added to the stress of being a full-time student, is a lot. Student-athletes spend upwards of 20 hours a week practicing. Schmidt compared this to having a full-time job. This does not include team meetings or individual practices. The pressures of class and athletics pile up quickly and require the care of someone who understands that struggle. Without that proper support, it’s easy for athletes’ mental health to decline.  

Along with struggling to balance school and athletics while facing failure, the attitude towards competition is just that: compete. Athletes are raised to be the best and anything less than that is not good enough. When you get to the collegiate level, “the level of player is just as good as you or even better”, said Nathan Mclellan, a sophomore on the men’s soccer team. Athletes go from being the best in their town or on their club team to an environment where perfection is expected all the time. What this does to your mental health, he said, is “cause many people to go into a downward spiral with confidence and overthinking whether you truly belong”. Schmidt said something similar, saying that “there is so much exterior pressure on athletes in general but what people don’t see is the self-inflicted pressure and standards that athletes hold in their name”. 

When asked how to support the mental health of athletes, Schmidt said “keeping [athletes] mental health in the forefront of their minds and to combat their thoughts and emotions as soon as possible” is essential. She said that “mental health should always be addressed in support of athletics and academics”. Mclellan added that “by giving [athletes] more outlets for support” such as “a day or two to dedicate ourselves to mental health support whether that’s therapy or other ways with mental health professionals”, athletes will see a decrease in mental health conditions and can have a healthier time playing sports. 

To support mental health awareness, Saint Martin’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee held a Mental Health Awareness Night at the men’s basketball game on Jan. 27. Members of SAAC handed out green Saint Martin’s shirts to those who attended the game, and information on mental health resources were provided throughout the night. 

If you are struggling with mental health, there are multiple resources at Saint Martin’s. The Counseling and Wellness Center provides free care on campus, in person, or over Zoom. There is also Timely Care, an app that offers online care 24/7. The Saint Martin’s NAMI Club is a club on campus centered around mental health as well. Saint Martin’s is here to provide support wherever they can. 

New Updated NCAA Covid-19 Guidelines

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

What do we do, or have to do now? With the start of the spring semester now upon us and in full swing, Saint Martin’s athletics are continuing or starting back up! As teams come back together for practice and competition, people are wondering how the rise of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant is coming into play and how things are being accounted for. We all need to continue to stay safe and protect ourselves and others through these unprecedented times. Right now, are all trying to figure out how to do so.

With the uncertainty surrounding the new developments of the pandemic, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released updated Covid-19 guidelines to try to bring about some ease during these anxious months. Saint Martin’s University, along with all other NCAA-affiliated schools, has adopted these guidelines and have already begun implementing them throughout the athletic department. 

A large part of this update is that the NCAA has adjusted its definition of “fully vaccinated” individuals. Earlier in the pandemic, being “fully vaccinated” meant that individuals had either received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine series, or the Moderna vaccine series. The vaccine series for Pfizer and Moderna means that individuals have had both doses of the vaccine. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, individuals only need to get one dose, because it is different than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Per the NCAA’s update at ncaa.com, now to be “fully vaccinated”, individuals need to be either within two months of receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, five months of receiving the Pfizer vaccine series, or six months of receiving the Moderna vaccine series. In addition to this, if student-athletes have received the vaccine earlier than the described windows above, they must have received a booster vaccine to qualify as being “fully vaccinated.” Finally, student-athletes who are within 90 days of a Covid-19 infection qualify as equivalent to being “fully vaccinated” because they now have the antibodies and won’t get it again for a while.

The second major part to come out of the NCAA’s update is the change in quarantining and isolation periods for student-athletes who test positive for Covid-19. Earlier in the pandemic, the quarantine time for individuals who tested positive was ten days. Per the update, the quarantine time has been cut in half, down to five days as long as the student-athlete has no symptoms or their “symptoms are resolving.” After those five days, the NCAA suggests the individual masking around others for five more days, except during athletic activities which follow a negative test. 

As for isolation, fully vaccinated individuals who have come in close contact with someone who tests positive do not have to quarantine but are suggested by the NCAA to wear a mask when not participating in athletic activities. Unvaccinated individuals, on the other hand, should still quarantine for five days if they come in close contact with someone with Covid-19.

This is a systemic change, as before student-athletes did not need a booster vaccine to be considered “fully vaccinated”, and they only needed to have the regular doses. The other big change here is the quarantine period has been cut in half, allowing student-athletes to return to the field and the classroom earlier than before.

These new updates are important to follow because the NCAA is not creating guidelines on its own. It is following the guidelines which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has laid out. The NCAA’s update is merely bringing these new guidelines to the world of college sports.

Although the guidelines have changed, the overall idea hasn’t: do what you can to keep you and others as safe as possible.

Image

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) logoVia:  NCAA (@NCAA) / Twitter

Professor Highlight: Ramon Luzarraga

Phoebe Young, Staff Writer 

Saint Martin’s has an abundance of amazing professors, one of them being Dr. Luzarraga, who teaches theology and religious studies here, and serves as the chair of the department. He loves traveling and meeting people, movies and live theater, going to baseball games, and attending SMU sporting events.  This is only Dr. Luzarraga’s second semester at Saint Martin’s, but he has been teaching for 19 years now. However, he did not always know he wanted to teach.

“I thought I would become a lawyer,” he told me. “However, Dr. Elizabeth Krauss, one of my philosophy professors at Fordham University, where I earned my undergraduate degree, invited me to take her doctoral seminar on the thought of the French philosopher Henri Bergson. Suddenly, I was with people almost twice my age and didn’t make a fool of myself. I got an A in the class. This led to other graduate courses in philosophy, which made me realize I had a strong interest in philosophy and theology. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach until I was given my first classes at Marquette University, where I earned my doctorate. There, I taught courses for traditional and non-traditional students. I enjoyed the work and received strong, positive feedback. That sealed what my vocation would be: a university professor.”

Dr. Luzarraga is originally from Philadelphia, where he actually had the opportunity to ring the Liberty Bell.

A person wearing glasses and a suit

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

I did not get explicit permission to ring that bell. But, when the park ranger handed me the rubber mallet she used to ring the bell, I made the logical deduction and rang it for myself. It may now hold a hairline crack with my name on it!

Since then, he has been a bit of a rolling stone throughout his life.

“My father’s work took me and my family to New Orleans and New York City. My studies and my work as a professor took me to New York City, New Haven, Connecticut, Milwaukee, Dayton, Ohio, Phoenix, and now here.”

Since moving here, he has fallen in love with the pacific northwest.

“I moved here last May from Phoenix to take on the position I hold here at Saint Martin’s: Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Having lived in the desert for eight years, I now appreciate why Jesus Christ spent no more than 40 days at a time there. I love the Puget Sound area. It reminds me of my life on the East Coast, only the mountains here are more majestic and uniquely beautiful in every season and every time of day when I can see them.”

This is part of what he loves about Saint Martin’s as well.

“The setting is very beautiful. It is the most beautiful campus I have ever worked at!”

Although the beautiful setting is not the only thing he loves about our school.

“The abbey and its community, which I consider my parish for daily Mass or prayer, is decisively important for a Catholic university like ours. It distinguishes life and study here from other universities. Any university can teach you how to make a living. A Catholic university has the freedom and ability to teach you how to develop a life worth living.”

Although this is only Dr. Luzarraga’s second semester here, he’s already made some wonderful memories, one of his favorites being the Gala. 

“One of my students, Laia Currius, nominated me to be honored by our Women’s basketball team. It was a novel experience to run between two rows of cheerleaders and coaches being rah-rahed and high-fived. I am grateful for having received that honor so early in my time here.”

He also recalls fondly, “Meeting with the Saint Martin’s leadership, my department colleagues, and the leadership of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Yakima, as we plan to build up this department and its programs in partnership with the Catholic Church in western and central Washington.”

When I asked Dr. Luzarraga what advice he would give to students, he passed on some advice he received in college.

“One of my professors at Fordham told me to ‘let college happen.’ It is important to plan ahead, but be open to being surprised. You may experience a class which opens up an entirely new horizon,” which he said is what happened to him. He also advised that, “If you are offered the opportunity to continue your education after Saint Martin’s, take it! And, always complete your degrees and other training, even if you are not sure how it will benefit you. We are, for better and for worse, a credential-driven society. Having credentials opens up opportunities.”

 Finally, Dr. Luzarraga left me with this:

“A University with an Abbey at its heart teaches the underappreciated skill, at least in our country at this time, of being quiet. Action is productive only if it is backed by sound theory. Discovering sound theory takes a great deal of quiet time to think, meditate, and pray about.”

Homecoming the Saint’s Way

Shy Yamasaki, Staff Writer

Homecoming is an important event at any point in your life, both during high school and in college. Whether it is your first or last, students need to have fun and celebrate spirit week. One may be asking, “why is homecoming so special?” It is the week to experience and participate in different events, leading to the pep rally and game. When experiencing homecoming week, one can have fun with their group of friends while participating in the various themes presented for each day. While some may think homecoming is overrated, it shows a united front with the school as they show school spirit. Students enjoy participating during homecoming week because it gives them time to relax and be one with everyone around them instead of always having their nose in a book. While academics continue to be necessary, participating in homecoming is when the community can come together and enjoy the smiles, laughs, and happiness around them. 

Saint Martin’s has created great campus events for us this week. Thanks to the Campus Activity Board, or “CAB” as most know it to be, this week was full of fun. It started with Marty Monday: everyone was to wear their Saints gear to class and then head down to Harned Hall from 12 pm-2 pm for a “pick me up.” It was encouraged to post pictures on Instagram and tag @smucampuslife to let everyone see that swag. On Tuesday, you are welcome to participate in  Thankful Tuesday by posting a photo with friends in coordinated outfits and another chance to tag campus life and enter a raffle for that day. 

Everything looks better in white, and Saints could join campus life for White Out Wednesday on 2/2/22. This event allowed students to show their best angel outfits. Later that day, you could join CAB in Harned Hall from 3-5 pm to manifest goals by writing down your affirmations. Everyone loves the opportunity to stay comfy in their pajamas, so on Thursday it was pajama day where you could wear your PJs during class. Eventually, the fun had to end, so we wrapped up the weekdays on Fun Friday, your chance to dress to impress with another opportunity to be entered in the raffle for the day. 

We hope that you enjoyed the events leading up to the big game. It was a fantastic opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Make sure to post all of the memories you made and tag our campus life. The pep rally is scheduled from 4:30-5 pm.

Practicing Self-Care

Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer

With the pressure of assignments, presentations, and upcoming finals, students have stress that can affect their mental health. Practicing self-care is essential to keep ourselves at our best. Self-care is a process where using behaviors that promote health to take care of oneself. The counseling center is known to have resources to help students with self-care and their mental health, anxiety, and stress. Dr. Lindsay Meyers, the director of the counseling and wellness center, discusses the importance of self-care. “Self-care is important because we are important. Our body, mind, emotions, spirit, matter; we deserve care”. Meyers shares some self-care ideas for students. “There’s actually a science to self-care! So instead of giving you my opinion about what you can do, I’ll summarize what the “wellness science” literature has found. Also, keep in mind, these results are generalizations. So, while they apply to many people, they may not apply to you. Do your own experiment and find what self-care activities work best (and are sustainable) for you:

“First, don’t put all your eggs in one self-care basket; find multiple avenues to honor your body and mind. Second, practice mindfulness; meaning, take time to pay attention to purpose, in the present moment, without judgment. This could be as simple as noticing how your feet feel as you walk from class to class or trying out a mindfulness exercise on YouTube. Practice gratitude. This does not mean life is perfect or that we should ignore our burdens. But gratitude invites us to find and attend to the goodness in life. It reminds us that those around us, or higher powers if you’re spiritual, have gifted us incredible things. Taking a moment to appreciate those can be healing. Cognitive-behavioral and acceptance and commitment therapies that focus on positive psychology have also been shown to improve self-care. Outside of what the research tells us, I’d also add that self-care should not be used to minimize or ignore your concerns. Self-care is a personal process that can be used in tandem with actively addressing your needs. Finally, self-care does not only have to include adding things to your life like mindfulness or a gratitude journal. Self-care can also be intentionally taking time away from things that are hurtful, e.g., toxic relationships, excessive alcohol or drugs, etc.”

Dr. Meyers discussed Saint Martin’s partnership with timely care and how it benefits students. “In January 2021, SMU observed behavioral health trends and predicted an increase in demand for behavioral health support as students return to in-person living and learning in Fall 2021. We were fortunate to secure a partnership with TimelyCare over the summer and despite only launching in early July, we have already seen consistent utilization by students. TimelyCare provides free mental health support to students 24/7 anywhere in the US. Not all students are interested in coming to the CWC for therapy and many students are unable to schedule with us during business hours. TimelyCare is virtual, on-demand, most providers in WA are BIPOC, and the services are available anywhere in the US (so you can use TimelyCare if you leave WA state over winter break). If you are a student interested in accessing counseling through TimelyCare, please visit http://www.timelycare.com/smusaints and if you need any support with the program, please let us know.”(counselingcwc@stmartin.edu).

Athlete Spotlight: Eber Navarrete Vieira

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

This year, returning to sports gives us a new sense of normality. The Belltower decided to catch up with someone whose primary season coincided with the year’s first half. Eber Navarrete Vieira is a freshman goalkeeper for Saint Martin’s. Hailing from Longview, Washington, Vieira shares a bit about his first season as a Saint.

“My first year at Saint Martin’s started pretty well. At the end, I got to experience new styles of play on our team and everything, so I felt like it went pretty well”

Navarrete Vieira In Discussion to the Fall Season

The soccer team still has a spring season and a regimented winter offseason program, so the team is far from finishing everything. To touch on the new styles of play Vieira referred to, the team started out the season playing with three defenders in the back half of the field. This was an experiment by the head coach to see if this way of playing would fit the team better. After a few matches, however, the team moved back into a more traditional setup of four defenders in the back half of the field. This seemed to work better for the team, as players were better suited and equipped to play this formation and style of soccer.

 When The Belltower asked Vieira about his overall experience as being a student-athlete at Saint Martin’s for the first time he said, “”Yes, I can definitely say that I enjoy it.” A very definitive and solid answer, providing a fantastic platform for younger players, especially freshmen, to grow and thrive here during their time on campus.

Before he became a Saint, Vieira attended Mark Morris High School, where he was an honor roll selection, a 4-year varsity letter winner, and the team MVP in his senior season! Way to go, Eber!

It is essential to get the insight of younger athletes here at Saint Martin’s because they are the future of SMU’s athletics. Getting to know them and getting to hear their thoughts on how things are going is important and can lead to improvements across the athletic department as we advance. It is not all about just making big changes, which are important for sure. It is just as important to highlight the things that are going well here in Saints athletics. Many people in various sports here on campus have consistently made the all-academic team and have received awards for their dedication and excellence in the classroom. While it is vital to push and foster change, we must recognize the accomplishments of our athletes. These accomplishments should be celebrated and, in my opinion, more well-known and documented. The Belltower would like to congratulate all who have received this honor as well as those who will be receiving this honor in the future. As you all know, there is a world away from the field or the court, and our Saints athletes are prepared for life after college, whatever that may be.