NEAC Senior Spotlight: Brendan Boles, Morrisville State

NEAC Senior Spotlight: Brendan Boles, Morrisville State

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - Each week throughout the spring semester, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) will highlight a senior student-athlete from one of the conference's member institutions by asking each student-athlete to reflect on their collegiate career by sharing "A Letter to My Freshman Self." This week, we catch up with Morrisville State's Brendan Boles.

Name: Brendan Boles
Sport(s): Men's Lacrosse 
Hometown: Goshen, N.Y.

Dear Brendan,

It is year four… you are now entering your final lacrosse season of your college career, man what a ride it has been. As you’ve heard for years from family and friends how fast college flies by, you’re now finally realizing how true of a statement that is. All too soon the memories that you’re about to create over the next four years will come to a close, but before I get to that, let me tell you about the things you will learn over the next four years.

First, let’s start by talking about the bonds that you will make with people that were at first strangers, but will from now on and forever be family… your teammates. Over the next four years you are going to meet some of the best people and create friendships that will last a lifetime. You will realize upon looking back just how much of an impact your teammates have made on your life. This family that you have become a part of will be there for you through the best times and the worst times, having your back without hesitation. Sure, there were tough times between you and your teammates, you’ll argue and be mad at each other, but at the end of the day you will realize that the friendship diminishes the argument. These guys are to push you to be your best on and off the field.

Second, balancing school and lacrosse will be a challenge but in the long run you will learn that the struggle is for a good reason. For instance, time management and commitment. You will learn over your four years that leaving school work to the last-minute while being a student-athlete is not the brightest decision. Commitment will be another challenge in the beginning… with lacrosse six days a week, lifts, class, and school work. Being committed to each and every one of these things will be challenging but the feeling you get when you accomplish the goals set each year will be like no other.

Third, the things you never thought you would miss… the 6AM practices, the long away game bus trips, and ice baths, yes you read that correctly ice baths. As hard as it will be to wake up for those 6AM practices, you’ll miss getting up and walking into a locker room that is blasting with music. You'll miss the cold Central New York weather hitting your skin as you are warming up for practice. You will miss the feeling of getting through that 6 AM practice and going to get breakfast with your teammates at the dining hall. The long bus trips... for away games. Being tall on those long bus trips with the team will feel never-ending. You will struggle to try to get any sleep because of how uncomfortable it is to have long legs on a bus, but the memories you’ll make with your teammates on those trips will last forever. Finally, ice baths... those 40-degree ice baths will become something you look forward to after practices and games. Your first ice bath will make you believe that you never want to take one ever again, but when you get to your senior year, they will feel so good. You see, these three things may seem crazy to think that you will actually miss them but in reality, you will never truly get those experiences ever again.

The fourth and final thing I will tell you about what you learn is about your family at home and how much you will realize how important they will be in your four years as a student-athlete. Your Mom and Dad, brother, and two sisters will be your biggest supporters with everything that you do. Over the next four years your parents will hardly miss a game and through the big wins and tough losses they will support you every step of the way. There is no better feeling than looking up in the stands and seeing your family there cheering you on. Also, all the phone calls and texts your family will send you to get you through every obstacle and be there for you every step of the way. You will forever be grateful for the amount of love and support you will get from them.

You see it isn’t until your career is finally coming to an end that you realize just how lucky you are to be a collegiate athlete playing the sport you love. With everything you’ll learn over the next four years, all of the opportunities that will arise, there is nothing that will ever compare to your four years of being a student-athlete. Although there will be tough times throughout your four years, never forget to stay in the moment and enjoy it. These are the best four years of your life.

To learn more about Morrisville State and Mustangs athletics, visit morrisvillestateathletics.com.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.