With new faculty orientation complete, and opening faculty meetings behind us, it is time to open school! At last: Our preseason athletes and student leaders are arriving today and we couldn’t be more excited!
Preseason is a great time on campus as students come back energized and ready to get to work. Whether athletes or leaders or both, they are here to concentrate on an activity that is important to them and to Tabor. As Director of Athletics Conan Leary ’97 said, “Preseason kicks off the fall and sets the tone for the school year.”
This year, there are 183 preseason athletes returning to campus. All seven fall interscholastic programs represented, from cross country to football, each looking to learn schemes, build strength, and condition before that first game. There will be three days of double sessions, allowing students and coaches to really focus in on their game. One of the Captains of the Field Hockey team, Lindsay Dawson ’20 said, “It’s a great team bonding experience because you spend so much time with your team over the course of preseason. You go to practice with your team, then eat meals with them, and hang out together in between practices.”
This year, 53 new student-athletes will join us for preseason. It is important that fellow Seawolves welcome them not only onto the team but also into our community, just as Lindsay experienced her first fall. “Everyone at preseason was so inviting my freshman year, it made the transition into the school year so much easier. By the time classes started I already had friends on the team and on campus, so if I needed anything I had someone to go to. Everyone was super welcoming and they were always eager to help.”
Cat Berry ‘20, one of the Captains of Girls’ Varsity Soccer, describes the importance of these three days. “Preseason gives us valuable opportunities to set goals for the year ahead, target important skills and components of the game in-depth, and allows us the opportunity to assess our fitness, in addition to our strengths and weaknesses early on. It helps us identify possible challenges, set the tone for positive team culture, and aides us in gaining knowledge that will help us be successful for the season ahead.”
Preseason also provides important planning time for proctors and global partners. These student leaders arrive early to strategize how they will manage their dorms and day groups, help with orientation, and work together to make student leadership as strong as possible. With students taking the lead across campus in so many different ways, this is an important organizational time as many of them step into these new roles.
On Saturday, our global partners will welcome our new international students and their families, arriving from 20 countries around the world. This is a crucial role as those new students and their families form their first impressions of life at Tabor.
As we welcome our students back home to Tabor, we are very grateful that our preseason participants have set aside some extra time to work with us to lay a strong foundation for the best possible year ahead. Welcome home, Seawolves!