As snow falls and marks the ends of the fall season, anticipation for the winter break begins to build among Albion students, except for those who participate in a winter sport.
Though most students may have close to six weeks to themselves, those who participate in swimming and diving or basketball will remain on campus for the duration of their season during winter break. This cuts down tremendously on the time that they get to spend at home with family for the holidays.
“The average student gets about 42 days off for Christmas break,” said Jaylin Feldt, Fruitport sophomore and women’s basketball player. “We usually get 10 at the most.”
It can get frustrating for a lot of athletes because the winter elements prevent them from driving home during days that they have off.
“I basically spend all of my time here because we have so many practices or games during the week, and a lot of the times the roads are too dangerous to drive home when we have time off,” said Wayne Bond, Portage senior, and men’s basketball player. “It was frustrating at first during my freshman year but you get used to it, and you can’t really get angry about it when you have all of your friends on the team here for you.”
Players notice a change in atmosphere during their games and events throughout winter break, especially at home games. With the “Brit Pit” being the major fan base for the teams, it makes it hard to attract fans when there are no students on campus to fill the student section.
“We have a great student section until winter break, than by the time our break ends we’re midway through the conference so we lose our home court cheering section for a good portion of the season,” Bond said.
It is a passion for their respective sports, however, that not only drives them to play, but pushes them through tough periods of the season.
“It does get hard playing a winter sport during break because the campus is so vacant,” said Nicole Dennis, St. Clair Shore sophomore, and women’s basketball player. “But I love basketball, and that’s what keeps me playing.”