Over half of the Albion College student body participates in one of 23 varsity sports teams on campus. The college places an emphasis on competing at a high level in the NCAA Division III while also excelling each day in the classroom.
The vast number of student-athletes on campus have a multitude of backgrounds, including many unique players that often go unnoticed.
In order to truly appreciate all of the student-athletes who make up Albion athletics, The Pleiad’s “Beyond the Spotlight” series features a different athlete and the impact they have had on campus.
Featured in this week’s “Beyond the Spotlight” is football player Cristian Miller, a sophomore from Battle Creek, Mich. Miller is a biology major and a member of the Wilson Institute as he plans to go into pre-med. In addition to volunteering at Harrington, he is also a member of Alpha Tau Omega, EMS club, and the intramural basketball team.
In high school, Miller played football and was an all-state thrower in track and field. Prior to that, he wrestled for six years. When it came to deciding where his athletic career would go at Albion, Miller decided to focus on football since it was such a large time commitment.
“I learned early in my freshman year that you have to go hard at everything you do, whether it’s football, school or lifting in the off-season,” said Miller. “There’s no point in doing anything if you’re not going to do it to the max.”
Since Miller puts all of his time and energy into football when it comes to athletics, he also makes an effort to become a leader to some of the younger players on the team.
“I’m a leader by example. I will show up, shut up and do whatever coach tells me to do,” said Miller.
During Miller’s freshman year, the football program at Albion underwent new training to implement leadership as a higher priority. The improvement of leadership skills has raised the football team’s hopes of making Albion a more dominant team in the MIAA.
Besides improving leadership skills among football athletes, the team is also focused on other important work ethics.
“If you want to be great, you have to be coachable. You have to have toughness, and you have to have energy,” said Miller.
The football team has adopted Miller’s mindset, turning CTE, which stands for coachability, toughness and energy, into their team motto.
Another motto the team has adapted is: you can’t accomplish anything great without great enthusiasm. Miller believes he accomplishes this when coming into 5 a.m. practice with buckets of energy.
The mental part of the game is also very important to Miller, especially when it comes to overcoming obstacles thrown in his path. Mental grit when it comes to battling injuries, including a strained patella and two sprained ankles for Miller, is something Miller says makes the process easier.
“I understand that every single athlete can have injuries. They hurt, and they play through everything. The mental aspect of things definitely helps,” said Miller. “If you just keep going, eventually it will hurt less. Better times are coming soon.”