Sports spotlights from the perspective of senior athletes

With the recent spike in COVID-19 activity across the world, spring sports are patiently waiting to hear what the course of action the college will take. Emails from other NESCAC schools have made their way into Colby circles, suggesting that the spring sports season will be cancelled. In preparation for such an unfortunate outcome, the Echo caught up with some seniors around campus to ask them about their experiences on their respective sports teams throughout the years.

Colby women’s lacrosse: Emma Banks

(E): Where are you from and when did you start playing Lax?

Banks: I am from North Haven, CT and I started playing lax in second grade. I still remember my first practice ever. I couldn’t catch a ball and was mad about it! 

(E): What drove you to choose Colby?

Banks: 100% the lacrosse program. The school and everything was nice as well, but in talking to a Colby player on the phone during my recruiting process I was sold. Over the phone I could tell how much she loved her teammates, coaches, and her overall Colby experience. I wanted to be a part of it. Best decision I ever made. Absolutely no regrets! 

Echo (E): What has been your most memorable moment throughout your four years at Colby?

Banks: Wow, that’s a tough one because there have been a lot! I would say winning NESCACs my first year was a definite cloud 9 moment. Even better was that we took down two powerhouse teams in Middlebury and Trinity to do it. Our final regular season game against Bates my sophomore year was also a memorable game. We won in sudden death overtime in the pouring rain to clinch a spot in the playoffs. 

(E): Any words of wisdom as you near graduation?

Banks: Go to more Colby sponsored talks, spend an extra 30 minutes in the dining hall chatting with your friends, pick a professor’s brain from a department outside your major, and support your peers at more Colby athletic competitions. Lastly, always work hard and take advantage of all the resources we have here at Colby, but play even harder. Enjoy the ride because it goes by quick. 

Colby men’s track and field: Dominic Giardini

(E):  Why did you end up choosing Colby?

Giardini: My family visited Kennebunkport, ME every summer for a good 10 year stretch, so I have some really fond memories of being up here. I had a few schools on my list in high school, but it really only took a day trip to Waterville for me to get hooked. I was living in a Colby sweatshirt after my ED1 decision came through. In retrospect, I honestly feel like I might have gone all-in on Colby too quickly and just got lucky that it was my place. This experience has been a whirlwind of monumental highs and devastating lows, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

(E): What are you going to remember most about your time running track and field at Colby?

Giardini: Definitely the people. I’ve had basically the same core of friends in my life since the first day I stepped foot onto this campus, and every year I’ve been able to look forward to a whole new set of people to get to know. I know it’s cliché to talk about the ‘unbreakable teammate bond,’ but spending week after week giving so much to such an unforgiving sport alongside somebody else unavoidably builds a really special relationship. My friend Eli [Decker `20] has mentioned that his dad’s college friend group still meets up every few months to spend some time together, and I’m hoping we can do something like that.

(E):  What advice do you have for any incoming first years or other underclassmen at Colby?

Giardini: Just make sure you spend every opportunity to live life! I’ve worked hard when it comes to school and track, but I’ve always prioritized making time for the relationships in my life. I think that the people you hold on to on your way out are more important than the diploma you carry off stage. Sometimes, academic success takes a sacrifice for that. I’m totally OK with it.

(E):  What has been the most important takeaway from your time on the team? 

Giardini: I learned that persistence and perseverance is really vital. I’ve lost a bunch of seasons to random, weird injuries, so I’ve had to put in some really intense bouts of training in order to get back into shape. There have been many, many moments where I felt frustrated, exhausted, and defeated, but I love the sport too much to ever let go. I never allowed quitting to be an option, and the success I found after NOT quitting is a reminder to carry that attitude into other parts of life.

(E): Anything else you want to comment on? 

Giardini: I’m really worried about being washed up. I honestly might just not stop running and be that guy who’s burning past everyone at a Thanksgiving 5k. I feel my expiration date coming and it’s frankly terrifying! 

Colby women’s ice hockey: Cassidy Holzer

(E):  What has been your most memorable moment throughout your four years at Colby?

Holzer: Beating Middlebury at Middlebury junior year, it was a real turning point in the program. It was a result of the all the hard work we put in freshman and sophomore year, the growing pains we made it through, and laid the foundation for our most recent season, and most successful season

(E):  Where are you from and when did you start playing hockey?

Holzer: I am from Minnesota, where pretty much everyone plays hockey. It was natural for me to start because most of the kids in my grade played so my parents signed me up as well.

(E):  What drove you to choose Colby?

Holzer: The hockey, the small school culture, and Maine

(E):  Any words of wisdom as you near graduation?

Holzer: Cherish every moment, it goes by quickly. Lean into all the highs and lows and remember that wherever you go you’ll always have a Colby family behind you. 

(E):  Are you planning on keeping up with hockey post graduation?

Holzer: I won’t be playing, but I’ll be a diehard Colby women’s hockey fan. They will do big things in the next few years and I’m excited to get to support them.

Colby men’s rugby: Aidan Cyr

(E):  Where are you from and when did you start playing rugby?

Cyr: I’m from Carlisle, MA, and I started playing rugby when I came back in January of my freshman year. It’s been an incredible group to become a part of and eventually become a leader for. 

(E):  What drove you to choose Colby?

Cyr: I chose Colby because I thought it was a place where I could continue many of my favorite activities such as skiing or pick up hoop, but more importantly I had a feeling that I would be surrounded by classmates and professors that would challenge me academically and personally.

(E): What has been your most memorable moment throughout your four years at Colby?

Cyr: The most memorable moments of my Colby career came as a Community Advisor (CA). The first week of my sophomore year as CA of Sturtevant was incredible and I had a great time with my peers at training the following year. I loved the responsibility and opportunity to meet and hopefully influence so many incredible residents and colleagues. 

(E):  Any words of wisdom as you near graduation?

Cyr: As we near the end, whatever end that may be, I urge everyone, but seniors especially, to try to enjoy every moment like it’s our last, and to truly cherish each other. As we begin another chapter of our lives, we gain an opportunity to reflect on our times at Colby, and figure out what parts of our Colby experiences we wish to leave behind, and which ones we hope to keep and build upon. 

(E):  Are you planning on keeping up with rugby post graduation?

Cyr: I hope to play in the future. If I don’t figure something out soon, maybe it will be in the form of coaching that I can come back to the sport.

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