The Grit of Grandville Athletics – By: Grace Connelly (12)

Grandville, a place where students achieve, athletes succeed and champions are made to lead. For many students, sports help define who they are. Competing is in their DNA. They dedicate their time to the weight room, the field, and to the love of the game. 

To be an athlete at Grandville is a commitment. A commitment to the team to pursue the highest level of excellence, to the coach to show up on time, to parents who have provided every opportunity to be successful and to yourself, to be an 11 not a 10. As Ryan Fisher once said, “Anyone can be a 10, but are you willing to do what it takes?”

To get up early and train when everyone else is sleeping, to fuel the body like a fire when it’s so easy to eat junk, or missing a social event because of a commitment made to the team. They are willing to do what it takes, because that is what is expected.

At Grandville, the athletes are resilient, overcoming the EEE Virus spread by mosquitoes that stole Friday night lights and the Covid-19 Coronavirus that ripped away senior seasons. As a result of these major outbreaks, dreams of state championships and memories that would’ve lasted a lifetime were forever altered. Senior and varsity catcher, Spencer Verburg, gave details of his baseball experience “Nothing is given, and nothing guaranteed, so we must not take anything for granted.” 

At Grandville, the athletes are passionate, have a love for the game, a camrodery that is unbreakable, and a drive to play every game for each other. Together, the athletes practice like champions, playing every game as if it were their last and working every day to get better. Grandville Strength and Conditioning Coach, Tully Chapman tells about his impact on the Grandville Athletic Program, “At Grandville the athletes come to work. They have great technique and a great mindset, working hard everyday to be mentally and physically stronger.” Day in and day out, Coach Tully challenges the athletes to be their personal best. On and off the field he has helped them develop their integrity, and character to become better leaders. 

GRIT has been defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and overcoming adversity.  Grandville athletes show grit by overcoming adversity and using it as fuel to be successful in their sport, in the weight room and in their everyday lives. Senior, and varsity football captain Dawson Kryska explains “ No matter what happened, throughout the weeks leading up to the football season and the uncertainty around whether we would even play, we were always working, staying positive, and getting better as a team.”  The GRIT motto has been modeled by the football team and the other student-athletes as well. Growth, Respect, Integrity, and Togetherness have shaped the athletic program and molded the athletes into strong and competitive young men and women. 

The power of the atmosphere at Grandville cannot be underestimated. The desire to compete and win is contagious. The athletes relentlessly trained at the turf fields even during the quarantine. They also completed Teambuildr workouts, created by coach Tully and attended zoom chats which focused on building a championship culture and to develop their leadership skills. Senior athlete, Lauren Goodyear goes on to say, “The athletics at Grandville, have helped to reunite the people and the community.” The athletes have become a family this year, playing every game for each other, always going all out, and treasuring every game as if it were their last.” 

The adversity Grandville athletes have experienced this year is unparalleled, and has created a unique and lasting impact on their character. It has forced them to become grittier in ways that no one would have anticipated. GRIT exemplifies a Grandville athlete. 

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