By Jeremy Short
Student athletes come from all around the globe to come play for Whatcom and represent the community the athletic program has built.
Whatcom is much smaller than most colleges, making it hard to go out and recruit for their athletics program. Whatcom has three sports to offer to students; soccer, volleyball and basketball.
Many of the student athletes that decide to play at Whatcom have been raised locally and want to remain in Whatcom County.
It’s common for athletes to stay locally said Head coach of the Women’s Soccer team Mary Schroeder.
“This year, more than half of the team is from this area. It’s been rewarding to see these young women grow into adulthood and achieve success in the NWAC,” said Schroeder.
One reason Whatcom has a good athletic program is because of the high praise the players have for the coaching staff, said Volleyball player Brittany Western
“WCC is a great place to be in the athletic programs because the coaches here are great, and the community is great as well,” said Western. “It’s nice to see athletes from other sports support each other, we use the term ‘orcalove’ which I think is a great representation of our athletic community.”
“Orcalove means family. To me it is people supporting each other and being a part of something that is bigger than us,” Defender for the Women’s Soccer team Kylie Clark said.
Orcalove is a bonding between all of the athletes on campus they all have each other’s back and respect one another, even if they are a part of different sports.
This commitment to excellence while interacting with others inside and outside of athletics is important to Kalien Hayes, forward for the men’s basketball team
“I came here to play ball because I knew some of the guys on the team and knew there was a great coaching staff that would help develop me into a better person on and off the court,” Hayes said.
The athletes at Whatcom are committed to being great off the court or field as much as they are being on them.
Even though sports are important to players, most understand there is something bigger to it.
“The goal is to have good sportsmanship, to have determination to not only battle on the soccer field but to build your character,” Forward for the Women’s soccer team Payton Lunde said.
A mission statement that shows how important sports are to Whatcom has been posted by the athletic department.
“Encourage student development through competitive sports opportunities, which enhance quality education and teach teamwork, leadership, citizenship, and responsibility. Athletics helps build a sense of “campus community” and pride, while strengthening the relationship between the college and our local community.”