As student-athletes, the members of Keuka College’s 16 intercollegiate athletics squads must juggle a rigorous class schedule with a demanding practice and training regimen, all while striving for success on the playing field.
These student-athletes rely on their teammates and coaches for camaraderie, guidance and strength in both their athletic and academic endeavors.
And while they know they can count on each other for advice and support, the hundreds of Keuka student-athletes have a message for the faculty and staff on campus, as well as the residents of the surrounding communities: You can count on them, too.
That’s the message of the Count on Me campaign, which was unveiled before a full house Thursday night inside the Weed Physical Arts Center.
“Our student-athletes bring positive attention to the College and enhance Keuka pride among members of the campus community through their exploits on the field and court,” said Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Keuka’s president. “However, they also excel in the classroom, do a superior job as work-study students, and exemplify the College’s commitment to social responsibility through their volunteer efforts on campus and in the community. Our student-athletes are versatile and committed, and the Count on Me campaign is a terrific way to salute the many contributions they make to our College.”
The Count on Me campaign is designed to focus on the many ways student-athletes make a difference on the Keuka College campus and area community.
Whether it is in the classroom, on the field or in the community, the Storm’s student-athletes are contributing, responsible members of their communities who care about much more than just wins and losses.
These student-athletes also exemplify the College’s commitment to social responsibility through their volunteer efforts, both on campus and in the community.
Throughout the course of the year, Keuka’s teams participate in community service projects, obtain prestigious internships as part of their Field Period and achieve good grades in the classroom, all while competing for championships in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC).
“We wanted to promote the responsibility and accountability of our student-athletes, and we felt this slogan encompassed much more than just saying our student-athletes are responsible,” said Jeff Bray, Keuka’s head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director.
“There are no limits to all the ways that the faculty, staff and members of the community can count on our student-athletes. We’re all in this together and we have to be able to count on each other at Keuka.”
A Count on Me video was created as part of the campaign, and among the faculty, staff, coaches and student-athletes featured in the video were Jamie Burke, the head women’s soccer and softball coach, Jason Paige, the men’s lacrosse coach, and junior Brooke Lovell (Arkport, NY/Arkport), a member of both the women’s soccer and softball squads.
“Count on Me is a really cool thing to be a part of, and with our student-athletes leading the way, it’s great that we’re working together with the athletics department, the faculty and the staff,” to promote Keuka College, said Lovell, who has earned All-NEAC honors in both softball and soccer while excelling as a unified childhood education major.
“All of our teams do community service projects and we have good GPA’s. If other people see us athletes following the Count on Me model, hopefully they’ll want to follow along and get involved on campus and in the community as leaders.”
Each student-athlete received a green t-shirt with Keuka Storm athletics in yellow lettering on the front, and Count on Me on the back.
The t-shirts were provided by Kenai Sports in Boston, Mass., and are made from recycled plastic bottles, cell phone cases, keyboards and other materials. The t-shirts serve as further proof that, even in matters of the environment, the community can count on the Storm to be eco-friendly.
On average, these recycled t-shirts use 15 to 18 two-liter plastic soda bottles per shirt, as well as a 40 percent mix of organic cotton to make the shirts softer.
While traditional t-shirts use as much as 1/3 of a pound of carcinogenic pesticides per shirt, Kenai’s t-shirts don’t require the use of these harmful pesticides.
Through the purchase of more than 600 Count on Me t-shirts, Keuka’s student-athletes helped recycle more than half an acre of landfill trash, prevented 200 pounds of pesticides from leaching into the local waterways, conserved 2,160 KwH of electricity (enough to power five average households for a month) and prevented the emission of three tons of CO2, according to Phil Tepfer, founder of Kenai Sports (www.KenaiSports.com).