EMU Athletics recaps fall, looks ahead to spring in first ‘Fireside Gathering’

EMU hosted the first Athletics Fireside Gathering of the year Wednesday evening, giving Royals fans a look into what has been and what will be happening with EMU Athletics.

In lieu of an actual campfire with masked and physically distanced attendees, the event was held virtually and with no mask requirement. Approximately 75 parties viewed the meeting live, with an archived Facebook video now available by clicking here. (Note: you do not need a Facebook account to watch the video.)

EMU Director of Athletics Dave King gave the largest presentation. Along with an overview of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected athletics programming, he noted the resiliency and team-mentality of the Royals student-athletes.

“I just cannot emphasize this enough,” said King, “that the work that our coaches and returning players did is phenomenal.”

Coaches Ashley “Stick” Kishorn (field hockey), Melvin Felix (men’s basketball) and Adam Posey (baseball) spoke on how they continue to foster the values of leadership and teamwork during the pandemic.

Posey mentioned that he regularly focuses his team by challenging them, “How do we stay in this moment? How do we stay present? Don’t take it for granted that you get the opportunity to play baseball here, to be a Royal, to come out every day and get your work in.”

And Zack Newton (men’s soccer) and Bethany Shultz (women’s volleyball) gave a personal look from a student-athlete’s point-of-view.

Shultz said the lack of games has forced a change in what drives her from day-to-day.

“Part of my motivation that usually comes from wins and losses is now completely directed towards deliberately improving my volleyball skills, to do my part to push my teammates so that we can become the best team and advance our volleyball program. Most importantly, it has shifted my focus from achieving results and perfection to trusting the whole process.”

Braydon Hoover, director of development and annual giving, served as the host and facilitated a Q&A time. King ended with an invitation to support the Athletics Annual Fund.

Wednesday’s Athletics Fireside Gathering was the first in a series of such updates, with expected follow-ups in December and January.

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