With EMU Athletics back in action this semester, so too is the Royals Athlete of the Week award.
So far three of the five honorees are seniors, and their Q & A profiles are a great opportunity to hear more about how the pandemic has affected their athletics career, what they appreciate about their student-athlete experience, the lessons they’ve learned and their future plans.
The seniors include
- Tim Jones, point guard on the men’s basketball team from Forestville, Md. (awarded Feb. 3);
- D.J. Hill, forward on the men’s basketball team from Woodbridge, Va. (Feb. 26);
- Megan Breidigan, defender on the women’s soccer team from Douglassville, Pa. (March 5).
In a pandemic-shortened career, Jones was near the top of the program leaderboard in points and assists. His Feb. 3 honor came after the season opener against Lynchburg, where he had 17 points, five rebounds and four steals, and notched his second career double double by racking up 10 assists.
“As a senior and team captain, Tim leads our team every day on and off the court,:” said Head Coach Melvin Felix. “His hard work really showed against Lynchburg by helping us come back and getting in that game not only with his scoring but more importantly by getting everyone else involved, and getting 10 assists. When he is a dual threat with scoring and passing we are a much better team.”
Jones is a business administration major, with minors in recreational leadership and sports studies and marketing. He hopes to pursue more opportunities to play basketball before entering the workforce.
“I learned that I have the ability to adapt in any situation or environment,” he said in his profile. “I have also learned to appreciate life and the freedoms of life. Lastly, compassion for others is one of life’s greatest gifts.”
Hill’s honor came after a tough two-point loss to Emory and Henry. The senior would end the night with 18 total points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Royals.
“DJ as a player is so important for our team on both ends of the floor,” Felix said. “He gives everything every time he steps on the floor. That showed in his performance on the road at E&H, not only did he have to guard their best player all game but he also allowed us to dominate the paint with his scoring and rebounding.”
Hill is a liberal arts major with a business concentration and a business administration minor. He hopes to work in information technology with the U.S. government after graduation.
In his profile, Hill gives credit to several special people for inspiration through this season, including his mother, his grandmother, a former teammate and a former coach, and also “Mrs. Bonnie,” from the EMU dining hall.
A four-year starter as defender, Breidigan has helped the Royals earn 18 shutouts over her career. She enters this season as a co-captain with fellow senior Rachel Sauder. In the team’s season opener against a talented Bridgewater College team, Megan played her role well, communicating with a young roster and shutting down the Eagles’ best offensive player. She was awarded the Athlete of the Week honor on March 5.
“Megan did an outstanding job in her first game back after a 482-day layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Head Coach Ted Erickson. “For her to command the back line, to play that sharp, with a freshman goalkeeper behind her as well as the opponent being an NCAA Tournament level team was impressive. I was proud of Megan and the team for not giving up after Bridgewater scored the early goal. Megan has been an outstanding role model, captain, teammate, and friend to all of her teammates and she will be missed next fall.”
Breidigan, a secondary English education major with a psychology minor, talks about what she learned from being on cross-cultural in Guatemala last semester during the pandemic.
She completed her student teaching in fall 2020, all online, and plans to be a middle school teacher and coach in the future.