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The Huddle brings together Cardinal student-athletes

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Hundreds of North Central College student-athletes from all 22 men’s and women’s athletic teams gathered in the Residential Hall/Recreation Center Thursday, Sept. 15, for the College’s eighth annual Huddle.

This year’s keynote speaker was 1986 graduate Ed Mathey. Mathey told the student-athletes the importance of leadership and relationships and their influence on success, while also sharing anecdotes from his experiences as a baseball coach.

“Find what your lead voice is, collectively and individually,” Mathey said. “It will help you get through the tough times and challenges you will face.”

While a student at North Central, Mathey studied marketing, management and computer science. He was also a successful baseball player and pitcher for the Cardinals and was recognized as an All-CCIW First Team selection.

Mathey went on to coach at North Central where he earned the distinction of College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Baseball Coach of the Year three times in 1994, 1996 and 1998. Mathey is now a coach for the Northern Illinois University Huskies where he’s led the team to numerous successful seasons.

Upon registering for the event, student-athletes received T-shirts with times of either 40:00, 30:00, 20:00 or 10:00 on the backs. The times represent the four years of a student-athlete’s college career as 10-minute periods of a 40-minute game. With every year, from freshman to senior, student-athletes have increasingly less time to accomplish what they want to as college students. The time on the back of the T-shirts serves as a reminder of the time they have left in college.

Interactive parts of the event included inviting student-athletes to the stage to discuss five the characteristics of “what it means to be a Cardinal.” They are character, commitment, discipline, integrity and teamwork.

President Harold Wilde and Athletic Director Jim Miller gave opening remarks. Wilde offered the old cliché of sportswriter Henry Grantland Rice that it is not whether you win or lose “but how you play the game.” Miller quoted former Chicago Bulls great and Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, saying “sometimes a player’s greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.”

The event’s program also included performances from the Red Noise pep band and introductions to the faculty and staff involved with the athletic department.

Written by Klariza Alvaran ’13