SAM NEGRON Staff writer
When people think of an athlete, they think of an individual who is playing a sport and enjoying himself or herself. In life, there are the small moments we don’t realize- the moments that someone becomes an athlete and the person they are because of family. Many athletes take on a sport at a young age because of the family bond they have.
Senior mass communications major and Piedmont Lion’s soccer player, Chris Keller, is no different. Family is the reason he got into soccer, and the sport molded him to be the man he is today.
“Sports have most definitely played a big part in my life. Ever since I was young, I remember being at the soccer fields every weekend with my sisters and my parents coaching us,” said Keller.” “So soccer was always more than just a sport for my family, it was something we all shared together.”
Piedmont College has given many athletes a chance to continue what has been instilled at such a young age, though they believe in education first and athletics afterwards.
“I chose Piedmont from an academic standpoint because of the student to teacher ratio,” said Keller. “I loved the idea of having no more than 15-20 kids in a class, and having the opportunity to get to know your teachers.”
He said that from an athletic standpoint, he chose Piedmont because he would have the chance to have playing time.
“I didn’t want to go to a school where I would ride the bench for a couple years before I ever got to play,” he said.
The decision to pursue your dream and get a great education where you feel comfortable with the teachers is very important. Many graduating high school students don’t think about these things when they deciding where to attend college. They want to go somewhere that is fun, has nightlife or where they feel like they can play right away. They forget about the student part of being a student-athlete. If you don’t have the grades, you lose the opportunity to even play. This is something that many incoming freshmen fail to realize.
“The best advice I could give to a freshman student athlete is that you are a student athlete, which means you are a student first, and an athlete second,” said Keller. “If you don’t put the time and effort in the classroom, you won’t have the opportunity to play on the field. I can’t stress enough how important it is to put your grades first.”
Some people don’t even realize that sports and education can go hand in hand. People can learn many things that they will be able to use interchangeably on the field or in the classroom.
“Soccer was incredibly important to me in college. My whole life, soccer has helped me with my time management and balancing priorities,” said Keller. “So when I got to college and all of a sudden I had more free time than ever, I still had soccer to help me manage my time and motivate me to maintain my grades.”
Now that Keller’s college career is over and graduation is near, it is time for him to decide what he wants to do now. This decision can be a tough one, but he wants to continue his passion in soccer.
“After college, I hope to join the Atlanta United MLS Team’s communications department, either with the marketing or public relations department. Soccer has always been a major part of my life, and I would love to find a career that allowed me to stay involved with the sport,” said Keller.