Love of the game

Three College at Florham Devils talk about their tenure as athletes and preparations for the future, pictured from left to right: Catherine Krawiec, Daniel Bentson, and Derek Hall. (Photos courtesy of Devils Athletics)

By Jenny Connell

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a college athlete? I sat down and talked with three graduating seniors at the College at Florham, and they walked me through their journeys as student athletes at FDU and what lessons and tools they will bring with them post graduation. 

A Rocky Start 

“Basketball here started as a struggle for me,” says Derek Hall, mathematics major and captain of the Devil’s basketball team. “Apparently basketball is a lot more work in college than it is in high school.” 

Hall reminisces that he struggled his freshman and sophomore years on the team —even doubting that he would even continue playing at times. Halls explains his transformation from struggle to star by saying, “Luckily, my team was able to turn things around in my junior and senior years, and we had much better success. Everybody just got it together and started working toward a common goal, and we have been able to make it to playoffs the past two years.” 

Catherine Krawiec, a business administration major and Devil’s field hockey player, is another athlete who had a difficult beginning in her college athletic career. “I broke my foot freshmen year,” says Krawiec. “It was really hard getting back on my feet, and being a part of a team during that period.”

For Daniel Bentson, a business administration major and captain of the Devil’s golf team, his entrance to FDU came during his junior year as a transfer student from the County College of Morris. “I came in junior year not really knowing anyone, and now I consider my teammates my brothers,” says Bentson.

Being a Team Player 

Krawiec explains the level of dedication required to play field hockey, and making it to those 7 a.m. practices every morning. “It’s a full-time job,” says Krawiec. “Division III athletes really play for the love of the game because we are not getting a scholarship to play.” 

“Playing a sport gives you a set schedule because you have morning practices, night games, and the travelling leaves little time to spare,” says Krawiec. “It is a really crazy hectic schedule, and it made me really conscious of time-management. I’ve always been organized, but playing here made me even more so.” 

Hall’s basketball coach always says to his team, “don’t be a two-hour guy.” Hall explains, “Our practices are two hours, and so he means to come in and lift and practice shots on your own,” says Hall. “That dedication will set you apart.”

“As captain, if somebody is struggling it is your responsibility to reach out and be uplifting,” says Bentson. “You’re the spokesperson of the team. Everyone looks up to you as a resource of knowledge, and to keep the season moving forward.” 

After FDU 

Bentson plans on joining his father and uncles at the family insurance agency that his grandfather started in 1948. “I will continue playing golf because it is pretty big in the business world, especially for what my dad does,” says Bentson. “He takes me out for golf outings with clients all the time. In the spring time, we will go out twice a week to network, which is a really big reason why I got into golf.”

Hall plans on getting his master’s degree in teaching and becoming a high school math teacher and basketball coach. “Playing at FDU has definitely strengthened my leadership, and knowledge of the game,” says Hall. “I will be able to use some drills that I have learned at college and incorporate them into my coaching in the future.”

Krawiec has been accepted to FDU’s Masters in Business Administration program for the fall. She explains how the sport, “has just taught me so much – everything in the past four years in field hockey has related to every other aspect of my life, and I feel like when I go on interviews, it is really easy to talk to and relate about. Everything that happens in the workplace can somehow relate to the team.”

Feature Story from the FDU Newsroom

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Dickinson Hall, Room 3365, H-DH3-1, Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper,
Director of Public Relations
Fax: 201-692-7019

Kenna Caprio,
Communications Writer
Fax: 201-692-7019

Helen Grill,
Senior General Clerk
Fax: 201-692-7019

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (College at Florham Office)
East Cottage, Second Floor, M-EC2-01, Madison, NJ 08450

Scott Giglio,
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Fax: 973-443-8671

Daniel Landau,
Public Relations Assistant
Fax: 973-443-8671