A pile of boxes reached the athletics office at CMU a few days ago. If you didn’t know how many students are athletes, you certainly do now. The boxes were packed full of athletic wear blazoned with green and white.

CMU competes in the following sports: soccer, volleyball, basketball, and futsal. Across these, over 85 students represent the Blazers in MCAC action across the province and Canada wide. The athletics director is Russell Willms and the assistant director is Joshua Ewert.

Compared to many other schools, CMU has a relatively small student body. Despite this, CMU is both highly competitive on the court, and incredibly supportive off it.

An example of this is the support for the men’s basketball team. On any given occasion, the gym is packed with loud and proud fans. As a student living in residence here, I am frequently greeted by supporters dashing through the school announcing the game. People leave what they’re doing to go and cheer on their CMU Blazers.

This fall I played for the men’s soccer team. Through thick and thin, I have never experienced such a supportive and determined team. Led by returning players such as Jonah Langelotz, Simon Dueck, and Andrew Janzen, the team endured challenging games to finish a hard fought season in fourth place. The coach Russell Willms led by example and with great integrity.

A certain highlight of my soccer experience was our tournament in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Both the men’s and women’s teams piled into a chartered bus and made the trek through the Canadian shield to an unsuspecting soccer pitch. Not only did we bond over FIFA 15 and hot tub relaxation, but the men’s team cleaned up and went undefeated to win the ThunderHawk Challenge Cup. Let it never be said that 7:00 AM team walks don’t lead to on-field cohesiveness.

The experience in Thunder Bay isn’t unique to the soccer teams. The other teams take trips to Toronto and Edmonton, where they too build relationships and bring the heat.

As I look around and see the Blazers logos proudly worn around the school, it’s hard to forget how vibrant an athletic community we have here.

Go Blazers.

Evan Balzer is one of CMU’s Student Ambassadors

Learn more about athletics at CMU