A strained hip flexor has kept freshman soccer player John Ellender out of competition thus far, but the midfielder has set his sights on future conference successes, starting with personal motivation.
Said Ellender, “The only reason to do anything is to direct yourself to your ultimate end. So playing soccer for the greater glory of God is what we’re trying to do.”
The humanities and Catholic culture major also attributed team accomplishments to the close dynamic that the men’s squad enjoys. “In soccer, there needs to be a chemistry and a dynamic understanding of what’s going on across the field” he said. Ellender added that the teamwork aspect of the sport makes team cohesion even tighter.
Despite the imminent graduation of All-American Leo Hermann, Ellender does not anticipate an identity crisis come fall 2018. “It’s a group of guys that all enjoy being with each other. I’m not really worried about the change from this year to next year” he said.
Since age 7, Ellender has found a joy on the soccer field that has fueled dedication and hard work since. Now nearing full strength as offseason spring practices conclude, soon-to-be sophomore has big plans for the team’s future. Among those goals remain an elusive conference title, an NCAA tournament birth and the establishment of a “culture of magnanimity—striving to be great in all that you do and not settling for less.”
Why does Ellender strap on the shin guards, year in and year out? His answer is a simple one: “It’s just fun.”