Written By: Kevin Fitzmaurice
Sophomore Maddie Medina is a two sport athlete for the Fitchburg State Falcons. Playing both soccer and softball as a criminal justice major she has also been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA while being a starter on both teams. Head women’s softball coach Merry MacDonald adds “she is a great leader on and off the field even as a sophomore.” In saying this we decided to catch up with Maddie Medina and ask her a few questions.
Interviewer: How long have you been playing soccer and softball?
Medina: “I’ve been playing soccer since I was five, I also started playing baseball when I was five and continued to play throughout sixth grade. I switched to softball in seventh grade and had a hard time at first adjusting to the game but I kept pushing and fell in love with the sport. I have always had a passion for sports and can’t imagine my life without athletics. I’ve been playing sports for my whole life and they have made me the person I am today.”
Interviewer: What made you want to play both sports while maintaining full time student status?
Medina: “Going into my senior year of high school, I told myself that I was only going to play softball in college. Once I played my last high school soccer game, I realized that I would miss the sport too much to give it up. My competitive edge plays a huge part in the reason that I choose to be a student-athlete. I knew that I had to play both sports or else I would regret not taking advantage of four more years doing something that I loved. I had already played three sports in high school so I figured that I could tackle being a student-athlete in college. I love the challenge of being an athlete that takes academics very seriously.”
Interviewer: If you had to pick between soccer and softball which one would you pick?
Medina: “I get asked this question a lot and my answer is the same every time: it depends on which season I’m in. If I’m in soccer season, I put 100% of my heart into it and would tell you that I would pick soccer over softball. If I’m in softball season, I do the same thing. I just love putting it all on the line for the two sports that I love.”
Interviewer: With your soccer season arriving in the fall what are your personal goals and team goals for this upcoming season?
Medina: I want to make this season the most successful one that Fitchburg State Women’s Soccer has seen. I want to be a leader that is able to push my team to the next level. We have a great group of girls, and I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish. I think it’s important to take it one game at a time and realize that we all have each other’s backs and will play our hearts out for each other.
Interviewer: What made you want to come to Fitchburg State?
Medina: “I went to a softball clinic during the summer before my senior year of high school. I met Coach Mac and decided to look into Fitchburg State. I found the Police Concentration Program and fell in love with the university. It’s the perfect size and I loved that I could play two sports while still focusing on academics.”
Interviewer: How important is time management to you and how do you do it?
Medina: “Time management is a major key to surviving being a student-athlete. I find myself constantly squeezing in time to do homework and study in between classes, practice, and game times. I have to dedicate the free time that I have during the week to doing homework so that I am able to keep up with assignments while still focusing on athletics. I have to give up certain aspects of my social life but to me it’s worth it because I get to play two sports that I love while still being successful in school.”
Interviewer: Most people don’t understand how much time is involved when playing two sports and for you to maintain a 4.0 GPA that is quite the accomplishment, what is your motivation to balance all three?
Medina: “My motivation is my self-expectation. I have always held myself to a higher standard, whether it is academics or athletics. I keep pushing because I know I can do it and I don’t want to let myself down. I know that there are other people who don’t get the chance to play sports in college so I try to never take it for granted. I motivate myself to do better for the people that I love. I want people to be proud of me and realize all of the hard work that I have put into my athletics and academics. I want to also prove to myself that I have the willpower to get through college while playing two sports and still succeeding with my academics.”
Interviewer: What advice can you give to students who may be struggling to try and balance their academics, their social life, and other activities?
Medina: Work hard now and get involved in as many things as possible while you’re in college because it will pay off in the future. Keep pushing to do your best because this hard-working attitude is something that will lead you down the path to success.
Interviewer: What are your goals after college?
Medina: “After college, I want to work my way up to being a detective. I have never been the type of person to sit at a desk and do paperwork. I want to gain life experiences by interacting with people and helping out communities. I love the thought of administering justice and fairness to all people, I want to be able to make a significant impact on the world. I hope that I can add a positive touch to the criminal justice system in today’s society.”
For Maddie she has the fuel to continue to push herself everyday on the field and in the classroom. For other Division III athletes like Maddie each and every one of them are putting in the effort to play a sport they love and focusing on their academics just as much as any other non-athlete student. So where ever Maddie is, on the diamond or as Detective Medina her future is bright because her hard work and dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.