Opinion | Ain’t no party like a Panther party

Ricky Medieros
Defensive End

These last four years, Chapman football has introduced me to the best friendships, mentors and memories anyone could ever ask for. Every second that I have been a part of this program has been a blessing. My teammates and I have accomplished so much on and off the field and it has been incredible to see everyone’s growth, including my own.

As an 18-year-old freshman, I came into my first day of fall training camp not sure what the future held for me. I didn’t know whether I was going to make any friends, whether I was going to get any playing time, or whether I was going to successfully manage being a student-athlete at the collegiate level.

Yet, this hesitation didn’t last very long – because I was welcomed into the program with open arms. I loved all my teammates when I first arrived at Chapman, something that’s been consistent throughout my entire Chapman football experience. Simply, the best part of Chapman football is the people. I love my teammates to death, I’ll do anything for any of them and I know that they would do the same for me.

This applies both on and off the field. I have met men who are trustworthy, hardworking and loyal – great attributes to have in any friendship. I’ve made some special lifelong friends on our defense and I’ll be forever grateful for it.

I have also met multiple people that I look up to as mentors in this program. Some of them are coaches like Coach Owens and Coach Ashton, but most of them are actually former and current players. Coach Owens does a good job in this program of making sure that we all check in on each other; as players, we made it a goal this year to mentor at least one teammate each day. That goes a long way in building long-term, meaningful relationships and that ensures everyone in the program is successful and is happy with where they stand.

I love everything about Chapman football and could not be more pleased with how my senior season went. I am glad to be leaving with two Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship rings and the single greatest season in Chapman history. Although I have strapped down my pads and taken off my helmet for the last time as a Panther, I know that I will always hold the Panther spirit at heart. Chapman football will always be home for me and it has been such a blessing to be a part of it. Roll Panthers. 91 out *insert peace emoji.