By J. P. Craven ’11

Over the last five years, I have had the opportunity to take full advantage of what is arguably the best aspect of the Davidson experience, forging relationships with a wide range of remarkable people, both students and faculty. But the most compelling aspect of my Davidson career has undoubtedly been a result of being a member of the baseball team and the special privilege of getting to know our equipment manager.

My college career has been a bit extended, as I took some time off from school after an athletic injury in my sophomore year. For a time, I transferred to Villanova University, but because of the academic excellence at Davidson and the friendships I had developed with the people here—specifically those I was lucky
enough to call my teammates—I decided to return to this college. It was really an easy decision. Never in my life has there been a core group of people who have been so close or gone through so much together. Fifty-plus games, coupled with a number of weekends spent in hotel rooms, create a level of closeness that
is hard to find in any other situation.

But there was more. Everyone who has put on the Wildcat uniform over the last 27 years has been able to develop a relationship with Will DuBose, our equipment manager. He is always at Baker Sports Complex, walking around with a smile and a friendly greeting. Lucky enough for the baseball players, we get to spend every weekend in the spring with him, both at home and on road trips.

I have had a passion for the game of baseball since I was very young, one that I will continue to have for the rest of my life. But Will’s unrivaled passion and love for this game bring an extra, positive sentiment to the field every day for those around him. Stop him in the halls and talk to him about the Braves game the night before—he will surely have something to say about it. Stumped about the nickname for some college or university team? Will knows the nickname for every team in the country. We tried to find one he didn’t know during a rain delay one time, to no avail.

Beyond the pure joy that Will brings with him to the field every day, he works very hard to provide for Davidson athletes on many teams. Whether it is in the  classroom, on a stage, or on an athletic field, success is bred from hard work. Over the years, baseball has taught me more about building a solid work ethic than just about any other part of my life. And Will embodies that ethic.

Day in and day out, I see the effect my teammates have on each other—and especially on me. It may be going to the library after hours, at the field in the 90-degree heat, or heading up to the field on our days off to make sure everyone is getting better every day. Whatever the case may be, this team, including Will
DuBose, has contributed to my improvement as an athlete, a student, and a person.

I am very grateful to the Davidson men and women who have made the last five years such a valuable part of my life. My experiences as a student and an athlete combined to make my time here successful—and unforgettable. But I owe my utmost gratitude to Will DuBose, who was there to do whatever needed to be done in order for us to be ready to go every day. He taught me about loving the game I played and approaching everything with the right attitude. I will forever carry his lessons with me—in baseball, academics, and whatever else life has in store for me. And I will never forget him.

Photos: Tim Cowie; Bill Giduz


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