Division III Week: NAC Values Husson's Guerrette & Maine Maritime's Newcomb
Member institutions of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) place a high value in the overall student-athlete experience while focusing on four attributes including Sportsmanship, Community/Global Service, SAAC/Campus Leadership, and Diversity and Inclusion. The NAC will be featuring one student-athlete at all ten member institutions throughout Division III Week, April 3-9, 2017, in a series titled "NAC Values."
The college experience provides students a chance to follow their passions and to develop their potential. NCAA Division III student-athletes discover their growth while in the classroom, as well as during their participation in a competitive athletic environment. Student-athletes push themselves to excellence on the field of play and in the classroom.
Below you will learn how Husson University senior Chandler Guerrette (Presque Isle, Maine) and Maine Maritime Academy junior Brendan Newcomb (Holden, Maine) embody NAC Values and the three NCAA Division III ideals, "Discover, Develop, and Dedicate."
To view the previous NAC Values feature stories, please click HERE.
Name: Chandler Guerrette
Institution: Husson University
Major: Occupational Therapy
Varsity Sport: Women’s Basketball
Hometown: Presque Isle, Maine
Name: Brendan Newcomb
What does being a Division III student-athlete mean to you?
Guerrette: To me, being a student athlete was a desire within me that I needed to fulfill. I couldn’t imagine my life without sports, however, my education was my first priority when choosing a university. I consider being a Division III student athlete a privilege. Many athletes at higher levels may feel entitled to their position on a team, however, I felt that being a student athlete was a blessing that should never be taken for granted. Being a Division III student athlete means finding a balance between athletics and academics. I had to work just as hard off of the court as I did on the court. Being a Division III student athlete also meant being a role model. As an athlete, every action is viewed more closely and being aware of this made me a better athlete and individual. Commitment to success in the classroom and on the court is an integral part of what it means to be a student athlete at the Division III level. Being a Division III student athlete allowed me to not only blossom on the court and in the classroom, but it allowed me to grow and develop as a person as well.
Newcomb: Being a Division III student-athlete is a reward for all the hard work I have put in. It’s a privilege to be able to experience the student-athlete life that so few get to have. The countless hours I put in gives me a sense of pride because I am able to represent my school to the best of my ability both in the classroom, and on the court.
What is the athletic culture like at your institution, and what does being an “Eagle/Mariner” mean to you?
Guerrette: I grew up in a very close knit and supportive community and I was looking for the same environment when choosing a university. I found this at Husson University. Being a Husson Eagle is the complete student athlete experience. In my coaches and teammates, I found a family. Family seemed to be the theme of the athletic culture at Husson. Athletes supported other athletes and coaches supported other coaches. Success was a common goal among the student-athlete body and this was evident at matches and games. Athletes, coaches, professors, and peers supported the achievements and success of all student-athletes at Husson. Newman Gymnasium was filled with classmates, peers, alumni, staff and other student athletes from Husson. There seemed to be a sense of comradery throughout the stands at Newman Gymnasium. Whether we had a home game or a game hundreds of miles away, there were always Husson fans in the stands. Being a Husson Eagle meant being a part of something bigger. It was not just a mascot, but it was a privilege to wear Husson on the front of my uniform. Being a Husson Eagle meant representing your school on away trips and when in the community. It meant being proud of your school and being supportive of other Husson student athlete’s that are playing for the same name on the front of their jersey. Most of all, it meant joining the Husson Eagle family. After meeting many Husson Eagle alumni, being a Husson Eagle is a lifelong experience. The experience of being a Husson Eagle becomes a part of who you are and sticks with you no matter which path you take in life.
Newcomb: Maine Maritime Academy has a very strong athletic culture. We work very hard year-round here. Being a Mariner is a great privilege and it comes with a lot of responsibility. On campus you stand out as a student-athlete and it is important to represent yourself and your team in the right way.
How has athletics affected your collegiate experience as a whole?
Guerrette: Being an athlete in college has had an extremely positive influence on my life and in my development as an individual. As a college athlete, I was fully engaged in my academic experience both in and out of the classroom. I was required to give 100% of myself in the classroom, but also on the basketball court. This made my college experience a unique one in that I was able to fully take part in the academic experience that Husson had to offer, as well as experiencing the exciting extra-curricular aspect of being a part of a university. Being a part of athletics at the collegiate level meant always having a support system. At Husson, I was three hours away from home and at first, this was difficult for me. After joining the basketball team, I had found my own family and support system that I knew I could count on every day. This made my college experience much more enjoyable. Athletics allowed me to make lifelong connections and experience the numerous opportunities and journeys that college athletics has to offer.
Newcomb: Athletics has helped shape me as a person and greatly benefited my collegiate experience. It is something I look forward to everyday and it keeps me very busy. The constant competition is something I enjoy very much and I will miss it when I am graduated.
How do you balance being a student and an athlete, while maintaining your grades?
Guerrette: There are many factors that play into balancing being a student and an athlete. I tried to treat my responsibilities as if they were my full-time job. I made this a priority. I had to create a schedule to methodically manage my time during the day. This helps with being prepared and flexible for whatever changes may occur in practice times or class schedules while still being organized. Creating a routine is a big part of success on and off the court as well. Class, work, practice, homework, sleep and repeat seemed to be my daily routine and maintaining this was important to keeping me on task throughout the semester. Using my resources as a student athlete was also beneficial to maintaining my grades. Having an open communication line between my coaches and professors made balancing both less stressful. It was beneficial to make the most of my support network, such as teammates and athletic staff. They helped with guidance and understood what it meant to be a student-athlete. I feel that being a college athlete made me a better student. I was required to study and find time to do my homework to keep my grades up. I did not have any extra time to procrastinate and understanding that helped me maintain my grades.
Newcomb: Time management is the key to being a student-athlete. I have a few part time jobs on top of the various workouts the basketball team does. It’s very important to plan out my days and make sure I have enough time to get everything done.
What do you believe are the most important skills to possess when trying to excel on the “field” and in the classroom?
Guerrette: Dedication to success in the classroom and on the court was one of the most important skills have as a student athlete. There are many factors that play a part in excelling on the field and in the classroom, but if your mindset is focused on being dedicated to success in the classroom and on the court, you are halfway there. It was easy to get stressed or overwhelmed, however, acknowledging and accepting your responsibilities instead of avoiding them will make life much easier as a student athlete. Time management is a necessity when trying to excel in the classroom and on the court. Although this was often difficult, it was always possible. Every minute of the day served a purpose and it was important to plan ahead, whether this meant studying on a bus or in a hotel room. I used basketball as my escape. It was an outlet for stress and it gave me a certain amount of time each day where I could look forward to doing something I loved with people that I loved to be with. It is essential to see involvement in sports as a healthy outlet rather than a time consuming chore.
Newcomb: Leadership and confidence are the most important skills to possess. Being able to take lead in both settings is very important, and you will not be successful unless you have confidence in yourself.
Which NAC Value/s do you believe that you embody most: Sportsmanship, Community/Global Service, SAAC/On campus Leadership AND/OR Diversity or Inclusion? How you exemplify NAC Values every day?
Guerrette: I believe that the NAC value I embody the most is sportsmanship. To me, relationships and connections have always been an important part of my experience as an athlete. I value the connections that athletics have provided me with over the many years. Establishing these connections requires other coaches, referees, and competitors to see your maturity and integrity through your actions on the court. I have always made it a priority of mine to not show negative emotions or body language on the court, as this can be seen as unsportsmanlike. I take pride in showing respect towards other athletes, coaches, and officials. I believe it is important to play hard while on the court, but I also believe that it is equally as important to play cleanly. This has allowed me to demonstrate a certain level of maturity and integrity that I hope to achieve.
Newcomb: I believe I embody both community/global service and SAAC/On campus leadership very well. I volunteer in the community weekly and I have been doing this for a long time. I help coach a couple of teams back in my hometown along with various activities I volunteer for in Castine. My freshman and sophomore year I was a member of SAAC and I see myself as a leader on and off the court. I strive to continue that leadership and improve it every day.
Are you involved on your campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)? Why do you believe the formation of this committee is important?
Newcomb: I was involved during my freshman and sophomore year. This committee is very important for leaders of each team to be up to date with NCAA news along with the ability to have our voice be heard. A great example of the committee’s power has taken place at Maine Maritime Academy; it allowed male athletes to speak their mind about the locker rooms, and we are now getting an upgrade.
How are you a leader on campus and/or in the community?
Guerrette: I believe that it is important to be a role model for the younger generation in order to maintain and better the culture of athletics. Many young children are influenced by professional sports, but it is important for them to see past the fame of being a professional athlete and understand that being an athlete is a privilege and that the things you learn through athletics can be applied to life. I find that this is where I lead the most. Sports had a huge positive impact on my life and I would like for every child that is interested in sports to have the same great experience that I did. I like to be involved with and establish a relationship with the young fans that attend our games. Once the younger fans are engaged in athletics, it becomes a family affair and their parents are very supportive of their child’s interest in Husson athletics. I was a coach at the Husson basketball camp for young girls and I also coached at Wildcat basketball camp in my hometown. This allowed me to be a leader in the community and help young kids improve their skills, but also establish a positive relationship and role model in their lives.
Newcomb: I try to always look for the situation where I can step up and take a leadership role. I tend to be the leader with group projects when I am in the classroom, and I take leadership with some of the extracurricular groups I am part of. In the community, I use my volunteer work to show my leadership traits.
The ultimate goal in the NAC is to create an atmosphere of respect for all participants. How have you distinguished yourself through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior?
Guerrette: As stated in a previous question, I believe that I embody the value of sportsmanship. I take pride in showing respect towards other athletes, coaches, and officials so I can create healthy relationships with them. In 2016, I was named the Defensive Player of the Year, but I was also named to the NAC All-Sportsmanship team and that recognition meant equally as much to me. To me, it meant that others had recognized that I was a competitor on the court, but also a respectful and sportsmanlike individual off of the court.
Newcomb: I am the leader of my team. When I am on the court, I make sure my teammates are doing the right thing by setting the example myself. My leadership is mainly through actions and people have seen me demonstrate this since freshman year. The way I carry myself both on and off the court has led to the reputation I have now.
If you have time to volunteer, which organization has been most rewarding for you to work with? Why is volunteering important to you?
Guerrette: I volunteered for an organization called The Life You Can Save. The aim of this organization was to encourage giving to effective charities that help those fighting extreme poverty. My role in this organization was a student social media ambassador. This experience was rewarding to me because it made me question things instead of just accepting them as they were. I learned a lot about ethics, charities, and how real extreme poverty really is. Most of all, it put things in perspective for me and allowed me to see how truly blessed I was to live the life that I am.
Newcomb: I volunteer my time with local grade school kids in Castine and also a basketball club back in my hometown. Volunteering back home with the Brewer Basketball Club has been the most rewarding. Volunteering is a way to give back to my community. It is important to me because I can remember being the kid receiving the coaching from a volunteer many years ago.
Is there any advice you would give to your peers or aspiring collegiate student-athletes that you believe would help them benefit more from their collegiate experience?
Guerrette: If there was one thing I passed down to any athlete that is lucky enough to have seasons ahead of them, it would be to enjoy every single day and to never take it for granted, not even for a second. Being a student-athlete was the most rewarding and incredible journey that I have had thus far in my life. As a student athlete, it will be easy to complain about stress and your long list of things to do, however, living in the moment and having the mindset that being a Division III athlete is a privilege will make your experience a rewarding one.
Newcomb: The biggest advice I have is to be open to new things. This applies to both on and off the “field”. Be willing to join extracurricular groups or volunteer your time. Trust your coach and the vast knowledge they have, even if you haven’t done particular drills before and are unsure.
What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in your collegiate career (on and off of the “field”)?
Guerrette: My greatest accomplishment off the court thus far is graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in healthcare studies. Next year, I will be graduating with my Master’s in Occupational Therapy. My greatest accomplishment on the court was my team and I winning a game at the NCAA tournament and making it to the second round of the national tournament. This experience and journey was one that I will never forget.
Newcomb: At the end of my sophomore year I was nominated for a very prestigious award that recognizes community service and leadership. I was one of the final three nominees but unfortunately did not win the award. I am very hopeful that I will be awarded this honor both this year and next year.
Beyond your sport, what are you most passionate about?
Guerrette: I am passionate about constantly improving at whatever I am doing in life. After every basketball season ended, I knew that there was always something that I could improve on and I was constantly trying to take my game to the next level. After my junior season, I got a taste of what going to the NCAA tournament felt like and I wanted that and more for my senior season. I knew that this meant that I had to take my game to another level, so I worked with a personal trainer at 6 a.m 3 days a week in my hometown over the summer. I worked to improve other aspects of my game, including my shot during the offseason also and I believe that it paid off. I could have easily played my senior season without working so hard in the offseason, however, I am passionate about constantly improving. This carries over to my future career as an occupational therapist. I am continuously wanting to gain experience and insight into what can I can do to be a better therapist so that my clients can see improvements in their lives as well.
Newcomb: Both my professional career and my volunteer work are very important to me. I spend much of my time working on both. Professionally I have challenged myself by getting part time jobs during school and finding new opportunities in the summer. I volunteer my spare time regularly to various activities.
What are your plans after graduation?
Guerrette: After graduation, I plan to continue to learn how I can improve as an occupational therapist. I have many options that I may explore, such as being a traveling occupational therapist or working with the pediatric population. I look forward to starting my professional career, however, the opportunity of playing basketball overseas is always in the back of mind.
Newcomb: After graduation, I plan to move to southern Maine and work in a logistics related job. I hope my co-op this summer will help me identify a company I would enjoy working for.
More information on Division III Week:
For a Division III Week "Facts & Figures" document please click HERE.
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement.
During NCAA Division III Week, every member institution and conference is encouraged to schedule at least one activity, which celebrates an aspect of the Division III student-athlete experience, from these three categories:
- Academic accomplishment, including activities such as taking time during a game to acknowledge student-athlete academic achievement, or asking teams to select a faculty member to serve as a guest coach for a practice or competition.
- Athletics activity, including conducting events such as a youth sports clinic or competition, or scheduling recognition of school teams’ or individuals’ athletics accomplishments during a game.
- Community or campus outreach, such as scheduling a community-service activity during the week, or participating in an event involving a local chapter of Special Olympics as part of Division III’s partnership with that organization.