Captain’s Corner

Mike Diakunczak, Columnist

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For this week’s Captain Corner, I went with a two-sport athlete who seems to rarely have free time. However, her work ethic is impressive and truly admirable. Junior Dani Clifford, a dual major in statistics and sports management, is involved with more than any person should handle. Being a two-sport athlete, especially in college, is hard enough to handle. However, Clifford is also the future vice president of Student Government, an Orientation Coordinator, an Admissions Ambassador, a Young Mercy Leader, a Campus Ministry Team Leader and the President of the Sport Management Association.

That was a mouthful.

Clifford embraces the workload and seeks ways to do more for the university.

“My time is stretched very thin. However, I have been told that one only gets out of an experience what one puts in. I know that I must always give all of my heart and soul because I feel so incredibly enriched by my experiences as a student-athlete at Misericordia.”

Clifford has appeared in 25 games in her two years on the softball team. She is still a part of the squad, but some unfortunate events has kept her off the field. A broken metatarsal in her foot, which occurred last winter, took her away from almost all of her sophomore season. Clifford felt ready to take on the junior season after training, but sadly she was wrong. The same bone broke four separate times within the next six-month span, leaving her no option but to give up the sport.

“This has easily been one of the hardest times for me. However, my team and my coaches have been nothing of supportive, still allowing me to a part of the team.”

Clifford is now on the women’s golf team, while she still manages to support her softball family. She has excelled at golf, which involves no lateral movement to effect her leg injury. She is a leader for the squad and helped the team reach four wins on the year.

Clifford stays humble. She is guiding the golf team into the MAC Championships and she is a supportive figure for a softball squad that is truly excelling, with  20-plus wins on the year.

Clifford said her life as a Cougar is defining.

“It has given me purpose and a sense of Cougar pride. It has made me cry tears of sadness and tears of joy. It has allowed me to fail and made me earn success and provided me with life skills, such as the ability to work as a team, take direction, work hard, manage my time and respect others.”

Clifford said she is indebted to Misericordia for education in many areas of her life.

“I have learned that sports is not about winning; it is about competing. Sports is not about sheer athleticism; it is about passion, less about might and more about will. I am blessed to be able to participate and play the games I love. Between golf and softball as a cougar, the friendships made, the community fostered, and the home created, I am forever indebted to Misericordia Athletics.”

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