Mercer Cluster

Athletes keep it cool in the off-season

Football player Mitch Payne plays in a SAE Philanthropy Volleyball Tournament alongside teammates.

Sophie Peel

Football player Mitch Payne plays in a SAE Philanthropy Volleyball Tournament alongside teammates.

Sophie Peel, Staff Writer

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“Turn the music back on!” Kayla Potts yelled loudly on the UC gym floor at 10 p.m. Monday night.

Kahlia Lawrence and Sydni Means chided her out of embarrassment. Twenty seconds later and the music resumed in the fairly crowded gym.

“If you yell loud enough, they will respond,” Potts said.

The three women’s basketball players are out of season but decided to find an online ab program to follow in order to keep up their fitness. You can find them religiously at 10 p.m in the UC gym, giggling and sweating as they throw around weighted balls and barbells.

When athletes are in their off seasons, you might expect them to resemble the professional athletes in Nike ads. Serena Williams diligently serving 100 balls; Michael Phelps impossibly swimming in the dark; a volleyball player reading a textbook while simultaneously drinking from a water fountain.

Women's Basketball are in the weight room lifting.

Sophie Peel
Women’s Basketball are in the weight room lifting.

Mercer athletes have proven their grit during seasons, but they certainly take advantage of their down time. Most eat and nap. They attend classes, take some notes, bumble into the library and dabble in different homework.

Philip Leonard, after completing his final season as a Mercer basketball player, spends his time playing video games in his room. Leonard said he sometimes walks to his locker room for no reason — just to sit and pretend he still has another year left at Mercer.

On Monday, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity held a philanthropy volleyball tournament. Tony Perella stacked the odds in his favor by forming a team made up of sand volleyball players. Mitch Payne, also a senior football player, composed a team of heavily inexperienced friends. Also competing was a team made of basketball players Ethan Stair and Cory Kilby and football freshman Donte Maxson.

Phil Leonard suits up to play video games.

Sophie Peel
Phil Leonard suits up to play video games.

Football players Kyle Williams, Jeremy James and Sam Walker offered to referee the games, halfheartedly calling net violations but more often laughing at the plays as athletic men repeatedly fell on the soft sand.

“It hit the line, so I’m pretty sure that counts as in,” said football player Sam Walker on a controversial call.

Off-season volleyball players can still be found in the halls of the lower UC, slamming medicine balls on the ground and sprinting up and down hallways. But in their spare time, Paige Alsten and Maria Avramova turn to finer things. Alsten tried out the guitar late one Sunday night, and both of them joined basketball friends to take a hike in Macon on a sunny weekend.

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About the Photographer
Jenna Eason, Managing Editor

Jenna is from a small town in south Georgia. She is a journalism major with an anthropology and photography minor.

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Athletes keep it cool in the off-season