My name is Bezhawn Hill. My family and I are from Compton, California. I have been playing football for the last 17 years of my life and counting. I was recruited to Presentation College to play cornerback and I am currently finishing my junior year of college. I am currently a major in communications and a minor in coaching with the intentions to become a prestigious football coach at some point in my life. One thing I like to do in my spare time is help people who I know are coming from that same struggle I came from.
Last week the school came together to assist in taking the dome down. Each year many students and staff volunteer their time to set up and take down the school’s dome. The two videos show a little proof of how extensive the process is and teamwork is essential.
Over the last month I’ve been interested in the book “The Purpose Driven Life” by Nick Warren. It’s a devotional Christian book that helps readers understand their purpose in life. The section pictured above is important to my life because I have endured and prospered out of many challenging situations in my life. Not all time I know why God is putting me through certain things, but I always remember he has a greater plan for me so I remain faithful.
I plan on moving back home for the Summer with enough time to enjoy family and friends before returning back for Fall football camp. California is home for me and being far away has its ups and downs. Most importantly, I have learned that patience is a virtue and God’s timing is always perfect. I plan to workout, eat well, and relax my body when I can before returning back to Aberdeen.
Prior to taking this course, I would have not planned on blogging my life and experiences while being a student at Presentation College. My overall blogging experience has taught me to be more observant and aware of the things I do. I am more of a reserved person and do not like exposing much to others, but blogging has allowed me to be open about what I am comfortable expressing.
My blogging also provides a different outlook on life for viewers. Being an African-American male in Aberdeen makes it easy for me to stand out amongst majority of the population. My insight and experiences while being on campus brings diversity and shows people what I experience and how I feel about certain topics.
The Spring football season will be coming to an end on Friday, April 21st, with a Spring game. My teammates and I have been practicing and working out continuously to keep our bodies active. We are all prepared to showcase our talents for the upcoming Fall season.
Although the team and I have been training throughout the Spring semester to prepare for the upcoming Fall football season, I plan to continue perfecting my craft when I return home for the summer. I keep in contact with former coaches, trainers, and teammates that I plan to workout with over the break to keep my body moving and quick. I will also be attending the gym and hiking Mount Rubidoux, one of my favorite hills to run back in California. Being home will also help me with my eating habits. While at school I try to eat as best as I can, but since I am always on the go I eat what is most convenient. Home cooked meals will help my body also transform and aid me in training.
While the semester is coming to an end, many students, including myself, are ready for classes to be over. Some days, I am full of energy, and other days I just want to be left alone. The work load has become more intense as I am trying to keep my grades in good standing prior to finals. Along with school work and football, I am excited to see my family back home. I continually remind myself that I am here for a reason and my hard work will be paid off when I receive my degree. I am appreciative to have a big support system at home and here at Presentation College. My family knows I am ready to be home for the summer, but I also have motivating coaches, teachers, and teammates that want to see me win as well. One more month and everything will be all good.
This image is from the last game of the 2016 season against Mayville State University.
Bezhawn Hill, #7, during the Mayville State University game.
The Saints defeated Mayville 49-22 in the last game of the season. This game was also Senior Day for the some athletes.
At Presentation College, I do not think Black History Month is given enough respect or attention. Just because the African- American population on campus is not very high does not mean the month of February should go by unnoticed. I think there should be a black student union club on campus for African-American students and other students of interest to come together and talk about problems and successes we share.
I am aware Presentation College hosts a Black History Poetry Night during Diversity Week. The poetry night can be used as a platform for students like myself to get their voices heard and opinions publicized. I think that students from other cultures should also have their voices heard. America is going through tough times on a political aspect of how cultures are being looked upon and treated. If students can come together for poetry night and talk about their feelings, I feel like some people will be at peace.
Cultural styled events should happen more often on campus. No one really knows what is going on with other students and people usually do not like sharing how they feel unless they feel some sort of comfort or common ground with others. I think PC has the ability to bring students closer together; it is just a matter of how.
Being a student who was very unfamiliar with South Dakota prior to attending Presentation College, I knew I had the chance to meet other students who shared similar interests and stories that I have. Not only being apart of the football has helped me make friends, but living in the dorms has also helped me learn about where I temporarily live and the people around.
My teammates in general are a diverse bunch of men. We come from different states, backgrounds, and lifestyles; but football is what has brought us together. I have created bonds with a few players and learned a lot from them. Being further from home than I have ever been before, I am appreciative of the goodness and comfort I do feel being at Presentation. I would describe Presentation College as an athletic school because a lot of students attend from far away on a sports scholarship.
The school also hosts something called “Diversity Week” which allows students and staff to come together and learn about different cultures and lifestyles on campus. Diversity week includes a cultural meal, diversity activities, sports games, bible study, poetry performances, and a chance for all to enjoy themselves. This is important to student life because students can interact with others outside of the dorms and classrooms and actually learn about diversity and why it is important.
Maintaining good grades while in college can be challenging for many students due to the heavy workload; but may also be harder for student athletes. At Presentation College the C.L.C (Career and Learning Center) is a helpful resource students can utilize to get tutoring, help building resumes, and assistance with career exploration.
For the football players, we are required to complete a certain amount of hours in the C.L.C to get caught up on schoolwork and meet with a tutor if necessary. This resource is beneficial because I am able to collaborate on work with other students who I may share classes with or get insight from other people to understand varying perspectives. Attending the C.L.C also helps me stay organized with a weekly schedule. I know that outside of attending class and practices, I have to complete my study hours by a certain time in the week.
I would advise anyone to visit the Career and Learning Center for any help they may need while in college. It is best to get help before it is too late to turn low grades into passing grades.
At Presentation College, students are grateful to have an amazing Academic Support staff to assist them in planning and finishing their college career on time. The advising and counseling office is designed to prepare students for their upcoming classes and make sure they stay on track to passing the classes they are currently taking.
The advising process has been efficient and beneficial for me because prior to attending PC I knew I wanted to graduate by Spring 2018. I was able to sit down with an adviser and map out each semesters classes I needed to pass in order to accomplish my goal. The advisers care about your progress and want to see each student succeed so they do the best they can on their part to bring greatness for all.
Being an athlete can be challenging not only on the body, but in other aspects of life as well. Learning to balance work outs, meetings, and practice, along with getting sleep and studying for school can be hectic. During season it is tougher to have a social life because football and class really consumes all of my time, but I do my best to enjoy myself when I can.
The best advice I can give a busy athlete like myself is to have a set schedule for every weekday. I personally took morning classes so after I was finished with evening football practice, I could go back to my dorm and relax. My days were busy with early morning workouts, class, study hall, meetings, and finally practice. Although I was tired some days, my body eventually got familiar with the tedious schedule and I was able to have my life under control.
I also recommend speaking to counselors and advisers throughout the semester to have a game plan for the upcoming semesters. It is nice to know what classes I will be taking months before the semester starts so I can plan accordingly.
Presentation College at University of Jamestown is where I received my first interception of the season. The Saints won that game 35-24. This time during the season, our record was 5-1.
These two images are from the Waldorf University game. The first is of a few players and myself running down the fan-made tunnel prior to the start of the game. This was the third to last game of the season where our record was 6-2.
Transforming from JuCo (Junior College) football to playing at a four-year university was a learning experience for me. I played football for two junior colleges before accepting a scholarship and finding the best fit for me with the options I had available.
The first junior college I played for was Riverside Community College in California. Along with receiving a great education, the school was known for its football team. I met a lot of amazing athletes and learned a lot about myself as an athlete. After a year of play at RCC I was looking for something more; a better opportunity to advance to the next level in my football career. Shortly after the season was over I was asked to play for a JuCo in Arizona. I contemplated my decision because it was out of my comfort zone and I was unsure of what to expect. Although I was confident in my athleticism, I questioned how I would fit into this new program.
After a few visits and talks with coaches, I moved to Arizona to attend Mesa Community College in the summer of 2015. The biggest adjustment for me was the weather. California has nice weather for majority of the year, but Arizona was hot and humid all year long. It was challenging getting familiar with the high temperatures and learning how to play in those conditions. Over the summer, I conditioned and trained multiple times a day to get my body ready for what was ahead. Once football season approached I was ready to play. Despite being physically and mentally prepared to have a winning season, I broke a hand bone in the fourth game of the year. Everything changed.
Having a broken anything as an athlete is tough, especially during the prime of the season. I was told I would be out for the rest of the season due to the type of break I experienced. This was hard to accept because I was so motivated to have a successful season; that was why I moved away from home. I had no choice but to accept my situation and make the best of it. I began to collaborate with the coaches I played for to reach out to universities and establish a plan for the following season.
In the spring of 2016 I was offered a scholarship to Presentation College. I hesitated to accept the offer because I knew nothing about their football program and the distance would spark an issue. I had the opportunity to meet with coaches from universities back home in California. After months of deliberation and sacrifice, I felt the Saints could offer me an experience the others could not. Moving across the country was not easy. I was not fond of the snow, being away from my loved ones, and once again adapting to a new environment. Overall, I was determined to go outside of my norm to make something for myself.
Currently, I am in my second semester at Presentation College. Our last football season was good, although I know we can improve and do better. I’ve made bonds with a few players and connected with people on campus who are from different states and lifestyles. Presentation is very diverse and homes other talented athletes. Being away from my family has not been easy but I know it will be worth it in the end. This upcoming fall will be my last football college season.