The 2018 Senior Perspectives is the 13th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
Chase Guillory, Football
Hometown: Helotes, Texas
Concentration: Biomedical Engineering
House Affiliation: Leverett
As I walked into the Yale Bowl for my final football game, I was greeted by the brisk New England wind and cloudy troublesome skies. Walking out of the tunnel, my battle-hardened cleats met the soggy, mangled, mud of the field that would host the 134th playing of The Game. The game marked the finale of my 11-year long career as a football player. With our defensive plan of attack and the trivial, subpar Yale offensive scheme running through my head all at once, I couldn’t help but stop and reminisce on the prior three seasons that molded me into competitor that I was today.
In that brief lapse of time, three different memories ran through my head. The first was the memory of every preseason camp that I had the opportunity to experience. As challenging as it was to come into a new program, learn a complex defense, and physically adjust to the new pace of play, there was still nothing better than practicing the sport you cherished most alongside of 120 brothers present for the same reasons as you. Those camps were not only meant to teach and condition you, but they were meant to evaluate your leadership ability, adaptability, and your ability to grow closer to the only men who would be in the trenches with you in the coming months.
The second memory was that of the long and arduous journey of off-season workouts. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Our 10-week seasons wouldn’t have been so successful if we had not put in the countless hours of training for the remaining 42 weeks until the next season. Some of my best memories were forged with my brothers in the off-season pushing prowler sleds and flipping 400lb tires. The camaraderie and competitive edge that the Harvard football program instills in its players is life changing and extremely meaningful to those who buy in to its core values. Without pushing our bodies to the limit every off-season, I wouldn’t have physically developed my body and I wouldn’t have developed fantastic team chemistry.
My third and final memory that coursed through my limbic system was that of all of my past and present teammates who couldn’t play today due to an injury. For me, playing at Harvard was not a trivial hobby used to throw onto a résumé or pass time. Playing football at Harvard was an honor and a privilege and going into every game I made damn sure to acknowledge how fortunate I was to be healthy enough to run, hit, and play such a special game. Before stepping onto the gridiron one last time, I made sure to recognize that I wasn’t only playing for myself, but I was playing for all of my teammates who couldn’t. That’s what this game was about for me and these were the types of lessons that I took away after 4 long years with the Crim.