The NCAA celebrates the third annual Division III Week on April 7-14. In honor of the event, SimpsonAthletics.com is taking a close look at four individuals who personify what it means to be a Division III student-athlete.
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Today, we share the story of baseball player, Jake Barr. The senior from Henderson, Nev. began his college career at a large university in his home state, but soon found it wasn't for him. He took a chance and transferred to Simpson, where he has been a four-year starter on the baseball team while pursuing a degree in graphic design.
- Name - Jake Barr
- Major - Graphic Design
- Awards/Honors - 2-time Second Team All-Conference Outfielder
- Future Plans - Move to the West Coast and pursue a career in graphic design
Why did you choose Division III and Simpson in particular?
My first year of college I attended UNLV. I intended to be an entertainment and design engineer and walk-on to the baseball team. However, I realized that I disliked the school, and I really wanted to get away from home and experience a true college lifestyle. I called my best friend from high school, Billy Weathers, who attended Simpson at the time, and asked him if my "city lifestyle" could handle the small town of Indianola. I trusted his judgment and bought a plane ticket to fly out for school in the fall.
What opportunities have you had as a Division III student-athlete that have made your experience special?
As a Division III student-athlete, having the ability to walk-on to a team and compete for a position right away is the best part. Unlike Division I, starters play usually based upon the amount of scholarship they were given by the school. Division III athletes walk on campus and fight for a starting position with an equal opportunity to get the job. The best player plays. To continue, since Division III doesn’t give athletes scholarships, I truly believe most play their sport for the love of the game. This brings out the uniqueness of attending a Division III school.
What is your favorite memory pertaining to your experience as a Division III student-athlete?
My favorite memories involve the relationships I’ve acquired with teammates and coaches. They have all encouraged and guided me to become a better athlete and a better individual.
In your own words, what does it mean to be a Division III student-athlete?
To be a Division III student-athlete you must strive for improvement. Whether it’s in the classroom or on the field you can always better yourself, it just takes hard work and dedication. In the end it is solely up to the individual. You get out of it what you put in.