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SAAC Spotlight: Saint Martin's Tyler Fitchett
Tyler Fitchett earned Second Team All-GNAC honors as a junior in 2019-20 after finishing with a 73.8 stroke average over 15 rounds and five rounds of par or better.
Tyler Fitchett earned Second Team All-GNAC honors as a junior in 2019-20 after finishing with a 73.8 stroke average over 15 rounds and five rounds of par or better.
Tyler Fitchett
Tyler Fitchett

Friday, November 13, 2020

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, GNACsports.com uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

Name: Tyler Fitchett
Sport:
Men’s Golf
Institution:
Saint Martin’s University
Year:
Senior
Major:
Political Science
Hometown:
Yakima, Washington

Why Did You Choose To Attend Saint Martin’s?: I love the small school feeling. The campus is beautiful, the city of Lacey is amazing and I felt like I fit in well with the men’s golf program.

What Is Your Favorite Class You Have Taken And Why?: My favorite class was The Study of Classical and Historical Films, which was an English class. To go to class every day and simply watch films that have been labeled as the greatest pieces of all time was a nice change of pace from the monotonous reading out of textbooks that happens in most other classes. To also see what small details make these movies praised by critics, even though they are so different than the typical modern movie, was very intriguing and changed how I look at films.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor And What Did You Enjoy About Learning From Him Or Her?: My favorite professor is Shawn Newman. I would always walk into the classroom a few minutes early to the sight of funny or cute animal videos. He has done a great job of mixing humor into lectures to keep everyone engaged and loose.

Years Involved In SAAC: Four years.

The Reason You Chose To Get Involved In SAAC: During my freshman year, I was involuntarily chosen by the older players on my team since SAAC was mainly seen as an inconvenience by the athletes that had never taken part in it. It took one meeting for me to get hooked. I love having discussions with other athletes about school, the GNAC and NCAA-related concerns.

Most Memorable SAAC Activity To Date: Being a part in creating the first-ever Marty Awards, which is the end-of-year student-athlete award show at Saint Martin’s. The idea was to put on an event that resembled the ESPY Awards. It started as a fun idea that became more realistic as time went on. It was an amazing experience to see an idea become arguably the event that everyone waits all year for.

How Do You Feel Participating In SAAC Will Help You In Life After You Graduate?: Collaborating in groups with people who have different perspectives or ideas, and working together to come up with a solution, is a valuable skill to have.

What Does It Mean To You To Be A Division II Student-Athlete?: It’s a blessing. A small percentage of high school athletes go on to play collegiate sports. Division II and Division III athletes all carry chips on their shoulders because we are overshadowed by Division I athletes. We all continue to go through the same grind despite getting little to no praise.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned About Balancing Athletics And Academics?: Time management and finding hobbies are important. So much of my time and energy is focused on athletics, which sometimes makes it hard to motivate myself to start my schoolwork. Learning how to chip away at papers or other assignments while traveling to a competition or finishing my homework after practice helps to limit stress. Finding hobbies is huge because your life shouldn’t be limited to just sports and academics. Whether you enjoy playing video games or going hiking with friends, you need a third aspect of your life to keep you busy.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome During Your Collegiate Career: The slump that came early in my freshman season. I played well for the first part of the year then started to struggle with finding my swing. The longevity of the season, the workout programs and the drain of traveling while also trying to focus on academics took a toll on me. To play that poorly after having high expectations was an ego killer, but it ultimately made me more mentally tough.

Favorite Thing About Competing In The GNAC: Being part of a conference with such diverse schools and landscapes. We have private and public colleges, places that rain way too much and others that snow more than you can believe. The GNAC has different landscapes from green trees to rolling hills and mountains.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Winning my first-ever college tournament as a sophomore at the Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore, California. It was our team’s third tournament in two weeks and we were all drained, but I somehow played well. I thrived through the heavy wind and cold rain. I was tied for the lead heading into the final round and I was ready to go out and dominate. To come out on top is what we all work for and to see all of the hard work come to fruition so early in my collegiate career was amazing. I learned that only a handful of Saint Martin’s golfers had won tournaments in years prior and that I was the second sophomore in school history to do so. That win eventually helped me qualify for the NCAA regionals as an individual and allowed my golf career to take off.

If You Could Change One NCAA Rule, It Would Be: I would make it legal to gamble on sports that are sponsored by the NCAA. We are student-athletes and we are extremely competitive. Sometimes we need extra incentives to compete. I don’t think it should be illegal for two golfers at practice to play 18 holes with the winner getting $10 from the loser. Two basketball players should be able to play one-on-one to see who buys dinner. We should also be able to put money into a March Madness bracket pool or a fantasy football league.

Best Advice You’d Give To An Incoming Freshman: Smell the flowers along the way. Take time to stop, take a deep breath and think about how cool it is that you are here. Focus on your sport and how you can get better every day but don’t let it consume your entire life. This experience is grueling but it’s an experience that you will be forever grateful for. Four years will fly by. No one ever tells you to take your time and enjoy it. Take pictures, remember all of the memories you make and make the most of this short but amazing time in your life.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why)?: It would have to be Barack Obama. He is an avid golfer, but to be able to spend the day with a former president and pick his brain about everything would be a dream come true. I would like to learn about his upbringing, his pre-presidential career in politics, his eight years in the White House and what tips are needed to succeed in politics.

Extracurricular Activities: I am a part of SAAC and the Pre-Law Club.

Future Goals After Graduation: I want to run for Congress or Washington state governor. I want to create change in the issues that I’m passionate about through politics.

Favorite Sports Team: Boston Red Sox.

Favorite Athlete: LeBron James.

One Thing People Don’t Know About Me Is: I perform stand-up comedy and write jokes in my free time. Very few of my friends know that about me.

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