What is it like to Play Two Sports at Bates?

Everyone knows the life of a college athlete is a grind. Having to go through a long season full of practices, games, workouts, film sessions, and such on top of a demanding class schedule is incredibly difficult to ask of a college student.

Imagine playing on two different varsity sports teams on campus. Imagine having two full, 12-week playing seasons during each of your four years at Bates. This doesn’t even begin to delve into the fact that you also have to balance the challenges, as well as the time commitments that come with being a biochemistry major? This is the life of football and baseball player Jon Lindgren ’20.

Lindgren came to Bates as a first year with the intention of majoring in biology or biochemistry, so he knew what he was getting himself into in regards to the long lab hours and extensive course requirements.
What he didn’t know, however, was that he’d be playing two sports here at Bates as well. Recruited primarily as a football player, Lindgren was also a successful high school baseball player and knew that he had a chance to play at the Division III level. He just wasn’t sure if that would be too much to ask of himself.

“I definitely thought about it a lot, but I’m pretty good with time management so I felt like I could handle everything,” said Lindgren. “Balancing these things is something I’ve done most of my life so it almost would’ve felt weirder to stop doing one of them.”

The results on the athletic fields have certainly spoken for themselves. On the football field, Lindgren was top-10 in the NESCAC in tackles each of the past two seasons, earning an All-NESCAC selection in his junior season. This success, along with his leadership in the locker room, led to his subsequent election as captain of the team this year.

In baseball, he has earned himself a starting spot in the outfield. In addition to this achievement, he was presented with the team’s David R. Nash Memorial Award as a sophomore for exemplifying the qualities that made the late David Nash special, including his effort and dedication to the Bates baseball program.

As the years go by and difficulty of the classes increase, so too does the time commitment. This can be an overwhelming idea and experience, particularly when thoughts of writing senior thesis roll around.

“There’s no question that classes are getting harder, but I also feel like I’m better at managing it,” added Lindgren. “I’ve been through it three times now so I know what it takes to get through a full year at this point.”

It’s clear that he’s not one to shy away from a challenge, because Lindgren is in the process of writing his full year lab thesis on Human Viral Defense Mechanisms.

When asked about his success in biochemistry compared to athletics, Lindgren laughed. “I mean, I hope I’m better at biochem because that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Right now, Lindgren is working on his applications for graduate school to get a master’s in Biomedical Science before pursuing a medical school degree. Must be fun having that to worry about, too.

With only one football game left to play this season, Lindgren looks to wrap up the year on a high note after the team picked up their first win on Saturday against Bowdoin, winning by a dominant 30-5 margin. Closing this book will certainly be sad, but there’s always something next for Jon Lindgren.