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COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.
1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Project USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Hunter West Interviewer: Danielle E. Riley Current Position: Captain of the Men's Location of Interview: Tampa Soccer Team Campus Library Da te of Interview: January 15, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Danielle E. Riley Final Editor: Jared G. Toney Date of Edit: May 18, 2004 TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Childhood Mr. West grew up in Bradenton, Florida, where he has lived his entire li fe. His father had always been involved in athletics, thus he and his brothers were raised around sports and outdoor activities. He remembers starting to play soccer with his older brother, Taylor, at the age of only seven years. Early involvement in socc er In his first soccer game as a youth, Mr. West scored fourteen goals, "So I thought that was the right sport for me." He continued played soccer through high school at the varsity level, and was recruited to come play at USF. As a high school player, he won the distinctions of All State, All Region, and All American his junior and senior years. Recruitment He visited USF in the summer of 2001, and recalls making a good impression on the coaches and players. As a result, the coaches followed his progress through his senior year and welcomed him onto the team after graduation. Though he had a couple of other options, he chose USF because, "I liked the [head] coach and also the assistant coaches, so that's why I made the decision so early I fit in prett y well." He also had a number of friends who planned on attending South Florida and playing on the team. Additionally, he could remain close enough to home to see his family regularly. First impressions of USF His first impression of USF was a positive one; he remembers most being impressed just by the size of the university. "I loved the coaching staff, I loved the players, [and] I loved the university." The head coach of the soccer team offered Mr. West a scholarship, and he gladly accepted it. "I jus t thought this school was right for me." Academics Academically, Mr. West has decided to pursue a degree in business, and he finds it challenging to balance the demands of sports and academics. Although the schedule is
2 particularly difficult, he is able to rely upon advisors and tutors to catch him up on missed time. Living arrangements As a result of a team rule, Mr. West lived in a dormitory on campus as a freshman, though he has since moved into an apartment off campus. He remembers his time in the do rms favorably, particularly since he was able to live along with three of his teammates. "It was kind of loud at times I love the experience of it. There are some memories there that I will never forget." He remembers one occasion where a food fight brok e out among him and his co residents at the dorm, the effects of which they spent a good portion of the night cleaning up. "The next day we were pretty tired before practice." Mr. West is currently living off campus with a teammate that he had played high school soccer with. The coach stays very involved in the academic progress of his athletes, so that they are able to participate on the team. Typical day A typical day for Mr. West includes waking up at 6:15 am in order to be on the track by 7:00 am. Af ter some exercising, the team practices for about two hours until classes begin around 10:00 or 11:00. The team meets again from 4:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon to lift weights. "From there, hopefully we go home and get some rest and start studying." Usuall y, the games are on the weekends; if they are out of town, the team is usually required to leave a day in advance. Athletic performance He came onto the team as a freshman hoping to get a starting position. "I worked very hard and I earned a starting sp ot as a freshman on the men's soccer team." His first year, Mr. West led the team in both goals and points, and made both first teams All Conference and All American. "As a captain you need good leadership, and I think that's one of the things [the] coach spotted in me. A lot of the guys tend to look up to me and listen to me, so I think that's why he picked me as one of the captains this year it means a lot." Future plans "Right now I'm just planning on getting an education. That's my main goal. If soccer takes me to the professional level, then I'm sure I'll try to play. But if not there are some memories I'll never forget here. Right now I'm just concentrating on my education." Experience at USF Mr. West speaks highly of his experiences thus fa r at the university, and believes strongly in the quality of education and accessibility of his professors. "I think that's one of the reasons I like USF so much the professors like to interact with their students and help them the best way they can."
3 If soccer doesn't work out, he would like to stay around the sport, possibly as a coach somewhere. "I love teaching kids, and I would love to do that." One of the main things he has learned from his coach is discipline. "It's always needed on the field a nd it's always needed in the classroom." Team spirit The team members try to spend time together both on and off the field, developing a more familial type of spirit in addition to their participation in athletics. Because soccer and academics command the majority of his time, Mr. West is not really involved in too many other campus activities. Because soccer is not as big a sport in the U.S. as it is in other countries around the world, attendance at their games is, "not always what we expect." Team r ecord His freshman season, the team was 11 7 and they made it to the conference tournament. This year they were working with younger players, and finished with an overall record of 9 10. "Some of the goals that we set in the beginning of the year weren't m et, and that's why we're putting in the hard work here this spring." End of Interview
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h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Danielle Riley.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (21 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted January 16, 2004.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Hunter West, former captain of the University of South Florida Men's Soccer Team, discusses the nature of playing for the University's soccer program.
University of South Florida.
University of South Florida
Riley, Danielle E.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND EXPANDED SUMMARY