Sports Union November 2016 - Page 36

36 SportsUnion | NOVEMBER 2016 Pictured: Left to right: Chrissy Renard, Andrew Buczek, Tianna Hatch, Nick Jones (Not pictured: David Bierman, Felipe Yanez) From the time they step on campus as freshmen, Buffalo State’s 400-plus student-athletes are welcomed by director of athletics Jerry Boyes and informed that they no longer represent only themselves as individuals. “In addition to representing yourselves and the name on the back of your jersey, you now are now accepting the added responsibility of representing your team, your head coach and the SUNY Buffalo State community in a positive manner.” For six Bengal student-athletes, you can add “country” to that list. 
In advance of Veteran’s Day on Wednesday, Buffalo State would like to salute six current student-athletes (David Bierman-Cross Country, Andrew Buczek-Football, Nick Jones-Football, Tianna Hatch-Soccer, Chrissy Rennard-Softball, Felipe Yanez-Cross Country/Track) that have embraced the responsibility and admirably represent themselves, Buffalo State, and their country, as students, community members, athletes and as former or active members of the United States Armed Forces.
 David Bierman (Buffalo/ South Park) – Cross Country
On Feb. 27, 2014, four months before graduating from Buffalo’s South Park High School, Buffalo State cross country runner David Bi- erman enlisted in the United States Army National Guard. 
 After an extensive year focused on military training, Bierman enrolled at Buffalo State in the Fall 2015 semester while maintaining his service as a Private First Class Intelligence Analyst in the 42nd Infantry out of Buffalo’s Masten Avenue Armory. 
 Having never run cross country in high school, Bierman was seeking an activity that could double as a tool to maintain his fitness level to bolster his already high score on his Army Physical Fitness Test. 
 “Having a high score creates additional opportunities within the military for various advanced training, and that is something that appeals to me,” Bierman said.
 So, Bierman introduced himself to first-year head cross country coach Ray Shadowens and joined the Bengals’ squad. His introduction to the sport was not exactly what he had expected.
 “It was emotional. I never realized cross country was such an aggressive sport. In my first meet at Roberts Wesleyan, at the start I was prepared for a fitness run. I quickly learned how competitive college sports are when the gun sounded and I felt sharp elbows in my side and less than a minute into the race I needed to hurdle a fallen runner only to Six Buffalo State Student-Athletes EmBrace Scholarship, Sport and Country By Matt Ondesko Managing Editor