Football team captain Mike Sherman is the first to admit the transition from high school to college wasn’t easy before finding his home at The University of Olivet. After experiencing community college and a Division I university, Mike knew he was looking for something up the middle, allowing him individualized attention as a student-athlete on the field and in the classroom. Mike wanted the opportunity to make connections and build relationships, and more than anything, to have a family. That’s exactly what he’s found as a Comet.
Mike grew up playing football and was sure he wanted to continue to do so throughout college. His high school teammates from Ypsilanti had shown him that working as a team truly allows each person to find their biggest strength, while knowing that there will always be someone there to support your weakness as well. The team naturally worked so well together that Mike nearly took it for granted, thinking the next team he joined would click into place easily too.
“Playing football is one of my true passions in life,” Mike said. “I love the game and the relationships with my teammates. Working together and achieving goals are a lot of fun, but also are important skills to build in life and for the future. I’m not sure what my career holds, but when I get there, I know I’ll be prepared for anything thanks to football.”
The first few years of college, Mike couldn’t find exactly what he wanted. Feeling lost, Mike turned to someone he knew he could trust and reconnected with a few of his high school teammates who attend The University of Olivet. They shared that the Comets were a determined, young team on the verge of becoming league contenders. After checking out the program and speaking with OC coaches, Mike immediately recognized the tremendous potential of the team – as well as the opportunity to join a special brotherhood of young men.
The rest is history – quite literally. In the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Mike was part of The University of Olivet’s football teams that earned back-to-back MIAA championships for the first time in over 100 years. Each of the two seasons, the Comets won nine games, the most in school history. Also last season, the team earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Playoffs for only the second time in school history.
“My team and especially my coaches are amazing,” Mike exclaimed. “The whole coaching staff really has a personal touch. They push us to be vulnerable enough to discover our insecurities and overcome them, recognize our flaws and turn them into strengths; they are the catalyst that has pushed this football team to be a winning family.”
Especially crediting Head Coach Dan “Moose” Musielewicz for his charismatic leadership and devotion to the team, Mike says Coach Moose’s positive energy is contagious, and Coach Moose says the same about Mike. “Mike has surely had a different path to Olivet,” Coach Moose said. “Because of this, he truly exemplifies what it means to be an Olivet student-athlete and football player. Mike has become one of the most vocal leaders on campus and the team with a fun, intelligent and gravitating personality – all the while maintaining a professional and committed drive to excellence.”
Further, Mike says Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Warren Maloney is the best listener and advice-giver, whether that be an issue in life or about football. Even in the classroom, Mike’s academic adviser Cynthia Noyes, chair of the social science department and sociology and anthropology professor, supports him every day of his college journey.
“Through being a student-athlete, I’ve learned so much,” Mike said. “Being on the football team has taught me to be punctual – extremely punctual really – and allowed me to practice so many other life skills like leadership, teamwork, time management and balance. In my academics, I’ve learned how important it is to create positive change in our world, starting today on campus.”
In addition to playing safety, Mike serves on OC’s Black Student Union and the Disability Rights Council. Both groups strive to recognize diversity of all types on campus and create a mutual understanding of all kinds of students. He also works in the Bookstore and enjoys speaking to the many guests that stop by to browse spirit apparel.
For the remainder of his time on campus, Mike is looking forward to internship opportunities that will allow him to explore career paths. His college journey may have started down a bumpy road, but he’s now enjoying the ride of a lifetime as a Comet. He plans to relish his remaining time on campus and with his OC family.
“College is truly what you make of it – so be sure to make it the best experience you possibly can,” Mike stressed. “Everyone has a unique story, one of the best things you can do is keep an open mind and learn something from every person you encounter. That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s made me truly appreciate my college education even more.”
Get the inside scoop about becoming a Comet today by visiting campus or applying. Contact Recruiting Coordinator Tom Wyman at email@example.com or 269.749.7779 to learn more about OC’s football family.