Trinity student-athletes in R.O.T.C. ready for service careers
By James Hill '76
July 2010 — Trinity University affords its student-athletes a variety of opportunities. Not only can Tiger student-athletes compete in cross country races and play in football games, they also can practice helicopter air assault techniques and learn to fly combat aircraft.
Student-athletes such as Lukas Sheridan and Adam Cribb are cross-enrolled in Reserve Officers Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) programs.
Sheridan, a junior defensive back on the Tiger football team, is Trinity’s lone Army R.O.T.C. representative at St. Mary’s University. Cribb, a senior on the Tiger cross country and track and field teams, is one of five Trinity students in the Air Force R.O.T.C. unit at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Both men attend weekly classes, physical training, and military science labs at their host institutions. Each is the recipient of an R.O.T.C. scholarship.
The two men share a strong sense of duty to country, a dedication to Trinity athletics, and a calling to be leaders. They will get that chance after being commissioned as second lieutenants in their respective service.
Sheridan, who attended Cole High School at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, has completed one semester of R.O.T.C training. He joined the Trinity football team in 2009, after transferring from the University of North Texas. Sheridan comes from a military background, as his father recently retired as an Army colonel, after 22 years of service.
“I feel a need to serve my country, says Sheridan, a finance major. “Call it patriotism if you wish, but what better way to do it than being an officer in the greatest military in the world? I will learn how to lead people, which is a very crucial part of what I will be doing once I am commissioned.”
His air assault training took place at Fort Knox, Ky., where he learned to repel from a helicopter and “sling-load” supplies in order to get them to troops in the field.
Sheridan says he will evaluate his career plans, as to whether he will remain in the Army, or go into business.
Cribb, chemistry major, is in his final year of R.O.T.C. training. He graduated from Randolph High School, at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. He currently resides with his family at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Cribb’s father, a colonel, is associate dean of engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
After receiving his gold lieutenant’s bars following graduation from Trinity, Cribb will enter flight training. His first preference is the A-10 Thunderbolt, commonly known as the “Warthog” and as a menacing aircraft known for deadly attacks on armored vehicles.
But Cribb, who has always wanted to be an Air Force officer, says he ultimately would like to become an astronaut.
“R.O.T.C. provides a number of benefits,” says Cribb. “You learn how to work as a team, and how to be an effective leader and follower. More importantly, a lot of time is spent applying these skills. ’’
Each officer candidate says Trinity athletics has played a major role in their lives.
When Sheridan endures demanding football practices, tackles a running back in a crucial game, and goes to Sunday weight-lifting sessions, he knows he will be better because of the effort.
“Trinity athletics definitely keeps me in great shape for R.O.T.C.,” Sheridan says. “It's tough at times juggling everything, but I know I am preparing for my future, and doing something I love at the same time.”
In the fall semester, Cribb runs a full schedule of cross country races, largely at a distance of 8 kilometers. The spring season means outdoor track and field, as Cribb competes in the 1,500 meter run, the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and 5,000-meter run.
He credits Trinity athletics for his much-needed physical endurance, and for learning to take charge of a crazy schedule.
“As a student-athlete, I easily passed the fitness requirements for the Air Force,” Cribb says. “Just like with R.O.T.C, being a student-athlete means you have to learn how to manage your
time, balancing homework and studying around practice, travel, and competitions.”
© 2010 Trinity University