Trying new things can be frightening. The first time you take a bite outof a strange-looking food or take a step into the deep end of the pool, you will likely be uncertain, and maybe even afraid. A willingness to be open to things that are different, however, is why Spencer Lane (’15) ended up at Lewis & Clark in the first place. His open attitude and determination are what have allowed him to thrive and develop into a strong student, an LC football captain and a Resident Advisor.
Raised in Green River, WY, coming to LC marked a dramatic shift for Lane, who stumbled upon the university while looking at schools in Montana. Lane’s mother works for the prosecuting attorney in the state of Wyoming, and seeing the work she did from an early age inspired his interest in law.
“I chose between here and [University of Puget Sound]. I never visited once before coming. I saw the pictures and I knew about the Law School,” said Lane. “I didn’t really know what to expect coming here.”
Despite being Second Team All-Conference in high school, Lane said he applied to LC before he knew about the football team. After sending an email, the coaching staff got in touch with Lane. His decision to join the team has proved invaluable over the last four years.
As an offensive captain this year, Lane leads the offensive line, a group that more than any in football relies on trust and communication to perform effectively. Offensive linemen are the least statistically validated unit on the football field, yet many coaches rant about how the line is the most important piece of the offense. Without good blocking, quarterbacks have no time to pass and halfbacks have no space to run, which means the defense gets worn down from spending a disproportionate amount of time on the field. Lane’s job is to lead and inspire his teammates and build their confidence to set the tone for the entire team.
In his first year as an RA, Lane sees parallels between his work on the gridiron and his work in the halls of Copeland. The “family” atmosphere on the football field drew Lane to the sport. He looks to promote the same atmosphere with his residents on campus, and the lessons he has learned through football translate well to his new work.
“Perseverance,” Lane said, was taught to him through years of football. “You can be thrown so many curveballs as an RA, just like in football. You have to always be ready to react.”
Working and living with students of all types is exactly what Lane hoped for when he chose to come to LC, and he loves the opportunities he has earned in his final year.
When comparing the culture of the team on campus from his first-year to his fourth-year, Lane feels there has “definitely been a positive shift,” even as the team has struggled at times on the field. Not only is the team closer, but Lane has also seen a shift in the team’s external relationships.
“It was harder my freshman and sophomore year to branch out; I didn’t like it,” says Lane, referring to the difficulty of bridging the commonly acknoleged athlete-non athlete social divide. “These last two years the team has really changed.”
He sees the culture of the team and the school shifting towards becoming more unified than when he began his time here.
As an upper-level student, Lane has seen many younger students of all types travel across the country and try something completely new at LC. When he completes his degree Economics degree in Spring 2015, Lane hopes to attend law school at Seattle University or the University of Washington and pursue a career in criminal or international law. As his final school year begins, Lane wants to pass on what he has learned on campus to younger students; he knows, “It’s not easy.” Staying open-minded and staying motivated has enabled him to persevere through tough classes, tough seasons, and tough choices—and it has prepared him for a future helping others do the same.