NASSAU, Bahamas – Since arriving at Atlantis on Sunday afternoon, players from the Western Michigan Broncos have been none too shy about their desire to swim with the dolphins. On Wednesday, one day ahead of their showdown with the Middle Tenneessee Blue Raiders, the Mac-affiliated school was able to cross one more item off their list of ‘nevers’ as they took to the water and got an up close and personal introduction to the water-dwelling mammals.
“It was a great team activity, great team bonding, and a lot of trust went out here,” head coach P.J. Fleck said while describing what it’s like for a group of people to come together and share a new experience together.
On a near-perfect afternoon, with the weather in the mid-80s and scattered clouds, roughly 100 Bronco players joined Fleck in making a memory that many believe best illustrates their week thus far in the Bahamas.
“It just gives purpose to why we’re here,” Fleck said. “To top it off with the dolphins, that’s pretty unbelievable. It’s a pretty unique experience I don’t think these players will ever have again. These guys shared that one last night here at Atlantis.”
A few players echoed their coach’s sentiment, noticing the trust shared between the dolphins and the trainers and were quick to draw comparisons between that bond and the one they share with their teammates.
“For us to all be in one group with one another and do the same activities, there’s a connection between the two,” defensive back Asantay Brown said.
Said running back Fabian Johnson: “We’re going into the game tomorrow with that same trust. He has my back, and he knows I’ll have his back.”
The event marked the final team activity for the Broncos ahead of tomorrow’s big game. And for a team that was the worst in college football as recently as one year and 16 weeks ago, swimming with dolphins not only served as a reminder for how far this program has come, but it also allowed the team to check off one more item from its historical list of ‘nevers.’
“This is definitely a ‘never’ we can check off the list. I never thought I’d have an opportunity like this,” WMU Quarterback Zach Terrell said. “To swim with dolphins is just icing on the cake.”
Well – not quite icing on the cake. There’s still one thing left for the team to do before heading home.
“Now we just have to go out there [tomorrow] and do what we do,” Fleck said.