My name is Jake Kealy and I am a senior on the Tribe Men’s Swimming Team. Being a member of the Tribe cannot be described in such few words; it defines who I am as an individual. Tribe swimmers are the epitome of passion, toughness and desire. Tribe swimming has changed my life and has shaped me to be the person I am today. I am so grateful for the unconditional love and support I’ve received from my friends, family, coaches and alum.
Family is a crucial part of what the Tribe means to me, literally and metaphorically. I followed my brother to William & Mary because I saw how much this team positively influenced him. I took my recruiting trip to William & Mary out of courtesy, simply to make my brother happy. I had no intention of actually coming to the school, but here I am today fully invested in the current and future Tribe swimming team. Looking back now, the 48 hours I spent on campus changed my life. I realized that Tribe Swimming was unlike any other program I had seen. It was evident they were not swimming because of money, or state-of-the-art facilities; rather they were swimming because of the unparalleled familial atmosphere of the team. It instantly felt like home and I knew I had to be a part of it.
Fortunately, the success of my swimming ability in high school gave me a spot on the roster at William & Mary, as well as the ongoing support of Coach Matt Crispino and Nate Kellogg. Tribe swimming gave me the opportunity to compete at an academically rigorous and athletically competitive institution, an opportunity that I did not think was ever possible. At the end of the day, the swim team at William & Mary should never be defined by a monetary value. It is a family; a tight-knit community that I will remember forever. It breaks my heart to know this opportunity has been stripped away from so many current and future student-athletes.