Irish connection takes runner to next level

The challenge of leaving home to pursue a career in collegiate cross country has been difficult for Robert “Bobby” Crowley. Crowley, 18, was born in Carlow, Ireland. The freshman ran cross country at Knochbeg College before coming to the U.S. and enrolling at Michigan State University. For Crowley, he has witnessed significant culture change.

Yanni Ballis

Athletes can find life after sports, but also challenges

After graduating high school, student-athletes are left with a decision: keep trying to participate in an organized sport or give it up. That decision can lead to many different ramifications physically, but also mentally. For Giorgi Ballis, 19, and his brother Yanni Ballis, 20, the plan had been to come to Michigan State University and play rugby together — just like they had in middle school and high school. But when Giorgi got to campus this year, after two rugby practices, he was out. “People can say it was planned,” Giorgi said of playing with his brother.

Connor Fannon

Player works to find life after baseball

Connor Fannon, 22, stepped away from competitive baseball in May. Fannon has played since he was 6, and made it to Division I college baseball with Oakland University. But after graduation, his career ended. “It’s weird,” Fannon said. “I have so much more time now.