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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Student Overcomes Obstacles


Photo credit: IPFW Athletic Media Services

Written by: Communicator StaffSeptember 25, 2014

Story By: Mahir Almandil

When IPFW reached out for Elon Fyfield he had to leave behind not only his loved ones, but also the bad influences that waited for him outside his high school volleyball court.

The decision to leave home was not an easy one to make.

However, with a limited amount of opportunities that would have lead Fyfield to a successful career, his family was in favor of the one that was offered by IPFW.

Leaving Cambridge, MA. for a Mastodon volleyball jersey was a tough decision for Fyfield.

“Yes, I do feel home sick, and sometimes I miss my friends,” Fyfield said.  “But for a man raised in a society that I was raised in, sports was the one thing that kept me off the streets, volleyball was the only gateway to a creditable university like IPFW.”

The Mastodons Volleyball team recruited Fyfield immediately after high school, giving him the opportunity to finish his undergraduate degree in general studies. After graduating with a grade point average above 3.0, Fyfield was then offered a partial academic scholarship to pursue his master’s degree in education leadership. This allowed him to keep his feet on the Mastodons’ volleyball court.

“This being my sixth final year, I have now realized that sports is not my only option to become successful in life,” Fyfield said. “IPFW has, and always will, play a major role in my recent and future success.”

During his time playing, Fyfield had to face some difficulties throughout his volleyball career. After having a successful freshmen year, he was riddled with injuries throughout the rest of his collegiate career. During his sophomore year, he missed over half the season.  During his fourth and fifth season, he was only able to play in five games.

When his injuries prevented him from being active on the court, Fyfield took that time to become more involved on campus by volunteering in school organizations such as Student Body Election Board, where he was nominated to be the president of the organization. He also mentored at the Smith Academy for Excellence, where he used his life experience to empower young African American students at risk of drugs use and reckless behavior.

Elon was not alone throughout his journey. At home, it was his family who stood by him. At the court, it was his teammates and fans who supported him, and throughout his educational career, it was his mentors who guided him.

George Mccellan, vice chancellor of student affairs, and Fyfield’s counselor, was inspired by the energetic and enthusiastic style that Fyfield showed in the game.

“Before I met Elon, I was never into Volleyball,” Mccellan said. “After watching one of his games, I went up to him one day and thanked him for how much I enjoyed watching him play.”

Today, Fyfield is back on the court practicing with his teammates. For the first time IPFW will be playing in his hometown against Harvard University, where his family and friends will be able to watch him play for the first time. He described the upcoming season as the conclusion to all of his success at IPFW, where his goals will be accomplished when his loved ones not only get the opportunity to see him play at his best, but also get to see the man that he has become today.


Correction: Fyfield did not have a full ride scholarship as stated in our print issue.