Senior in Education – English
Hometown: Harrisonville, Missouri
Nickname/Spirit Animal: Polar Bear
If you’ve watched K-State football in recent years, you’ll recognize this name. Travis Britz, one of the top defensive tackles in the Big 12 during his time on the K-State football team (2012-2015) and voted a team captain during his senior year, is undoubtedly a great player; but what’s more, he’s a great person as well. Read on to learn about this awesome guy!
For all of you who think K-State athletes are amazing, I can now tell you from personal experience that you are absolutely RIGHT! Travis Britz, an incredible athlete, is also a kind, quiet guy with a story many of us can relate to.
Those of us who come from a ‘middle-of-nowhere’ town understand the struggle of explaining where we come from. Travis is in the same sort of peculiar situation; in fact, his postal address is in Peculiar, MO, even though he attended high school in Harrisonville and he lives closest to Freeman, MO.
While it may be hard to describe our hometowns, it’s much easier to talk about our wonderful, unique families. Travis’s parents, Tom and Janice, are retired individuals who choose to actively participate in bee farming. They are members of the Midwestern Bee Keeping Association and teach classes monthly. Both of his siblings, (sister, Jamie and brother, Jared) are married with children. Jamie and her husband have five kids, two of which are adopted from Guatemala and Haiti. Jared and his wife met while he was stationed in Seoul, South Korea, and they have two children.
Family is important to Travis; in fact, it’s the reason he ended up at K-State: “To be honest, I initially didn’t plan on going to college,” he said. “With coaxing from my mother I decided to look into school.” After he looked into it, Travis’s K-State story began. But that’s enough of my words, here’s what he has to say about his K-State Story:
“My K-State story is weird to me because I didn’t fall into a traditional path, even within athletics. I started my career in 2012 and was promoted to a rotational role as a freshman defensive tackle. I was enrolled in Construction Science and Management and it wasn’t until my sophomore year that I became a starter on the football team and switched to Education. During this time, I began to understand how important K-State is to me and how everyone at K-State is awesome. It seemed everywhere I went I found a friendly face from class, around campus, or within the community.”
For anyone who enjoys attending football games, or any athletics event for that matter, we love seeing our athletes perform; however, most of us don’t realize just what it really takes to be a student-athlete.
“Dealing with school and sports while in college is one of the hardest things an 18-23-year-old has to endure. To give you a glimpse into the life of an athlete, imagine waking up at 6 a.m., working out for an hour, going to class from around 8:30-2:30, then heading back to the complex in time for a 2:50 meeting. Within that 20 min window you have to change and get ready for practice that is from 4 to 6:47. After practice, you have about an hour to shower, change, eat, and get ready for an 8 pm tutoring session that lasts until around 10 p.m. After that, you can go home and take care of miscellaneous tasks to get ready for the next day. Then you rinse and repeat the next day.”
Even though this sounds absolutely exhausting to me, Travis explained that it’s very worthwhile.
“Even though the schedule is demanding, athletes still find joy in being a part of K-State because of how supportive everyone is. Athletics has pushed me to my limit and then some. I cannot put into words all it has done for me, but the 16 Goals for Success are a great summary of my experience.”
It’s not just being a part of the team that has impacted Travis. The K-State Family has been vital during his time in MHK.
“In my senior year, I really understood the importance of K-State to me. I realized that the end was approaching and relished every opportunity at K-State. I would look at the fans in between series and felt so appreciative of them coming out to support a sport. Following my senior year, I began training for the NFL. Even though I was not a part of the football program or enrolled in classes, I found and felt the support from everyone who has been a part of my career at K-State. My teachers would email me to only catch up and show support, my coaches would advise me and invite me to workout with the team and use the facilities. Fast forward to getting cut by the Bucs, I again found the support from my family at K-State.
“I don’t think many people realize how comforting this is to an athlete who has been cut, but it showed how much K-State cared for me as a person. So, now here I am taking classes again and continuing my education. My teachers and coaches are still so supportive have provided me with additional insight on how to become a better person every day. The rest of my story is to be continued.”
Here are some flash fun facts about Travis:
Irrational Fears: snakes/spiders (which I think are perfectly rational, by the way)
Favorite Book: Catcher in the Rye
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride
Catch Phrase: “Life is what you make it”
Favorite Place on Campus: Bluemont Hall (not necessarily because of the location, but because of the people in the building)
Travis is an amazing athlete, that is an undisputable fact. But what most of us don’t realize about our K-State athletes is that they are people just like each and every one of us. We all come from different places, have unique family stories, and have to deal with classes, tutoring, and crazy schedules. The bottom line here is this: while being a collegiate athlete does make Wildcats like Travis incredibly talented, it doesn’t make them unapproachable:
“What makes me, me are the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to have during my young life. I have found that I am nothing without the people around me, and those people are awesome. I have learned from hard-working parents and family, a hall of fame coach, and hall of fame teachers. I cannot distinguish between them because they are all equally important in my development as a person. I am just a small-ish town kid who has the opportunity to live among extraordinary people.”