Paulina Poels, Reporter

Senior Kael Godshalk will be continuing his academic and athletic careers at the Coast Guard Academy this fall with plans to study Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and play baseball.

Both a football and baseball standout, Godshalk has proven himself a class act during his athletic career. Still, the 2021 football season was by far the most successful in recent history, in large part thanks to incredible camaraderie the team shared.

“The best part of this past football season was the team atmosphere we had; it was one of the closest teams I’ve ever played with. I think that showed out on the field, each guy played for one another, and it definitely played a big role in getting our 7 wins,” Godshalk, who was a captain for the Slaters, said.

Godshalk’s favorite Slater memory came from the annual Bangor Pen Argyl rivalry game.

“My favorite Slater memory has to be beating Pen Argyl this past football season,” Godshalk said. “It was just an awesome feeling to finally get it done after not being able to do so the last two seasons and doing it at home just made it even better.”

This ability to persevere has led to much of Godshalk’s success, and it’s a quality that he has learned over the years from Coach Vincent Andrews.

“So many people have impacted me throughout my time in high school, but I think Coach Andrews has done so the most. Through spending time with him during football and just talking to him he has taught me so much,” Godshalk said. “He was someone I could talk to if I had a problem but would also hold me accountable if I made a mistake or help me see a situation from a new perspective.”

In addition to character, Godshalk’s work ethic and drive are incredibly high, especially for a person his age.

“[My drive] definitely came from my parents. Ever since I was young, they taught me not to settle for average, even if that was easier. They always worked so hard, and I knew that if I wanted to get where I needed and do it the right way, hard work was necessary,” Godshalk said.

Godshalk will take these life lessons with him to the Coast Guard Academy as he pursues a very difficult major that will require many hours of studying.

“I plan to major in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the academy. I have always wanted to pursue engineering and I felt as though this specific field of understanding the mechanics of boats and vessels, would help me make, what I hope, is a long and successful career in the Coast Guard,” Godshalk said.

The academy experience is notoriously strenuous and difficult for most, but Godshalk will face the challenge with strength and enthusiasm.

“Each day at the academy will be pretty busy. I’ll actually leave June 27 for what is called ‘Swab Summer’ to get acclimated to academy life, focusing on the physical fitness and military aspects without having to worry about academics,” Godshalk said.

After a grueling summer of hard work and intense physical and mental training, Godshalk will begin his studies and enter academia with the rest of the Class of 2026.

“When the fall semester starts, each day will be a mix of physical training, academics, leadership work, and then baseball also when that starts,” Godshalk said.

This intense lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but Godshalk welcomes it and looks forward to a lifetime of service with eagerness.

“Upon graduation I’ll have a month off before I report to my assigned Coast Guard station that I would have received a couple of months prior. This will be the start of my required 8 years of service.”

Although the academy is not the most traditional post-secondary experience, Godshalk still looks forwards to the fun parts of college.

“I’m definitely most excited to meet all of the different people from various backgrounds who share the same ambitions as me, as well as all of the opportunities to travel and spend time at actual Coast Guard stations,” Godshalk said.

Godshalk has most definitely found his perfect fit at the Coast Guard Academy, with his values aligning exactly with the school’s.

“[The academy’s] emphasis on character development and leadership was most important to me. I knew that throughout my time there, the instructors would do anything to help you succeed in the future as an officer in Coast Guard, the most important aspect being leadership. They aren’t simply pushing a degree on you; they are trying to produce the best leaders to go on a serve the country,” Godshalk said.

Before Godshalk casts away as the newest cadet this fall, he must finish his time at Bangor with one final baseball season.

“For the upcoming season I hope to help lead the team into the Colonial League tournament as well as the district championship game. Personally, my goal is always to be a leader for my team and hopefully be one of the best players and leaders in the area,” Godshalk said.