JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two of the Jacksonville University football team's core beliefs can be summed into two strings of four-letter acronyms.
"EMAD" and "WADL".
"EMAD", short for "Every Man A Dolphin," can be seen all over the locker room, on shirts, and player notebooks. The origination of the phrase has its roots planted in Tacoma, Wash.
"It's a football family. The first time I heard the term was from College Football Hall of Fame Pacific-Lutheran Head Coach Frosty Westering, one of the best football coaches of all-time, when I was playing at Oregon City High School," said Head Coach Ian Shields. "He said, 'EMAL,' and his philosophy in a lot of ways resonated with me."
"It's become more than a saying but an identity. It's who we are looking for in a recruit. We want guys that love to play, hate to lose, and compete," said Shields. "We want guys that love their education and are academically oriented. We want EMADs out on the recruiting trail."
"It reminds me that we are all in it together. It's a long season to where we want to go, and it reminds us that we are not alone. We have a brotherhood to lean on going forward," said redshirt-senior outside linebacker Justin Horton.
WADL, or Win All Day Long, takes a different form to the Dolphins.
"WADL is a mindset that starts the minute you wake up to the moment you put your head on the pillow at night. It's a conscious choice to do the right thing and compete," said Shields. "There's a scoreboard not just in the endzone but in life. There's one academically when you take a test. It's a mindset to compete to be the best of your God-given ability."
"Win All Day Long stood out to me immediately. I strive to do my best all day and I could get behind that and scream it a few times a day," said Horton.
The Dolphins have established a leadership council to aid in WADLing. Fifteen players, voted on by their classmates, are striving to be as Shields describes, "tough-minded optimists, who regardless of circumstances, will find a way with grit."
"You can control your own actions in how hard you play, your effort, attitude, and your actions," said Shields. "You don't have control over a lot of other things, but you can go to sleep at night if you gave 100% of your ability, and that is where true winning lies."