BY PHIL NOVOTNY
The quest for the shirt commences once more. Each semester, students gear up for the chance to obtain a coveted championship t-shirt by participating in on-campus intramural sports. This semester, the spring intramural season consists of three sports: dodgeball, indoor volleyball and basketball.
Each league consists of men’s teams and co-ed teams. For dodgeball however, there is a women’s league that consists of two teams. When students were asked about expectations for the upcoming season, volleyball aficionado Sierra Sharp forecasted a successful run for her veteran squad.
“This year, I want the championship title, or at least make it to the championship game,” second-semester junior Sharp said. She is the captain for the CoRec volleyball team, You Can’t Set With Us, and has played intramurals since her freshman year with friends she has lived with in McKay Hall. “Our team has stuck together for the past two years and we have really worked hard to make it as far as possible in the league.”
On an opposing team, Ball Busters, senior John Hamre, who is also playing basketball during the spring season on top of indoor CoRec volleyball. He played for No Game This Week, who were the winners of the fall season flag football championship with an undefeated record of 4-0. They capped their banner season with a 54-0 blowout of ZBT and ultimately achieved a league-best 168 points on the season.
Even with a championship t-shirt under his belt, he took a jokingly serious approach to the upcoming season. “My expectations for my teams essentially can be tied to one Ricky Bobby quote, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last,’” Hamre said. When asked about his favorite part of playing intramurals he noted: “Having fruit roll-ups and juice boxes at the end of games.”
The eagerness (or lack thereof) to earn the storied championship t-shirt goes far beyond Sharp’s squad. In fact, the intensity of intramurals is most showcased in showdowns between greek organizations. “Some of the best games in intramurals are between the fraternities on campus,” senior supervisor of Campus Recreation Jake Paust said. “TKE, ZBT, Sigma Chi, Sig Ep participate in almost every sport.”
Junior TKE brother Jorge Echavarria is playing in all three sports for the spring season and highlights the fraternity’s high expectations. “The expectation is always the playoffs, no matter the sport,” Echavarria said. “Anything short is a disappointing season.”
Also, Echavarria discusses the intensity of the games during the season. “We have some very fiery guys and every game is a big game,” Echavarria said. He also explains the lack of games scheduled between other fraternities but also mentions the excitement when they do occur. “Due to not having our own greek league, games versus other fraternities can be hard to come by, but when they do, there’s no better feeling,” Echavarria said. “Games become more intense and guys begin playing from their heart and for their pride.”
However, Echavarria emphasizes the strengthened brotherhood that occurs when playing intramurals. “The best part of playing intramurals with 50 plus brothers is the real feeling of team chemistry,” Echavarria said. “We see each other everyday and the chemistry shows on any court or field.
In addition to establishing friendships and winning a title, playing intramurals also is a distraction from life outside of the classroom. “My favorite part of playing intramurals is the fact that it gives me an excuse to get out and compete,” senior Kristen McKenna said. “I loved playing sports in high school and really missed the competition and the camaraderie that went along with being part of a team.”
Even though there will only be one victor in the end, playing intramurals is all about the stories that you can tell later on about how wacky that one spring was in college. In other words, this season is another outlet where students can escape everyday craziness for a little while.