The sun sets behind Geasey Field as the first games of flag football commence. Playing on field A is team 501 Corp. against That Justice System Burns. The fields are a flurry of energy with two games going on, a field hockey practice and random footballs flying in every direction as players warm up. A whistle sounds the start of the season.
Among the players is the captain of the 501 Corp. flag football and volleyball teams, Jeff Briggs, a first-year graduate student and sports and recreation management major.
“Intramurals are fun because I enjoy playing sports and I am competitive,” Briggs said. “It’s also a nice release from the pressures of class and work. I expect our team to win every game we play and win the championship.”
Yet the fact that these sports are intramurals doesn’t take away from the desire to win.
“It is competitive,” said Dean Schmidt, captain of the Kappa Sigma men’s outdoor soccer, volleyball and flag football teams. “We definitely want to win.”
Flag football is not the only intramural sport taking place this fall, but also soccer and volleyball. The next night on the fields, captain Diane Rennie of the women’s outdoor soccer and volleyball teams, the Flying Bananas, tries to compile her team members’ Owl Cards to prove student authentication and figure out the scoop for their upcoming soccer game.
Apparently the team they are supposed to play was short a few players and forced to forfeit. Organizing everyone is only one part of a captain’s duties.
“The biggest issue is finding enough people to play,” the junior kinesiology major said. “I have a huge roster of people now but you have to get the roster together, make sure everyone has signed it, numbers are right and let everyone know when game times are.”
Being a captain also requires setting an example for everyone else on the team.
“They are the leader on the team,” said senior biology and kinesiology double major Anthony Wiencek, captain of the volleyball team CO2. “When the games are going on they lead and inspire their team through example, motivation and intensity. Many of the games can become heated and it falls on the captain to remain cool and keep their players in check. However, the captain also has a duty to defend his or her players.”
Participating in intramural sports also presents a great opportunity to become acquainted with different people.
“The most enjoyable thing about intramural sports is meeting new people every year and seeing old friends from the previous years too,” said senior speech and language pathology major Paige Wawrzyniak, captain of the co-rec team The Hot Shots.
Students are likely to see familiar faces from teammates as well as opponents while on or around campus.
“It’s fun when you see people on the street and are like ‘Oh, I played them the other day [and] totally kicked their butts,’ but it you lose, you walk with head down and don’t want people to know you,” Rennie said.
And for some, playing just one intramural sport doesn’t cut it.
“I played basketball freshman year, and since spring of sophomore year I have played everything possible,” Schmidt said.
Although competition and winning add to the excitement of a sport, all players, no matter how talented or lacking in skill, are welcome.
“It doesn’t matter the level of skill, just as long as you are willing to show up and be a team player. People are sometimes timid to join a team but everyone is there to have fun and hopefully win some games,” Wawrzyniak said.
For the flag football and volleyball teams in the fall, the intramural season all leads up to the City 6. This tournament includes six schools in the Philadelphia area: Villanova, La Salle, Drexel, the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph’s and Temple. This tournament was founded in 1986 by representatives from Temple and Saint Joseph’s. Since 1986, more than 600 teams have represented their schools in more than 200 tournaments.
This fall, the winning teams in each division of flag football and volleyball from Temple proceed on to the City 6 to play the winners from the five other participating schools.
The expectations for championships at Temple are high. Wawrzyniak is hoping for a third City 6 championship. Wiencek also expects a great intramural season this fall.
“Intramurals are organized activities that offer the opportunity to be the best at your school and possibly the city if you make it to the City 6 competition,” Wiencek said.
“Since we have all been to the City 6 championship multiple times, we expect nothing less than to continue our reign at the top.”
Jenna Snader can be reached at email@example.com.