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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Intramurals warm up spring semester

As Grinnell finally welcomes the warm spring weather in April, the intramural sports are heating up as well. From traditional sports like soccer and basketball to less traditional ones like flag football and sand volleyball, students, faculty and staff have a variety of sports to join and enjoy the competition.

Underwater soccer was another sport offered, but was canceled due to lack of students signing up. The sport would have been played with a weighted ball in a pool in order to keep it from rising above the water.

“Our director Tim Hammond saw that [underwater soccer] was at other schools,” said Keneil Brown ’14, one of the student directors of the intramural soccer and flag  football program, along with Ross Voelker ’15. “And he thought it would be interesting to add to our collection of sports in order to bring more students into the intramural programs.”

Students can, however, still play soccer on land. Both competitive and non-competitive leagues for soccer are available for those interested. The non-competitive league allows a group of friends and encourages non-varsity athletes to sign up and play soccer without much competitive pressure.

“It’s like pickup,” Brown said. “We provide the facilities and everything.”

Brown himself has participated in intramural soccer in his four years at Grinnell. He believes having two different leagues allows all types of athletes in Grinnell to participate and come together as a community.

“It’s for everyone,” he said. “Varsity athletes are encouraged to sign up.”

The competitive league for soccer is comprised of six teams. Even though these teams are not varsity, Brown thinks an intramural team would give the varsity a run for their money.

“Varsity would lose definitely some of the games,” Brown said. “There are many soccer players who are not on the team who are very good.”

Peter Mosher ’14 is one example of a student who fully takes advantage of intramural sports. He played varsity soccer in his second year, but decided to leave the team due to the hefty time commitment. To continue his passion for the sport, he joined an intramural soccer team.

“I’ve just realized I like playing sports just for fun,” Mosher said. “I’m a competitive person, but at the same time I don’t really like playing a sport when it just takes over your life.”

He admits the difference in playing style and attitude between varsity and intramural soccer.

“[Varsity soccer] is a very different style of play than intramural,” Mosher said. “It’s much more physical and direct. I think a lot of players that play intramural are very skilled, but they might not have the athleticism to participate at a varsity level.”

Cody Olson ’14 is another student involved in both intramural and varsity sports.  Olson, along with Luke Yeager ’15, is the student director of intramural basketball and has been a member of the varsity basketball team since 2011.

Intramural basketball has no official practices. Olson views this as a factor that makes intramural basketball less serious than varsity basketball.

“Intramurals are a little more fun [and] a little more relaxed,” Olson said. “You talk a little more on the sidelines and joke around a little bit more.”

According to Olson, even though the level of play in varsity may be higher, many skilled people partake in intramural basketball teams.

In the past there has been a team comprised of athletic coaches. This includes assistant men’s basketball coach Dave Arseneault, Jr. ’09, associate head baseball coach Ben Cooprider and assistant baseball coach Casey O’Rourke.

“The faculty makes it to the championship every year,” Olson said. “They’re always competitive.”

Cooprider, who was part of a team that won two intramural basketball championships in the past, enjoyed interacting with students in a different setting.

“It was really fun to play against current students and get to know them in that arena and let them see another, perhaps more vulnerable, side of us as well,” Cooprider wrote in an email to the S&B.

This year, however, the faculty team will take a break and not participate, leaving the intramural basketball field wide open.

Alumni Jason Ormond ’13 and Sydney Devine-Rausch ’13 supervise sand volleyball. Their participation in intramural sports is an ideal demonstration of Grinnell coming along together as a community. The student directors of all intramural sports hope that this year will be the latest and greatest intramural season for the Grinnell.

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