By Matt Rosado | email@example.com
In my years competing for the coveted gray shirts, I have learned that students give effort beyond reasonable expectations to become champions of their favorite sport.
Though high school athletic careers are finished for most students, many find themselves in need of an outlet. One of the only outlets for college students is also the most competitive: Flagler College Intramurals.
At Flagler, there are six sports that students try to flex their athletic abilities, including football, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball and golf.
Students like myself live and die with the wins and losses in intramurals. There are teams who design jerseys, make plays and even make chants for their teams. These sports are taken seriously – so seriously, in fact, that injuries happen and because of that, waivers are required to play any sport.
I have seen a man break his leg playing flag football, a woman severely sprain her ankle playing basketball and a fight break out over an improper shove. Students want to win, and if other students stand in their way, then drama ensues.
I once took my best friend to the hospital in the middle of a basketball intramural game. We were in an intense game with a team way above our talent and height level and were forced to play physical. I was elbowed in the face and I retaliated by trying to push a guy way bigger than me into the wall. It worked, surprisingly, but then something terrible happened. The team pressed up against us, and while my friend was trying to dribble up the court, he was tripped, flipped and landed on by the defender.
He landed on his head, and for the remainder of the evening, he had no idea what planet he was on. This caused a huge skirmish, but I decided that safety was the best option and went to the hospital. Lucky for my friend, he made it through with only a concussion lasting for three weeks.
I know people who even practice for intramurals. They do it because they want those shirts – those gray shirts. The prestige attached to these shirts can even drive some teams to cheat to win.
How do you cheat in intramurals? That’s simple: ask a non-student to play for your team. I have known many students who have asked athletically gifted non-students to play like it was nothing. This makes me happy, though, as a competitor.
You’re adding a non-student to play so you can try and defeat my team? That’s great news. I feel humbled.
Despite the dark side of intramurals, these things combine to create an amazing overall experience. Although we aren’t as athletically inclined as student athletes, we feel as though we are a part of something bigger. These extracurricular activities allow for a better college experience and friendships that last forever.
Before his injury, my best friend and I bonded over sports and our mutual passion for the Philadelphia Eagles. But it wasn’t until that night in the hospital, when he was recovering from a concussion, that we cemented our friendship.
Intramurals can be dangerous, but they can also be a bonding experience – and, of course, a chance to win a shirt.