Sports bring students together

MANUEL VASQUEZ AND STEVEN VARNER ‘DOAH CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Attending a school with such a wide variety of majors, students at Shenandoah University may often find it difficult to make friends out- side of their field of study. One of the great ways students are overcoming this problem is by taking part in intramural sports. With sports such as volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, softball and flag football, students can stay active while having fun on and around campus.

Danielle Burris, who plays for the S.U. Women’s Soccer team, has been involved with intramurals since her freshman year. Currently, she is one of the staff managers overseeing intramural sports. Along with fellow staff manger Miles Conquest and as- sistant director Laurie Connelly, she is one of the many students involved in making intramural sports a suc- cess. While faculty member Kyle Farrell is in charge of reserving fields and parks, as well as other aspects of business and planning, most of the on-field activities are in the hands of the students.

According to Burris, even deciding which sports will be offered is up to the students. The more students interested in a sport, the longer its season will be, as there will be more teams available to play one another. The most popular sports in recent years have been basketball, indoor soccer and flag football, so they currently have the longest seasons. The influence of the student body can even effect when the students in charge choose to offer certain sports. Many fall athletes wanted to play softball that it was moved to the spring, making it possible for these students to take part in playing another sport they love.

Intramural sports are very popu- lar with Shenandoah’s student athletes who like to play sports in their off seasons. Some play to stay in shape, while others were multisport athletes in high school and wish to continue playing the sports they love. Even so, not everyone who plays intramurals is an athlete. Jacob Neal, who played on an intramural flag football team last year, states that he ended up making new friends that attend S.U. through his intramural activities.

Intramurals don’t only bring together students of different majors. Burris points out that intramurals are open to everyone at Shenandoah University, including undergraduate, graduate students and faculty members. It is this cross-pollination of people from different majors and backgrounds that Danielle Burris believes is the true purpose of intramurals.

For any athletes worrying intramurals won’t challenge them enough, Jacob Neal can quickly dismiss your concerns. “Sometimes it gets pretty serious,” Neal points out. “We can get pretty competitive.” Neal also stresses it’s a great opportunity for students interested in athletics who don’t want to make the commitment to playing for a D3 school. Even if someone is hesitant to join an intramural team, there is the option of being a free agent. This means you can be picked up by teams or managers, but don’t have to worry as much with the commitment of forming a team. Registration is also made easy. All of the information on the sports being offered and the lengths of their seasons can be found on S.U.’s page at IMLeagues.com.

The students in charge of intramurals are aware that, at the beginning of the year, many freshmen may be too overwhelmed to be aware of the athletic opportunities offered by the campus. The intramural sports team has been addressing this issue by going to different student clubs and getting the word out to students who may not be aware of all the sports they can play. They also include details of upcoming events in the SUN-E. Their best method of advertising, however, is word of mouth. Students often spread the word about the fun they have had playing intramurals and get their friends interested as well. Earlier this semester, intramural volleyball was held outside of Ed- wards, and indoor soccer is currently underway. Future intramurals include co-ed softball, ultimate Frisbee, and men’s and women’s basketball. During the month of November, flag football is held for interested students. For more details and to register for upcoming intramural sports, see Shenandoah Intramurals’ page at IMLeauges.com.

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