Intramurals bring students together

Dan Quarles, sophomore general business major (red) pulls the flags off of Charlie Natividad, junior secondary education major during an intramural football game Sept. 16. Numerous sports and activities are offered through campus recreation.

Dan Quarles, sophomore general business major (red) pulls the flags off of Charlie Natividad, junior secondary education major during an intramural football game Sept. 16. Numerous sports and activities are offered through campus recreation.

Nate Billings

While not every student is an athlete, every student may participate in an intramural sport.

Intramural sports are open to every student, faculty and staff.

“They’re here to have the full college experience,” said Austin Lohkamp, student outdoor adventure coordinator.

Lohkamp works with students to develop the new programs he initiates during the semester.

“We try to cater to a majority interest,” he said.

Eric Norris, student intramural coordinator, said he worked with students to create programs recognizing the trends on campus.

“You just have to listen,” he said.

The programs range from SCUBA diving introductions to flag football, but the events are all based on what the students want to do.

“I love to have students come up and say, ‘This is fun, but you can do this better,'” Lohkamp said. “We talk to students. If you could have anything, what would you have feasibly?”

So far, the outdoor adventure program has planned paintball skirmishes, search and rescue training and other sports. The program is all under the campus recreation department.

The first order of business for Lohkamp is to let students know the programs exist.

The same goes for Norris.

“We went leaps and bounds with the program, last year,” Norris said. “I’m kind of surprised we had so much growth this year. I was afraid it would plateau.”

The individual sports have different meanings to the students.

“We don’t play for the college and this gives you a chance to play,” said Danyel Farrell, junior business management major.

Her friends participate with her in volleyball.

“We play just to hang out together,” said Jerome Doan, junior pre-pharmacy major.

Farrell said she enjoys the ability to get to do something she might not have had the chance to do otherwise.

“It’s not just for people who are great, but it gives us a chance to bond,” she said.

Doan and Farrell said they learned about the programs through their friends who had participated previously and also saw the posters hanging in various places across campus.

“It’s something we look forward to,” Doan said.

Others have played for a few semesters in various activities.

“It’s fun,” said Eric Mathews, junior criminal justice major. “It gives you something to do at night.”

Mathews has participated in volleyball, flag football and billiards.

He said there is another aspect of the sports, which goes beyond the participation.

“We like to play a lot,” he said. “I would have never have met a lot of these people without intramurals.”

Mark Peron, senior political science major, agrees.

Peron lives off campus and said the sports give him a chance to meet new people.

“It helps people get involved in school,” he said. “It’s a good break in the week from studying.”

Fliers are hanging on bulletin boards across campus, but students may also go to the intramural office on the first floor of the Billingsly Student Center.

“My door’s always open,” Norris said. “My phone is always ready.”

For more information about the programs available and to join a team, anyone interested may stop by the office or call 625-5427.

Norris said he wanted to remind the faculty and staff members they may also participate.

“I like to persuade people to come out and join a team,” he said.