So far this year, the appointment of Ryan Hews to Dean of Students has brought about many new changes, one of which was the creation of the new intramural sports program. So far, the program introduced by both Chris Coode and Dean Hews has been successful in providing both bonding experiences for students and the availability of an activity after school for those who aren’t already playing a sport.
However, there is a long story behind the creation of the new school-wide intramural program. “Originally, [basketball players] Gary, Miles, Marie, and Nakia didn’t play fall sports, the gyms were not available to them, and for whatever reason the goals were put up,” says senior Chris Coode about why he started the intramural program. “So I figured, if we start an intramural basketball program the goals will be down, we can better the basketball players during the fall, and at the same time we can offer an opportunity to other people who also didn’t play fall sports.” What started out as an attempt to be able to practice sports in the offseason quickly turned into something more, and as Coode will tell you, getting a sports program approved is a long process. “I first went to Coach [Ricky] Bowers and Coach [Hubie] Smith suggesting court time or gym time, so that we would be able to play. Then they directed me over to [Dean] Hews who would be in charge of the intramurals. He directed me back towards Coach Bowers and Coach Smith to organize the court time. Then they had me get everything I wanted organized and said that they would find time in the athletic schedule around volleyball, football, and girls’ soccer so that we would have space to play.” Besides a way for students not participating in a sport to play after school, some students see benefits to this new program besides the simple thrill of competition. “Intramurals are beneficial because they are a great bonding experience for students,” says senior Will Brewer. “Nothing brings people together like sports, and the great attitude of the participants adds more to this experience.” It is clear that many students already enjoy intramurals, whatever the reason may be, and although the program looks to expand in the future, it is important to point out that the intramural basketball season has been a successful venture so far.
Right now, the setup for basketball consists of four teams. They are the Lakers, captained by Nakia Lang, the Grizzlies, captained by Will Brewer, the Celtics, captained by Jonathan Krebs, and the Hornets, captained by Chandler Hotchkiss. At first, the program started slow, but quickly picked up and is close to crowning its first champions. Chris Coode recounted how far intramurals have come by saying, “On September 18th we had a mighty four people show up to play, but the following Thursday we had 30 people show up…On October 16th we have a round robin thing set up, and October 23rd we will have a tournament bracket and we’ll crown the first intramural basketball champions.” Although intramurals were first created for the students, there are actually two faculty members, Aaron Sundstrom of the Lakers and Laura Koerner of the Celtics, participating in basketball. Dean Hews says this trend of faculty playing intramurals is something he hopes to continue into the future, saying, “Faculty have been invited to participate, and my goal is eventually to have faculty teams that will compete against student teams because I think that would be really fun for the kids to play against the teachers.” His other plans are that instead of just selecting teams on paper, the seniors who have a live draft to select their teams for the season.
Chandler Hotchkiss summed up intramurals by simply saying, “They’re a fun way to meet new people…and it helps me get ready for basketball season too.” If you’re interested in intramurals but did not get to sign up for basketball, there are plenty of more opportunities to do so. Dean Hews has said that the program will have two sports per athletic season and the sports will include Wiffle ball, beach volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, dodgeball, and any other sports people may think of playing.
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