by Hannah Waldera
Intramural sports create an exciting and fulfilling experience at Graceland. One of the sports that makes people the most excited is intramural soccer. This past week, Intramurals finished the season with the soccer championship, as well as the first intramural soccer All-Star game. The much-anticipated games were full of new experiences and lasting memories.
This year, Intramurals decided to include a variety of different additions to promote attendance and hype during the championship game. One difference to avoid controversy, regarding calls made by students, was having faculty as referees. Ishbel Wilson, the Director of Intramurals, purposely made faculty referees a main component of the championship game because it “added to the atmosphere of the game.” The use of faculty allowed participants to feel the importance of the game and increased overall excitement because the game seemed more official.
Along with the faculty referees, the championship game had other aspects that made it feel high-stakes. The game had announcers announcing the starting lineup with the referees as they walked onto the field, which increased the anticipation for the players.
While there were many new opportunities for the players, there were other changes to receive more attendance. The theme of the championship game was “color competition.” If an attendee went to the game, they showed up in a specific color to show support for the sibling pairing of their choosing. Also at the championship game, names were put into a jar and drawn for viewers to participate in a halftime competition. This year’s halftime competition was “Lightning”, which is a soccer game that involved players lining up and taking shots from the penalty spot. These new additions helped make the game more enjoyable for not only the players but the viewers as well.
This year, Powell/Paloma and
Cheville/Aponovi were the two sibling
houses that made it to the championship game and had the opportunity to experience these new additions. Both sibling houses experienced lots of success throughout the entire intramural soccer season. To no surprise, the championship game included many players with great talent on both teams creating an intense and exciting game to watch. Cheville/Aponovi had a strong defense that competed with Powell/Paloma’s strong attacking players. However, only one team could come out on top. Powell/Paloma beat Cheville/Aponvi 1-0 to take home the trophy. While Powell/Paloma earned the champion title, they had another challenge to face: the All-Stars.
A new addition to the intramural soccer season this year was the All-Star game. Each house voted for one representative to play on the All-Star team and compete against Powell/Paloma. During the game, both teams had plenty of talent, creating a competitive and exciting atmosphere. Powell/Paloma were motivated to keep their winning reputation and the All-Stars were motivated to take down the champions. Throughout the entirety of the game, both teams looked very strong but, ultimately, the All-Stars came out on top, winning 2-1.
Like the championship game, Intramurals included means to make the All-Star game more entertaining to increase attendance, including announcers, coaches, and halftime entertainment. This year, the halftime entertainment was to pie GSG officers. People who came to the game put their names in the jar of the GSG officer they wanted to pie, then names were drawn. The crowd watched as each GSG officer had whipped cream flung on their faces, which some may say was the highlight of the game. The inaugural All-Star game was a success, with high attendance and possibly new traditions created.
While participating in the intramural sport and the actual games themselves are important, there are other things this season accomplished. This year specifically, Intramurals focused on increasing participation, attendance, and overall awareness of Intramurals, which will be beneficial as the year goes on. More people will want to participate in intramural events, whether it’s playing in a sport or watching their friends and peers. This leaves lasting memories for students as they graduate and look back at their experiences on campus. By creating an environment that is inclusive and enjoyable for students, Intramurals has a meaningful impact on students.