Intramural sports keep students competing

first_imgTen freshmen from Flint and Day halls needed to find their group’s identity. Pressed on time to decide their intramural basketball team name, they chose “Taylor Gang.”They soon became close friends.“Taylor Gang,” a name inspired by rapper Wiz Khalifa, came together in fall 2011 and had immediate success, advancing to the intramural league’s championship game.“Everyone was shocked,” sports management major Javier Morel said of his team’s early success.The Department of Recreational Services at Syracuse University offers students the chance to play competitive sports while making friends during the busy school year. The department will offer 16 intramural sports during the 2012-13 school year. The fall semester sports include basketball, broomball, flag football, outdoor soccer, softball, doubles and singles tennis and volleyball.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textForming a team with residence hall floor-mates is a great way for students to get to know the people they’re living with, said Nadine Essel, assistant director of Recreation Services. Even if a student doesn’t sign up as part of a team, he or she can be put on a list for teams in need of a player.“Anybody can play,” said Essel, who runs the intramural program. “Anybody who wants to get involved can. We have students competing at all different experience levels.”For students, no matter the experience level, intramural sports are about the fun, friendships and memories formed during the season.Long Nguyen played soccer last year to stay active during his first year of college. Nguyen’s team lost in its semifinal match, but he said he played for fun.“It was nice to get some friendly competition going with the tournament and group-play games,” said Nguyen, a sophomore mechanical engineering major. “We tried to take it kind of seriously, but in the end we all knew it was just for fun and that it didn’t really mean anything if we lost.”Cory Cooper has played both intramural flag football and basketball.Cooper remembers playing in the championship flag football game his freshman year, calling it a great experience.An information management and techology major and member of the “Taylor Gang,” Cooper said he’s noticed students from diverse backgrounds bonding by playing intramurals. That social aspect is another benefit Essel highlights for students who participate.“It’s good to try something new,” Essel said. “You can work on social skills and getting along with people and learn sportsmanship.”For Cooper, Morel and the rest of the team, their bond as friends translated to cohesion on the court.The players stuck together but, as sophomores, changed their team name to “Jet Mafia,” a reference to their fast-paced style of play and their friendship.Jeremy Ceille, who handled the team’s jersey orders, acts as the manager while also playing. Ceille said also played intramural flag football the past two years and won the championship his freshman season.The entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises and geography dual major said his favorite aspect of intramural basketball is the competition level, which serves as extra motivation to win.Still, winning is only a small part of the experience.“I think it’s important to remember that the goal is to just have fun. Getting too serious with it can really ruin the enjoyment of the game for not only your own team but the teams that you play against,” Nguyen said. Comments Published on August 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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