Students strive for intramural victories

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

Each year during the fall, hundreds of SDSU students attach a flag to their hip and do their best impression of Jackrabbit football players. And now that the Jacks have started their season, it’s time for SDSU’s other football teams to take the field.

One of the most popular fall intramural sports is flag football, which begins next week. The quality of competition ranges greatly, making flag football operate people of all skill levels. Some teams take intramurals seriously, where other teams view it as a time to screw around, have fun and do some pre-game drinking.

Eric DeWaard, a senior ag business and economics major, has been a part of intramurals for a number of years.

“It’s exciting … makes the week go faster,” DeWaard said. “You think about the days in high school … (flag football) is something else to be competitive about … another opportunity to see competition.”

Senior liberal arts major Jeff Panning said he participates in intramurals to “keep competitive and stay in shape.”

Both Panning and DeWaard take intramurals seriously and have had success in previous years. In fact, DeWaard’s team defeated Panning’s in last year’s flag football championship game.

Yet neither team takes it seriously enough to practice.

“We don’t practice plays or anything like that,” said Panning.

DeWaard said his team just has fun.

“We’re not running in the off-season,” he said. “We’ve never practiced before … I know some teams do.”

Panning’s team actively recruits players. Senior Political Science/Economics major Mitch Fargen, Panning’s teammate, recruits players for the team. Panning said Fargen asked him to play on the team after he left the varsity football team. Their team consists entirely of former high school and college football players.

Although DeWaard does not recruit people for his team, his players have all played high school or college football too. Most of the people on his team are from his hometown or people he met in class.

Not everybody takes intramural football as seriously as DeWaard and Panning do, but neither have a problem with people who look at flag football as a way to goof off.

“We (the team) don’t get frustrated with the teams that aren’t as serious,” DeWaard said. “We are laid-back guys until an intense game comes around.”

DeWaard has only played against one or two teams that were noticeably drunk. He said most take it seriously and try hard.

One type of team that tries hard but is usually easy to identify, and usually easily to defeat, is an all-freshman team.

Panning notices that freshman teams to be cocky.

“Guys come out of high school and they think they are really good. Then we kill them. It’s funny,” he said.

#1.884384:656305980.jpg:intermurals01.jpg:Nick Olson and Steve Hale practice for their first intramural flag football team.: