Freshman intramural soccer experiences make an impact

The fall indoors soccer season ended for many freshman teams and players Oct. 31 with 137 participants.

Mike Richardson, assistant director of the wellness center, said, “Intramural sports… it’s great and it’s a passion of mine. I want them [students] to get what they want out of it; if they have a competitive drive, wanna meet new people through intramural sports. I want them to feel like it’s an environment where people are able to branch out and stuff like that.”

To reach out to students about intramural sports or activities at the Wellness Center posts on social media are posted on twitter.

Richardson said, “We have a really big focus marketing on social media. We do a lot of that at the beginning of the year, as well as a lot of presentations to first year students and put a lot of flyers out so students can see.”

Some students found out about intramural sports through friends.

Rodrigo Quezada, general business freshman, said, “I didn’t hear for a couple months about intramural sports and tournaments coming up until I heard about softball, baseball and soccer. I was interested in playing and luckily, my friend asked me if I wanted to be on his team.”

Freshman with different backgrounds join in intramural soccer for different purposes.

Richardson said, “I try to get to know students that participate in events on campus and I try to do that as much as possible. When I do that successfully I remind them what is going on or what’s coming up and hopefully, they will tell their friends about it and kind of get involved. So, spreading information through word of mouth is pretty big for us.”

The players on teams have thoughts about the league and their experience, after their first season.

Kalab Hailu, mass communication freshman, said, “The league is nice and it’s good that everyone gets to play. If you have a team, you should really consider everybody’s playing time as a captain, because you know that really has a big effect on the enjoyment of the game. I have made a lot of friends and if I make the school team in the upcoming try outs during February, I plan to move from the intramural to the college team.”

Players are able to form teams if they have the minimum amount of players.

Kevin Kennedy, biology freshman, said, “Playing indoor soccer has helped me to meet new people. I will definitely try out for the soccer team if my schedule allows it. There’s people you don’t know and you get a chance to talk to them; if not then you get a chance to see how they play. I am captain of K.S.G., and the minimum number of players was at least two girls and three guys per team. It would be great to play alongside other good players. I’ve mostly been practicing soccer drills alone. I bike one mile every week and walk a mile every week.”

The upperclassmen students compete against many newcomers to intramural soccer.

Richardson said,”For the fall we do indoor soccer, and in the spring we do outdoor soccer. This past semester for fall indoor soccer, we had 137 participants. You see a lot of young teams that are kind of on the up and up and make these upper class men that have been playing for multiple years have a run for their money, which is really fun to watch. We had a few young indoor soccer teams this year who were really good. I feel like going forward they will be good for multiple years. You see friendships build, you see a player on one team one year, then they are on the team that beat them the next year.”

Participants in the league have different backgrounds with soccer and techniques.

Julian Rubio, exercise physiology sophomore, said, “In Spain, I played for the Real Madrid Foundation, an indoor team, in the Community of Madrid. Here in America, your physical condition plays a major role in the game, but in Spain your technique and vision in play is more important.”

Professional teams in Spain utilize a style of play called Tiki-taka which focused more on vision and passing.

Many of the players in intramurals are looking to try out for the university team.

“I plan to work out and improve my speed and performance. I know it’s going to be difficult, because they have a really good soccer squad. I like how I am able to disconnect from classes and homework and just be able to spend some time with friends while playing a sport,” Rubio said.

The tryouts for soccer will be held in February of the spring semester. There is not an official date as of yet.

Hailu said, “Next year, I plan to try out for my first time; I really should be working on my conditioning, better passing, staying calm, and playing as much as possible. My team generally practiced a couple of days before the actual games, and we usually had one game a week.”

The fall season ending leads forward to many other spring intramural sports.

Richardson said, “For the upcoming spring, we’re going to try to keep growing in numbers, we had amazing numbers last year and we’re going to try to make it as great of an experience as possible. We’re going to offer more tournaments and have better prizes for people who win those tournaments. I work with a great staff and my student staff is amazing. I could not do what I do without them.”