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The best will soon be determined: Eastern winter intramurals

Dodgeball

Sweat. Pain. Intensity. Controversy. Exuberance. Victory. Defeat.

Nothing else can explain what goes on in Eastern’s recreational gym every Tuesday night from 10 p.m. to midnight. No, it isn’t baseball or cheerleading practice. Try dodgeball intramurals.

Dodgeball is not for the faint of heart. It is a quick-paced game with kickballs flying across the gym at all speeds and altitudes. During one match, first-year Ken Hufnal took a shot to the head and ended up with a concussion.

More than halfway through the season, teams Surrender Now and Tommy’s a Wittle Guy have gained respect and are early favorites to win the championship. With Surrender Now’s matching T-shirts and bandanas, intimidation gives them a one-up on teams from the start.

“[Other teams] might as well just surrender now,” junior Tim Reynolds said. “They should just give us the T-shirts.”

Tommy’s is just as tough, with a one-two punch from the Walter brothers.

“We have good chemistry. Kevin throws real hard, and Erik catches well,” team namesake first-year Tommy McGrady said. “We have all the tools to take the league.”

Giving these teams a run for their money will be currently undefeated, The Experience. They gained considerable attention after an insane match with Tommy’s, winning in three games. According to first-year referee Alex Younger, it was the best match of the year, with both teams matching up well.

Other teams to watch include the Trailblazers, Overweight Roommates, and Sunshine Cats. With experience on their side, Roommates is made up of the same group of guys who typically win every sport, according to junior assistant intramural director Ryan Matteucci.

The Trailblazers started off strong the first two weeks but only had a few players show up the third week, giving them their first loss.

“If we have our full team, we’ll do a lot better,” first-year Matt Powell said.

Joining two weeks late, the Cats have also stirred up some noise of their own and believe they can make a run at the title despite their delayed start.

“One word,” sophomore captain Jamie Wier said: “Domination.”

An underdog who could shake things up is team Shake’n’Bake. With three girls on their team, Shake appears to be less threatening than other teams, until the whistle blows.

“[Sophomore] Courtney Sizemore is a sniper,” junior Nate Devine of Ill Nasty said.

In addition to Sizemore, first-year Dan McQuay has raised some eyebrows, with Surrender’s Reynolds saying he could be the MVP of the league.

Already defeating Surrender Now, Shake is on their way to reaching the playoffs easier than many assumed. “We’re probably gonna go to the championship; probably gonna win it all,” senior captain Andy Gill said.

Such confidence and dedication is evident through all teams, favored or not.

“There are non tougher than us,” senior Ryan Cressman of Cobb Electric said. “We don’t worry about the competition; we just worry about ourselves.”

Team Donkey Disco may be the most prepared team in the league.

“During the first week, I sat through all the games and took notes, scouting out all the teams,” first-year captain Bryon Jones said.

Still amidst the trash-talking, injuries and hoopla, each team has a fair shot at making the playoffs and potentially winning the league. Even more importantly, the energy and competition results in both exhilaration for the teams and entertainment for fans.

Floor Hockey

“Quack, quack, quack, quack, goooooo Jimmy” echoes through the rec gym as another close third period of floor hockey begins. While it may not seem as cutthroat or exciting as its dodgeball counterpart at first, the Monday and Wednesday night hockey intramural leagues hold their own level of fierce competition.

With no set boundaries, games can get a bit wild, especially with fans present, as players attack the walls in hopes of winning the ball. At one game, an unsuspecting viewer got nailed in the face during one player’s backswing.

In comparison to dodgeball, girl teammates are much more involved on the hockey teams and impact each game as much as the guys. In fact, with a number of field hockey players dispersed on teams, the guys are the ones hiding in the corner.

In the Nebraska division, one such team, Stick-It, has jumped out as a favorite, followed closely by the lively Jimmy Carter is the Man squad.

“Our team does well together passing-wise,” Stick-It junior captain Steph Moyer said. “We have a lot of the fundamentals down.”

While fundamentals are always key, experience and enthusiasm are just as important. Unfortunately for the other teams, Carter has plenty of both.

“We have experience: it’s basically the same team that won the championship last year and was runner-up the year before that,” senior Jon Heinly said.

Teams Way to go Idaho and Red Russian Army are also capable of bringing a huge amount of effort and energy to the floor and have given the favorites a scare on more than one occasion.

“I wouldn’t say we’re a favorite,” Army captain Chris Grieco said, “but if we make it, we could be a force.”

In the Alaska division, one of the early favorites, Los Tortugas, is compromised of almost entirely first-years, eager to show the upperclassmen that they have what it takes.

“We’re the young and strong,” first-year captain Lindsay Moyer said. “They all say freshman aren’t gonna win, but I don’t know about this year.”

Currently undefeated, Peanut Butter and Jelly has already beaten the Tortugas and is easily the most intimidating and threatening team, outscoring their opponents 20-1.

Some teams are just as happy to be out on the floor competing, even if they do not think they have a chance at the league title.

“If we don’t win the T-shirts, we’ll just make some,” J-Dizzle member senior Andrea Hamilton said.

In the end, having fun and competing with friends is the whole point of intramurals. Such is evident each night, especially in some names teams have chosen.

“I ran out of names, so I went back to the first one we used as freshmen,” senior Doug Hackman, captain of PBJ said.

“It was in Toy Story,” Idaho senior captain Dan Ulrich said about the name of his team. “Hamm says it about Mr. Potato Head.”

What about Jimmy Carter is the Man? Simple, at least according to senior assistant captain Josh Meyer: “He’s the greatest American president.”

For power rankings of both intramural sports, please see “Winter Intramural Power Rankings” article.

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