The rosters are turned in, the lines on the front lawn are painted and the referees are hired. Flag football season is ready to begin.
This year, the intramural sport that already boasts more participation than any other at California Baptist University is set to have a record number of teams. There will be 14 female teams and 13 male teams, compared to last year, which had only 12 teams of each gender.
This is largely due to the student body growth and notoriety of the sport on campus.
“Flag football, each year, grows in popularity and the Fortuna Bowl, each year, gets a bunch more students,” Taylor Neece, assistant director of community life, said. “People want to play in [the championship game]. People get excited about flag football.”
The Fortuna Bowl, which is one of the largest events on campus, takes place at the end of the season. This year’s date is Nov. 5.
Currently, Neece and his recreational sports coordinators, Chris Cox and Will Byers, are in the planning stages of this event.
Cox claims that this year’s Fortuna Bowl will be bigger than ever before.
“Let me just tell you that the past Fortuna Bowl games have been just a football game, whereas this year it is going to be an event,” Cox said. “I can’t really say anything because [the plans] are not set in stone, but it’s going be big this year.”
The estimated number of attendants is between 1,500-1,700 people.
“We always want to try to add a little bit more fuel to that event each year,” Neece said. “It’s a great event. It’s always been a great event, but we always want to try to make it a little bit better.”
“The teams are also looking forward to the Fortuna Bowl. Many students are already practicing on the front lawn in hopes that they will make it to the championship game.
The competition will be tough as the previous year’s winners, Dynasty and The Bus Drivers are sure to put up a fight.
“To get to the Fortuna Bowl is definitely our goal for the year, but we will only know if we will make it if we put the effort, heart and work into getting there,” Kamden Lang, one of the captains of Dynasty, said.
Lang’s co-captain, Josh Mott, echoed his thoughts.
“I can only say that I hope we make it to Fortuna Bowl. But, it isn’t about winning for us. It’s about playing hard and glorifying God with our effort and attitudes. If that gets us to Fortuna Bowl, then fantastic,” Mott said.
The winning girls team hopes to return to the championship. Though, Hannah Price, captain of the Bus Drivers, admits it is going to be hard, especially with the loss of five key players.
“What makes our team great really just has to be that we love to have fun with each other. I get to compete, which is something I love to do, with girls that share the same affection of wanting to glorify the Lord in all that they do,” Price said. “I love getting to know their lives and hearts and share lasting friendships with girls over something as simple as flag football. Oh and we love to play the game!”