Intramural flag football kicked off this week, with five weeks of play remaining until the final showdown where two men’s and women’s flag football teams will battle for the Fortuna Bowl championship.
This year’s competition features many of the same teams from prior years, as well as many new teams. Last year, the Bus Drivers were crowned winners of the women’s flag football league. They, along with Smooth Criminals and SWAT, are among the highly anticipated returning teams to watch.
“The Crims (Smooth Criminals) will always be the biggest rivals, just how it has been in the past, but I think that SWAT will definitely be a close contender,” said Brooke Malone, senior kinesiology major.
Across the board, the Smooth Criminals, SWAT and the Bus Drivers hold attitude to be high esteem.
“We hold attitude very high on our list when asking people to join the team. It is the biggest requirement. If someone doesn’t have a good attitude, we don’t want them on the team,” Malone said.
With the Bus Drivers as the defending champions, their competitors are eager to knock them off the podium.
Jessica Miller, senior health education major, stated that after last season she switched from the Smooth Criminals onto SWAT to better her chances for walking away with a title.
“I really wanted to beat the Bus Drivers my senior year, so I thought SWAT would give a good opportunity for that,” Miller said.
Despite the fierce rivalries, the participants like the friendships that are gained from this intramural experience as a whole.
“I love football and love playing; but by far the best part is the friendships you build on the team — it’s about going out there and making memories,” Malone said.
On the men’s side, it will be a close race all the way down to the final pass, with the large influx of new athletic talent and player movement between last year and this year. Team Beast Mode On, and the Webelos are three returning teams with a history of success.
Stephen Torna, junior international business major and captain of Team Beast Mode On, said he takes pride in the depth of his team.
“We probably have the best quarterback as far as decision-making. He’s a great quarterback with a great arm,” Torna said.
To name a few additions, Team Beast Mode On has added Sean Vasquez, who played some junior college football, and Robert Frisch and Jonathan Tillery, both of whom were important assets to their teams in previous years. They have also added veteran Josh Solorio.
“He owns his own construction company, so he’s got that man strength. I’m excited to see what he can do on the D-line, and I know he will be turning some heads,” Torna said.
Luke Baldrica, junior marketing major, said he looks forward to the fun traditions and adding to the legacy of the Webelos.
“Their uniforms are fun with their cutoff jean shorts and cutoff v-necks. It is definitely a fashion statement when they step on the field,” Baldrica said.
There is no general agreement when it comes to what makes a successful team. Baldrica credits the Webelos’ achievement to their overall routine as a team.
“When you’re in the trenches of those linemen, it’s all about carb loading, pregame and post-game workout protein. We do lots of meditation, and we also do group therapy sessions. The Webelos is like a brotherhood. It’s like a family,” Baldrica said.
Torna, on the other hand, looks to the leadership of his fellow captain, Drew Pedlowe, as the driving mechanism behind Team Beast Mode On.
“He is the largest asset on our team because of his leadership on and off the field and his ability to make plays,” Torna said.
“Monday Night Football” games will be posted weekly in the game room and can be accessed online.