Monday, August 19

Sporty Bruins gear up for IM season

Intramural matchups bring out recreational, competitive athletes looking for glory

With the arrival of fall quarter, waves of students will soon congregate at the Intramural Field in eager anticipation of the IM sports season.

And while there is no doubt that many of the participants this year will play in the age-old name of recreation, it’s also a sure bet that others will suit up starving for competition.

To such students, IM sports is a priority, and winning a necessity.

What is striking about their style of play is that the throws are crisp and the routes are run with a sense of purpose.

There is a rhyme to their reason, and success is measured in championships.

Take, for instance, fourth-year history student Tyler Peters.

Ever since he played in a basketball league at the age of four, Peters has immersed himself in sports and hasn’t let go.

“When I was a kid, I would watch SportsCenter instead of cartoons,” he said. “I’d always bring a ball to school for recess … whether it be T-ball, basketball or soccer.”

Hoops would follow the sports-struck Peters to high school, where he played basketball for four years, three of which he spent as the starting guard on the varsity team.

Fast-forward to college, and Peters is now something of an IM superstar.

As a leading member of “Cru,” the IM team affiliated with the group Campus Crusade for Christ, Peters currently has five championships and counting under his belt.

“In total, I’ve won one (championship) in softball, one in basketball and three in soccer,” he said. “The main one I’m missing is one for football.”

And then there’s fourth-year English student Nicholas Chapa, another Cru player who in fact starred alongside Peters during their championship runs for soccer.

Like Peters, Chapa has also been involved with IM sports for the past three years, with a total of six titles to show for it: three for soccer, two for softball and one for dodgeball.

Despite the versatility that Chapa boasts ““ he played as a point guard, pitcher and tailback in high school ““ his passion lies in softball, a sport that he plans on playing post-college in addition to basic conditioning.

“I’m beginning training for a half-marathon because I know that to stay active definitely takes more of a conscious effort when you start working full-time,” he said. “So I’ll be doing some running, and I definitely plan on playing slow-pitch softball until the day I die.”

But in terms of success on the IM venues, third-year chemical engineering student Nathan Griffin trumps all.

The proud owner of nine IM championship T-shirts, Griffin, also a Cru member, is the IM version of a Renaissance man; he has tried his hand at basketball, dodgeball, flag football, soccer, softball and volleyball.

“So far, I’ve averaged about five (sports) per quarter,” Griffin said. “Others might say that I play a little too much, but they’re just good stress relievers for me.”

Another reason why Griffin intends to continue with IM sports: Like Peters and Chapa, the third-year has not yet been able to win one in football.

“We’re like the Patriots,” Griffin said. “We would go undefeated in the season, but in the championship games we would get beat by a team that we had defeated earlier in the season.”

“It’s the one elusive sport that we’re really hoping to win. Hopefully, this is the year,” he said.

Combined, the three IM veterans have collected an astounding 20 championships.

But even with that much dedication and commitment toward an extracurricular activity, all three agree that there have been no regrets.

Well, maybe one.

“My only regret is that I didn’t play more dodgeball,” Chapa said.

The deadline to sign up for intramural sports is Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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