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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Friendships blossom through intramural sports

Rain pours down as the Nash hall and Ridgeway teams face off in 11 versus 11 intramural soccer on Wednesday, Oct. 16. // Photo by Wilson Turk

By Wilson Turk

In perfect Pacific Northwest fashion, the first week of intramurals kicked off with one of the wettest weeks of fall quarter. 

Fall quarter intramural offerings include soccer, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and flag football. Soccer is typically the most popular, offering all levels of competition from open leagues– for anyone wanting to try it out– to the 11 vs. 11 league, which offers a more competitive atmosphere.

“Most people played a little bit of high school sports and just want to keep it going,” said Dylan Arrowood, a soccer lead and one of the supervisors for intramurals. “Every once in a while, you’ll have some ex-varsity athletes come out and play.” 

Sadie Sheller was a varsity soccer player in high school and now plays in the 11 vs. 11 league. For her, intramurals are not all about winning. It’s about exercising and having fun. 

“It’s a lot less stressful than high school or club is, because most people are just here to have fun and play soccer,” Sheller said. 

For intramural referees, the games are less hostile. In many professional games, and even in many youth sports, referees are criticised by athletes and fans for the calls they make. Intramural players have a different attitude toward referees.

“I know how I was when I was playing soccer toward refs. It’s definitely a different perspective,” said Devinn Oliveri, a student and current referee for intramural soccer and volleyball. 

Oliveri said he knows a lot of the players, and they are respectful toward him and the other referees. 

Intramurals offer an opportunity for students to meet new people who share similar athletic interests.

While most teams are formed ahead of time, they usually aren’t large enough, so they pick up free agents through the Western Intramural website, Arrowood said. Free agents are athletes who are not yet on a team. Occasionally, the league coordinators will form teams of all free agents. 

“I met my first friends at Western [through intramurals], so it made me feel like I was more a part of the community,” Sheller said. “And I felt a lot more comfortable at school.”

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