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UWRF flag football teams end season with championship games

Falcon News Service

October 23, 2015

The UW-River Falls intramural program saw two championship flag football games played on Monday, Oct. 19, at Ramer Field.

The first game of the night had a showdown between the co-rec (men and women players) teams Mean Machine and Big Sacks. The teams were both 5-1 in the season, but in the end Big Sacks won the title in a 10-9 victory.

According to Phill Banken, the captain of Big Sacks, there is a lot of preparation that goes into having a successful team. Before the championship match he talked about how his team scouted out its competition.

“We’ve been watching them for weeks,” he said in a telephone interview. “We’re ready. We’ve lost to them once and we’ve beat them once.”

Banken also said his team had some form of practice at least once or twice a week.

The second game of the night was between the men’s league teams Washington Redskins and Spartans. The teams were 8-1 and 7-2, respectively, in the season.

However, for both teams it wasn’t an easy task to get to the championships. Robert Flom, captain of the Spartans, said the team faced a number of obstacles.

“Well, basically getting there. We had to run through some obstacles in round 1, 2, and 3 just to get here,” he said. “You know we’re blessed to be here, so we’re going to make the most of it.”

Although the Spartans didn’t end up winning, they attempted to hold their own in a 13-6 downfall.

All the members of both winning teams won the highly coveted prize of champion T-shirts that get handed out to the winners of every intramural bracket. The teams also get their name and picture added to the Hall of Champions, which showcases previous winners of the T-shirts at UW-River Falls.

However, the players get a lot more out of the games than the satisfaction of winning, according to Ryan Rudesill, director of intramural sports.

“I think it’s a connection for a lot of people back to high school sports,” he said. “A lot of people played one, two, three or more sports throughout their high school career and then you come to college and you lost that because most don’t play on a college team.”

Both Banken and Flom can attest to that, having both been on their hometown high school football teams. In fact, that experience is what got Banken the captain title.

“I’m the only one on the team with prior football experience being a varsity high school football player,” he said. “I played tight end and defensive end.”

The intramural program also offers sports that students didn’t get to play in high school. Currently broomball and volleyball leagues are being played and still accepting players. Interested students can apply through the intramural page on the UWRF website or contact Ryan Rudesill.