MIDN 1/C Gabby Dimaapi
Here at the Naval Academy, everyone is an athlete. We endlessly support our Division I and Club Athletics. This year with the help of Midn 2/C Samuel Peters and Miguel Nieves, our two regiments’ sports bosses, the intramural sports program was better than in years past. Peters served as the Brigade’s “Intramural Scott Strasemeier” to help encourage vigorous competition between companies and team pride.
“The real problem was intramurals,” says Peters, the 1st Regiment Intramurals Sports Boss, a midshipman position that serves as the manager for the Intramural Program. “It was lacking the passion and drive that characterizes Navy Athletics, and Naval Academy Midshipmen, both on and off the field of play.”
This deficiency was evident all the way up to the highest levels of the chain of command, with the Commandant of Midshipmen, Capt. William Byrne, deciding to revamp the intramural sports program at USNA at the beginning of the 2015 academic year. The program was given more funding, and its instructions were rewritten by the Intramural Officer, LT Sharp, and the incoming Intramural Officer, ENS Sposato. New responsibilities were divided, the number of sports was reduced to increase team size, and the fields were updated in a new, larger layout.
“We created a whole new scoring and reporting system from scratch, and implemented the brand new refereeing system, coming up with new ways to do accountability and establishing protocols for that accountability,” said Peters.
During the intramural season, the 6th Company Jackalopes dominated the fields, but at the end, the champions for each sport were
Basketball: 2nd Company “Honey Badgers”
Racquetball: 20th Company “The Roaring Twenties”
Ultimate: 18th Company “Yard Dogs”
Soccer: 5th Company “Rocks”
Flag Football: 23rd Company “Fighting Hellfish”
This semester, midshipmen had one more chance to be the best of the best intramural warriors during the inaugural Brigade Bowl. It began as an idea from 1st Regiment XO, MIDN 1/C Jonathan Lucas. The Brigade Bowl was created, planned, and organized by MIDN 1/C Togasii Peko to be the final competition between 1st and 2nd Regiments. This “super bowl” of intramural sports was a way for the midshipmen to see the importance and great improvements to the intramural program. The best intramural athletes from each company played on their respective regiment teams in ultimate frisbee, flag football, and soccer, which helped give the spectators a wide range of familiar faces and people to cheer for. Finally, the regimental commanders were slated as head coaches to solidify the identities of the two regiment teams.
On the days leading up to the Brigade Bowl, team captains were chosen for each sport, practices were held, and the hype increased. There were also three referees, two line judges, and one field referee per sport. Spirit spots were shot and edited by Caleb Smith and the Multimedia ECA on the Yard. Their technical skill and creative direction produced three successful videos for advertisement. Team jerseys were ordered and each athlete proudly wore their company’s respective patch.
On Friday, November 14th, spectators surrounded Farragut Field to cheer on their favorite athletes while enjoying hot chocolate and Jimmy John’s sandwiches. The event kicked off with the National Anthem sung by Midn 1/C Evelyn Rios, the running of the torch by Ryan Hill, the Brigade’s physical missions officer, and an opening speech from the enthusiastic commandant, Capt. Byrne. While 1st Regiment won the flag football game, 2nd Regiment proved to be victorious, and their commander Kricket Masters proudly claimed and drank from the Brigade Bowl Cup.
The Brigade Bowl was ultimately a success thanks to all of the people who helped make a new idea into reality.
“Looking at the season from a big picture perspective, I think we can say ‘Mission Accomplished,’” said Peters. “I believe the commandant and his staff were blown away by our involvement in intramurals and the amount of passion that was poured into that program, and we can be proud of that as a Brigade.”
Capt. Byrne stressed that the mission of intramurals is to provide leadership opportunities to midshipmen while dealing with the demands and stresses of competitive play.
“The intramurals program is a way to further the development of these traits by continuing that team and competitive atmosphere among midshipmen and providing a fun stress relief for our busy lives,” said Peters. “The leadership that we as a staff saw out there on the intramural fields is a testament to the fact that the program is working, and that these traits are being developed, and we are proud to say that we had a hand in it.”