On a national level, one of the things Michigan State University is most known for is its prestigious sports teams. Athletes come from all over to represent the Green and White and get to compete against some of the best competitors at the college level. MSU has 23 Division I sports teams and almost 900 athletic scholarship spots. With 40,000 undergraduate students, the 900 that get to play for the university are just a small fraction of the student body. This leaves the question: how do the other student-athletes get to show off their abilities?
MSU is home to three different types of recreational sports: club, adaptive, and intramural. The club sports teams are the most competitive and closely resemble the DI sports by traveling around the country to compete against other colleges. These sports have tryouts, practices, and workout training days. Adaptive sports are for students with disabilities and give them the opportunity to compete just like other students. The third type is the intramural league, which is most popular among students.
Intramural sports, also known as IM, are like their own bubble. Inside IM there are seven leagues such as single-gender, coed, greek life, neighborhoods, and more. Over 25 sports are offered over three semesters and spots fill up quickly. IM sports are a great way for students to get outside and be active with their friends. No experience is required, and all students need to do to play is create a team and pay the small fee that helps fund the equipment necessary to play.
There are currently nine spring sports being offered to students, and one of the most popular is softball. On any given weeknight, students can be found under the lights of Munn Field competing against their peers. This semester, 49 men’s teams and 32 coed teams decided to compete. For both leagues, there’s a requirement of 10 or more students per team.
As the semester is coming to an end, these softball players are competing for an IM championship title. The men’s and coed championships are both on April 27, and teams are ready to go out and win.
Junior Colby Schikora of the Jagerbombers had never played softball before this semester and looks forward to playing with his friends every game.
“IM softball is a good time with friends, you get to be competitive in sports even if it’s not at a super high level, and we play to win. It’s just really fun,” said Schikora. “I played golf in high school, which is its own type of competition, but it was nothing like this. Every team we play is ready to put up a fight and this is the most competitive I’ve ever played before.
The Jagerbombers are undefeated and currently one of the four teams remaining in the men’s league. Senior Nick Burt is a huge sports enthusiast but never was a fan of playing them himself. When he found out his friends were forming a team, he knew the coaching role was for him.
“Coaching this team is extremely fun for me. I like yelling at people, no matter if they do good or bad things! I’m not super aggressive but it helps get the guys more into the game,” said Burt.
Even though Burt doesn’t play, he is glad to be involved. “I think IM sports are a great way for students to have fun in their downtime if they aren’t studying and doing homework. It’s definitely a unique way to get out and have fun with friends.”
To some members of the Jagerbombers, this is their last chance to go out and win a title. Senior Nick Sonck is a big fan of IM sports, playing four different ones in his time at MSU. “I play for the love of the game. I love hanging out with my friends especially when it’s so nice out. It’s America’s pastime, so I might as well go out and play with my boys,” said Sonck.
After an undefeated season, Sonck thinks his team has a good chance to win it all.
“We’ve had some really good games in the postseason and we’re peaking at the right time. It would mean a lot to win a championship with the boys during my last week as a student here at MSU and the opportunity is right there now.”