Intramural flag football teams outshine NIRSA

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Two of Dixie State University’s flag football intramural teams mercy ruled their way past their competition to become regional champs for the first time.

Three of DSU’s flag football teams traveled to University of California, Los Angeles, to compete in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association region VI tournament Nov. 21 and 22.

Every team competed in two games of pool play to determine seating before single-elimination bracket play began.

One of DSU’s men’s teams, the Walk Ons, lost both pool games and was one and done after also losing its first game in bracket play.

The Gremlins, DSU’s coed team, won both pool play games but still had its doubts, playing against bigger schools like Arizona State University during bracket play, said Mackenzee Collins, a junior general education major from Evanston, Wyoming, and the Gremlin’s captain.

“We always felt like we were the underdogs and knew we had to just keep playing well,” Collins said.

However, the DSU men’s team, the Ducks, had a good feeling after winning both its pool play games and going in as the No. 1 seat,  said Damien Culver, a junior biology major from Palmdale, California, and captain for the Ducks.

“We had, by far, the highest point differential, and so we kind of knew we were a little bit better than most the teams there,” Culver said.

Instead of field goals, teams get an attempt at an extra point. Men’s teams were mercy ruled at a 19-point lead and coed teams at a 25-point lead with two minutes remaining in the game. 

The tournament was made of 23 men’s and seven coed teams. 

The Ducks mercy ruled all their competition, scoring an average of seven touchdowns and only gave up an average of one touchdown per game.     

The Gremlins nearly mercy ruled their way to region champs with just one point shy, beating the University of Las Vegas Hawaiian Princesses by 24 points. The Gremlins also scored a total of 260 points and only gave up on an average of 13 points.

On top of the Ducks and Gremlins winning the region VI championship, DSU players were awarded five of the 12 individual trophies. For the men’s division, Damien Culver was named most valuable player, and Dalton Smith was named to the All-Tournament team. For the coed division, Brock Anderson was named MVP, while Jeff Lee and Collins were all named to the All-Tournament team. 

David Howell, intramural coordinator and a physical education health and recreation adjunct instructor, said he is glad the intramural program gives students the opportunity to compete for something more. 

“It is the teams wanting to be successful and competing hard here at DSU and going on to do the same thing at UCLA are the real reasons why they were able to succeed and why we are successful as a program,” Howell said.

DSU paid for the teams’ $375 entrance fee for the regional tournament and gave them a travel stipend between $500-$700. The teams each received a trophy and their $400 entrance fee paid for the eighth annual NIRSA national flag football tournament, being held Jan. 2-4 in Pensacola, Florida.  

Howell said DSU is able to provide the teams transportation which covers around 75 percent of the trip costs.

The Ducks are confirmed to go and  have set up a page on Gofundme to help their efforts in raising the rest of money for the trip. 

Unfortunately, not all the players on the Gremlins are able to make the trip Howell said.
He said the intramural program is working to find players to fill those spots before the registration deadline. 

“[The NIRSA tournament] is a great opportunity for students and a great way to get [DSU’s] name out there,” Howell said. “I am optimistic we will be able to get everything worked out for both teams.”