UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 17, 2024

Club sports create competitive opportunities regardless of skill level

At Utah Tech University, there are countless club sports team opportunities for students like men’s soccer, women’s & men’s rugby, volleyball, lacrosse, wrestling, spikeball, and more. Being an active member of a club sports team paves a way to get involved, allows one to continue a favorite sport out of high school, and continues to grow athletic skills. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Utah Tech University has many club sports open to all students who want to participate.

Whether you are interested in soccer, volleyball, wrestling, lacrosse or rugby, you can find these clubs at Utah Tech. There are additional sports clubs offered at the university, with opportunities to create your own.

Traci Collins, assistant director of campus recreations, said anyone can start a club of their own if students don’t already see a club they want to participate in.

Men’s Soccer

Men’s soccer has regular practices that students can participate in and compete in. The club is committed to helping its players have fun in a competitive environment.

Club president Braxton Wait, a sophomore population health major from Saratoga Springs, said the soccer club is organized and has a good team environment.

Getting fields to play on and working with other schools to schedule games are some of the club members’ biggest challenges.

Although the club has some challenges with scheduling, Hayden Turnier, a senior exercise science major from Las Vegas, said the club is a good way to meet people.

Coach Brett Gonzales, a Utah Tech alumni, said: “We’re always open to having people come and try out. We want to try and get people to come to our games, just try and get our club team noticed, and have people come support us.”

Wrestling Team 

The wrestling team is more than just a club sport. They have competed at many national tournaments and conferences.

Women’s Team Caption Tayleigh Robertson, a freshman general studies major from West Valley, said they have a really good team, and it feels like a family where everyone helps each other out. 

They are seen as a club by the university but are sanctioned by the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.

Landon Cabral, a sophomore emergency medical services major from Yucaipa, California, said he feels they are very close to being up with the Division I or Division II schools. However, he said they don’t have the funding to compete with them at the moment.

Women’s Lacrosse 

Melanie Uiva’a, a freshman design major from St. George, said, “I think the way we connect is some type of network and dynamic we have that really sets us apart from the rest of the athletics on campus.” 

Coach Amy Erickson said a challenge they face is consistency. People see the team as a club, so people believe they can show up and quit when they want.

“So, this club team is all about sportsmanship, I feel like, and woman empowerment,” Uiva’a said.

Women’s lacrosse wants as many people as possible to come try the sport. There are no requirements, and anyone can join the team.

Rugby

Men’s rugby and women’s rugby is a place for anyone with any skill level to participate in.

Women’s rugby club president Elizabeth Jeppson, a junior population health major from St. George, said: “Rugby is a very social sport and anyone and everyone can play rugby. You don’t have to be a certain size, and you don’t have to be an athlete. You can come and we’ll teach you and have you play.”

Breccan Fisher, a sophomore history major from St. George, said one of their challenges is the low number of people participating. They are restarting the men’s and women’s clubs and are trying to get more people to join.

Women’s Volleyball

Women’s volleyball has a competitive as well as fun atmosphere.

Club president Hannah Williams, a junior population health major from Syracuse, said the club is based on fun. They are very competitive but it’s not overwhelming. They play as much as they can while focusing on school too. 

Williams said funding is a challenge for them, and they have to pay out of pocket for things like tournaments, travel and stay.

Team treasurer Echo Cenci, a junior population health major from Naselle, Washington, said the club is easy and relaxed, a difference between the schools’ athletics where Cenci said things are more stressful.

“I think it’s a really fun way to get into sports again,” Cenci said.