By CODY REEVES
The Amarillo College intramural sports program provides students a structured way to satisfy their competitive urges.
Located in Carter Fitness Center on the Washington Street Campus, students can join or create a team for a variety of competitive events.
J.R. Norman, AC’s intramural specialist, said basketball, football and volleyball are his three biggest sports. Every Monday and Wednesday, anyone who wants to can come to Carter Fitness Center and play basketball.
Players are split into teams, and everyone gets a chance to play.
“The goal is for everybody to play,” Norman said. “If you can play, if you want to play, you’re going to play. Nobody gets excluded.”
Out on the courts, there typically are six to eight teams playing at once. Not all the players are students. The majority of them, according to Norman, are members of the community who come to the campus, pay $2 and play basketball for fun and competition.
Madison Spitler, a dental hygiene major who also works as a timekeeper, scorekeeper and stats collector for the basketball teams, gets to experience the players’ intensity firsthand. “They take basketball seriously,” she said.
The Monday and Wednesday games are open to the public, but for AC students, the excitement of Intramural League competition is a big incentive.
In this semester’s league competition, 10 teams were entered in a single elimination tournament to compete for the AC championship. They also competed for a chance to travel and test themselves against other schools’ championship teams.
This year, however, the winning team had to be content with just the AC championship. Norman could not get the winning teams of other schools within our region to travel to AC to compete. He guessed that AC’s status as a smaller school was the reason other colleges in the area chose to stay home this semester.
Lack of interest from other colleges is not going to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for AC’s basketball league, and it won’t stop Norman from trying again next year.
“We’re going to send out email to the same people, and if they want to join, that would be great,” he said. “If not, we’re going to keep on doing what we do.”
Plans for next year also include reaching out to many of the community colleges in the area. South Plains, Clarendon, Frank Phillips and Vernon are a few places on Norman’s list.