By Rayce Patterson | Echo
The chill bites. The wind tears. The rain demoralizes. Despite these adverse conditions, 18 warriors choose to do battle in a contest of strength and skill every week. The reason? To have fun and participate in fellowship.
Taylor University's intramural soccer is a sport that is widely participated in across campus. The league is made up of three divisions: men's, women's and co-ed, and has 31 teams available to students. Teams accept players from all different skill levels, from beginners to students in the junior varsity soccer program.
"I knew the J.V. program was going to end pretty early," freshman Gabe Bowron said, a member of one of the all-men teams and the J.V. men's soccer team. "I was happy to see that our season was gonna end right as intramurals were about to begin. I wanted to make sure that I'm getting good touches, kind of practicing over the short break, but also to reconnect with the wing and just have fun."
Bowron has played soccer for about 13 years of his life, and although he enjoys the more competitive side of soccer, he wants to learn to enjoy the sport more, aside from the competitive nature. Through this season, he desires to have a more positive attitude on the field and not be so hard on himself.
On the other hand, sophomore Rachel Klink is in her first year of playing soccer. She is currently on one of the all-women teams, but she didn't decide to play until senior Rachael Fuller invited her to participate.
"I love sports," Klink said. "I'm not always good at them, but I love them, and I love getting to do things with my floor and this seemed like a really good opportunity to do both and not have it be in a high-pressure environment."
Junior Claire Bokma is also in her first year in the intramural soccer league, but she is starting as the captain of the co-ed team, 4WOW. The team is a combination of Bro-Sis wings, First West Wengatz and Third West Olson. Bokma thinks the two wings get along well together, and wanted both of them to participate in something as friends.
Bokma realizes that different people bring different skills to the team. She works to send out emails and notify people about games, while other members contribute their athletic abilities, and still others formulate plays and help coach the team. Even though it is a competition, Bokma sees the intramural soccer league as a community-building event, which helps student not only get to know people on their own team, but people from across campus they usually wouldn't interact with.
"Even after the game, when we all circle up and pray with the other team, you realize that we are all Taylor," Bokma said.