Editor: Austin Davis, Intramural Sports & Sport Clubs Supervisor
Feature Interview with Club Baseball Officers
Beau Parker- President
Marcus Thornton- Vice President
Matt Aderholt – Treasurer
How long has the club been in existence and can you give us an update?
Beau: Started in September of 2014. It was a struggle for the first couple of years. I feel like we have come a long way. We have a lot of good guys this year.
Why have a club team?
Beau :Because we like to play baseball, but we don’t throw 95. I think we are trying to give people an area to really compete on a different level of competition in a sport we have loved since middle school. To give us a chance to compete and keep playing baseball.
When do you guys recruit?
Marcus : Year round. We do a lot in the summer with orientation getting freshmen. Then in the fall people see our fliers or our website and then send us an email. Some guys on the team will bring their friends who want to join. We have a big tryout at the beginning of the fall, which is what we prefer for guys to do.
How are your seasons set up and how did last season go?
Beau: The record wasn’t stellar but it was our first year in the actual league. We jumped into the NCBA. They pushed us up to the highest tier since Ole Miss is a marketable, baseball school. So we are playing teams like Alabama, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State and Vanderbilt who have established programs. So, record wise it wasn’t great, but organizationally we did a lot of good things to recruit and build for this year. We are 5-2 this fall and are already competing at a much higher level. We play a fall season of exhibition games to prepare for the spring. We will play 7-8 series the spring. We will play from 20-30 games but in the fall we will play maybe 9-12 games.
For someone wanting to know more, how big of a commitment is the club?
Matt: First year, your dues are 500 for the full year. 100 of that covers equipment cost alone. After year one, everyone pays $400 a year covering: travel, equipment, facilities, home games. We play about 50/50 home and away series.
Individual roles as officers?
Marcus: As the VP, I’m more involved with sponsorships and recruiting and whatever else Beau needs me to do.
Matt: As Treasurer, I keep up with paying dues, submitting paperwork to Campus Rec, filling out request forms, and other administrative work.
How do you work out positioning with new players?
Beau: We ask guys where they feel comfortable playing. But, at the end of the day we want to win so wherever we will be most successful and where the player will get the most playing time. If we see a guy who prefers outfield but we think it would be more beneficial for us to put him in the infield and for him to get more playing time, we will move him.
Marcus: By way of example, we have 10 good outfielders this year and only 6 good infielders, so we will consider moving some of those guys around which gives us better depth. First two years, I played centerfield but after we got more guys I moved where I am more comfortable which is catching.
How much do you practice in a week? What’s the time commitment besides the games?
Beau: We do 4 a week M-T 4-6. A handful of guys are there at every single practice who are invested. But, if you are a guy with a lot of classes, we understand they can only make one or two. So, it varies on the player but of course we want to win, so if you put more in the more you get out. We work hard to help guys balance it out so we can be as inclusive as possible.
Are there rules on sitting out a year for guys coming straight out of Junior College?
Beau: Eligibility applies to varsity players but not to exiting JUCO. For anybody, your first year you have to be under 24 and then you get 5 years of eligibility. And, for every year of varsity play you lose a year of eligibility. For more information on this, the best thing for people to do is email us at email@example.com and also our website olemissclubbaseball.com has information and we have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Marcus: Lastly, if you can pitch, come play. We need pitching.
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Feature Interview with Amanda Alpert: Coordinator of IM&SC
The Intramural Sports and Sport Clubs program offers a wide range of opportunities for students and faculty to get active in “friendly” competition. Most people don’t see all of the work that happens behind the scenes to make intramural sports or sport clubs possible. Our goal in this interview is to peel back the layers of this onion and show the sweet, bright center of the department: Amanda Alpert. Amanda is the Coordinator of Intramural Sports and Sport Clubs. Some students know her as a teacher, some know her as that quarterback who doesn’t lose, some know her as that coworker who works too hard, but to her employees; she’s a lot more like a mom.
Amanda grew up in Livonia, Michigan about 30 minutes from Ann Arbor. Sports were a major part of her childhood. She expanded on this saying, “Like any child, I played pretty much anything. My parents tried gymnastics and dance but that didn’t last long. We did tee-ball, soccer and golf leagues growing up. I grew up playing it all but softball volleyball and basketball in high school and travel softball each summer. Both of my parents played sports in college. My mom ran track and my dad started rugby at his college.”
She went to school at Central Michigan University where she earned her degree in secondary education with a major in physical education and a minor in school health. (2006-2011 undergrad 2011-2014 grad) She has worked in Campus Recreation since 2008. Amanda started as an official and continued working there into graduate school. During her undergraduate years, she was also a supervisor, student manger, building supervisor and fitness attendant. Along with being a student and worker, Amanda participated in a variety of intramural sports. She played on the club basketball team and served as the president and treasurer.
After graduation, Amanda took on a position at Central Michigan University as a research assistant in physical education. She did this for a year before switching to intramurals as a graduate assistant focusing on official’s development. She finished up her masters in Sport Administration while working as a GA in intramurals. Amanda joined Campus Recreation at Ole Miss in 2014 and has transformed intramural sports and sport clubs. Below, we opened up some questions to better understand her experiences and goals in serving students.
What did you enjoy about intramurals in college as a player/worker?
“It’s special because of how much it affected my life and career. I’ve built so many important relationships and connections while playing and working in intramurals. It gave me the opportunity to compete in sports I didn’t get to play in high school (football). You don’t have to be the best of the best to participate. Everyone gets the chance to participate. I think when people are more involved in campus it enhances your overall college experience.”
What moment stands out from your years of competing?
“We competed for the women’s flag football championship in Central’s indoor practice facility. We were losing and driving down field as the game was coming to a close. I threw it up and my friend Heather Curtis caught it in the back of the end zone to win the game. Ever since then, we have our own rendition of the song Sweet Caroline based on that play.”
Do you have any superstitions or good luck charms?
“What I wear has to match (headband). I have an entire drawer of headbands to match with. When given presents by my parents, they know if they get a pair of shorts or a top, a matching headband should come with it. In flag football, I always wear black. Maybe I think it brings an intimidation factor. I’ve been using the same football for five years since my days at Central Michigan. Without it I’m useless, if you want to beat me, take my football(but please don’t).”
Any interesting facts or stories involving intramurals?
I have competed in regional flag football and national flag football tournaments. In 2008, we won a regional tournament at Ohio State. I was named MVP of the tournament. In 2013, we competed in a regional tournament at Notre Dame in flag football and I was awarded All-Tournament Team. In basketball, we went to three national tournaments. I have used the same women’s football name (Down N Dirty) since my first year playing (6 years).
What value do students who work in intramural sports & sport clubs receive from their experience as officials, supervisors, etc.?
“What sets Campus Recreation apart are the transferable skills (communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and time management) that we teach. Not everyone will end up in campus recreation permanently, but so many skills learned here apply in other fields. The benefit of being a part of this program is the responsibility that we give students. Students run the shifts and control the games.
The atmosphere of CR is so team oriented. You’re never on your own. Working connects you with people of all walks of life in what can be stressful situations. You still get to play. Most people come to work because they want to still be involved with the sport they love with a job that they hopefully enjoy. They have real responsibility but they still get to be a part of the sport.”
What part of intramurals has been the most enjoyable for you?
Unified Sports(Special Olympic athletes participating with college students). It has had a huge impact on my goals for this department here. I played unified basketball and coached unified kickball back at Central Michigan. The relationships I formed sparked my love for unified.
Dirty mike and the boys was our team name. Our unified athlete’s name was mike, and he was worried about me being the only female on the team with that name. But, we all loved the name and had an incredible time playing together.
What are your goals in leading intramural sports and sport clubs?
- Overall, I want to offer opportunities for students to enhance their college experience by participating in IM and SC. It’s all about the opportunities. It’s about people finding their place on campus.
- Bringing Unified Sports to Ole Miss for students to be impacted in the way that I was by being a part of unified.
- Development of sport club officers and members. We do more than just the games and practices but we offer leadership training as they lead their student organization.
- Staff: We want to get our staff to attend professional development opportunities ie. Tournaments, workshops and conferences. It’s more than a job; it’s preparation for what’s next.
- Sport Clubs: Increasing the amount of outreach and community service with the clubs along with CR as a whole with getting the staff and participants involved in the community.
What makes your job special?
The amount of students I get to impact through my work is what makes it unique. I am developing students for life after college. It goes back to the collegiate experience. Our programs can be a huge positive impact on somebody that creates memories as they compete in our programs. It is a large part of campus life.
Amanda combines an uncommon set of character traits that enable her to encourage and inspire her workers to endure and flourish as officials. Intramurals can be like a baptism by fire for first-year workers. Workers take on a job that requires hours of training and practice for each sport, late night shifts, and sacrifices to be at work while school is demanding attention. The students that stay have no choice but to learn how to manage their time, arrive on time for shifts, display patient customer service, work as a team, and a host of other things. If it weren’t for Amanda, few of them would be able to do all of these things. She takes strangers, differing personalities, varied backgrounds, and forges a culture of family and friendships. She takes a job that can be frustrating, humiliating, and grueling; and turns it into an invaluable experience of growth, satisfaction, and camaraderie.
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