Flag football team competes at regional tournament

by Ashley KatchStaff Writer

On the weekend of Nov. 16, an intramural football team from Simpson competed at the Regional Tournament held in Lincoln, Neb.

According to Nicole Darling, assistant director of student activities/intramurals, Simpson paid for the men’s open flag football champion to go to Drake to compete at the state level.

“Several different schools enter into the state championship such as Iowa State, Iowa, Kirkwood, Graceland, Grandview, Drake, Central and Simpson,” Darling said. “However, this year there was a smaller representation of schools at the state tournament. Our men had some challenging games but ended up winning the state tournament. The terms of Drake’s state tournament states that they will pay for the entry fee to go to the regional tournament if you win their tournament. Therefore Drake paid for Simpson’s entry fee into the regional tournament.”

This is the first year that Simpson has sent a team to the regional competition.

“Every year, we try to send a flag football team up to Drake,” Darling said. “It’s not always the exact team who won Simpson’s flag football league due to scheduling conflicts. We have represented Simpson very well in the year’s past, but this is the first year we won.”

The members of the team who traveled to Nebraska were senior Ryan O’Lear, alumnus Jason Ripke, sophomore Dylan Mick, sophomore Luke Goemaat, senior Bryan Geelan, senior Eric Hentges, senior Mark Cates, senior Chris Hixson, senior Shane Johnson, alumnus Eric Plumb, junior Tim Seils and senior Jordan Hennigar.

The team went 0-2 on the weekend, failing to qualify for the intramural national tournament held in New Orleans. They played Creighton and Dakota State.

Though the team didn’t end up with a regional victory, Johnson thought that the trip to Lincoln was a lot of fun.

“It was a good time,” Johnson said. “We got to play some good competition. It was fun to take intramurals to the next level.”

According to Darling, taking intramurals to that state and regional level are great opportunities for participants.

“I feel we have great athletes even in the intramurals recreation level and if we can succeed in a post-league tournament with other schools I will do my best to make that happen,” Darling said.

Darling feels that this was an overall great opportunity.

“It was a great experience for our Simpson guys and although they didn’t come up with a win, they saw some good competition and were able to compete at that next level which they deserve,” Darling said.

Football is not the only intramural activity that students can compete at beyond at Simpson.

“We have sent basketball players places, but we haven’t been consistent in trying to get teams to the next level,” Darling said. “I am trying to improve on that and get our teams places to represent Simpson.”

Goemaat agrees with Darling.

“I think it would be a great idea to have more teams go further in intramural competition,” Goemaat said. “It is a good experience for everybody. It is a good way go get Simpson’s name out there for intramurals.”