April 17, 2012 - As part of the Student Athlete Cohesion committee in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Lauren Laszczak and Kasandra Vegas had thoughts all semester long of creating an event for student athletes and other students alike, here on campus, to bring people together for some fun as well as to raise some money for Boys and Girls Club and food for St. Mary’s Food Bank of Northern Arizona.
Something competitive was the first thing on their minds. It's only natural to get athletes to participate if there is some sort of challenge involved. After some thought, they had the idea to incorporate Greek Life by asking them to participate as well. Not only would this meet Lauren and Kass’s goals of creating a student-athlete event for bonding and better department chemistry, but it would also involve another group of students on campus to raise awareness of athletics and intermingle athletes and the greater student population.
In the next couple weeks to follow, much preparation was done to insure a successful event as well as a smooth as possible check-in for teams.
Teams were to have seven members, a team name, as well as a costume. Prizes for first, second and best costume had to be gathered. Special thanks to Oreganos, Buffalo Wild Wings and Louie’s Chicken Shack, multiple generous gift cards were donated.
Brackets had to be created with all the teams signed up and accounted for as well as a rules sheet had to be made to make sure there was no questions or discrepancies. The MAC gym at the new Health and Learning Center on campus had to be reserved and the equipment had to be put together. A lot was done in about 3 weeks.
Saturday came and the girls were prepared. Lauren had created a bracket and a rules chart to hang on the check-in table. She had doge balls and cones, as well as referee gear and whistles. Volunteers ran the check in table and collected $1 or a can of food from every person participating. Kass helped be the voice through the chaos of 13 teams and about 60 people. She was able to get teams organized and tell them which teams were playing on which courts.
Throughout the day there was competitive energy. After 3 hours of multiple games between the 10 teams participating, the final came down to two athlete teams. There was a team of all football players and a team of all basketball players. A crowd gathered and stood around to watch the action take place. Not only were there people inside the Mac gym in the Health and Learning Center, standing to cheer on their favorites, but a crowd of families and friends surrounded the glass walls on the outside of the gym watching the last game. The play came down to the last two on the court. One final throw, and an out for the basketball players, left the football team the winners.
Overall, the event was a hit, and with a little bit of adjusting, the Second Annual Athlete vs. Greeks Dodgeball tournament will continue as a tradition for students and athletes alike, here at Northern Arizona University.