Intramurals let athletes pursue goals

An athletic scholarship from a Division I school is sometimes hard to come by. Many student athletes do not earn Parade All-American or first team all-state honors.

But Florida A&M University’s intramural program is here to fill the void.

FAMU offers a wide range of intramural activities, including flag football, co-ed volleyball, 7-on-7 soccer, tennis, racquetball, co-ed softball, wrestling, 3-on-3 basketball, golf, cheerleading, soccer, cycling, martial arts, weightlifting, water polo, track and swimming.

Also, campus activities offers a number of outdoor activities, including bike riding, hiking, horseback riding, carving, canoeing, paintball, camping and outdoor cooking.

“These activities give students the opportunity to further their athletic abilities after high school. These activities also give the students a sense of worth and are less stressful than participating in a varsity sport such as football, basketball or baseball,” said Robert Brown, recreational program coordinator.

“While participating in intramurals students are still able to hold down part-time jobs, find efficient time to study and participate in other student activities. Students are not just committed to one sport.

They are able to participate in other recreational sports, they learn about other sports, and are able to meet new people,” Brown continued.

Some students use intramural sports as an opportunity to pursue a playing career after high school.

Chas Dean, a junior from Boynton Beach, was a first team all-conference, state-qualifying wrestler in high school.

“Intramural wrestling gives me the opportunity to learn more to what I already know about wrestling, and the competition and conditioning is much tougher than high school.”

Dean declined scholarship offers from Division II schools such as Maine and Delaware because the schools were too far from home.

“Many colleges down South do not offer wrestling as a varsity sport because it is an indoor sport, which is offered mostly by universities up North,” Dean said.

Dean will have the opportunity to show what he’s worth as the wrestling team will travel to tournaments at the University of Texas and the University of Central Florida.

“Thanks to FAMU’s intramural wrestling team I still have the opportunity to hopefully one day compete as an Olympic wrestler,” Dean said.

FAMU’s soccer team also has players that continue to fulfill their desire to participate in sports. Freshman Jordan Wilder from Kennesaw, Ga., has been playing soccer for more than 10 years.

“Intramural soccer is the same game as in high school but just at a faster pace, more fun and less pressure.”

Many students take advantage of intramural play – even students from other schools. One of the top players on FAMU’s intramural soccer team, Ricky Herron of Fort Lauderdale, is a student at Tallahassee Community College.

The intramural program could help fulfill Heron’s professional dreams. Heron has a scouting combine to attend in December, which will give him the opportunity to work out in front of professional scouts.

“If it wasn’t for intramural soccer I would not be given the opportunity to participate in the scouting combine,” Heron said.

Brown urged students to take part in intramurals and campus recreation.

“In order for FAMU to keep offering these activities, it is the responsibility of students to participate and take advantage of the chance to be seen.”

Opportunities might be present to students through participation,” Brown said.