Women’s intramural football a success

Despite the fact that the NFL doesn’t have a women’s league, it certainly hasn’t stopped the FAMU Women’s Intramural Football team from excelling in the sport.

The team’s name is “Simply Marvelous,” and its members agree that women can indeed play football.

The team traveled to New Orleans for the 2007 Pontiac American Collegiate Intramural Sports Flag Football championships, Dec. 28-31, where it won first place.

Soon after the women traveled to Dallas and took first place in the national championships. Both tournaments featured 77 state and regional teams from across the nation.

Crystal Wicks, 26, a graduate student from Houston, said this has been her favorite year thus far.

“I have been playing for six years, and this has been the best out of all my years,” Wicks said.

Head Coach Marvin Green said going into this championship, his top players were Ruby Nugent and Ashley Livingston. Both team members received MVP awards.

“I have a lot of good players,” said Green, who also serves as the assistant director of the FAMU recreational center.

Among those players are Wicks, who said she and her teammates are hardworking individuals.

“We practiced hard every chance we got, and it showed in the championship,” Wicks said.

Green started the Women’s Intramural Football team in 1996. Together they played until 2001 before disbanding because of Green’s personal obligations.

However, this year’s team said it is back for a reason. Green said he can see a difference between the team of today and the team from six years ago.

“The team now is younger and loose,” Green said. “They are the epitome of the ‘bend but don’t break’ saying.”

The women’s football team practices five days a week for almost three hours a day at the More Kittles baseball field. Green said he is very thankful to Robert Lucas for letting his team use the field.

Despite its hard work, the team almost didn’t make it to the championships because of a lack of funds. The National Pan-Hellenic Council heard about the problem and paid the entire bill for the bus trip.

So far, the intramural team has had three state tournaments in Gainesville and a regional tournament in Pensacola. But it hasn’t always been easy winning.

“Out of all the teams we played, the hardest was UWF (University of West Florida),” Wicks said. “They really gave us hell.”

Green said he is proud of his team and encourges every woman with an interest in sports to come out and participate.

“We want all the ladies to know that if they want to play a sport to just come to the FAMU intramurals located at the campus recreation center,” Green said. “I’m proud of these young women and what they have accomplished. I am sure the ladies of the past team are happy because they laid the foundation.”