By Jackson Sparks, Sports Editor–
All kinds of sports have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The first thing that comes to mind is college athletics of the NCAA.
However, there are other college students who have had athletics ripped away from them this fall. Intramural sports are a form of armature athletics in which fraternities and sororities often compete but also include open leagues and co-ed leagues. At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, flag football, soccer, and basketball are a part of the slate of sports being played during a normal year.
Senior Zach Harshey of UTC’s Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity said the loss of intramural sports has taken away an opportunity for college students to come together, to have fun, to compete, and to play the sports they love. Harshey, who played quarterback in high school, quickly gravitated toward intramural sports as he arrived on campus in Fall 2017.
“We play because it gives us a sense of unity every week,” said Harshey. “We get to go be a team, especially in a time where there seems to be a lot of division.”
While intramural sports are often overlooked, they have a profound positive impact on young college students. “It’s a form of exercise while having fun,” said Harshey. “And it gives you a real sense of belonging.”
For Harshey specifically, he was itching to get one last intramural season. He played flag football the three years prior and was starving for a shot at redemption.
“My team has lost in the championship the last three years,” said Harshey. “I love winning and competing, so I definitely wanted another shot at it.” He joked that it was certainly helpful to keep him in shape.
Covid-19 has had a profound effect on nearly everything in our lives, and especially sports; whether it be a 100,000-fan capacity stadium on a college football Saturday, or a rec-league game played by fraternities.