Case Sports Gain Popularity in ‘08
Case Western Athletics
By Youngmin Park
Unigo Campus Rep at Case Western Reserve University
It’s undoubtedly sports season at Case. Varsity sports are the most popular with students, but participation on club teams and intramurals is rampant throughout the week.
It is not uncommon for students to notice a group of girls and guys dressed up to play a game of intramural soccer, volleyball, or ultimate Frisbee. These Intramural events have been running since September between two and five times per week, with soccer garnering the most interest. During soccer games, it's not uncommon for students like Gazi, a sophomore, to say, “Come and play soccer with us sometime!” to close friends who happen to pass by. His inviting attitude embodies the spirit of Case intramurals.
Due to time constraints, it’s impossible for many students to get involved in varsity athletics. They often join one of the many well known club sports, each averaging between twenty to twenty-five members. One of the most popular and unique club team at Case is the Kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art focused on sword-fighting. As an individual sport, club members can participate in as many tournaments as they want, but according to Hiroko Matsuyama, “Costs and schoolwork generally won't allow that.” Despite their time constraints, Kendo club members practice regularly to prepare for the annual Cleveland Kendo Tournament in April.
Varsity teams have been busy this month as well, and they are no less popular than intramurals or club sports. Women’s varsity soccer so far has broken even with exactly eight wins and eight losses. The most notable loss was against the biggest rival Carnegie Mellon on October 19th 2008, but the decisive win against Oberlin College the following week was a great morale booster for cheering Case students.
While women’s soccer may draw crowds of up to fifty people, men’s soccer attracts double that number for non-UAA (University Athletic Association) games. As of late, men’s soccer has won 13 games and lost only 4.
The men’s swimming team has been practicing almost daily in preparation for the upcoming swim meets. Mike Lin, a dedicated freshman swimmer, wakes up earliest at 5:30 a.m. six days a week for practice. “The only meet we had so far was an inter-squad meet. Our first meet is this weekend from October 31st to November 1st,” he said.
Case students represent a wide variety of people with different interests. Even if they don’t have time for varsity athletics, intramurals and club sports present outstanding alternatives as well as a large group of supportive spectators for each sport.