Students, faculty, staff welcome competition

By JeffGraveline

During the fall semester, the Fitness, Athletics and Recreation office, or F.A.R., rescheduled Fall Field Day several times due to inclement weather. However, that didn’t stop F.A.R. and the Renegades, Columbia’s student athletics organization, from hosting the main event of Fall Field Day at a different venue.

At the grand opening of the shared gym space at South Loop Elementary, 1212 S. Plymouth Court, the faculty/staff vs. students volleyball game took center stage as the students won the game for the first time in its two year history.

On May 7, the faculty and staff will try to avenge the loss when they participate in F.A.R.’s semi-annual Spring Field Day. The event will take place at Grant Park’s Upper Hutchinson Field between noon and 5 p.m.

Spring Field Day is viewed by F.A.R. coordinator Mark Brticevich as the kickoff to Manifest, which is scheduled for the following week.

“Typically, [Spring Field Day] is a day that we just try to get people out at the park to have some fun, to run around, play, network and meet folks,” Brticevich said. “We try to do some competitive stuff, but basically it’s for fun.”

The main attraction of the day will be the faculty/staff vs. students volleyball match.

The best of three format, in which one team must win two games to be declared the winner of the match, will take place during the middle of the event at 3 p.m.

The game will feature Columbia’s vice president of Student Affairs, Mark Kelly, who said he doesn’t know how the faculty/staff team lost to the students at the gym opening.

“Let me remind your readers, the faculty/staff [team] are still dominant in the series,” Kelly said. “We lead two matches to one. In my mind it’s the total number of trophies, not who won the last one.”

Friendly trash talk aside, the Spring Field Day is expected to draw more than 250 students to Upper Hutchinson Field, with hopes more will attend if the weather permits, Brticevich said.

“We always look to get somewhere in excess of 250 students,” Brticevich said. “But, that all depends on weather. What would make my day would be to see 500 to 1,000 students out [at Spring Field Day].”

Events scheduled throughout the day include: flag football and kickball from noon to 2 p.m., Frisbee and softball from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and beanbag toss (cornhole or bags) and soccer from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The events will be held at different times and will be more organized than in previous years when F.A.R. and the Renegades allowed students to dictate when or if games took place, Brticevich said.

“In years past, what we did was, we just kind of left it open for grabs,” Brticevich said. “Whatever [attendees] came and wanted to do, we did. That was kind of helter skelter, so this year we’re going to try it where we’re actually scheduling certain events.”

In order to better integrate a sporting culture into Columbia, Spring Field Day will be a chance for attendees to meet and interact with the Renegades board, who oversee all of the student-run athletics at the college.

Renegades President Erienne Byers, Vice President Kevin Hartmann, Secretary Melody Ruetsche and Treasurer Cassie

Schollmann will all be in attendance to give the Renegades and club athletics a face students can recognize.

All students in attendance can participate in any activity during the day.

“We’re just expecting to have fun,” Hartmann said. “We want people to show up, take a break from all these final projects and all the studying they’re doing for finals. Come out to the park, hang out with us, play some games, eat some food and have a little fun in the sun.”