Sports in the springtime

By Lindsey Woods

The end of a sports season usually means excitement and big competition, such as bowl games, play-offs and fierce competition. For the Renegades, the end of the semester has a more subtle culmination. There will be no “big game,” but the Renegades are planning some game-changers for the upcoming spring season.

It has been a busy semester for the Renegades, with the addition of women’s basketball, men’s basketball, co-ed soccer, cheerleading, co-ed softball, and the return of the baseball, soccer and Ultimate Frisbee teams. There were more successes than failures in terms of starting lasting teams, with the most memorable flops being the cross-country team and the fencing team. But Abby Cress, vice president of the Renegades, said even those weren’t vain endeavors.

“A lot of people were interested in fencing, and we did kind of get the fencing team started, but the captain [Fred Hausman] had a knee injury and we didn’t have anyone to take over,” Cress said.

Kevin Hartmann, president of the Renegades, said the new teams were a big part of the program’s successes this semester.

“We’re really proud of the captain of the new teams for fighting through the growing pains and working toward next semester, becoming fully established and digging their roots in deep to the campus overall,” Hartmann said.

Trying to add teams to Columbia’s sports roster isn’t the only thing on the Renegades’ to-do list. Forrest Frazier, current Renegades secretary, said the plans for spring include working with teams they already have to foster legitimacy.

“We’re going to try to stabilize the teams we have now with strong leadership, strong captains and co-captains so [that] we can keep these teams going.”

Expanding the sports aspect of the Renegades is only one facet of the program that needs attention, according to Hartmann. Although he will be leaving his presidential post next semester, Hartmann said he will be around to help out with Renegades business, including a rebranding campaign that he hopes will bring more awareness.

Cress will be taking over the presidential post, and Frazier will be promoted to vice president next semester. The Renegades staff will also have two new faces next year, although Hartmann didn’t say whom yet.

Although he is leaving, Hartmann will still do most of the graphic designing for the program and wants to be a major player in the rebranding campaign, including peppering the school with posters to help raise student awareness.

“We want to do a poster campaign with the new logo to kind of say, ‘Sports are here, sports exists, get involved,’” Hartmann said. “We want the posters to say who we are and have them everywhere.”

The Renegades are also planning for mainstay events, like the Columbia Olympics and the staff versus student

volleyball game, which may see some changes next semester. Instead of bei other events, Hartmann said it will be its own independent event.

Cress added that in addition to the volleyball game, the Renegades have talked about adding another staff versus student sporting event during the spring semester.

“We’re hoping to have the first staff versus student Ultimate Frisbee game next semester,” Cress said.

She also talked about Rockin’ with the Renegades, an event planned for March 8, 2012, at the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

“It’s like a homecoming,” Cress said. “All the teams are going to be announced, there’s going to be a dance, we’re going to have small carnival sport games [and] food. It’s pretty much a ‘hello’ to Columbia students, like, ‘We’re the Renegades, come rock with us.’”

With new and current sports teams to manage, a rebranding campaign and new and recurring events, the Renegades have a lot of big plans for next semester. Cress said everyone on the board is excited and ready to get students more involved with sports at Columbia.

“We’ve had a good semester,” she said. “Next semester, we’re going to kick it full force. We’re excited.”