Students, faculty, staff prep for Fall Field Day

By JeffGraveline

The faculty/staff vs. students volleyball rivalry resumes and headlines Columbia’s third annual Fall Field Day. Students, friends and family members are being invited to Grant Park’s Upper Hutchinson Field to participate.

The event will feature sports and activities throughout the day with the students vs. staff/faculty volleyball match starting at 3 p.m.

The faculty/staff team, undefeated in two matches against the students, are ready to prove once again that they are in charge in the classroom and on the volleyball court.

“Make it clear that I’m trash talking and they [the student team] better be ready,” Mark Kelly,  vice-president of student affairs at Columbia, said. “We have some superstar athletes from the faculty and staff that will be coming out this year.  They should not be confused by my white hair and think it’s a white flag. Far from it.”

The third annual event starts at noon on Oct. 16 and will go until 5 p.m. The Upper Hutchinson Field of Grant Park is located at the corner of Balbo Avenue and Columbus Drive.

Fall Field Day is being held in conjunction with Columbia’s Parents’ Weekend. The five-hour event is being hosted by the Fitness,  Athletics and Recreation Department and members of the fitness center staff. Students will be able to participate in kickball, soccer and lacrosse among other sports and activities being organized by Renegades

coaches and players.

Renegades athletic board members, team members and coaches will be on hand to help organize and participate in events throughout the day. Representatives from Renegades baseball, soccer, volleyball and lacrosse teams will be there to network with players as well.

“A bunch of the baseball guys are going to start kickball or softball and then lacrosse guys [will start lacrosse],” said Erienne Byers, president of the Columbia Renegades. “Then we’ve got people interested in soccer, they’re going to start soccer. [The sports will be organized], so that way we can kind of network with people who want to get involved with certain groups.”

Along with the organized sports being held by the Renegades and fitness center, Fall Field Day is scheduled to have a beanbag-toss area.

Free food and beverages will be provided by FAR and the fitness center.

“We usually stick with Jimmy John’s [for food] and then we just go get Gatorades, waters, stuff like that,” Byers said.

The faculty/staff vs. students volleyball match is played in a best-of-three format and the student team has only won a single game in the last two years.

“Our student athletes at Columbia should be embarrassed that they’ve let aging, decrepit faculty and staff trounce them two years in a row,” said Kelly. “It’s an indictment of the athletic ability of our students.”

While Kelly showed confidence in his faculty and staff team, Mark Brticevich, director of Fitness, Athletics and Recreation at Columbia, was wary of the student team that will be in front of the net this year.

“[The students] found themselves a ringer, they got a couple players who are ex-college volleyball players, so they have a fairly high level of skill there,” Brticevich said.

For all the events and the volleyball match, students should bring their Columbia I.D. for admittance. Any student in attendance can participate in events throughout the day. Friends and family are encouraged to attend as well.

“Come bring your friends, bring your family; come and have a good time [at Fall Field Day],” Brticevich said.