Renegades want more dedication

By Etheria Modacure

The Columbia Renegades club sport program is looking for better ways to engage students.

It’s hard enough that many students don’t know the group exists, according to Renegades Vice President Kevin Hartmann.

Having students who try out for the various teams and who do not truly commit to training frustrates Mark Brticevich, coordinator of Fitness and Recreation in the Office of Student Engagement at Columbia.

The Renegades are looking to change that problem this year. Better support from students and more dedication from participants will be the main focuses for the program.

“No one knows we exist,“ Hartmann said “People think it’s an art school, [so] there can’t be any sports.”

Brticevich wants the sports teams to be more competitive this season. He noticed students in the past would try out with the expectation they didn’t need to do much to play on any of the teams.

“Most of the club sport leagues we get into are highly competitive,”

Brticevich said.

Brticevich would like for students who participate in club sports this year to have an active voice in their own teams, be willing to spend money to support their teams and commit to hard training

“[You have to] give it the same amount of diligence, same amount of work that your competitor’s doing, otherwise you’re going to get your ass kicked,” Brticevich said.

Hartman said it’s tough finding students willing to come to practice and show up at games.

Brticevich said because the Renegades don’t have true home facilities, it’s harder for other students to support the teams. The basketball team played its games at its opponents’ home court, and the baseball team played home games in Crestwood, Ill.,

last season.

The past may have been unkind to the Renegades but those on staff believe this can be the year things change.

“I feel like this year it’s going to be a lot better,” said Cassie Schollmann, treasurer for The Renegades. “Columbia isn’t known for [its] sports, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have people wanting to

play sports.”

Kristen Jacobsen, captain of the volleyball team, said though it’s tougher to get students to notice The Renegades, some are encouraged to tryout.

“Being [at] an arts school, competitive sports is a hard thing to come across,”

Jacobsen said.

While students take classes in the South Loop, the Renegades would like more students to participate in club sports here

as  well.

“We want people to have fun, and not just sit inside their apartments,”

Schollmann said.

Hartmann said the Renegades are in the process of adding more teams for sports such such as volleyball and soccer, which has sparked interest but hasn’t had enough dedication from students.

If a student is not interested in training and practicing in order to be a part of a club sport team, they shouldn’t join, according to Brticevich. He said it isn’t good when the basketball team is fatigued after one half of play while the other team is still energized in the second half.

The Renegades fund their teams through fundraisers, donations and sponsorships in order to function as a club at Columbia.

“We have support from the school, but people doing all the organizing are the students,” Hartmann said.

Instead of holding tryouts for various teams of  The Renegades in the fall and spring semesters, all tryouts will be conducted the first two weekends of the fall semester

Basketball tryouts will be on Sept. 18 at the outdoor courts on 18th and State Streets.

Hartmann’s three goals for this upcoming season are to fill out each roster for The Renegades, add more teams for sports such as fencing, and have more dedication and interest from students. Hartmann said he wants the Renegades to build their brand on campus.