If you were on campus this past weekend, you may have noticed several interesting sights, including random people rowing in Lake Osceola, groups of screaming girls wearing matching t-shirts and a generally high energy level near the dorms.
You’re not crazy; these are simply the effects that UM’s annual Sportsfest competition has on residents.
“Our goal is for everyone to have a wonderful time playing together on their respective teams, cheering for their college and enjoying a fabulous weekend,” said Norm Parsons, Wellness Center director.
This past weekend was the 18th annual Sportsfest, a friendly competition between teams made up of students from the dorms and apartment area.
Only Hecht and Stanford were involved in the first Sportsfest in 1986. A new dorm was added to the mix each of the following three years until all residents were included.
There are 63 teams this year, each with its own self-defining, often sexually suggestive, name. Every year the sexual innuendoes seem to get more and more provocative.
This year, it has been said that the event should have been called “Sex Fest” instead of “Sportsfest” because of many of the teams’ names and the fact that many participants cut their T-shirts to be more revealing.
Among some of this year’s most obviously risque, albeit hilarious, names were Pearson’s “Fokers”; Mahoney’s “Bad Girls”; Eaton’s “The Well-Hunggarians”; Hecht’s “Homerun Hoochies,” “The Naked Nine,” and “MT Threesomes”; Stanford’s “Alpha Q,” “Fourplay,” “Nasty Trix” and “Yankmes.”
Other names included “Plumber’s Union,” “Ladies of Scum” and “Your Mom.”
Sportsfest is generally the same each year: teams compete against each other in sports events for the title of overall champion.
Events range from sports like football, basketball, volleyball and track and field to more outrageous: mystery events, board games and human bowling.
“Each year the student committee, residents from each college, puts their touch on Sportsfest by adjusting some of the events, tweaking the rules, deciding on awards, etc.,” Parsons said.
Scoring is done each year by Jimmy Orhberg, a former Sportsfest participant. Orhberg lives in Orlando, where he works at SeaWorld, but travels here each year to do the computerized scoring.
“Jimmy developed the scoring system,” Parsons said. “He’s an invaluable part of the event.”
Some students expressed concern about the canoe race in Lake Osceola because of the seven-foot crocodile that has recently made the lake its home.
“There’s no way I’m going into crocodile-infested waters,” said Jose Candelaria, a Hecht freshman.
However, a rescue boat stayed in the water for the entirety of the race, and no one spotted the crocodile.
Although Sportsfest is a friendly event, meant to encourage residents to interact with one another and develop a sense of community, some said teams became a little too serious about the competition.
Hecht and Stanford Residential Colleges have long been fierce competitors, especially after last year, when Hecht won the championship and broke Stanford’s 10-year winning streak.
“We’ll demonstrate good sportsmanship, but not at the expense of losing,” said Michelle Boyd, a resident assistant [RA] at Stanford.
Others weren’t so excited about the competition to begin with, but the enthusiasm seemed infectious.
“My RA bribed me into this with a free T-shirt,” said Jessica Solomon, a team captain. “It’s a lot of work, but the end result will be worth it.”
Overall the event is played in fun and everyone comes out a winner.
“Playing sports isn’t fun if it’s die hard,” said Shelly Steele, Solomon’s co-captain. “For our team, it’s about involvement and having a good time.”
Jacklyn Lisenby can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.