The men of the freshman class made Oklahoma Christian University history with the first-ever Freshmen All-Sports win, and the women of Gamma Rho continued their successful streak with a seventh-consecutive All-Sports win.
Freshman Counselor Braeden Fair said he is impressed by the freshmen’s success in intramurals this year. He said the award is a big deal for students, and they should be proud of their achievement.
“My initial reaction is just being really really excited for our guys,” Fair said. “It’s the first time ever since they’ve implemented the freshmen being able to compete for points. This being my first year on the job, and being able to be a part of that and have that as an accomplishment for our freshman guys, it was just really exciting. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”
Fair said he believes the strength of the freshman class comes from their willingness to participate in activities and their commitment to the game. He said the sheer size of the team is a powerful advantage.
“If you look at the freshman class in comparison to clubs, it’s strength in numbers,” Fair said. “Really the freshmen should be competing every single year for the top 2-3 places. We had a solid group of guys — I would say there’s about 15-20 guys — that were involved in every single sport, and they were good at every single sport. They took it really seriously.”
According to Fair, intramurals help first-year students get involved on campus and meet people with similar interests. He said this year in particular the freshmen put extraordinary effort into intramurals.
“They started off the year really well, and there was just that group of guys, like I mentioned, they were really, really involved and really, really cared a lot,” Fair said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. I went to school here for four years and they’ve not ever been that competitive.”
Freshman Jacob Deffenbaugh said he decided to serve the freshmen as athletic director this year because he wanted to be involved in intramurals at Oklahoma Christian. He said after participating in athletics throughout high school, he was not ready to quit in college.
“I wanted to be AD, because I wanted to be a part of intramurals here,” Deffenbaugh said. “Coming out of playing sports in high school, I thought it would be cool to stay involved in some form of athletics.”
According to Deffenbaugh, intramurals balance bonding and commitment perfectly — keeping students involved without overwhelming them. He said working with the freshman class was a positive and rewarding experience.
“They are pretty easy to work with,” Deffenbaugh said. “They all just want to go have fun and continue playing sports. It’s been great getting to know some of the guys through the experience. I’m very proud of this class and the group of guys we have. They’ve been so much fun to watch and play alongside with.”
Senior AnnaBelle Little, athletic director for Gamma Rho, said she was happy to see Gamma’s hard work pay off after committing so much time to the different sports. She said every sport throughout the year was enjoyable, and every athlete contributed different, individual strengths to the experience.
“I was overjoyed with emotion,” Little said. “Gamma has put countless hours into intramurals this past year and I was so happy that everyone’s time and effort had paid off. We have so many girls that are talented at different sports, and I feel like no matter the sport, everyone was having fun on the court or field and in the stands.”
Little said the women of Gamma always have each other’s best interest in mind. She said although the group was competitive, their determination improved their work ethic and created a successful team.
“As a senior, I was proud to see the leadership and work ethic of the girls underneath our class,” Little said. “I am excited for the years to come for Gamma. Although I am sad that I will no longer be in Gamma, I know that the leadership coming up will continue to be a blessing on the women of Gamma Rho.”
Little said the bonds they formed strengthened their team. She said it was a joy to watch the women thrive in the encouraging and loving environment.
“My favorite thing about intramurals would be seeing and experiencing unexpected friendship unfold,” Little said. “Being together every night and watching people passionately play their sport brings me so much happiness.”
According to Little, the opportunity to play sports with her fellow club members was an opportunity unlike any other. She said their shared religious and ethical views made the experience one she will cherish forever.
“I have been on a lot of teams in my life, and there is nothing like playing with a team made up of young, Christian women who are bringing all their talents together to glorify God,” Little said. “That is one thing we tried to focus on this year, win or lose we wanted to glorify God for the opportunity to play for Him together as sisters. I have been honored to serve Gamma Rho.”