Bloomsburg University’s Intramural Flag Football Team Punches Ticket to NIRSA National Tournament in Florida
Bloomsburg University’s very own intramural flag football team spent their winter break in the sunny state of Florida, where they played in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National tournament.
Senior captain Garrett Levengood has been playing on the intramural team since his sophomore year at BU. The team traveled twice to East Stroudsburg University for the Pennsylvania Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (PIRSA) state championship, where they won the tournament both in 2013 and 2014. This tournament was a warmup for the regional tournaments.
In 2013, the team traveled to Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. for the NIRSA regional tournament, where they lost the championship game by just one point in four overtimes.
After losing, the team got another shot to win a regional tournament at the University of Maryland, but they lost early in the playoffs due to missing a few key members. In 2014, the Intramural team returned to Springfield for the regional tournament where they made it to the championship game and lost to the same exact team, again by just one point.
This year the team made the trip back up to Springfield, where they won the NIRSA regional tournament with ease. They outscored their opponents by an average of about 40 points, which finally led the team to the NIRSA National Championships at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla.
“It hurt to lose the first time in four overtimes. It was unbelievable that the same thing happened the next year. Both years we were winning almost the whole game, so we knew we had it in us to win it all. Losing by only one point both years to the same team really gave our team members the fire to come out and give it their all to finally win this year with ease,” says Levengood.
In Florida, the tournament consisted of 30 teams. BU was guaranteed to play two . They would need to win one to clinch a playoff spot. They won their first game 33-26.
The team lost their second pool game by only a touchdown. They won their first playoff game 27-21, making it to the final eight teams. BU finally lost to the University of Southern Florida and was eliminated.
“I wanted to keep playing because not only each year we were getting better, but also getting more experience. I knew we had it in us to win the regional tournament and with a solid number of guys coming back from the following year, I knew we had a shot to do some great things, which we did,” says Levengood.
Flag football is played 7 on 7 with no physical contact. If there is contact it may result in penalties. The field is 80 yards instead of 100 yards like in standard American football. The first down markers that are already set. There are no kickoffs and the offense starts with the ball at the 14-yard line. 2 extra points can be earned in American football, but in flag football you can choose to go for either 1, 2, or 3 points. Players are required to go a further distance to score for a greater amount of points.
BU’s flag football team consists of 11 students. “All the players on the team are very competitive minded and athletic. Everyone has great football IQ’s, which makes it easy for everyone to respect each other and get along. We’re all there for one reason: to win. We had athletic, determined, and competitive team players which is a recipe for success,” says Levengood.
Senior Captain, Garrett Levengood,
Senior Captain , Brian Miller
Adrian Johnson, Senior
Cooper Given, Junior
Trip Hagner, Junior
Chris Veisbergs, Junior
Anthony Santoleri, Junior
D.J. McFadden, Sophomore
Dain Kowalski, Freshman
Roderick Davis-Perry, Freshman
Sultan Johns, Freshman
“Any intramural sport or activity that allows you to travel the country for free and do something that you enjoy is truly amazing,” says Levengood “It’s a great opportunity to not only meet new people but to get out and travel the country.”