Intramural changes create minor obstacles


Sophomore Kenneth Onigbinde and seniors Peter Nino and Edwin Melgar prepare to defend their side of the court.

Players eye each other from opposite ends of the court. Taking calm breaths, they patiently wait for the whistle to blow. It is only a matter of time, and a slow start could cost them the match.

This is a typical start to one of Kerr’s intramural sports games.

One change was made before this year’s games even began. In past years, teams were formed independently by students. This year, teams are formed first by clubs and advisories and then students. While it is a slight adjustment, it still creates some complications.

Senior Julia Nguyen could not create a team with her peers in advisory before the cut-off deadline for the dodgeball games.

“No one wanted to participate,” Nguyen said. “I tried. Mr. [Derek] Davis tried. At the end of the week, we only got four people to register for the team, but you need ten. It was difficult to form a team because there’s less people.”

Junior Jacob Mosley encountered a similar issue.

“I asked my friends, but they were already part of their clubs,” Mosley said. “Forming a team was kind of difficult. I guess I should have tried harder.”

Nguyen did step up in her recruitment; she tried several approaches to form an advisory team, but, in the end, none worked.

“I encouraged them to try out something new,” Nguyen said. “No one wanted to try because they were scared. So, I tried a different approach. I said that if you join, and if we win, you might get known, become popular. But no one wanted to get popular, so that didn’t work.”

Fortunately, both Nguyen and Mosley managed to salvage some of their plans for recruitment. Nguyen reconnected with her former teammates to participate in the volleyball games.

“We’ve been a team since freshman year,” Nguyen said. “We always lose, but we really don’t care who wins or loses because in our minds, we’re like ‘we’re gonna lose eventually.’”

Similarly, Mosley recruits a band of old friends for the basketball games.

“We actually play all the time,” Mosley said. “We played this summer, last year, the year before, so we know how we play together.”

While the change to intramurals may affect returning students, it has little effect on new students. This is true for freshman Itmam Azad, who quickly joined the Muslim Student Association’s dodgeball team.

“It’s not really much of a difference,” Azad said. “When I was invited to the club by some friends, it already had two or three meetings. The interactions weren’t too hard for me.”

Physical Education teacher Moon Kim believes that the modification is practical and will ensure fairness.

“We won’t have kids picking their own teams to have an unfair advantage over other teams,” Kim said. “The kids in the fitness club who work out every day and get great cardio may have a little advantage.”

Afterschool program coordinator Eugene Miller looks forward to seeing more school involvement and social skill development.

“More student participation and more pride in organizations, seeing students in organizations get to work together in different ways,” Miller said. “I want to see students develop interpersonal skills and how to work with others. Hopefully, this is a fun way to get that done.”

Nguyen can agree.

“It seems like everyone is into cliques,” Nguyen said. “No one really wants to get to know the other person, so this creates connections amongst the faculty and the students.”