By NICHOLAS DISIMONE
A true spirit of competition filled the air at CCC during a kickball event between staff and students. The competitive atmosphere was comprised of two elements, rubber and determined feet. The same spirit that drives CCC to succeed was found in the staff and students so determined to lead their team to victory.
The annual Staff vs. Students kickball tournament event took place on Wednesday, March 30 in the gym. The teams consisted of two staff teams and six student teams. Each team was determined to win.
Senior Director of Student Life & Athletics, Kellie Slade, and an official at the game, discussed the history of the kickball event. Originally, the event was conceived four years ago as “Staff vs. Students” volleyball. To help students understand that staff may not be as intimidating as they are perceived to be, student senate developed the event to help bridge the social gap between staff and students.
The initial volleyball event four years ago wasn’t a big success because staff and students were bruising themselves from not hitting the ball properly. So as a lower-risk alternative, kickball replaced volleyball two years later. This is the second year for the kickball event and it seems to be the more favorable event. As an additional stress reliever for staff and students, the event was chosen at the beginning of spring, after Mid-terms, for everyone to just let loose and have fun. When deciding on the event date, Slade says, “The end of March is kind of a nice way to kick off our spring.”
The game started off with two student teams. One of those teams was absent and had to forfeit. Student Senate won their first game against the staff and then lost their second game. Consequently, the staff team, with their amazing effort and strong determination, never made it to the final round.
The final game came down to the Red Team and Student Team 4. Tensions were high and calls by officials were being disputed. Student Team 4 eventually prevailed and claimed victory over the Red Team. Student Team 4 was comprised of students from our basketball team and their friends. They were a rowdy bunch and definitely determined to win. Student Team 4 represents the strong determination and competitive spirit that CCC is all about.
The staff, not having much experience kicking the ball or running around, still did considerably well. Slade says, “The great thing about the staff is that there are no egos.” Speaking on behalf of her fellow staff members, Slade says, “It’s about being with the students and having a good time.”
The students had two extra teams this year. Slade implies that the students this year may have been a little overly competitive. Slade says, “Overall, I think the students have to realize that it’s simply a game and I think they have to put their egos on the shelf.” When observing some students that were determined to win, disputing calls by officials during the game, Slade says, “Whatever the officials say, the officials say.”
Slade contended that the kickball event is a venue for fun, not an arena where students can profess their supposed athletic dominance over others. However, Slade believes that the team that won this year was “definitely the most athletic.” With that being said, “every team had a lot of spirit,” says Slade.
To find out what brought some of the staff and students out to the game, a member of the staff team, and office manager at the University Center, Yami Ortiz says, “Well, I wasn’t initially going to come until certain people in senate,”(referring to yours truly), decided to come around my office and ask whether or not I wanted to be a part of this kickball event.” She thought about it and said, “Why not? Why not be spirited and do something with the campus community?” Ortiz’s attitude toward accepting my invitation to the event is the very fundamental participatory spirit that every CCC staff member should possess. Participation is the key to any successful institution and Ortiz’s efforts did not go unnoticed.
Similarly demonstrating Kellie Slade’s sentiment about some of the behaviors at the game, Ortiz says, “Winning or losing is not the objective, but it’s just to be cohesive with the rest campus, staff and students and to show that we are all initially the same. We’re not just ‘staff’ or just ‘students’, were just people.” Ortiz’s statement fits the exact reason why Student Senate conceived the game in the first place.
Fellow student senator, and member of the Student Senate team, Carey Walden, came out to the game because “I haven’t played kickball in a while and I wanted to see if I still had it,” says Walden. When asked how she felt after her Student Senate team had their first win, Walden said, “There was no surprise. We were fortunate enough to have a good team.” Walden’s confident spirit blended right in with all the other teams’ spirit that day. Walden was just another high-spirited individual among many that day that were there just to play and have fun and if her team won, well, that was just a bonus.