Alyssa Tyler editor in chief
PSU football season may have ended last semester, however, if you drive by Carnie Smith Stadium on Wednesday nights, you will see a group of students playing touch football. Students who come from all different walks of life. Some who live in Nation Hall, some who live off campus, some freshmen, some seniors, some business majors, some construction majors.
The football field is filled with students who all come together past their differences in the hope of building a community focused on their love of competitiveness and athletics.
Bradley Crider, a junior in finance and Lead Resident Assistant of Nation Hall started this event in hopes to create an inclusive space for his floor.
“I started to do it to bring my community together. (To) bring all of the housing community, outside community together, (everyone) on campus together, to try and be as inclusive as I can be,” Crider said
But soon Crider found that its attendees did not just live in Nation Hall, or even on campus.
“As I continued to come out here and continued to dedicate myself to this, I started noticing the atmosphere and the friendly environment. Seeing everybody come together and there’s really no one looking at each other a certain way. It’s just everyone coming together and having fun,” said Jamal Morris, senior in communications and attendee of the weekly football games. “Like Bradley said, we’re just a bunch of ‘shoulda-woulda-couldas’ just trying to play football.”
Ranging from 20-30 students a week, the teams are split up into four groups where they then split the football field in half. The teams play 7 on 7 starting at the 50-yard line.
The football teams are nowhere near professional, however that allows all skill levels to join. No matter how much or how little experience they may have.
“All skill levels are welcome; I mean we see it all out here. We have teams with guys that haven’t played football, some guys who play tennis, we got real football players, we got one D2 guy out here, we got a couple former D2 guys out here. We got some good athletes and some really bad athletes, no offense to them; I’m one of the bad athletes…,” said Crider. “I’m out here having fun and I know all of them are, I see a lot of smiles.”
The event has allowed freshmen like Enzo Perez, a freshman in construction management, to meet new people.
“It has been very beneficial. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new guys, see new faces, learn a little about everyone and everyone gets to learn a little about me, just share the love with everyone,” Perez said.
“I think these events are very important. A lot of these guys met their roommates (and) their best friends (out here). They get closer together through this competition and I think a lot of these guys miss the competition since being out of high school… It’s a good thing to get together each week.”
As the semester ends, Crider is looking forward to the event’s future.
“I want it to become a big enough event where they can turn on the lights on at night for us. We can play later at night, have big teams, and then eventually, if we start actually doing this for real, we’ll raise revenue and we’ll get pads for everybody so we can play tackle football out here.”