Flag football photo

Flag football won't be a part of this year's Freshman Games, but new additions like Spikeball, Cornhole and Coopball promise to keep the event exciting.

The thriving community of Gonzaga University is amplified by the traditions that take place here, and one of those traditions is the Freshman Games.
As an introduction to the start of intramurals, the Rudolf Fitness Center (RFC) has created the Freshman Games in order to welcome freshmen to the community of GU and get them involved with GU’s many traditions right away.
“The reason that we started these games is because we wanted to not only welcome the freshmen, but also to train them in how to approach something like intramurals, something that is so important for the Gonzaga community,” said Jose Hernandez, Director of the RFC. 

Freshman Games is the kickoff for the year of intramural sports, in which freshmen in teams of eight to 10 compete against each other for the title of Freshman Games champion and the coveted intramural championship T-shirts.

Freshman Games encourage first year students to be involved with intramurals all throughout the year, and allow them to make friends in a fun way right at the beginning of the fall semester.

“[Freshman Games] made it easier to talk to people and expand friend groups,” sophomore Grayson Sanderson said.

This year, Freshman Games look a little different, but this tradition is not stopping because of COVID-19. The RFC staff has come up with sports and games that will keep the freshmen safe while allowing them to still have the experience of being a first year Zag. 

“I think Freshman Games is a big part of freshman year, and necessary for those who want to play no matter the circumstances,” Sanderson said.

The RFC has worked hard to make the Freshman Games happen, keeping Gonzaga’s spirit and traditions alive in this new, safe way. Spikeball, Cornhole and a new game of the RFC’s own invention, CoopBall, are three of the intramural sports offered this year that the freshmen will have the opportunity to compete in before any of their upperclassmen. 

 “We want to offer something in which the freshmen can still interact and get to know more people, all done in a safe, friendly way that follows all precautions that are required by local, state and federal laws,” Hernandez said. 

“We are extremely excited to be able to offer intramurals in the middle of a brand new situation for us in the middle of a pandemic, where there is so much uncertainty,” Hernandez said.

Intramurals, starting with the Freshman Games, are an important tradition in our GU community, and they contribute to the overall experience of GU and train our students to work hard and work together.

“Intramurals are a great way to take the stress off of schoolwork through physical activity,” Sanderson said. 

The Freshman Games are a excellent way to start the year off strong, keep the spirit of campus alive through this challenging time, and encourage the freshmen as they begin their college careers.

“We want to mentor you,” Hernandez said. “We want to carry you this year, and show you the way so that when you are upperclassmen, you can help show the next class who will continue to carry the Zag way.”

Sarah Van Liew is a staff writer.

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