Women's IM Football

Intramural Football: Bringing Back the Glory Days

Written by Ellen Sweet

When I think of “the glory days,” part of me thinks of high school. Sad, right? I was officially an athlete back then; I played varsity soccer in the fall and joined the track team in the spring, because sprinting my guts out sounded like a fun thing to add to my daily schedule. Some of my favorite memories were Thursday nights on the soccer field, playing under the lights in front of a crowd of friends and family. I lived for game day.

I thought I left that behind when I decided to go to Hillsdale.

I was wrong.

Let me tell you about Intramural Football.

Nowhere does tradition run as deep as it does in the Hillsdale College IM Football League. (It’s hyperbole, people. The Western tradition obviously runs deeper.) On weeknights in the fall, students from all over campus meet under the lights on the football field to compete. There’s Vicious and Delicious, a team passed down from my freshman year RAs to new generations of competitors. There’s Too Legit to Quit, the team from Olds Dormitory made of up eager freshman girls being inducted into the league for the first time. There’s Kappa Kappa Gamma, the sorority girls who rocked the league last year as they went from underdogs to league champions in a few short weeks. There’s the Young Guns, a literal dynasty carried on by members of the Ashmore family—a family with more children than I’ve been able to count.

And then there’s my team, The Pleiades. We’re the girls from the Honors Program whose team spirit in the face of a futile quest for the championship could easily be the subject of the next inspirational sports movie. Rumor has it that Dr. Gaetano’s wife played for The Pleiades when she was a student. You can practically taste the tradition as we circle up for our team cheer, which, since we’re the honors kids, is obviously the Greek word for glory: “KLEOS!”

Blood, sweat, tears: IM Football has it all. It brings together all corners of campus onto the football field to take a break from studies and duke it out with some good old-fashioned competition. The camaraderie is unparalleled; turns out that nothing brings people together quite like going to battle. (Disclaimer: no college students were slain in the writing of this article, or in any game of flag football in school history.)

Every week I find myself looking forward to the time when I can grab my cleats and head to the field. Once again, I’ve found myself living for game day. I guess you could say that IM Football gave me my glory days back. There’s just nothing quite like a night game under the lights.

Ellen SweetEllen Sweet, ’17, is an English major and French minor from the beautiful state of Oregon, where the grass is always green. She is the President of the Hillsdale College Women’s Soccer Club, a member of both the Honors Program and Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, and a firm believer in the power of a good book.