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Intramural sports leagues highlight championship-caliber talent among student body

Reporter: Columbusstate

 Intramural sports leagues highlight championship-caliber talent among student body

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May 11, 2023 So, you’ve dedicated years of blood, sweat and tears to the sport you’ve loved since you were four years old. As a graduating high school senior, you might be at the point where you think hanging up your cleats or high-tops is your only option—with the prospect of playing college-level sports having passed you by. If that’s you, then you obviously haven’t heard about collegiate intramural and club sports—both of which are administered by Campus Recreation. Club Sports Club sports are one option for students to extend their playing time beyond their high school careers.

Annually, around 200 Columbus State students compete through the university’s 10 club sports teams and against other colleges and universities within their respective leagues. Its tackle football program is its most popular and fields a team each year ranging from 50 to 70 players; most teams include up to 20 or so players each season. “Club sports is a highly competitive environment—both in terms of making the team and competing against other teams,” explained Lashica Thomas (pictured), the interim director of Campus Recreation in the Division of Student Affairs.

“They’re also provide another avenue for student-athletes who want to continue competing in college.” That makes club sports as selective, if not more so, as high school programs—with club teams requiring previous playing experience, tryouts and skills level tests. Club sport offerings vary from year to year based on student interest and involvement.

Coaches are volunteers and typically faculty, alumni or community members with previous college or semi-pro playing experience. Club teams recruit during “Cougar Days” where aspiring club players visit campus while previewing both college and team life. Scholarships are not available exclusively for club sport participation, but the university does cover most of the costs associated with playing club sports.

Prospective students can also learn more about club sport teams when they visit campus during one of the Office of Admissions’ many Discovery Days throughout the year. “Our club football team is a great way for the university and our players to become more visible in the competitive football world,” explained Michael Speight, intramural and club sport coordinator.

“Cougar Day is designed to help us recruit and build talent for our club football team. We look for high-character guys with good grade point averages and talent. We normally offer at least five roster spots to guys who attend this event.” Intramural and Extramural Sports As many as 400 Columbus State students each semester participate in intramural sports, which range from outdoor options like soccer, flag football and softball to indoor sports like basketball, dodgeball and volleyball.

These options are open to all students—even those who have never played the sport before. “Our Intramural Sports program welcomes all students—there’s no required skill level,” Thomas said. “Playing on an intramural team is a wonderful opportunity for students to engage with other students, socialize, and benefit from both a physical and competitive outlet.” NIRSA Basketball Champions Intramural sports competition is limited to on-campus games; however, elite-level intramural teams rising through the ranks of on-campus competition may qualify for off-campus opportunities—as was the case for this year’s men’s intramural basketball team.

The 10-member team rose through the ranks of on-campus intramural play and moved into extramural play as part of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, commonly known as NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. Throughout the season, the team was under the leadership of captain Malcolm Revis (pictured at the April 20 netting ceremony), a graduate of North Forsyth High School (Cumming, Georgia), where he played basketball after moving from Texas.

While under his watchful eye, the team qualified for regional play at Georgia Tech in early March—making it to the tourney’s Final Four and advancing to the NIRSA national championship. “It felt good to lead a team that was so willing to listen and follow,” Revis noted. “I felt that this was a perfect team for me to transition from a rookie to a vet.

We were just a team willing to get over ourselves and achieve the ultimate goal—and that was winning a championship.” For Revis, honing his leadership skills as team captain was as important as keeping his playing skills sharp. "Really, my only challenges were me just trying to be a good and respectful leader,” he said.

“Normally, I'm not the one to lead the team, but this year I had to step up and transition into that role. The hardest part was being vocal and impacting the team in a positive way on and off the court.” The team’s other members included Jaylin Frasier, Bradwell Institute High School (Hinesville, Georgia); Jaylen Gandy, Paulding County High School (Dallas, Georgia); Domonik Henderson, Monroe High School (Albany, Georgia); Noah Lott, Columbus High School (Columbus, Georgia); Darnell Moran Jr., Shaw High School (Columbus, Georgia); Ace Muhammad, Riverwood International Charter School (Sandy Springs, Georgia); Andrew Phillips, Whitefield Academy High School (Smyrna, Georgia); Erick Powell, Camden County High School (Kingsland, Georgia); and Tajh Williams, Veterans High School (Warner Robins, Georgia). “We have a group of guys who are passionate about the game of basketball,” Speight said.

“This is a hellava group of basketball players.” Hosted at the University of Maryland April 14-16, the NIRSA championship involved a 32-team bracket. Columbus State moved from pool play after losing to Virginia Commonwealth University but beating Stockton University. They advanced from the quarter-final round beating Sheridan University 88-52. In the Final Four round, Columbus State first faced Georgia Southern University (who they defeated 73-48) before defeating Virginia Commonwealth University 77-65.

The national championship win becomes the intramural basketball program’s fifth national Intramural Division NIRSA Championship title—four for the men and one for the women—and its first since 2008. It also represents the program’s 10th regional championship title. The team returned to Columbus State as national champions, and on Thursday, April 20, gathered with their fans for a netting ceremony in the Student Recreation Center. “Competing and winning at this level shows that we’re able to produce champions at Columbus State,” Speight said, noting that Columbus State’s intramural basketball program is one of only few representing NCAA Division II team schools in its league. Moran contributed to the team’s competitiveness on the court.

The shooting guard’s 100% record from the three-point line during the championship game helped guarantee the team’s win. Moran was named the tournament MVP and joined teammates Lott and Muhammad on the All-Tournament Team. “Before coming into the tournament, I knew my role was going to be knocking down shots for the team,” Moran said, noting that three-pointers have been his specialty even before his playing days at Columbus’ Shaw High School.

“As a [three-point] shooter, you need to understand to believe in your own shot, even when you miss — bet the next one is going in.” Asked to summarize this year’s team, Speight said: “This team was a team that refused to lose.” For more information about participating in club or intramural sports, visit the Campus Recreation website or contact Speight at 706-507-8238 or Media contact: Michael Tullier, APR, Executive Director of Strategic Communication + Marketing, 706.507.8729,

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