Winter Study is a season in which some students do little more than go to class, play video games, consume traditional beverages and once or twice a day trek through the blistering cold toward the dining halls. Williamstown typically caters to outdoorsmen-like skiiers and snowboarders, who are certainly not in short supply on this campus.
However, a new force is sweeping campus that is driving people indoors. The Williams Sunday League, or Intramural (IM) Basketball League, can be seen almost any night of the week in Lasell and Chandler gyms, after the men’s and women’s varsity teams are done practicing. With court time always in demand, the IM teams often play late into the night, fighting Security to keep the gym open a little longer. The league is supervised by Coach Renzie Lamb but is run by students. It is seperated into three divisions: the A-league for advanced players, the B-league for intermediate players and the C-league for beginners.
“This is a great opportunity for students who are involved in other varsity sports or those who don’t play any sport at all to come into the gym and be a part of something special,” said William Marino ’02, the student commissioner of the A-league. “It is a place to meet other students and enjoy a pretty impressive level of athletic competition.”
Teams are comprised of people from all athletic backgrounds. There are those in the A-league who played basketball in high school, missed it terribly in college and now have the chance to once again be a part of a team in a sport they love. Beginners to the sport come to play for fun, and even Williams College professors and Security members have teams: one more opportunity for them to show students who’s the boss.
There are others who use the IM basketball league as a method of training for upcoming sports seasons in addition to entertainment. The Williams football team’s offensive line has a team in the B-league. These mountains of mobility can be seen running up and down the court two or three nights a week. Rob Sica ’03, captain of the “O-Line” team, points to the football team’s undefeated season last year as the driving force behind getting people on the court to work on conditioning and agility for the upcoming season.
Even the members of The Williams Record withdraw from the confines of their secluded office in the basement of Baxter Hall on occasion to flex their diminutive collective athletic muscle. The “R” team, which features both current editors and members of editorial boards of yesteryear, has sputtered out of the gate and is currently 2-5 against lowly C-league competition. Not frustrated by their sluggish start, members of the Record team insist that all the squad needs is time.
Despite the woes of the Record team, the league is a great addition to the Williams College community. It is something that brings students and faculty together in a friendly, competitive atmosphere. Student commissioners Ian Wilkofsky ’02 and Mark Rosenthal ’03 estimate that over 200 people are involved in the league, and are excited about what the future holds for the league.
The fact that an intramural sport has become so popular highlights the competitive nature of Williams College. Students and faculty alike enjoy athletic competition and thrive upon it for sport and for fun. Over-eager competitors may foul each other during the game and yell at the inexperienced student refs, but the post-game handshake reiterates the sportsmanship of it all. So while some students in other colleges may be lounging by a fire or skiing, Williams students and teachers are in the gym every week competing.