Booth Coed Flag Football Captures Intramural Championship
By Jared Barnett '15 | december, 2013, Issue 1
Members of the Coed Flag Football Team are chilly but victorious.
Back row (L-R): Marc Leblond, Laura Burgos, Liz Abunaw, Jake Walker, Jared Barnett, Corey Hawk, Chris Panagiotopoulos
Front row (L-R): Anna Lassiter, Catherine Munaco, Jackie Klein
"I don't always call plays to myself, but when I do I win championships," stated Chris Panagiotopoulos '15 after he caught the championship winning pass in double overtime on a play he called for himself. After an exciting season, the Booth team won the University of Chicago Coed Flag Football Intramural Championship.
At the start of the academic year, squadmates Jacob Gomolinski-Ekel '15 and Jared Barnett '15 used their shared interest in football to register a Booth flag football team in the University of Chicago Intramural Sports League. The University offers more than 30 team and individual intramural sports, including football, volleyball, soccer, dodge ball and inner tube water polo.
After an initial signup of 50 students, the black hole that is recruiting sucked in numerous players leaving the team depleted. Without a full roster and despite the great play of Warren Yates '15, the team fell victim to a last-second touchdown to lose its first game. The second game quickly became known as the "Miracle at Stagg Field." Playing with only four players vs. the other team's seven, Booth was led by the angelic quarterbacking of Corey Hawk '15 to overcome the Law School and capture its first win.
Even with strong kicking by Matt Thorne '15, game three required a late game drive that was kept alive by first-year Marc Leblond's critical first down catch, to score the game-tying points. In the final regular season game Booth shutout the Divinity School, even though it was five players vs. seven. Anna Lassiter '15 intercepted the first play of the game and Jackie "Stone Wall" Klein '15 led the defense the rest of the game. The season's most memorable moment came when Chris Panagiotopoulos danced down the field taunting the other team as Corey Hawk returned an interception for the deciding touchdown.
The playoffs began with Booth shattering its opponent's championship hopes in 20 degree weather. Kyle Akin '15 threw three touchdown passes and caught another. Offensive MVP Jake Walker '15 was lightning in a bottle catching two short passes and running around all seven opponents to score long touchdowns. Although the other team left Catherine Munaco '14 with blood-soaked gloves, Liz Abunaw '14 maintained her sportsmanship when she loudly apologized for accidentally knocking down an opposing player.
The championship game was against the undefeated Harris School and is now the most epic championship game in UofC intramural history. In a defensive battle, led in part by second-year Laura Burgos' unrelenting pass rush, the game ended in a tie after regulation. In the second overtime, after Jake Walker scored a touchdown, Chris Panagiotopoulos returned to the huddle and declared "Give me the damn ball!" Having not caught a pass the entire game, Chris designed the play and caught the pass that gave Booth the championship-winning extra point.
Not only did the team win a championship but a lot of great relationships developed between the team members. The group will participate in other intramural sports during the Winter and Spring terms and requests that you contact Jacob Gomolinski-Ekel or Jared Barnett if you would like to participate.