The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Club teams, an alternative for student seeking to play sports

Sports teams comprise the majority of the extracurricular organizations at the high school level. Although they are not often discussed, club sports at Mississippi State University are the next step for high school athletes attending MSU.

Over 7.8 million high school students play on a sports team, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. In contrast, there are only 460,000 playing at the collegiate level, according to the NCAA’s official website. Club sports aim to fill the void left by athletes leaving high school sports.

Often, club sports are overshadowed by more popular college organizations. While intramurals are commonly recommended by parents and friends of incoming freshman, joining a club sports team may have more benefit to the student in the long run.

MSU boasts 23 club sports teams. These sports range from the typical sports teams like men’s soccer all the way to the less renowned sports like the martial arts form Aikido, with everything in between. 

To keep the competition friendly between students, intramural teams only compete for bragging rights and commemorative t-shirts at the end of their season. In contrast, MSU club teams are able to compete for their school on both regional and national levels.

Several of MSU’s club teams have recently garnered national recognition. Most notably, MSU’s 2009 Disc Golf team won a national championship. 

Last year, the MSU Bass Fishing team finished fifth in the nation and they are poised to make another title run this year.

Often, intramural teams only meet once a week to compete and then will not see their teammates again until the next time they have a game. Club sports teams, however, meet regularly to build the camaraderie and technical skills that are important for team success.

Daniel Neely, a senior from Huntsville, Alabama, said playing on the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team allowed him to meet other students in a fun and competitive environment.

“It is a solid group of guys,” Neely said. “Guys will meet freshman year, and really get along and then end up rooming with those guys the rest of college”

Club sports also provides students with an opportunity to grow as leaders and practice effective time management. Each team has an executive board which handles all of the team’s planning, paperwork and other major decisions. 

Vice president of the Women’s Lacrosse Team, Elizabeth Amalfitano, said being on the team board of executives helps hone her leadership skills and allows her to transfer what she learns as a business administration major to a sport she is passionate about. 

“My classes provide strategies on different ways to recruit people,” Amalfitano said, “and also teach how to use community involvement to benefit the club so we can keep growing our program.”

Being part of a club sport can also improve your health and grades. Participating in a club sport allows students to take a break from studying by being active.

Jonathan Adams, competitive sports coordinator for MSU, said there is a direct correlation between students’ activity in the Sanderson and their GPAs. 

“We have statistics that show students that are active in the Sanderson, whether it’s club sports, intramurals or just working out, have a higher GPA than students who don’t,” Adams said. 

For more information on joining a club sports team, visit the Mississippi State Club Sports website.

Contact Josh Beck at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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Club teams, an alternative for student seeking to play sports