Introducing Archery Tag: a fresh face spells change for intramurals.

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By Griffin Nelson, nelsongr@mnstate.edu

The arduous journey of a student-athlete is burdened by tremendous sacrifice.

All athletes exhaust their time, energy, and the most coveted resource on campus—sleep. And while the passion and commitment necessary to compete in athletics at the collegiate level is beyond commendable, it isn’t for everyone.

Should that beckon the curtains on the sporting life for everyone else?

Intramural sports provide the needed space for friendly competition with a modest level of commitment for the student body. They are a great way to stay in shape, escape the wretched wrath of chapter readings and connect with those on campus with similar interests according to MSUM senior Jacob Ambrose

“It’s a good way to meet people,” Ambrose said.

Ambrose has participated in intramurals throughout his time at MSUM, and believes they’re a great way to get out of your dorm and have some productive fun.

MSUM’s Intramural department is experiencing major development from within, thanks in large part to the recent arrival of Seth Nichols.

A graduate and former student-athlete from the University of North Dakota, Nichols was named the Assistant Director of Competitive Sports at MSUM last April. This is his first full semester here in Moorhead with the intramural program.

He brings years of experience in recreational sports management from across the upper-Midwest, holding a comparable position at South Dakota School of Mines, located in Rapids City, South Dakota.

“There’s been a plethora of sports offered here [at MSUM],” Nichols said. “With my history and background, I want to come in and put my spin on things a little bit.”

Nichols plans to add more programs and activities while shortening each season to three or four weeks before turning to the next set of sports. This dynamic, cyclical rotation is an effort to drop the monotony that can linger through longer intramural seasons, keeping things moving and introducing new activities along the way.

Nichols wants to add a few single-day sports tournaments and plans to upgrade prizes for league winners beyond the usual championship t-shirt. He is particularly eager to install something he’s picked up during his professional travels: archery tag.

“It’s basically bow-and-arrow dodgeball,” Nichols said with a grin. “It’s really as fun as it sounds.”

Nichols is looking to crack down on teams bringing in outside help. Reminders to present an MSUM (or M-State) ID card at each game have been sent out consistently since before the start of the intramural season.

“In my past experiences with multiple schools in the area,” Nichols said, “it can turn into a bit of a ‘Wild West’ situation. I don’t want hired hands competing when they don’t pay for the privilege.”

The measure will have a zero-tolerance policy after the first week in an attempt to ensure that the proper students are the ones taking advantage of the programs.

Nichols has created a fresh buzz around intramural sports, and even long-tenured employees have taken notice.

“He brings a lot of enthusiasm,” MSUM senior Hannah Loos, a three-year member of the Intramural management team said. “He definitely brings in a lot of diversity in the sports and how they are run, something we haven’t had before.”

Loos, a member of the women’s soccer team at MSUM, adores sports and relishes the chance to have a job with where can work so closely with athletes.

New to the area, Nichols is intrigued by the prospects here in Moorhead. He praised the diversity among campus and believes his take on intramurals will provide an alluring environment for MSUM students to come and sweat, socialize, and smile.

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