By Matt Gustus
To those of us outside of Greek life, our image of what goes on within a fraternity is somewhat limited. We picture over the top parties and drinking 24/7, as is shown in classic movies like Animal House and Old School. However, there are many other activities that go on behind the scenes that are less publicized but are a big part of life as a brother.
These other activities can include numerous philanthropic programs, brotherhood events and networking nights which all provide students a chance to enhance their Bentley experience. You’ve probably seen flyers around campus for some of these various events and maybe you’ve attended a few: Kappa Sigma’s Wings for Warriors Competition or Sigma Pi’s Pie Eating Contest, for example.
However, there is one social aspect of fraternities that flies under the radar: The Inter Fraternity Sports League.
During the three seasons that school is in session there is always a sport being played, with football in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.
“The sports that we play are football, basketball and softball,” said Chris McLeod, a Sigma Chi brother, who serves as the coordinator for the fraternity’s intramural sports. “They all are very popular, it really just depends on what sport you like the most. Softball is one of the favorites since it is in the spring time and its warm out.”
Currently, the basketball season is getting underway. The games are played on weekend afternoons and support from all brothers can be heard throughout the Dana Center. Players come with their minds focused on earning their fraternity bragging rights, while other brothers are there to show their support, lined all the way around the court. Some brothers have even been known to show up in a full suit and serve the role of coach for their squads.
Last weekend, the teams laced up their shoes and began their quest for a title. Sigma Chi took on Alpha Epsilon Pi in each team’s first game of the season. Although the game remained close, Alpha Epsilon Pi was able to pull away in the second half behind solid shooting and good team play to take home their first win.
Despite the loss, Sigma Chi believes they will be a tough team as the season plays on. As a member of Sigma Chi’s basketball team, McLeod feels that his team will be able to rebound from the early season loss.
“Alpha Epsilon Pi looked strong against us,” said McLeod, when asked his prediction of how this season would shape up. “I haven’t been able to see the other teams play yet, but I feel confident if we get some of our big guys down low working hard and our shooting fine-tuned we can make a deep run.”
Thinking back to this past fall, McLeod remembered one moment that stood apart from the rest as his favorite moment of his IFSL career.
“My favorite moment would have to be playing in the rain on the football field,” he said. “Everyone likes a good old fashion mud bowl.”
In most fraternity sports leagues, there is a simple point system that helps determine which fraternity is the best athletically. Winning one of the sports leagues earns a fraternity points, while each subsequent place a team finishes behind gets less and less points.
In the end, the team with the most points not only wins a super-sized trophy to be kept on display at their house, but they also get the bragging rights for the next full year that they were the best. Not a bad marketing tool when recruiting freshmen the next year.
For McLeod, the comradery that comes with playing in the IFSL is something he really enjoys.
“It’s a lot of fun to compete against the other fraternities on campus,” he said. “It leads to good friendly competition.”
Playing in the IFSL exemplifies the lesser known attributes of fraternities that help explain why members of fraternities feel such a deep connection with their brothers. Not only that, but the friendly competition that comes along with it is a great platform for students to blow off steam from the stresses of the academic grind.
As the basketball season continues on, the teams will be looking to make their mark in the IFSL.