Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Rulers of the Rec


For many, the University’s 17 Rec Center-sanctioned intramural sports offer a chance to stay fit, active and competitive. Over the years, the University’s Rec fields have become a Mecca for these students. For some, though, intramural sports offer a chance to build something that lasts longer than a pick-up game, like intense rivalries, institutionalized teams and dedicated fanbases.

Jimbo Wilhite, a senior majoring in chemical engineering from Tuscaloosa, is one of these students. Wilhite captains the Wombats, a flag football team has stayed intact for six years, actually recruits its players and takes the game seriously.

Wilhite said the Wombats were started just for fun about six years ago by student members of First Baptist Church. “Every year we try to get a little better,” he said. “We’ve never won a championship and that’s what our goal is this year, to win a semi-pro championship in flag football.”

Wilhite was appointed captain by one of the Wombats’ founders, TJ Yates. Wilhite said Yates was captain of the Wombats for six years until he graduated. After he graduates at the end of this school year, Wilhite will pass down the captaincy and the Wombat tradition will continue.

Wilhite said the Wombats have become so popular at First Baptist Church that their games can draw crowds between 50 and 100 people.

“[Wombat games] are more of a social gathering where we like to come out and just enjoy the time, have fun, and it’s a good time of fellowship,” he said. “It’s a great way for our church to minister and get people involved. We enjoy it because we get to play and at the same time get to develop friendships with other people.”

The list of reasons members join intramural teams doesn’t end there. Emily Broman, a junior majoring in chemical engineering from Forest, Va., said she started playing intramural soccer her freshman year as motivation to stay active.

“Even though I didn’t play soccer in high school, I started playing my first semester at UA because I wanted something to keep me active and to be doing something that I enjoyed, as well as to fill the void in my life that high school sports used to fill,” Broman said. “Intramural sports are a great way to have scheduled time with my friends that is also scheduled exercise, but most of all it’s just really chill. I know most people get really stressed out with classes and things that have to be taken more seriously, but intramurals are strictly for fun.”

Broman believes intramural sports at the University are designed to promote fun over competition. Under this premise, students are more likely to sign up rather than be scared away by the intensity that comes with sports, she said.

Despite Broman’s support of friendly competition, some teams and athletes take intramural sports just as seriously as they would if they were playing for Nick Saban.

Kelvin Williams, a first-year master’s of accounting student from Birmingham, Ala., has participated in intramural flag football, soccer, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee since he was a freshman. Throughout his career as an intramural athlete, Williams has won five championships and competed in 10 championship games. Williams attributes his intramural success to having a consistent team.

“For the most part I’ve tried to keep the same core team since I started playing intramural sports four years ago,” Williams said. “The coed flag football team I am on was started my sophomore year and we’ve been together ever since.”

Pistol Whipped, Williams’ coed flag football team, has played in the championship game each of the past two years and has come away with one title. William said his team played against Mustache, a rival team, in each of these championship games.

“It seems like every championship we get to we play Mustache,” he said. “We’ve developed some really intense rivalries over the past few seasons, especially in flag football, but nothing is like this one. They have this one girl that is also in my master’s [of accounting] program, and because Pistol Whipped and Mustache play so much, we’ve developed a natural rivalry.”

Students interested in forming an intramural team must register during the registration time for their chosen sport. Each sport has its own registration period, which can be found out online at and in the intramural sports office. Registration dates are available approximately two months prior to each semester.

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