Intramurals offer ways for any student to get involved with sports

Intramurals offer ways for any student to get involved with sports

Whether it’s in soccer or frisbee or spikeball competition, students at Lipscomb have plenty of opportunities to compete even if they are not involved with intercollegiate athletics. “Intramurals gives the average student the ability to participate in sports in an organized setting,” Kegan York, director of campus recreation and wellness.  “Students can play for prizes such as T-shirts and trophies, while also bringing them together over common things they love, such as soccer, football, and basketball.”  The sports for intramurals are ultimately chosen by the students, and have included non-traditional ones like ultimate Frisbee and spikeball.  The tournaments and leagues are decided upon by feedback the leadership team gets from surveys they send out to students. “We try to time our surveys that we send out to students for the end of an intramural season or just at the end of the semester,” York said.  “We like to cater our intramural schedule based on student participation and the positive feedback we receive for certain sports.”  Along with intramurals being a way for students to get involved in competitive sports on campus, they also provide an outlet for stress during the school year.  “I think it’s a great and healthy way for students to get out a lot of the stresses they have from their classes,” Jenah Park, graduate assistant for intramurals, said.  “Also a lot of people who participate in intramurals played sports in high school, and the sudden transition to not playing anymore can be harsh. So this is a nice way to ease that move.”  “I’m very thankful that the school provides this opportunity, and my favorite...
Four inductees honored at 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame

Four inductees honored at 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame

The 2021 Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony introduced four new inductees, including long-time employee Andy Lane and three volleyball players: Ann Mullins, Alex Kelly Samuels, and Jake Pease House. The ceremony took place during homecoming weekend and began with an address by Lipscomb President Candace McQueen, who spoke on the importance of athletics in the university.  “Lipscomb was a great place to grow spiritually and help with my goal orientation,” McQueen said. “That is really a testament to what our athletic programs have done for so many other athletes.”  All four inductees gave heartfelt speeches to an audience filled with friends and family, after reminiscing on all that they had accomplished. Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson commented on the strengths of this hall of fame class.  “They are all first ballot hall of famers because of the way they carried themselves and the way they performed,” Hutcheson said. “What they’ve done to elevate our program, and the way they connected to everyone on campus just makes this class special.”  Hall of Fame inductee Andy Lane, who spent 33 years working for the athletic department in various roles, was thankful for the experience and what the ceremony cemented for his legacy.  “It’s such an honor, having worked here a long time, and to be on the other side of an event like this, it’s so humbling,” Lane said. “I am just so thankful and blessed to have this opportunity.”  Lane served as a sports information director, Director of Media Relations, Assistant Director of Marketing, Associate Director of Athletics for Administration, game management, assistant baseball coach, and the softball program’s first-ever...
Spirituality nurtured among Lipscomb’s competitive athletes

Spirituality nurtured among Lipscomb’s competitive athletes

The relationship between God and Lipscomb students is a cornerstone of the university, but there are unique possibilities for developing that bond when dealing with athletic competition. No one understands that better than Chris Klotz, director of spiritual formation in athletics.  “We talk about competition all the time, and how much of a gift it is to compete,” Klotz said. “We want to enhance that competitiveness by looking at how God would view that as well.”  Klotz also said he views his official job title as an inaccurate description of how he helps athletes on campus with their faith.  “It’s not my job to form anyone spiritually, that is the work of God,” Klotz said. “I get to be a part of that journey and process with the athletes and coaches. And there is no greater opportunity than to help with that as God does the heavy lifting.”  Along with helping athletes on a daily basis, Klotz has created programs such as the 5-5-5 campaign that involves praying for five athletes, five minutes a day, five days a week.  “Essentially we put all of the athletes on cards, five at a time, and email them out to the university, family, friends, and anyone connected to athletics,” Klotz said. “We ask them to commit to this pledge of praying for these athletes and how personal and important it can be to connect with them on a spiritual level.”  Lipscomb women’s soccer player Katia Hanger came to Lipscomb for the spiritual aspect and sees how integrated it is on her team.  “Everyone is in different places in their faith journeys, but...
Kate Popova changing women’s tennis culture, leading by example

Kate Popova changing women’s tennis culture, leading by example

Kate Popova, Lipscomb women’s tennis co-captain since her junior year, has received many personal accomplishments and accolades since joining the team five years ago.  A native of Ukraine, Popova has played No. 1 in singles since she was a freshman, has had a winning record in ASUN play every year, and reached first-team All-ASUN status three times.  Popova gives credit to her team for helping her stay motivated and continue being a leader.  “I want to win at the end of the day, and I really want to win conference before I leave,” Popova said. “This team really works hard and keeps you motivated to get better every day.”  Women’s head coach Jamie Aid commends the leadership Popova has brought to the team and the dynamic that she has created within it.  “There’s a lot of standards that are more or less driven by the team, and our captains put that together,” Aid said. “We have a team full of girls from all over the world, and Kate has done a great job making the culture of the team feel like a family.”  Co-captain of the team Maddox Bandy also lives with Popova and considers her one of her best friends. Maddox has known Popova since she came to Lipscomb and has seen her leadership skills turn the team culture into what it is today.  “It’s awesome to be team captains with her, because she pulls her own weight, and is not overbearing in any way to any of the players,” Bandy said.  “She is also our No. 1 player on the team — which I think is really...
Behind the scenes, strength coaches help keep athletes in shape

Behind the scenes, strength coaches help keep athletes in shape

While attending games at Lipscomb, fans can witness the direct impact of the coaches, as they get timeouts at crucial moments and as they call plays. What spectators don’t witness is what goes on behind the scenes to get a team ready to succeed. One crucial element in game prep is the strength and conditioning coaching that is necessary for players to stay in shape and healthy. “Our main goal and focus is to keep the athletes healthy,” said assistant strength coach Sean Johnson. “We want to make all of the athletes at Lipscomb better at their sport by making them stronger, and keeping conditioning up to par.” Though strength and conditioning are pivotal during the season, it takes a front-row seat in the athlete’s training during the off-season. John Hudy, Lipscomb’s head strength coach, said that while some athletes build muscle during the season, most muscle and stamina gains happen when the sport is not in season. “As soon as the season ends, we start training immediately,” said Hudy. “We can really build strength and stamina during those times not dedicated to games, and build for the upcoming season.” Most athletes are full-time students, while also having to attend practices daily and games at least weekly, or even more often. In the offseason, though, is when the training broadens. “Especially in season, players will get turned off to lifting weights, because they believe it’ll make them sore or have ‘heavy legs,’” said Johnson. “But we let them know that’s not our goal; we know that consistently training with us will help them recover faster and stay healthy.” While...