Flag football legend rises on Hilltop
Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
By morning Cameron Gibson is a normal SMU student. But when the sky darkens and the lights come on, he transforms into an animal.
On the gridiron that is.
While Gibson doesn’t play on the SMU football team, he is widely known around the intramural fields as one of the most electric flag football players on campus. Compared to Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester, Gibson jukes, spins and flies past defenders every Monday night during the fall semester.
“I’m just out here having fun and putting on for my team,” he said jogging onto the field.
More than 800 SMU students participate in flag football each year and make up approximately 106 teams, which compete in co-recreational, fraternity and open leagues.
Intramurals have become an integral part of university life for students like Gibson, who long for the competitive atmosphere he was exposed to during high school.
“Flag football is fun for me simply because the competitive nature in me gets to come out,” Gibson said.
“I love competing in any and everything, and I love being with a team who is just as competitive as I am.”
But with so many students involved, scheduling can sometimes create conflict. Coupled with unfamiliar rules not found in the actual sport of football, students can get quite frustrated with intramural sports.
“The biggest part of our job is training the officials. We have two two-hour class sessions and then four hours on the field and work with them throughout the year,” Assistant Director of Intramurals Michael Sasala said.
“In terms of scheduling the leagues we set up everything during the registration. We also have the captains meeting to explain rules and get everybody ready.”
During intramural playoffs, games can be played at any time. The unpredictable scheduling has already affected Gibson’s team and caused its first round opponent to forfeit.
Still, Gibson is happy with the overall job done by the SMU intramural staff and the opportunity to play a sport he and his friends truly enjoy. Gibson has played with the same team, C.O.A., for the last three years and said flag football has helped him develop a stronger bond with his teammates on and off the field.
“There were times that we have all absolutely hated each other and times where we wanted to quit,” he said. “But it has honestly been a blessing to have a group of friends that you can play football with for three straight years.”
While former jocks are the most common players, flag football ultimately unites the student body and is a sport both males and females can take part in to relieve the stress of class.
“You have a whole bunch of different types of students that play,” Sasala said.
“You have the students who love it and played sports all through high school, and this is their way to keep playing and be competitive. We also have students that just want to run around and everything in the middle. Intramural sports are great for everyone.”