Charity sports tournaments dominate weekend athletic action
By Dana Malajian
Published on Wednesday, May 7, 2008
As varsity sports near the end of the spring seasons, Dartmouth students have begun to transfer their pent-up athletic energy into a variety of recreational sports charity tournaments.
On Sunday, some students took part in the PanHellenic Council's annual flag football tournament at Hanover High School, while others stepped up to the plate in a charity whiffleball tournament hosted by Alpha Delta fraternity.
For those who chose to test their skills with flag football, the ultimate prize was the Golden Football, which was presented to the winners of the men's and women's division finals.
On the women's side, Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority claimed the Golden Football, while an at-large men's team registered as LAXXXXX won the men's tournament.
This weekend's tournament marks the fourth time the event has been held, according to PanHell President Jessica Lane '09. It has become one of the most highly anticipated events of the Spring term, she said, especially among Greek organizations.
Although both finals were hotly contested, the women's final featured the longstanding rivalry between finalists KDE and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
"The boys' tournament was competitive, but it lacked the intensity of the women's competition," Nate McNamara '10, a member of the victorious LAXXXXX team.
"On a scale of one to 10, the level of intensity was around a 12," Sandy Barbut '08, quarterback of the three-time defending champion KDE team, said.
This year was the third in a row that the KDE and KKG teams have met in the final.
"We had a streak that we wanted to continue, and that was huge," KDE defensive lineman Emily Trentacoste '09 said. "That played a big role in how we played and how intense we were. We really wanted to keep the streak alive."
The women's final was tied at the end of regulation play and remained knotted up for nearly three sudden death overtimes. Barbut finally won the game for KDE, hauling in a fourth-down pass from Alyssa Parker '10 in the end zone to give KDE the title.
On the men's side, LAXXXXX defeated Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, 13-0.
Though PanHell tried to clarify the rules and regulations of the flag football matches, there were some conflicts among participants about the fairness of play, according to Lane.
"We essentially tried to work off the NFL youth rules, but there were some issues about how we ran the tournament," Lane said. "In general, there wasn't a set of hard and fast rules, but we kind of briefed everyone initially and there was a general understanding of how play would go on."
Members of Dartmouth's varsity football team, a day removed from the annual Green-White spring game, refereed the matches in the PanHell tournament.
Despite the inherent illegality of full contact in flag football, both male and female competitors noted the physical nature of the competitions.
"People got mangled out there," Trentacoste said. "It was really rough."
"The tournament's limited restrictions on contact, by flag football standards, made back-to-back games particularly grueling and hard fought," McNamara said.
Along with being a favorite among Greek organizations on campus, the tournament was also a financial success.
Lane estimated that Panhell raised between $1,500 and $1,800 from the tournament, which charged players an $8 entrance fee.
The proceeds from the tournament will benefit The Hannah House, an Upper Valley organization founded in 1984 to house and support young mothers in the region.
For those who shied away from the high-contact action of flag football, AD's whiffleball tournament proved to be a fun and benevolent alternative. This year marked the second time AD has hosted the tournament.
According to former AD service representative Nick Christman '08, a fellow member, Armeen Poor '08, came up with the idea for the tournament last year.
"Armeen came to me last year and said he wanted to hold a fundraiser for a clinic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he had worked," Christman said.
"We thought it would be fun to do a tournament of some kind, and the first sporting idea that came to my mind was whiffleball," he said.
The entry fee for the whiffleball tournament was $8 per player. Nearly 32 teams competed for the final prize -- box seats at a Boston Red Sox game in Fenway Park.
"It's kind of a neat thing," Christman said. "I'll be out of here next year, but I'd like to think people will keep doing it."
All proceeds from the whiffleball tournament were donated to the Asociacion PIEL, a non-profit pediatric reconstructive surgery clinic in Argentina.