Intramural Championship Thriller

A heavily favored senior team, led by Billy Irish and Lucca DiBartolomeo, were knocked off by an underdog sophomore team, led by Owen Mears and Mike Ortlib, and a strong supporting cast.

Ennis Udo 24’, Contributor

Mr. Burke (Commissioner of Intramurals) was very complimentary of the championship team.


“I do believe it is the first time that [a sophomore team] has won. The seniors are supposed to win. But this sophomore team was good. They’re big, strong, and fast. And they put together a really nice club. So they might be the next intramural dynasty.”


This Coastal Carolina team has athletes all over the field, but their structure raises some questions. Do they work well as a team, or are they more a group of individual athletes? This begs the question, is their success sustainable? 


“They had a ton of natural talent. They had a ton of size. They had a good smart quarterback, which is really important. They had a good game plan coupled with athleticism which makes a lot of difference in the world. There are other teams that were more enthusiastic, more aggressive, but you know, they were smart and talented. So that’s a tough combination to beat,” Burke said.


Indeed it was a formidable combination to beat, one too tough for Marshall to overcome. This might be due to injuries, given that DiBartolomeo, one of East Carolina’s best players, was out. 


“He’s a total stud, great athlete. He certainly was a major factor in the success of Marshall throughout the year,” Mr. Burke said.


Billy Irish, a player on Marshall, had this to say about the injury.


”The biggest factor in the game is obviously the elephant in the room, Luca DiBart.”


With everything else put aside, one must wonder, how can a team as explosive and dominant as the seniors lose to a group of sophomores?  Mr. Burke gave us a little intake into his thoughts on this question. 


“I thought Marshall was the clear favorite in this league. But they got cocky, and they took it for granted. They were a little bit arrogant. That’s why they ended up losing,” Burke said.


Lots of credit also goes to this sophomore team, who worked hard to achieve this championship win. Malvern sophomore, Will Oschell, explains what the team did to prepare for the championship. 


“We put a game plan together and got advice from teams who already played them. We always played the toughest competition. Although, speed was our only fear. We then changed our defense up,” Oschell said. 


They knew they had to develop a good game plan because they faced a heavily favored team. They devised a perfect defensive game plan to stop this highly explosive offense. 


“We went into a zone defense, and we put two safeties deep to prevent someone from getting burnt,” Oschell said.


This sophomore team has been in many championships. Some they won, and others they lost. Sophomore Jack Caroll explained what fuels them to keep going.


“We hate to lose. Everyone on the team loves to win, but our team didn’t want to lose to any other grade, and we knew we were the best,” Caroll said. 


The senior team believed the refs might have bailed out the sophomores.


“No calls were going our way, and when you pile that on top of your best player being hurt there’s not much you can do,” Billy said.


It’s safe to say that this intramural championship was one for the record books. This dynamic sophomore team comes out on top and could be the beginning of the next great intramural dynasty.