Hitting for a cause

Prexy’s Pond was uncovered on Sunday for the first annual boot hockey tournament, hosted by the cobber women’s hockey team. The tournament, which pitted teams of 4-6 people against each other on foot, helped raise money for Relay for Life.

According to senior hockey player Kristyn Voegele, joining the Relay for Life cause is part of the team’s goal to reach out to others during the season.

“Our coach wanted us to do more to give back to the community,” Voegele said.

Relay for Life is the second cause that the team has supported this season. Earlier, they hosted “paint the rink pink,” a silent auction held during one of their games to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation that funds breast cancer research.
Emily Sell, who organized most of the tournament, said that the twelve teams who registered for the tournament represented a good cross-section of Concordia’s community.

“We tried to get as many different clubs on campus [as possible],” she said.

Men and women’s hockey and soccer sent players to the tournament, as well as softball, faculty, and alumni. There was even a team of paleontology students from the biology department. Voegele said that everyone who participated seemed to enjoy the tournament.

“Everyone was there just to have fun,” she said.

Ron Nellermoe, a professor in the biology department, agreed.

“Everyone played with fun and vigor but it was nice,” he said. “Not extreme.”

Despite the success of the tournament, Sell said planning the tournament was much more tenuous. The team had just a little over a week to prepare the rink, coordinate teams, and organize the fund raising.

“We ended up having to do it kind of short-notice,” Sell said. “[It was] a little unorganized, just kind of thrown together for the first year, but we’re hoping it will generate interest for future years.”

Sell said that part of the reason for the tournament’s short notice was that the hockey team had to wait for approval for the tournament before they could go ahead with any planning. The team was told that, in order to ensure the ice on Prexy’s Pond would be safe, the tournament had to be held in February. By the time the ice was measured at 24 inches thick, there was only one day open for the team to hold the tournament: Super-Bowl Sunday.

“We didn’t really have any options because we have a Saturday-Sunday series next weekend, and then the other two are Spring Break,” said Sell.

However, Sell said the fact that the tournament was on Super-Bowl Sunday didn’t seem to have much effect on the turnout.

“We’ve had more problems with it being in the morning on a Sunday,” she said. “We’ve had more people who can’t get out of bed…but we still ended up getting 12 teams registered.”

Jenna Westerham, a member of the women’s hockey team, said that she was also pleasantly surprised by how many people showed up to play.

“I figured it’s be cold, and it’s early on a Sunday: People would be sleeping,” she said.
According to Voegele, the atmosphere at the tournament was good, despite the timing and the cold weather.

“People were goofy,” Voegele said. “Making jokes and having fun and smiling.”

A group of players from the men’s hockey team calling themselves “Team USA” won the tournament. In all, the boot hockey tournament raised over $300 for Relay for Life.

“I think everybody’s really happy with how it went,” Voegele said. “It was fun, and almost everyone had a great time. And that’s what it’s supposed to be.”

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