Athletic Director - 1 Week In

This semester my "job" at the seminary is athletic director.  Last semester they had everybody write down their top three offices that they would like to do the next semester, and one of the ones I picked was athletic director.  Basically, my job involves coordinating sports around the seminary.  So I'm in charge of announcing when we are doing something as a seminary (there is a good bit of land around Bruté so we will play football/frisbee/soccer, just as a seminary, pretty frequently), and my job also includes organizing for inter-mural or inter-seminary sports (like the soccer tournament at St. Meinrad or inter-mural football at Marian).  Anyway, I really enjoy getting out there and playing sports with the guys, so this job (I think) will be an absolute blast; yeah, there is some organizing to be done, but I'm still really looking forward to it.  That certainly isn't what I wanted the whole post to be about, so without further ado - my first week as athletic director:

During the orientation days (Friday/Saturday last week) there was very little time to get any sports organized.  We had a pretty packed schedule on Friday  and on Saturday  when we went to the lake for the afternoon, there wasn't a good spot to get anything going.  Thus, it wasn't until last Sunday that I organized my first seminary athletic event.  Of course, with 40+ guys it is hard to come to a consensus on what sport to play (football and soccer usually are the top two choices), so I went with the obvious choice, and said we'd do both.  Sunday afternoon came, I trotted outside in my cleats and nobody was there.  I went back inside for the soccer goals and tried to find guys to come out, and nobody was around.  Great, the first athletic event has next to nobody there, and isn't any fun...  Anyway, finally about 8 guys were outside and I quickly realized that there was no way that we would have enough interest in football and soccer.  More guys were wanting to play football, so that was the game we started.  I was fine with either game, but I had promised some guys that we would get a soccer game going on Sunday, and now that wasn't happening.  Anyway, to my delight, 5 minutes later another half dozen people showed up and we had enough to play both sports after all.  The soccer game was a lot of fun!  Of course, since I hadn't been running much this summer I slowed down to a more moderate pace after about 10 minutes, but we probably ended up playing for an hour or two.  I worked up two enormous blisters on my feet (which weren't as painful as they looked).  A lot of the guys are pretty good at soccer; I can't wait for the Meinrad tournament in October, we just might be able to win it this year.  (Last year we lost in a tie-breaker shootout in the final.)  

Anyway, the second opportunity for me to act as athletic director occurred on Friday.  In years past, Friday has been the usual day for the seminarians to get together and do something athletic.  Thus, as the illustrious athletic director, it is my job to make sure everybody knew that this was happening and do my best to drum up interest.  (Thankfully, this early into the year most guys don't have a ton to do, and most are somewhat enthusiastic about getting out and doing some sports.)  The sport of choice for Friday was football (the two touch variety).  I did manage to catch a few good passes, but I have found that I am usually more effective on defense in games like football or ultimate Frisbee than offense.  I am fast enough to typically keep up with people, where I have  a decent chance to block them, but it is harder to get open on offensive because I am not particularly tall.  (Though I am happy to note that there are probably 4 people shorter than me at Bruté this year).  Actually, this game was really funny because on several different occasions the ball would be knocked out of the air by the team I was on (great defense right!) but then, somehow, it would fall into the hands of one of the players on the other team who had been knocked down in the struggle for the ball.  They had an overabundance of luck I suppose...
OK, onto yesterday's sporting event: the ultimate Frisbee tournament.  Last year, Ultimate Frisbee was a spring-semester sport (at least, that was when it was organized, not just spontaneous), but this semester I guess they are trying to do something in the fall.  Anyway, somebody set up a tournament for this past Saturday, and being the dutiful athletic director,  I was oblivious to this event until Kevin told me this past week (thanks Kevin!), I guess I have to read the Marian emails now, bummer... 

 Nevertheless, I announced it at the house-meeting on Wednesday, got a list of guys who were interested, picked two guys to be captains, and created a list of guys for each team.  I really did try to make the teams even, but I don't know how successful I was at that enterprise.  Not only did I have very little idea of who was good out of the new guys, but it is just really tough to match guys up who have similar skill levels, they are just all so different.  

Kevin, Zach, Dominic, and Andrew playing some ultimate

Anyway, skipping any further superfluous rambling, we showed up at 2 PM and Sam's team (the one that I was on) was slotted to play the first match.  There were 4 teams from different groups at Marian and 2 from Bruté.  We ended up getting an early lead, and from then on it was a pretty easy game.  We had several very good Frisbee players (both old and new), and I ran around enough to keep at least one person from the other team on their toes.  (OK, I got a few somewhat important short passes, but that was about it.)  - Win 6-1. 

Leaping catch by Matthew
After that game, the other Bruté team (Kevin's team) took the field. This game was very close throughout, with the two teams swapping the lead every minute or two.  It was a close game, and Bruté again had a lot of talent on the field, but the clock ran out in the other team's favor. - Loss 5-4.  

Kevin launches the disk around a determined defender
Game number 3 was the first Bruté team against a remaining Marian team.  Both teams had already played a game (and had a rest), so from that standpoint it was pretty even.  Also, this team was quite good, and it was a battle to the very end.  Time ran out (quickly, remember these are only 20 minute games), and it was now a next-score-wins situation.  We got the Frisbee after the other team had taken it down within maybe 10 yards of our end zone.  We quickly worked it up the field and I had the good luck to get away from my defender and catch a short pass to get the game winning score.  It was my only point of the day, but I was pretty happy with it.  I also had a diving catch in that game (But it didn't go anywhere because the Frisbee  was intercepted/blocked on my next throw.)  Anyway, that was probably our best game - it was close, but we were working together well, and everybody was giving everything he had.  Good times!  Win 6-5.
Bruté pushes down the field
The other Bruté team having been unfortunately eliminated, it was up to Sam's team to keep up the honor of the seminary.  Unfortunately, we were up against the team that had previously beaten them, plus we had just played our 2nd game, they had had a break after playing 1 game.  Nevertheless, after a 10 minute break, Bobby and the Red Rockets (our impromptu team name) stiffly took the field.  I was pretty tired, and the heat wasn't helping matters, but the rest of the team played really, really well.  We took a lead, the other team got frustrated, and scoring with only a few seconds left, we won the tournament final 5-3.  Yes!
There you have it folks, a little bit about my new position, a bit about soccer, a bit more about football, and a lot about Frisbee.  I think I will enjoy being athletic director a lot.  There is an enormous amount of talent (in all kinds of sports) at Bruté, and I am starting to find that I can be (a little bit) effective at games other than soccer.  I think basketball will still be a stretch, but, I think I just might be able to be decent at everything else.  (This is something that is sorta necessary for the athletic director...)

Thanks to Sam for the pictures, and all the other guys for all the effort that they put in - you guys did the seminary proud!  Oh, and thanks Zach for reminding me that I hadn't mentioned you on my blog yet - I remembered.


  1. You succeeded in perplexing me! Are we finally going to have a priest in the family or a sports enthusiast? I guess we can settle for a combination.

    1. Yeah, the seminary process is for discerning (and preparing) for priesthood, not the Olympics, so I have to work (especially since I am athletic director) to make sure that I keep everything in balance, with formation (spiritual, pastoral, academic, human) on top, and then sports and other fun stuff. Ah well, it's all pretty awesome...