On a campus without sports, (well, SoCon sports that is and just until 2021), only one team can save Samford University from becoming the “no-sports” version of the town from Footloose: the Mayors of Slamtown. That’s right — the Mayors of Slamtown are an intramural volleyball team that wins championships and has fun while doing it.
When the world is at such unrest, the words of writer Sharon Draper ring true: “It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.”
Intramural volleyball is definitely proving to be one of those sips.The team, made up of David Eades, Cooper Moore, Will Aston, Claire Soileau, Gabbie Freeman, and Morgan Karst, started playing sand volleyball together this summer. In a time of social distancing and trying to limit spending long periods of time with people in confined spaces, they decided that volleyball was an exciting and safe way to pass the strange time that COVID presented.
Much like baseball, golf and several soccer leagues, the games are being played with no spectators. Because Samford Intramural teams consist of sororities and fraternities, classes, clubs, organizations and just groups of friends who want to play, they often attract a myriad of spectators. Luckily, the Mayors of Slamtown have found ways to stay motivated during games.
“We are such a tight-knit team we can still really hype each other up,” Karst said. “This kind of camaraderie really pays off.”
They went on to win the Samford 2020 Sand Volleyball Championship, having a perfect, undefeated season. The team is now in its indoor volleyball season, having lost only one game before the playoffs begin.
“Cooper Moore is the glue that holds the Mayors of Slamtown together,” Aston said in regard to a teammate.
The team plays for multiple reasons, including friendship and fun.
“Playing with friends is so much fun because at the end of the day, there is nothing on the line and we are just there to have a good time,” Eades said.
Morgan Karst believes that it is a great way to employ her love for sports. Will Aston plays to satisfy his competitive nature.
“I play to win,” Aston said. “I’m not a sore loser, but I hate losing.”
Samford students and fans look forward to the return of SoCon sports, but for now, intramurals are the perfect substitute. The volleyball playoffs begin Monday evening in Bashinsky Fieldhouse on Samford’s campus.