The Kickball Team brings together Mercer’s multitalented athletes to win the championship


Image: Hayley Hudson

The Kickball Team is an intramural team on Mercer’s campus that has various Mercer athletes participating.

Kyle Mullins, Staff Writer

The Kickball Team, as their name suggests, is an intramural team comprised of various Mercer athletes that pulled off a playoff victory on April 6.

Nicola Tirpak captained the team and Justin Connelly, a senior Mercer golfer on The Kickball Team helped bring together the athletes. He said this team was formed with getting a championship t-shirt in mind.

Connelly said this isn’t the first time he’s played on a team like this; however, this is the first time that his team has been able to clinch the title.

“We’ve had a similar team to this the past couple of years and have been beaten in the finals,” Connelly said.

Connelly helped form the team by bringing in his contacts from golf, some soccer players, and other athletes from miscellaneous sports around Mercer.

“I knew just about everyone on our team,” Connelly said.

One of those who Connelly recruited for the team was his teammate on the golf team, Kiko Rosete, a sophomore from Spain who was asked to play because of his previous soccer experience.

“I used to play soccer so it was easier for me,” Rosete said. “We had a bunch of other athletes on our team as well including other soccer players.”

The team went 4-2 in the regular season; however, when playoffs came around they settled into a rhythm that pushed them toward the championship.

Many of these games were not won easily. Against Fresh Kicks of Bel Air they won 1-0 and against Phi Delt 3-2. To contribute to the rigor of making it to the championship was the tight schedule in which they were forced to operate.

Three of the games during the playoffs were all played on the same day due to inclement weather conditions the week before. Tirpak said that by the end of the day they were all exhausted but still determined to win the whole thing.

The Kickball Team won the championship game 8-3, but Connelly said at the beginning it looked like they were going to have a difficult time.

“We were down 2 to 0 after the end of the second inning,” Connelly said.

However, they managed to fight back in the third and take a lead that would only grow from there.

Many of The Kickball Team veterans are graduating, leaving only a few behind to carry on the team’s tradition. It is likely though that competitive intramural players will repeat this experiment in the future of bringing together a diverse set of athletic Mercer players.