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New sports may be offered

Intramural lacrosse, club wrestling to be added
While wrestling and lacrosse have been on campus for a while, recent student interest in the sports may cause more options for them to be offered.
“The campus has had intramural wrestling for years, but with enough student interest, there could be a wrestling club in the works,” Mike Keup, the director of campus recreation, said. “We are hoping this same interest comes with the lacrosse club that was registered in the fall.”
Keup said both activities have been on campus for years, but both have gone through periods of low interest. Intramural teams have been known to spark an interest for club sports, but none of those clubs are forced through intramural participation.
“I believe lacrosse was a registered student organization in the fall,” Keup said. “Wrestling was never forced to be a club in order to exist. We had a group of interested students and were able to supply them with the facility and the equipment to carry out intramural wrestling.”
Since there has been a good level of  interest in wrestling for a few years, Keup said when the new Markin Family Student Recreation Center equipment was ordered, the old wrestling mat from Haussler was replaced with a new one.
After working with Peoria High School to use its facilities and practice with its team in previous years, wrestling has finally come back to campus for practices.
Intramural wrestling practices from 8 to 10 p.m. on Monday nights and from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday nights. The intramural wrestling tournament takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight in Markin’s performance court.
“If enough of an interest is sparked, a wrestling club will hopefully branch out and we will be able to compete with other clubs from other universities like our other club sports do,” Keup said. “Those teams tend to be a little more competitive due to the intensity of the practices and time commitment.”
Lacrosse has gone about a bit of a different process than wrestling, but may catch on just the same.
Starting out as a club, junior chemistry major Joe Cutrone came to Keup in hopes of getting an intramural started. By offering a space to practice, as well as cooperation from the campus recreation office, Keup said Cutrone’s efforts may make lacrosse the newest intramural to join the league.
“My philosophy is to do our best to meet the needs of our students. Most of these clubs and new interest type groups have grown or developed from interest out of students,” Keup said. “We find ourselves busy doing the things we have been doing in the past. We are not necessarily looking for new programs, but when the students come to us we are going to work our best to find a way to accommodate that interest.”
While historically the programs have been on and off in their attendance, Keup said he would not be surprised to have both groups eventually become at least seasonal activities for students.
“As long as these groups attain a club status and get the constant participation, I fully expect us to see them at next fall’s activity fair,” he said.
For more information on wrestling or lacrosse, contact the campus recreation office.
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