Flag football is arguably one of the more popular intramural sports offered each season at UA Fort Smith, and this year was no exception. According to Greg Gilliam, Intramural Coordinator, some games can bring in an audience of 40 to 50 spectators, or more, depending on the teams that are playing.
This year’s season began on September 6th and lasted a little over a month, ending on October 13th with the championship game. The playoffs included the top four teams from both divisions in a double-elimination style bracket; ultimately crowning The Phenoms as the men’s flag football champions.
Led by team captain Brock Williams, The Phenoms (9-2) stormed through the regular season with only one blemish - a 27-14 loss to the Alma Repeats in their season opener. After that, the team won every game up until the semi-final round of the playoffs (a loss to Sigma Nu), with the majority of those wins being decided by the mercy rule.
“Unlike the other teams, we didn’t have one specific guy that we relied on. Everyone got the ball because we were a very well-rounded team, and that is what made us so hard to stop," said Williams. That team work is what helped to carry The Phenoms through the playoffs, with big defensive plays from Jonny Carmona and Jack Hardy, who both led the team in interceptions, and a potent offense led by dual-threat quarterback Jordan Shelby.
In the championship game, the team faced a familiar opponent, the same team that handed them their first loss - The Alma Repeats. Although it was team captain Brock Williams that knocked down the potential game-tying 2-point attempt with 13 seconds to play, preserving a 26-24 win, he wasted no time in attributing the championship to the entire team’s play:
“No one ever thought of himself as more important than someone else on the team and that is what led us to victory," said Williams, “We all worked together and each (member) played a very key part on the team. That’s why we won."