Life At Linfield
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It’s the time for IM football at Linfield once again. Late-night casual games between students keep the football field well traveled throughout the season.
Sophomore Lacey Toledo-Muragin enjoys this time bonding with her teammates. IM sports get all the fun of games without the burden of practices.
“I learned to play football with my father in the backyard,” Toledo-Muragin said. “Every Thanksgiving me and my family would have a football game. I also played Powder Puff football in high school, and I also played with my sorority last year.”
There are ten girls on Toledo-Muragin’s team, that way if not everyone can make it to every game, there are still enough to have a full team. Each team typically plays two-three games per week.
“It’s a good way to let off steam during the week,” Toledo-Muragin said. “Only, I’d say half of the team has the ability to throw the ball… But that’s what makes it fun is that it’s not too serious.”
Sometimes the games can get really competitive between teams. This allows people who were or are athletes to let out their competitive spirits in a different setting. Other times, games are light hearted and just plain fun fun.
“I like playing in both of those ways,” Toledo-Muragin said.
For freshman exchange student from Holland, Wouter van den Haak, IM football is an entirely new experience.
“As the name says, American football is an American sport, and I’m from Holland,” said van den Haak. “I’ve never played football before.”
In Holland, it is extremely uncommon to play or even watch American football. In fact, football has a totally different meaning where van den Haak is from.
“At first I didn’t know how it worked,” van den Haak said, “But my teammates explained it and then it wasn’t too hard to understand. It goes fast, and I really like it.”
For van den Haak, the most difficult part of the game was not knowing where to run and where to go.
“I was just running around looking for the ball because I really didn’t understand the game at first,” van den Haak said.
Since coming to Linfield, van den Haak has joined the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. His entire IM football team are also members of the fraternity.
“It’s fun to play with the Pike guys,” van den Haak said. “You become good friends throughout the year and it’s fun to play a sport with your fraternity brothers.”
Van den Haak is excited to play more games as the IM football season goes on. Though it is difficult for him, he is optimistic about improving his skills.
“I’m not very good but as soon as I play more I’ll get better,” van den Haak said. “It’s just nice to be with your friends to do something fun in the night.”
Van den Haak was shocked at the intensity of American sports in general when he came to the United States.
“All sports in America are far more competitive than sports in Holland,” van den Haak said. “There’s a lot of dedication to sports here. I’ve never seen athletic practicing like I’ve seen here. Two practices a day is crazy.”
In addition to the passion and time commitment to sports, van den Haak was surprised to find that many Linfield students participate in more than one sport.
“It’s interesting that people are good at more than one sport,” van den Haak said. “We don’t have that. You just play one sport in Holland.”
Van den Haak appreciates the different talents and skillsets of the American students he’s met since coming to study at Linfield. He’s confident that there are things he can do that Americans would most definitely have trouble with.
“I’d like to see these guys try and speak Dutch,” van den Haak said. “That would be wild.”