Team receives bid for nationals

BSU's intramural team earned $500, free registration.

It may be surprising to hear that little preparation goes into playing in the National Flag Football Tournament at the University of New Orleans, but Ball State's intramural team rarely practices.

In fact, the team does most of its practicing in between games, talking about what specific things are working for and against them.

"We don't do too much preparing," wide receiver Matt Tillapaugh, 22, said. "Everybody knows what they have to do to get the game won."

The team earned a bid to nationals after finishing second at a regional tournament at Ohio State University in late October. The team also earned $500 and free registration at the national tournament in New Orleans.

This money, along with donations from Ball State University and various stores in the Village, will contribute to the fees of traveling and staying in New Orleans.

The team is made up of the best players gathered from Ball State's intramural flag football participants. Most of them come from the same team but a few players were pulled from other intramural teams because of their exceptional talent.

The team consists of juniors Adam Spisak, Eric Bava, Matt Tillapaugh, Nate Paulin, Max Felts, Kevin Hoying, Blair Huff and Joe Clayton, and senior Andy Linder.

"We started the team we have now four years ago because we knew we could compete and have a chance to do well," Paulin said.

Paulin and Spisak both received All-Tournament Awards at the regional competition lost to Middle Tennessee State University for the second year in a row.

"We wanted to win it all," Huff said referring to the regional tournament. "It was upsetting losing to the same team two years in a row."

The team is entering another regional tournament, not for the hope of receiving an additional national bid, but rather for prize money to fund its trip to New Orleans.

This regional tournament is at Western Kentucky University in mid-November, featuring a revamped Ball State roster. The team members believes the change will give them a better chance at defeating Middle Tennessee State, which will also be at there.

"We're adding two new spaces to help improve the team," Spisak said. "We're in it to win it."

This is the second year in a row the team has made an appearance at the National Flag Football Tournament, finishing fifth in the nation last year. The team lost in the final eight to South Florida, who were the national champions that year.


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