Despite the rain Saturday, Oct.12, many students trekked up to the Liberty University Paintball Facility to compete in an adrenaline-pumping tournament of three versus three, double-elimination, capture the flag fun, hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA).
The tournament was hosted in honor of Sarah McKeown, a recently deceased Liberty University graduate, former Flames Crew Team member and member of Liberty’s Spirit of the Mountain Marching Band.
“SGA likes to hosts events and help out Liberty Athletics where we can,” Athletic Chair Representative of NCAA and Club Sports Jonathan Holmes said. “But this event was a little different, as it was hosted to help support Sarah McKeown’s family.”
According to Holmes, the SGA raised $450 for the McKeown family.
Approximately 20 teams were in attendance Saturday morning, each ready to advance up the bracket and receive bragging rights.
As teams with names such as “Toasted Penguins” and “Frosted Flakes” fought for the number one spot, all the spectators cheered as their favorite paintballers dove into the bunkers, slid across the field and fired rounds at their opponents.
Sophomore Angela Fitte and the “A Team” preformed a game-changing play for her team.
As soon as the buzzer sounded to start the round, Fitte sprinted towards the flag, capturing it through heavy fire, and ran it in to the other side for the victory.
“It was an adrenaline rush,” Fitte said. “I didn’t know what was happening after I grabbed the flag, but what I did know was I was being fired at and had to make it to the other side.”
Competing in four total rounds, these teams worked to earn each victory as teams walked in and out of the confines of the paintball field with new war stories and adjustments to their strategy.
As the rain continued to fall, team after team was slowly eliminated.
“It was nice to see a mixture of beginners and veteran paintballers come and participate in this event,” junior and head referee Dan Chiaverini said. “The sportsmanship was great, and it was all for a good cause.”
As the tournament neared its fifth hour, the SGA prepared for the final round of the tournament.
Receiving third place was team “Dish Water,” which consisted of players Jordan Weymath, Charles Furmen and “Russian” Joe Sobchinsky.
“We went into this tournament trying to clean this place up, but the solution just wasn’t strong enough,” Weymath said jokingly. “But, the competition was intense, and we were happy to (help) the family out.”
Taking home the victory and a couple T-shirts was team “Surprise Me!” which had a 2-0 victory over team Annex 911 and their seemingly unbreakable defense.
Team “Surprise Me!” consisted of team members senior Joseph Strong, sophomore Jacob Strong and senior Matt Rodgers.
“Our goal was to come in with aggressive play and take command of the left and right sides,” Matt Strong said. “It was an awesome experience, and it couldn’t have been for a better cause.”
Leaving the paintball field vacant with the remnants of empty paintball shells and a slowly waving flag, the SGA thanked all the students who participated.