Dribbling and kicking their way through the season, the Papermakers are a Boise State soccer team made up of athletes and non-athletes who just want to have fun.
Junior Jalila Bahu started playing soccer when she was four years old and played all the way through high school. When she came to Boise State, she wanted to continue that passion. She looked into club soccer, but the practice and game schedules didn’t coincide with her studies. In her freshman year, she found out about intramurals through her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.
Bahu put a small team together of a few random people and her friends. From there, her team has been growing and has been playing every Sunday for the past few months.
“Obviously, not everyone out there are crazy professional athletes, so it gives everyone a chance to try moves and skills that we would not be able to do in an actual competitive soccer scene,” Bahu said.
Intramural sports are also a great way to meet people. Because the teams are made up of different people who have to be able to work well together, the friendly competition between teams is the perfect environment to bond with others.
“My favorite part is just how relaxed the team is and how it’s a mix of boys and girls,” said freshman Carolyn Merrick. “It’s a great way to get to know people.”
Merrick just recently joined soccer intramurals and has loved the opportunity to play again. She started when she was five years old, and when she came to Boise State, she got involved through a friend.
Although most of the players have played soccer throughout their lifetime, it is not a requirement. Anyone, from those with phenomenal soccer skills to barely any, has the opportunity to join.
Most individuals do intramurals to try something new, bringing them into a tighter-knit community at a school of roughly 25,000 students.
“I was looking for a way to get involved in more activities that Boise State had to offer,” said freshman Caitlin Joyce. “I have played sports all my life, whether it was soccer, rugby or track. When one of the girls in my sorority reached out to be on her team, I decided that would be a fun way to get involved.”