Flag football team heads to nationals

Tech’s top flag football players will compete for the national title in their sport Dec. 29-31 in Pensacola, Fla.

The team earned an invitation to nationals at the Battle of the Bluegrass Flag Football Regional tournament at Western Kentucky University Nov. 18-20.

The team, comprised of students from Tech ranging from freshmen to graduate students, named themselves “Gold Woof.”

“We have always been called Gold,” Darren Greogry, captain of the team and Intramural Coordinator, said. “What comes after Gold always changes. It has been many different names, Gold Snuffleupagus, Gold Bloons, Gold Pooh, Gold Bobby’s World, and Gold Woof. We try to just come up with random cartoon characters to put at the end of Gold.”

Sixteen teams competed at the regional tournament. Gold Woof beat Northern Kentucky University and Campbellsville University in the first day of pool play. They then beat Bellarmine University, which advanced them to the quarterfinals.

Inclement weather prevented Gold Woof from playing Murray State University on Nov. 20. Due to the game cancellation, all four quarterfinalists received an invitation to the national tournament, put on by American Collegiate Intramural Sports.

Gold Woof also won a flag football tournament in Dayton, Tenn. on Nov. 5.

“This is my 5th year taking a team to different places to compete,” Gregory said. “We have competed at MTSU, Western Kentucky, Dayton, Tennessee, New Orleans, and soon to be Pensacola Florida. We have had a great track record so far winning the state tournament 2 times, the regional tournament once, and finishing top 5 in the national tournament last year.”

Last year’s flag football team, Gold Pooh, earned an invitation to the 2010 nationals, held at The University of New Orleans. They were eliminated on a last minute touchdown in the quarterfinals, however, player Ryan Warf won the all-around skills competition at the tournament.

“In two tournaments so far this year, we have not been challenged, with that being said, I really like our chances to bring the 2011 flag football national championship home to TN Tech University,” Gregory said.

“I have told the team that when we win the national tournament, we are all going to go swimming in the Gulf at midnight on New Years,” Gregory said. “Other than that, we have no big plans after we win, maybe an autograph session of all the players in the Fit.”

The travel team is chosen by Gregory.

“I try to evaluate players throughout the intramural flag football season,” Gregory said. “Really, it is a judgment from me and some of the returning players in picking up new talent.