Down in the Dirt

Megan Engle

Mud, mud and more mud.

Due to a rainy few days, the volleyball pits at the Ag Farm were ready for some action.

But just to make sure, the Woodburn Fire Department brought a truck and hoses to keep things muddy.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, 11 teams came out to play in the Student Alumni Association (SAA) sponsored “Oozeball” tournament.

Oozeball was a tradition at Western in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

“One of my goals that I had when I came into office was to get it started again,” Owensboro junior and SAA President Amber Mayfield said.

Mayfield said that SAA participated in their district conference this year, Association of Students Advancement Programs, after being absent the previous years. While at the conference they realized that most of the organizations from other schools had been successful with the mud volleyball event.

“It used to be a big tradition,” said Louisville sophomore Richard McFarland, SAA Vice President of Public Relations. “This year we were looking for a way to bring it back. We had looked through scrapbooks and noticed it used to be a huge event.”

The teams who participated included Sigma Kappa with two teams, Topper Well, ROTC, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Donald’s Dirty Toppers (DDT), Schneider Hall, Student Government Association, Society of Physics, Kappa Delta and the Dirty 1/2 Dozen.

“It’s fun to get dirty,” Louisville freshman and KD Whitney Sauer said. “We’re on a volleyball kick – we just got done playing Spring Spike.”

Mayfield said they brought Oozeball back to publicize the name of SAA and bring out an event for students. They also wanted to re-establish Oozeball as a tradition for the organization.

As of right now, the $50 cost per team covers the cost for the event of this year and next year, Mayfield said.

“We’re hoping it will become a big event again so the funds can go to campus improvements or to start a scholarship,” McFarland said.

Richmond sophomore Stewart Harris of FCA said he was a little nervous about his performance, but ready to play.

“I’ve been practicing with a net in our room,” he remarked jokingly.

When the games began, students didn’t hesitate to jump into the muddy volleyball pits. Some were a little more gutsy than others, but all participants seemed ready to get down and dirty.

Some team members took the game a little less seriously by rolling their bodies back and forth across the muddy pits. Others tried to stand their ground, fighting for every ball that was hit in their direction.

Vice President of Alumni Association Donald Smith said that Oozeball had always been a favorite with students in the past.

“Hopefully everyone’s having a good time out here and enjoying the mud,” Smith said.

Apparently they were.

“It’s fun to wake up early on a Saturday morning and get dirty and hang out with friends,” Louisville sophomore and ROTC member Matt Bryant said.

Games lasted through the afternoon filled with entertainment and free food provided by SAA.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Central City junior and ROTC member Stephen Dukes said.

But as the day came to an end, one thing seemed to be on the students’ mind – how to get all the mud off.

“I need a shower,” Bryant said.

Reach Megan Engle at [email protected]