The Seattle Pacific Intramural Program took a huge leap forward this year when Adam Finch, the SPU intramural director, decided to join forces with Seattle University and the University of Washington and create the Seattle Cup, a tournament between the top flag football teams from each school.
“I met with the intramural director from UW when I first took my job two years ago,” Finch said.
It was through those same types of conversations that Finch proposed the idea of the Seattle Cup tournament.
“I met with [UW] again this summer and Seattle University, who I have never talked with before, to talk about what went well and what didn’t,” Finch said. “I then pitched the idea of our champions playing each other. It really came out of our conversations.”
All the schools liked the idea, and SPU then took its top two flag football teams and traveled to UW on Nov. 26 to take on the top teams from UW and SU, as well as UW Bothell, which was added to the tournament late after one of Seattle University’s teams was scratched at the last minute.
The two SPU teams, Touchdown Throwdown and Texas Forever, failed to get out of the first round, as Touchdown Throwdown lost to UW’s number two team, who were made up of dental school graduates, by a score of 26-25.
Texas Forever fell to the team from UW Bothell by three points 27-24.
“We all kind of know each other at SPU, and we all know what the teams look like,” said junior Morgan Hasegawa, a member of Texas Forever. “It was fun to play against other schools. It calls for more strategy, and it’s a fun new experience.”
Despite SPU’s early exits, the players were proud of how their teams performed in the tournament.
“I think we did well,” Hasegawa said. “We played down a few men and played tired. I was super proud and had a great season, and that last game was a testament to our season.”
Part of the reason SPU may not have performed that well was the fact that the teams also had to adjust to the reality of playing on a new field with new refs and new rules.
“They said there was going to be minimal contact on the line, and that was not as true,” said senior Jordan Stankowiak, who played on Touchdown Throwdown. “The refs called the game a lot looser than they do at SPU, so we had to adjust to that.”
Finch realizes that this is the first year doing the tournament and that nothing is going to be perfect.
“We have room to improve,” Finch said. “It’s going to come through doing it more. For example, the next tournament will be done over multiple days and have multiple games for each team, including a losers bracket where some teams will have the chance to make their way back into the tournament.”
Finch also plans to have a tournament like this every quarter for that season’s main sport.
“What we discussed is that we hold a Seattle Cup once a quarter for that quarter’s marquee sport,” Finch said. “For this year, we will do flag football in the fall, basketball in the winter and most likely soccer or ultimate Frisbee in the spring.”
However, the main goal for Finch is to make these tournaments a community event and have the schools grow through it.
“It’s a cool opportunity for community outside our immediate community,” Finch said. “Our school becomes enriched because we get to see what other schools are doing. It’s a chance to expand our faith and a good opportunity to expand our reach.”
Although it is just getting underway, Finch’s initial vision of community and fun through the Seattle Cup is already growing into something that will become not only a tradition at SPU, but all local colleges.