Intramural Floor Hockey battles for the Frances Cup

Both teams in the heat of the game trying to win the Francis Cup.
Both teams in the heat of the game trying to win the Frances Cup.

KNOXVILLE– On Tuesday night, Intramural Floor Hockey held their championship game, which ended in a battle for the 12th annual Frances Cup.

The Intramural season started out with three teams: Red, Yellow, and Black. To determine the two teams that would play for the Frances Cup, the three teams played each other in a double-elimination tournament after the regular season.

The teams prayed before the games started.
The teams prayed before the games started.

After three games in the playoffs, the Black team and Yellow team came out on top.

The night of the championship game came with the largest fan base of the Intramural season. Both the Black and Yellow teams had a large amount of supporters there to cheer them on.

The game began fast-paced and intense, with the Black team pulling out the first goal.

By half time, Black led 3 to 2.

The second half of the game brought a buzz in the air as the Yellow team quickly tied the game 3 to 3, and then 4 to 4.

By the buzzer at the end of the game, the score remained tied at 4 to 4, which meant the teams would go into a shoot-out to determine the winner.

In a shoot-out session, both teams select a shooter, and one by one the shooter tries to score against the opposite teams goalie.

The Black team went first, with a miss. The Yellow team then followed with a miss as well. Round two, both shooters made the goal. Round three, again both missed. As team Black stepped up again, they made it. It was all down to Yellow.

A great turn out for the Francis Cup as the fans stand to cheer on the Yellow team after scoring a goal
A great turn out for the Frances Cup as the fans stand to cheer on the Yellow team after scoring a goal

In a tough blow, Yellows shooter missed, by an inch.

The Black team erupted into burst of shouts as they all ran to the center of the floor to celebrate their Frances Cup win.

Amy Young, goalie for the Yellow team, has won the Frances Cup three times. Young says her favorite thing about the Intramural season is that it, “builds character, builds community, and also builds competition in Christ-like and sportsman-like atmosphere.”

Drew Hudnall, member of Yellow team, graduated from Johnson in 2010, but loved Floor Hockey so much he has continued to come back each year to participate. This was Hudnall’s second time competing for the Frances Cup. He won last year.

Hudnall said, “you need to have a consistent team [in order to make it to the Frances Cup.] If you can be consistent, it is a lot easier to figure out what works for you.”

The captain of the Black team, Tate Abernathy, said the high of the season was “developing as a team.” Abernathy said that after the draft, he had the team of underdogs–a newbie goalie, a player with a hurt foot at the beginning of the season, and multiple freshmen that had only played one pick-up game. “Getting a bunch of the underdogs and then rising up as a team was really great.”

Team Yellow and Black pose for a picture after the game.
Team Yellow and Black pose for a picture after the game.

Abernathy says the best thing about being a captain is “being able to speak into people’s lives, not just a ‘hey, here is where you put your stick, here is where you need to stand,’ but also when things happen on the court and you have an opportunity to say something to someone that means something. It is a lot easier from a position of leadership then it is from a fellow brother.”

Michael Alexander, captain of the Yellow team, has been to the Frances Cup two years now, both times coming in second. Alexander said his favorite thing about being a team captain is “being able to speak some words of wisdom into [his] team.” He went on to explain how he got to witness a few freshmen on his team not only grow in the sport, but also as people.

“Some of the best moments as a captain,” Alexander said, “[are] seeing people who you weren’t so sure about at the beginning of the season, step their game up and really contribute as the season continues.”

This was Alexander’s first year as a team captain. Young said, “[His] leadership [was] awesome.” Young has been a captain in the past, and she said, “It’s hard to get morale up and to lead the team when you think you’re out and you don’t think you have a chance.” The Yellow team came from last place to make it to the Frances Cup, and Young says it was all under Alexander’s leadership.

The Yellow team still smiles positively after a well-fought game.
The Yellow team still smiles positively after a well-fought game.

The name for the Frances Cup comes from Tyson Chastain’s (member of the black team) mother, Frances Henry. They named it after her in 2004 when she was very ill. Throughout the season that year, everyone was praying for her.

At the end of the season, Chastain had to leave to be with her, because of the severity the illness had reached.

Steve Cook, Intramural Floor Hockey coordinator, remembered telling Chastain everyone would continue to pray for her, to which Chastain jokingly replied, “Maybe you’ll win the Frances Cup.”

After that Cook says the name just stuck and that they have used it ever since. Cook was quick to add that Frances is very much alive and well today. “She pulled through and is doing great!” he said.

Around the base of the Cup are the names of all the past winners, similar to that of the Stanley Cup.

Black team beams at their win
Black team beams at their win

Tuesday night was the first time in 12 years that Chastain’s team won the Frances Cup. He said, “I was beginning to think there was a curse of the Frances Cup, because as soon as it got my mom’s name on it, I never won. It’s been 12 years since we started the Frances Cup, and I never won it until [Tuesday night]. It has been a long time coming.”

Cook then commented that his mom would be proud.

For any students interested in playing in the next season, or just for fun, pick-up games will start back up November 18 and continue through the spring semester. The pick-up games are played in the old gym on Johnson’s campus.

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