Ken Underwood, athletic director and head soccer coach at Johnson University is in his eighth year of full-time work.
He joined Johnson in 2006 as a part-time coach for men’s soccer. He oversees the entire Intramural program.
He is originally from East Charlotte, NC, where he lived for his entire childhood.
When he joined the Johnson community he came to help with the soccer program, but eventually ended up falling in love with the passion of the school.
“I wanted to do something different, and I loved the guys on the team, so I felt called to stay here,” he said.
Underwood helps with a variety of activities at the school that may go unnoticed. His role goes beyond being a coach or the head of the sports program. He mentors kids to help them see the importance of teamwork and having a great attitude.
He enjoys helping with the overall image of the sports program at Johnson and that also includes Intramurals.
“Intramurals are a way to get people active and is a key tool to getting to know new people,” Underwood said. “Intramurals are just a funnel of what daily life after school will consist of in teamwork, self-control and how to deal with pressure situations.”
Student athletes get a better education than non-athletes due to those skills they acquire through the rigorous obstacles they have to go through, according to Underwood.
The draft will be Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the Gally Commons Private Dining Rooms.
The overall purpose for intramurals, stated by President of Intramurals, Dylan Underhill, “Is to accomplish exercise for people while also providing an outlet to get aggression out.”
Intramurals has grown substantially with the number of people that have joined, with 35 already signed up.
“We hope to have a competitive environment with former Johnson University players and also former high school players,” Underhill said.
Despite the best efforts from the players, the competition has led a few players into fights.
In previous seasons, there has been trouble with continuous verbal assaults that which resulted in a failed season. This season the organization is hoping to overcome these conflicts and deal with them.
“We want to have a community of brothers that fellowship together that brings unexpected people together; so that they can have a healthy outlook to let people play in a positive environment,” Underhill said.
The Royals baseball team practiced despite adverse field conditions Thursday.
Royals head coach, Ben Fair, made the call to move practice off the field after he determined that it was unconducive to use. The team instead made use of other facilities.
Fair and assistant coach, Brian Lovett worked with several of the team’s pitchers as they threw bullpens from artificial mounds in the Old Gym.
Assistant coach, Rob Harlamert, took the remaining players to the team’s batting cage to work on hitting off of tees.
Lovett encouraged the team prior to practice, saying that tee work may not be exciting, but when done with focus and purpose it can be used to improve one’s swing. Lovett said that Major Leaguers hit off of tees every day.
As the team gets closer to game-day, players remain optimistic about the quality of practice and anticipate a quality start to competition.
Sophomore middle infielder, Brian Cates, said that he felt good about that day’s practice. He said that it was great to come up and get a lot of swings in off the tee.
Micah Hescock, a Sophomore first baseman, also said he thought the day was successful. He said the team seemed to be coming together well and was in good position to obtain a win at its first double header.
The team will leave Feb. 14, for two games at The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn. They hope to see their hard work and dedication pay off with wins to begin the season.