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Around campus: USF’s sports clubs

The more than 30 sports clubs at USF may get lost amid the official school teams, but these groups practice unique talents and compete across the Southeast.

The Oracle spoke with members from six different clubs to find out what makes these teams special.

Brazilian jujitsu

Brazilian jujitsu is a high-energy sport where men and women are trained to bring down an opponent, regardless of size, without weapons.

An important aspect of jujitsu is the ability of smaller combatants to take down larger opponents with the right techniques. The USF club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in the USF Recreation Center to work on these methods.

Because of the nature of the sport, the club focuses on dedication and practice.

“The hardest part is the dedication – you can’t just walk in and expect to be good. You really have to work at it,” said Ryan Lindner, a sophomore majoring in secondary education.

On Nov. 21, the team will travel to Boca Raton to compete in the North American Grappling Association’s Florida Grappling Championship.

“This is a great way to get in shape, meet friends and have fun,” said Matt Lindner, a sophomore majoring in secondary education.

For more information, contact Ryan Valdes at


The USF men’s lacrosse team practices three hours on Mondays and Wednesdays and plays in the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference.

At practice, the team focuses on fundamentals: passing, catching and keeping the ball in constant motion in the attack.

These techniques are the building blocks for a good lacrosse team, said defender John Briggs, team captain and a senior majoring in biomedical sciences.

Goalie Eric Lund, a senior majoring in finance, marketing and business management, said practices can be intense.

“The hardest part of practice is the endurance needed to get through a three-hour practice,” he said.

In October, the team defeated the University of Tampa 16-5 in an offseason scrimmage.

“I was excited that we won the game, but it also highlighted key things that we need to work on for the season in the spring,” said midfielder Justin Wilde, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering.

Chris Heinritz is playing lacrosse for the first time this fall, and though he’s played baseball and football, he said it’s been a learning experience.

“I got into lacrosse because it is a really competitive sport that is on the rise at USF,” he said. “Plus, it is an excuse to go out and hit some guys for a few hours a week.”

For more information about the team, visit For information about the women’s lacrosse team, visit

Table tennis

Table tennis is not a sport for those with slow reactions.

Balls can reach 90 miles per hour at some levels as they travel across a small 9-foot table, said team captain William Mazalewski, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences.

Members of the USF Table Tennis Club work to perfect their hand-eye coordination, a skill necessary in the sport.

“Table tennis is often referred to as skiing downhill while playing chess,” Mazalewski said.

The team attended the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association’s Florida Division Meet on Nov. 7 at UCF but did not place.

Now, the team is preparing for the USF intramural tournament and is looking for others to compete.

The USF club does not have a coach, which means that they are completely student-run.

Contact for more information.

Water polo

Water polo is a physically and mentally demanding sport similar to soccer – but it’s played in the water, said Jill Sears, a sophomore member of the team majoring in environmental science.

“In water polo, defenders must prevent their opponents from scoring using any means possible, whether it be by grabbing their bathing suit or pulling them under water,” she said.

The game is highly physical, as players must tread water the entire time. A common misconception is that they are touching the bottom of the pool, but the sport is played in deep waters, said staff adviser Ross Krawczyk, a PhD. student studying clinical psychology.

Much like soccer, players must score as many goals as possible in a net. Players are only allowed to catch and play the ball with one hand.

The USF team holds monthly scrimmages against schools like FSU and UF and competes in tournaments as well. Members range from freshmen to graduate students and come from all levels of experience.

Contact Krawczyk at for more information.

Ultimate Frisbee

Frisbee is not always a casual sport played in the park – just ask the USF Ultimate Frisbee teams.

Ultimate Frisbee takes a traditional game to new heights. It’s played on a 70-yard long field with end zones 25 yards deep. Players must pass the Frisbee to teammates, but a player in possession of the Frisbee cannot run with it.

“Once you play it, you get hooked,” said Seth Richards, a senior majoring in finance. He is the president and captain of the USF men’s team.

The men’s team is competing in tournaments against FSU, UF and Georgia, Richards said.

For more information, contact


The USF Wakeboard club is the largest of the sport clubs on campus with over 600 members, according to its Web site.

Thirty members in the club compete in a variety of water sports, but the main focus is wakeboarding. The club was started by president Bill Waters and was based on a previous club.

“I started wakeboarding around 12 years old after doing almost every other water sport at that time. I fell in love with wakeboarding and rode as much as I could behind my family boat in St. Petersburg,” said Waters, a graduate student working on his master’s in marketing.

On Oct. 16-18, the team took seven members to the Southeastern Collegiate Regionals, a wakeboarding competition in Flowery Branch, Ga., where it placed third, earning an invite to compete in the Collegiate Wakeboard Nationals next year at the same location.

“The conditions were pretty bad at the contest with some horrible weather. We had a 40-degree wind chill with no sunshine,” said Chris Waters, a sophomore majoring in business. He placed first in the advanced category during regionals.

“The wind was making the water rough, which makes it difficult to control your board. I just went out there and focused on what I had to do and came away with the win.”

For more information, visit or contact Bill Waters at