SigEp presents SLUperbowl XXII

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SigEp presents SLUperbowl XXII

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This Saturday, returning champions Kappa Delta Actives defended their title against Delta Gamma Actives, winning 12-6 in a nail-biter of a championship game at Sigma Phi Epsilon’s 22nd annual SLUperbowl event.

SLUperbowl is played every fall as the conclusion to SigEp’s philanthropy week. The flag football tournament pits SLU’s sororities against each other in a day of friendly competition. Each sorority is allowed two teams, one made up of active members and the other composed of new members, each coached by members of SigEp. The teams practice throughout the months of October and November, working hard in preparation for the big day.

This year, the tournament was held on Nov. 12 in Tower Grove Park, with games beginning at 9:00 a.m. and stretching all day long. The bracket for the day was revealed in an NCAA-style selection show, with the field of 12 teams receiving seeds based on their performance in the previous year.

After a long day of closely-contested flag football games, the Kappa Delta Actives and the Delta Gamma Actives wound up in the championship game, in a rematch of last year’s final.

The game was back  and forth in a defensive battle between the two squads during a scoreless first half. This didn’t last long into the second half, as sophomore linebacker Katie LaVigne intercepted a pass over the middle of the field, dodging flag-pullers and returning it for a touchdown, putting KD up 6-0.

Later in the half, senior Allison Jedlicka extended Kappa Delta’s lead with an incredible catch-and-run for another touchdown. Delta Gamma didn’t give up, scoring a touchdown on a wide-open catch by senior Jan Salas in the end zone near the three minute mark of the game. This wasn’t quite enough for DG though, as KD recovered the onside kick and held on for the win.

When asked about the victory, KD head coach Luke Barkley said after the game, “Coming into this year’s SLUperbowl, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy to be repeat champions. One thing that I think gave our team an advantage is that although the girls took everything pretty seriously, they were always out there having fun with it. Girls at practice would be laughing and having a good time, and our coaching staff encouraged that. It was that attitude come gameday that I believe took the pressure off the girls and made it easier for them to perform at a championship level and bring home the trophy for a second year in a row.”

Sophomore starting quarterback for KD Jenn Ackels played through a lingering knee injury in her first year on the Actives team to help lead her team to a win, operating under center with calm composure in the pocket and long strings of completions to get the job done.

She reiterated Coach Barkley’s emphasis on building a relationship with teammates and coaches in light of the win, adding, “The feeling I got when we won that championship game was indescribable, and the bonds we made as a team and with our coaches can never be broken. Whoever said girls can’t play football clearly has never seen Kappa Deltas play.”

This year, Sigma Phi Epsilon introduced a new element to SLUperbowl — adding a Crowdrise campaign, with all the proceeds being sent to their philanthropic partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”

Many of SigEp’s members are “bigs” in the program and have stepped up to mentor some of these children.

The Crowdrise campaign was organized so that each competing sorority could donate money as a group.

The two teams who raised the most money would earn a bye in the first round, and a favorable matchup in the second round against one of the new member teams.

This campaign created another level of competition, as each sorority vied for the coveted bye. Leading up to the donating deadline, the Crowdrise fundraising website exploded, as girls frantically rushed to donate in order to help their teams.

The campaign was extremely successful; the combined sororities and SigEp managed to raise $20,452 in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In the excitement and competition of SLUperbowl game day, it’s easy to forget the real reason for the tournament. High emotions, heartbreaking losses and longstanding rivalries can all distract from the goal, but at the end of the day, SLUperbowl is still for the kids.