Fire

Alyssa Cutter

SPORTS

The element of fire can trigger emotions of aggression, passion and violence. This section takes a look at clubs with some of these very things at the core of what they do. Whether weapons are fired or bodies collide, these clubs make a point of being hardcore.

Airsoft: Ready, aim, fire!

For ex-marine Robert White, the objective was simple: Get to the house and hold it down. The hard part was coming up with a plan to accomplish that goal without getting shot. As the sound of guns firing and the yells of teammates filled his ears, White held down the trigger on his own gun and ran toward the house, screaming along with his teammates.

But the guns aren’t firing real bullets. They’re plastic pellets. The guns aren’t real either. They’re toys.

White was actually playing a game of airsoft, an increasingly popular game in Florida that is based on military situations and strategies. The junior marketing major and his teammates are a part of the Airsoft Club, which got its start this year under President Reggie Smith.

“It’s an awesome pastime, honestly, so I figured, let’s spread the wealth and spread the joy,” said Smith.

A year and a half ago Smith moved down from Georgia, where, according to Smith, airsoft is very popular. After noticing the lack of players in Florida, Smith started the club by gathering a few friends and teaching them to play. Then those friends found more friends and taught them the game, and the Airsoft Club was born.

“Here we are, a big group of, I think, 20-plus friends all playing together,” said Smith. “It’s all about fun, and that’s what it should be about as a student organization. It’s fun and friends.”

Instead of staying indoors, playing popular war video games like Halo and Call of Duty, the Airsoft Club gets out on the field and starts completing objectives of their own. From “capture the flag” to “team death match,” where the last one standing wins, the club plays against other local teams in pickup games or scheduled events for fun and bragging rights.

But airsoft is more than just a glorified version of the popular war video games. According to Smith.

“It’s a little more strategic. You can’t just run and gun and expect to be the next Rambo out there,” said Smith. “It does take some strategy, stealth and thinking.”

However, strategy is not the only thing the team thinks about while out playing a game. Safety is also a concern, especially because of how similar airsoft looks to real warfare. Not only do team members protect themselves with equipment like protective eye wear and face masks, but they also make sure that those around them know that they are playing a game, and not actually in a real gun fight.

“In the end it is a game. We know that, the people we are playing against know that, but the average person on the street, the police officer on the street, your next-door neighbor, or your campus security, they don’t know that [the gun] is a toy,” said White. “So safety really has to be the most important factor in any sort of airsoft event, especially here on the college campus.”

The club holds a practice at least once a month. On the weekends they don’t practice. Instead, they usually play pickup games at local fields. According to Smith, students at FAU are welcome to come out and try the sport. The club even has equipment to rent out for students wanting to give it a shot.

“Each person brings different things to the team. It’s not just about shooting, it’s also the whole strategy and planning things out,” said Smith. “Even if you’re the worst shot in the world doesn’t mean you’re not fit for airsoft, it just means that you’re better planning things out and leading the team than actually aiming and taking down targets.”

Despite White’s carefully laid plans, he and his teammates ended up being the targets taken down in their rush to storm the house. However, according to White, FAU reclaimed their pride in a later game against the same team.

 

Paintball Club:

Senior Greg Montalvo started the Paintball Club because “nobody else [at FAU] was really doing it.”

He and former FAU student Robert Sims wanted to play tournament-style paintball instead of the more common recreational style. So they got a team together, joined the National Collegiate Paintball Association, and started attending tournaments.

Now, two years later, the club is recognized on the national collegiate scene after finishing in sixth place at the national tournament this past April. According to Montalvo, when nationals come around again in the spring, “people won’t be expecting to walk over us” like last time. “We’re going to be an actual legitimate threat to them now,” said Montalvo.

While the club only holds tryouts to determine line placement, they do want new recruits to bring their own gear. No tournament experience is necessary, but, according to Montalvo, it does help and so does being willing to learn.

Click here for the UP’s 2010 coverage of the team.

 

Men’s Rugby:

Roughly 20 rookies make up a majority of the Men’s Rugby Club this year. They are relying on a small group of veterans to teach them how to be a team before the Florida Rugby Union’s Florida Cup Championship tournament on Nov. 20 in Orlando.

Before then, the new team is facing a few big schools like the University of Miami and the University of South Florida in hopes of shortening the learning curve. According to head coach John Cawthray, the club stands a good chance of doing well against these teams despite the rookie players. He is confident that by spring semester his team will be a winning one.

Click here for the UP’s 2010 season preview and schedule for the Men’s Rugby Club.

 

Women’s Rugby Club:

Just like the Men’s Rugby Club, the Women’s Rugby Club is also is experiencing an influx of rookies. A little less than half the players on the team are new to the game.

According to head coach Katie McAuley, this comes as no surprise because the fall semester is traditionally the building season for college rugby. The goal is to get new recruits and prepare them for the “serious season,” which starts in the spring.

Part of the training for the new players this season involves games against teams like the University of Florida and the University of Miami. Then, at the end of the semester, the club will travel to Orlando to compete in the Florida Rugby Union’s Florida Cup Championship tournament.

Even though this is a rebuilding season, McAuley said she thinks this season will be a positive one for the club.

Click here for the UP’s 2010 season preview and schedule for the Women’s Rugby Club.

 

Here are some clubs ready to kick butt:

Club Contact E-mail Facebook page/group name
Air Soft Reggie Smith [email protected] FAU Airsoft
Judo Elizabeth Medina [email protected] FAU Judo Club
Shorinji Kempo Isabel Portal [email protected] N/A
Women’s Lacrosse Jordan Holmes [email protected] N/A
Paintball Greg Montalvo [email protected] FAU Tournament Paintball
Cuong Nhu Jeremy Taylor [email protected] N/A
Men’s Rugby Ryan Moran [email protected] N/A
Women’s Rugby Allison Garnsey [email protected] FAU Women’s Rubgy
Taekwondo Elia Barradas [email protected] N/A
Wrestling Kevin Sellar [email protected] N/A