By Halle Thornton
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Operations Support Squadron defeated the 4th Space Operations Squadron 18-12 during the intramural flag football championship at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Oct. 24.
Joel Boxberger from the 50th OSS said the team really came together throughout the year and this especially rang true in the first playoff game against 2nd SOPS.
“These last two games really showed all aspects of our team firing on all cylinders together,” he said. “All in all, the semifinals really showed each facet of our team peaking at the right time, heading into the finals against 4 SOPS.”
Tyrelle Shepherd from 4th SOPS said leading up to the championship game, they wanted to prove they could beat 50th OSS after losing to them twice.
“I feel we did the best we could with what we had,” he said. “We played with one less player the first half, and that definitely showed on both offense and defense. There was always a gap in our defense that they exploited well, which lead them to two quick touchdowns.
“With our offense, it made it tougher to move the ball when they had six of their eight players covering our three receivers,” Shepherd continued. “The numbers just weren’t in our favor.”
Although the rainy weather looked daunting, Boxberger said it did not affect their team’s playing.
“Once we got on the field and into the rhythm, the weather didn’t really play a large factor into our game,” he said.
Boxberger was content with his team’s play.
“Of course, having to punt in the second half when we could’ve gone up by multiple possessions wasn’t ideal,” he said. “The highlight of the game came through several red zone possessions that were all converted for touchdowns. Being able to capitalize on all of our red zone drives was definitely key to another championship for 50th OSS.”
Although 4th SOPS did not come away with the victory, Shepherd felt he played a strong game.
“I tried extremely hard to get open, not dropping open passes, making difficult catches and running each route with a purpose,” he said. “The best moments were catching a few sideline passes to put the team in the best position to score and winning a jump ball over two of their guys.”
“Each championship means a lot to every one of our members, on or off the team,” Shepherd continued.
Boxberger said intramural sports are key to Schriever AFB.
“With so many Airmen being dispersed across the base and the restricted area, intramural sports allow for Airmen from every squadron and career field to come together and compete throughout the year,” he said.
Shepherd said intramurals are important to him because the same characteristics people look for when it comes to their jobs shows when playing for a sports team, like teamwork, leadership, communication, trust and grit.
“It’s not just talent and skill,” he said. “You can have the best players all on one team but if nobody communicates effectively, they’ll lose. If you are playing for personal stats rather than working as a team, you’ll lose. If you can’t trust your teammates will do their job on the court or field, you’ll lose. If you crumble when times during the game gets tough, you’ll lose. If you don’t show leadership, you’ll lose.”
“If your instinct involves lack of those skills, you’ll make the wrong decisions in those split seconds, even if you’re a really good player,” Shepherd continued.
Boxberger expressed his gratitude to the fitness center staff for organizing events like these.
“Without their constant support each and every game and season, we wouldn’t be able to come together and enjoy base intramurals throughout the year,” he said.
Shepherd praised his team for coming together and working hard throughout the season despite the teams’ small numbers.
“We had a tough time getting people out due to work schedules conflicting with the game, and that meant people had no breaks during the game; everyone played offense and defense,” he said. “Playing as hard as we could to win the games to get to the championship is a big deal in my eyes.”
Shepherd extended his congratulations to the 50th OSS.
“We have a really good group of guys, but 50 OSS just had the better game when it counted,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’s team looks like.”
For more information about upcoming sports events, contact the fitness center at 567-6628.