EVENT COVERED: Football Frenzy, ended Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. // STORY SUBMITTED: Oct. 8 at 7:32 p.m.
Derek Gabriel stood on the opponents’ 20-yard line of the intramural football field.
He took a snap, stepped back and easily passed the ball downfield to a receiver who ran to the end zone for a touchdown.
Gabriel’s girlfriend, Colleen Richey, watched his every move from the sideline.
But she wasn’t cheering.
Richey’s sorority and Gabriel’s fraternity faced off Tuesday night in the 15th annual Football Frenzy. The flag football tournament, which has both a Greek bracket for homecoming pairs and an open bracket for any other students, kicks off OSU’s weeklong homecoming celebration. Games are usually played the weekend before the homecoming game, but with the university’s fall break and inclement weather last Friday, the final games were played Tuesday night.
Richey’s sorority, Kappa Delta, is paired with FIJI for this year’s homecoming. Gabriel’s fraternity, Farmhouse, is paired with Kappa Kappa Gamma. The pairs both faced elimination with a loss.
Kappa Delta-FIJI won the game 19-11.
“It’s a little strange, because I’m used to going to his football games and watching him and cheering him, like for regular intramurals,” Richey said. “It’s strange because every time he does something I want to cheer and be like, ‘Oh, yeah!’ but I can’t.”
She said dealing with friendly Greek competition is normal for her and Gabriel.
“It’s definitely something we’ve gotten used to, especially since we’re both so involved with shows,” Richey said. “Being paired with someone else, you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re going to win.’ But it’s friendly competition. It’s never anything serious.”
“It’s just a really fun way to let off some steam and get hyped for the week of homecoming by starting in a fun, competitive way,” said Anneliese Krull, a member of Kappa Delta’s Frenzy team.
Kyra Reed, a homecoming director for Kappa Delta, said the chapter starts preparing for Frenzy about a month and a half in advance.
“Probably two or three weeks before Frenzy starts they start practicing,” Reed said. “They practice about twice a week. Right before Frenzy, we get jerseys, we get all the noisemakers, and we just try to make the sidelines as spirited and rowdy as the players on the field.”
The tournament is just one of many facets of the homecoming competition. Pairings also compete for awards in house decorations, campus signs and overall spirit. An executive committee oversees nine steering committees in charge of various aspects of homecoming.
Football Frenzy is under the direction of the Athletic Pride steering committee.
Kaitlyn Reynolds said she enjoyed doing behind-the-scenes work as a member of Athletic Pride.
“We do all the referee stuff and make sure everyone’s prepared for that,” Reynolds said. “We do all the saving of the fields, and the reserving of Boone Pickens for the championship game, even though that didn’t end up happening this year (due to the weather), but that’s OK.
“My favorite part is getting to interact with homecoming firsthand. Homecoming is my favorite thing we do here.”