Big Red’s Army Crowned New Intramural Volleyball Champions

Big Red’s Army Crowned New Intramural Volleyball Champions

By Jared Smelter Contributing Writer

Big Red’s Army wearing their Championship t-shirts. (L to R, back to front): Leah Waggoner, Kyler Chabe, John Hamilton, Hunter Wiley, Maegan Hewey, Abby Shields, captian Caleb Grover and J.P. Tshamala
(Photo courtesy of UMF Intramurals Facebook)

Big Red’s Army, one of the ten intramural volleyball teams in this year’s intramural volleyball league at UMF, defeated Rolling Thunder in the championship game last week.

   “I think as a team we just had really good chemistry and we all understood our roles,” said Caleb Grover, captain of Big Red’s Army.

   The team went undefeated in the regular season, taking down all the opponents they faced. In week one, they won against Rolling Thunder, who they eventually played in the championship, captained by Matthew Dotson. In the last game of the regular season, they defeated Slobbest Knobbest for the second time.

   But doing well in the regular season was not Big Red’s Army’s goal. They wanted to win it all. After falling short last year, team member Hunter Wiley wanted redemption. So Grover took the essential pieces of his team, including UMF juniors Wiley and Kyle Chabe and tried to assemble a squad that could conquer the league.

   J.P. Tshamala, one of the free agents entering the volleyball season, received an offer from Grover and his comrades to join the team. “I am friends with the people on the team and they asked me to join so I accepted their offer,” Tshamala said.

   Entering the regular season, Big Red’s Army had one goal in mind: getting to the championship and winning. They took the league by storm and qualified for the playoffs.

   “The only two teams that presented us with any adversity were Rolling Thunder and Spiked Seltzer,” Grover said. “[They were] definitely the hardest team we faced, they had a lot of athleticism and height.”

   Other than those obstacles, Big Red’s Army made it to the playoffs pretty easily, according to Grover. The team was very successful because of their best player, Chabe, according to multiple team members including Maeghan Hewey, Hunter Wiley, and Captain Grover.

   “Kyle Chabe was our best player so we played around him,” Grover said. “We consistently were successful with the bump, set, spike giving us a strategic advantage over the other teams.”

   In the first round, they defeated Honey Roasted Hens to move on to the semifinals, where they took down The Potato Spikers.

   They advanced into the finals to play Rolling Thunder, who was one of their toughest opponents during the regular season. When the team scored match point, there was nothing but jubilation on the court.

   “It was great winning, the team that I was on was amazing; everyone was really good, and made me feel welcome,” Tshamala said.

   Grover’s team will be looking to defend their intramural volleyball title next fall when new teams and old ones will be looking to dethrone them.

   If you are looking to join an intramural sports team, contact, or message the UMF Intramural Sports facebook page.

Musician Reveals Passion For Music at UMF Concert

By Jared Smelter Contributing Writer

UMF had a free concert from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m on Friday, September 14th, where they hosted psychedelic rock musician, Jeff Beam, with Dominic Lavoie. The concert took place on the Emery Community Arts Center Lawn. It was open to students, faculty, and community members.

   Beam usually plays with a band, but Friday night, he played by himself. He performed a mixture of what he called “old stuff” and “new stuff” with a variety of instruments that included guitar and keyboard.  He used vocal loops in his arsenal as well to intrigue the audience.

 Before the concert, Jeff Beam was able to provide a perspective on what inspired his passion for music. “I would have to give credit to my parents,” Beam said.

   “The set was very interesting,” said Lacey Condon, a sophomore at UMF. “It was lit night.” Beam had a mixed set list. He sang the pieces, “Auspicious Minds,” “Clairvoyance” and “Whispering Poison in his Ear.” All three of these songs he wrote and performed himself. He also performed a cover of the David Bowie song, “Golden Years,” with the other songs, “Disarray,” “Stephen King” and “Cherryfield,” by various artists.

   Beam, an only child, describes his music as, “a subphonic [rock] and a blend of other types of rock music.” He listened to The Beatles, Aerosmith and Radiohead which aroused his interest in this type of music. He also listened to Crosby Stills and Nash, as well as Jimi Hendrix growing up.

   Beam’s favorite band is Radiohead. “They’re making the most complex music that’s still very accessible. They are not cutting any corners,” said Beam. “They are the biggest band that doesn’t compromise logistically. They are able to take this very big vision that they have and execute it on a really big stage and have a lot of people react to it positively.”

       Jeff grew up in Green, Maine, about an hour away from Farmington, in the Lewiston and Winthrop area. He went to school all his life there and studied at The University of Southern Maine and Southern Maine Community College in Portland, as well as Emerson College in Boston where he graduated. He lived in New York for a little while and finally moved back to Maine, where he calls home and enjoys touring around.

   After the concert, Beam commented that, “the atmosphere was ideal,” and “the people were curious, and a great listening audience.” Beam also thanked the Emery Community Arts Center for having him, and for “supporting local music, and for providing that kind of programming in the Farmington community.”