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Crimson White Online

November 29, 2006

Intramural dominating team wins fourth championship


By Taryn Elys
Contributing Writer

Twelve seconds remain on the clock. Eighty yards lay in front of the player. If he doesn't score, the team goes home, and their dreams of a national championship die.

The team is up by six, but to make it to the final round of the tournament they have to score five more points.

Trey Hayes, quarterback of one of the most dominant teams in University intramural history, said the experience was unbelievable.

"I was trying to be realistic and understand that the odds were against us, but the calmness in the huddle was unreal," he said. "It was like we'd all been here before. The attitude was just that we're fixing to go win."

The ball is snapped. Hayes throws a pass to Eric Rumanek, the 24-year-old running back.

Six seconds remain on the clock. The ball is now at mid-field.

The snap is perfect. Hayes rolls right and again throws a perfect spiral to Stephen "Eric" Rumanek, a third year law student. Rumanek falls but holds the ball out just far enough to score.

And just like that, The House went on to play in another national championship tournament.

The members of the well-known intramural team called "The House" know what it's like win. As one of 30 teams in the Pro League of intramural flag football, The House has never lost at the intramural fields at the University.

The House continued that tradition Monday night when it beat Delta Kappa Epsilon 31-0 to win its fourth UA Pro League Intramural Championship.

Jack "Trey" Hayes III is a senior majoring in industrial engineering. This is his second season as quarterback for The House.

Hayes has had the unique opportunity of playing both for and against The House. During his freshman year as quarterback for Paty Hall, Hayes played against The House in the finals.

"In the week leading up to the game, things were just different," Hayes said. "Usually you don't really care who you are playing, but when you're playing The House, you know. And believe me, you care."

Hayes said he is thankful to play on a team that means something to him.

"It's fun because everyone we play knows that even if they play well, we're going to find a way to beat them," Hayes said. "It's even more fun since I play with my best friends."

Hayes said he also values the time he spends with the team off the field.

"We're not just a group of guys that get together every Thursday night, win a football game and go our separate ways for the rest of the week," he said. "We play poker, go out to eat or just hang out several nights a week."

Rumanek is one of the two founding members still on the team. He and his brother Rob Rumanek founded the team in the fall of 2002.

"It makes me feel pretty cool to think that I actually started all this," Rumanek said. "I carry that with a certain sense of pride."

Rumanek often tells the story of how the team began.

His brother and he moved into a house, he said, and their two roommates wanted to start an intramural team.

"We used to refer to our house as 'The House' so naturally that's what we called our team," he said. "We won the tournament that year, and the name just stuck."

The team played under the name "The House" for two years, Rumanek said. During the 2004 season, The House lost several members to graduation, so they merged with another group and became known as Goldbond 10K.

Last season, The House was reestablished. This season is The House's fourth, and most likely its last, since most of the players will graduate.

"As The House we have won three football championships, two co-ed football championships, two co-ed softball, three basketball and two co-ed basketball," Rumanek said. "We are best known for football, though, because we have won three of the last four championships."

Every year, The House goes to the Pontiac American Collegiate Intramural Sports Flag Football National Championship, Rumanek said.

They have never won, but in 2003, they finished in the final four.

"We probably should've won at nationals by now," Rumanek said. "It's nice to know that if we just do what we should do, we can almost always win."

Like Hayes, Rumanek said he values The House because his closest friends are on the team.

"Our confidence comes from trust," Rumanek said. "It's great to play with your best friends because you trust them and you know they are going to give it their all. But it's also harder because sometimes you have to do what's best for the team-even if that means telling your roommate to sit on the bench."

Robert "Bob" Boylan, a senior majoring in education, is one of The House's loyal fans.

"I haven't missed a game since I started following the team last season," Boylan said. "I even went with them to Florida for nationals."

Boylan, who was voted Most School Spirit in high school, describes himself as an "excited and enthusiastic" fan. He said he started going to games last season when Hayes began playing for The House, he said.

"They're all such great guys," Boylan said. "I first started coming to games because I was stunned by how good they are. Now I come because they are some of my closest friends."

Boylan said he wants to become involved with what some of the team calls the "legacy" and the rest of the team calls the "dynasty."

"If four people get injured then I get to play," Boylan said laughing. "Otherwise, I'll just sit on the sidelines and cheer on my team."

The members of The House are uncertain of the future of the dynasty.

"It would be hard for Trey to continue The House tradition without the chemistry that we have developed over the past few years," Rumanek said. "Since my brother and I are graduating, I think The House might ride off into the sunset."




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