By Jonathan Schroeder
Today marks the start of every basketball fan’s favorite time of year: March Madness. Tis the season for Bracketology, Cinderella teams, dramatic upsets, and epic buzzer beaters. Even though the BYU Men’s Basketball team will miss out on the NCAA tournament this year, that hasn’t stopped nursing students from getting in the basketball spirit. Just ask “The Beta-Blockers”; a 14-women squad of fifth-semester nursing students who have rocked the courts of BYU Intramural Basketball this season.
“When we first started, I asked the girls to let me know if they had any cool names in mind,” says Rachel Soper. “We came up with a list of funny names that combined nursing and basketball puns. There was “Code Runners,” “IV League,” “Stethoscope Sisters,” “ENEMAS of the State,” and “Code Blue.” We finally settled on the “Beta-Blockers”.
“We’ve been wanting to organize an intramural basketball team for some time now,” Soper says. She and her nursing classmates wanted to organize a basketball team as early as last year, but couldn’t due to scheduling conflicts. Determined not miss out on the action this year, Soper decided to become the team’s unofficial manager.
A few days after posting on the fifth semester nursing student Facebook group, she had a roster of thirteen eager nursing students for the team; more than three times the number of players needed to field a team.
“I knew that not everyone was going to be able to make it to all of the games (just because of clinicals and stuff),” Soper explains. “So I made sure we had a lot of people on the roster so we could get at least five every game.”
Participating in a BYU Intramurals sport is a cougar tradition that is older than the College of Nursing itself. Every year, more than 12,000 BYU students and faculty participate in sports ranging from co-ed Ultimate Frisbee and soccer to men’s and women’s basketball.
For Point Guard Taylor “Skippy” Tripp, playing on “The Beta-Blockers” has been one of the highlights of her BYU nursing experience.
“Basketball has always been a big part of my life,” Tripp says. “I’ve played basketball ever since elementary school. When one of my nursing classmates found out I played, she invited me to play on The Beta-Blockers. I had just returned from a mission, so I didn’t really know a lot of the people in my class at that point. Playing on the team made it a lot easier for me to get to know everyone.”
Although The Beta-Blockers haven’t had the most stellar Win-Loss record during the regular season, most players say that’s not what really matters to them.
“We have fun,” Tripp explains. “My favorite part of playing on the team is just laughing. We laugh a lot during our games.”
“For me, it’s been a great stress-reliever,” Soper adds. “School’s great and everything we’re learning is very interesting, but it’s just fun to have something that you’re doing with nursing students that’s not nursing. It’s kind of like taking the friendship out of the classroom.”
The Beta-Blockers are set to take on “The Ballers” in the Women’s Basketball Intramural Tournament sometime this month.
UPDATE 4/18/18: Last Night, The Beta-Blockers were crowned BYU Women’s Intramural Basketball Champions after winning a decisive victory in the Championship game. They are now the proud owners of the coveted “BYU Intramural Champion” T-Shirt. Wear it with pride, ladies! Congratulations on a great season!