News: Combat Center returns to the Grid Iron
By Cpl. Kate Seiler
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Felix Field is now a place for all Combat Center patrons to enjoy Americas favorite fall sport: football. Semper Fit has started up its intramural tackle football league after a two-year hiatus due to field construction. Four teams were created by different units to compete for the championship at the end of a twelve-week season. Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, 1st Tank Battalion and Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School have all fielded teams comprised of Marines, sailors, DoD contractors and family members who are 18 and above.
Aug. 27, all four teams took the field ready to compete in a friendly preseason jamboree. Each team had a chance to play each other in a 15-minute quarter, per game. The officials and scorekeepers were volunteers from across the base. Other volunteers included some of the coaching staff.
According to a sports specialist with Semper Fit, a lot of patrons are excited to see intramural tackle football start up again and that it has been a long time coming, but the field was well worth the wait.
Players maintained professionalism and good sportsmanship on and off the field. Sergeant Martez McDuffie is a player as well as a coach from MWSS-374.
“As a spectator, I paid close attention to the three other teams,” said McDuffie. “They all have things about them that they do very well.”
In between games, some players who weren’t playing on the field supported and cheered on their fellow league members, regardless of what team they were on. Others received coaching on what to fix and how to fix it.
“Now as a coach of MWSS-374, I must say that our team has a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball,” Bryant said. “We will prepare for next week’s game and be ready for CLB-7.”
The return of tackle football
Felix Field underwent renovations in 2013 to make it more family friendly and accessible. It requires little to no maintenance and is cost effective for the Combat Center to maintain. Patrons have long awaited the return of tackle football and are now excited to get the season started.
A lot of players were excited and showed devotion, to include Petty Officer 2nd Class, Tony Bryant, wide receiver, MWSS-374.
“All teams showed up,” Bryant said. “There was a lot of passion on the field tonight and it felt good to get back at it.”
This preseason jamboree gave all teams the opportunity to compete and measure their skills and strategies against their opponents. At the end of every game, the teams lined up and showed good sportsmanship by congratulating each other for completing their first preseason game.
“I’m proud of our team’s performance but we have to perfect some things,” said Bryant.
The intramural tackle football league is held every Wednesday night at Felix Field. The season will go for 12 weeks and attendees are welcome. To get information about times and schedules please contact Semper Fit at (760)830-6857.