Sports | MacKenzie Newman for The Clarion
Luke Wahlstrom, Bethel Royals club broomball team member, goes in for a shot. Photo for The Clarion courtesy of Bethany Hanson.
Every winter, the Bethel community readies itself for what could be the most anticipated time of the year: broomball season. The month-long, hockey-like sensation sweeps across campus annually and leaves participants wanting more by the season’s end. What most students don’t know is that their beloved winter pastime doesn’t have to begin and end in January -- Bethel’s club team can satisfy all of their broomball needs.
Club team captain Joey Almars said most people are surprised to learn about the team, which has 20 members. Most of them are new.
“It’s been a little bit of a rebuilding year,” Almars said. “Last year we had 26 members and 18 of them graduated.”
However, there have been plenty of new players to fill the vacant positions. Almars said the new members come from a variety of different athletic backgrounds, from hockey players familiar with being on ice to soccer players used to having their feet on dry ground. Not all of the newcomers have broomball experience, but sheer numbers have provided the team with an opportunity for growth.
“The games we have lost have been very, very close until the very end,” said Almars.
The Royals play in two outdoor leagues and one indoor league from November until February, and many people are surprised to learn that Bethel routinely plays against older teams. According to Almars, many of the opposing players have competed together for five years or more.
The team takes January off so its members can participate in intramural broomball with their peers.
“I love intramurals so much,” Almars said. “I think it’s better if you don’t have to worry about games with the club.”
In March, the team will travel to Oxford, Ohio to participate in the collegiate bracket of the national broomball tournament. Almars expects the competition to be very competitive. However, he believes the Royals will be successful because they play at a higher level of competition in the leagues they are a part of.
Regardless of the team’s level of success at nationals, Almars said he is happy to have the opportunity to play broomball throughout the year and represent Bethel at the national tournament.