SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The dog days of summer are here and the temperature isn’t the only thing heating up at Schriever Air Force Base.
The race for the Commander’s Cup is the closest it’s ever been at this point in the year.
“There are 80 points separating first from third,” said Seth Cannello, Fitness Center director. “I’ve never seen three squadrons that close this late in the year. Normally there are two squadrons that will be close, but you can usually tell who is going to win.”
Currently, the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center holds a 10-point lead over the 50th Space Communication Squadron, 1,190-1,180. The 4th Space Operations Squadron isn’t far behind with a score of 1,110.
USAFWC took the lead on the strength of intramural championships in both basketball and volleyball, while the bulk of 50 SCS’s points have come from the monthly fitness events.
“I think we are very successful in intramurals because we compete as a detachment and not as a unit,” said 1st Lt. Heather Newman, USAFWC. “Competing as a warfare center allows us to be pretty selective about our teams. Our ‘A Team’ is usually pretty serious. We have fun, but it’s more fun to win.”
Staff Sgt. Sam Bessinger, 50 SCS, said to expect an even larger number of participants in the remaining monthly fitness events to help take the lead.
“There is definitely strength in numbers,” he said. “This is the most physically in-shape our squadron has ever been, meaning we are up for any challenge.”
Units can earn participation points for monthly fitness events (5 points per participant), as well as bonus points for top finishes (50 points for first place, 40 for second and 30 for third). Intramural points are based on the final regular season standings (200 for first, 150 for second, 120 for third, 100 for fourth, 80 for fifth and 50 for sixth place or lower). The postseason tournament winner earns an additional 200 points while the runner-up earns another 150.
Since both USAFWC and 50 SCS had to drop out of softball for lack of participation, 4 SOPS, which finished third in the regular season, could leapfrog both units to take the top spot.
Bessinger was more concerned about the unit in front of 50 SCS than the one behind it.
“We’re not too worried about who’s behind us,” he said. “They’re there for a reason.”
Both Newman and Bessinger feel their units can put together football teams strong enough to recoup those lost softball points, even though 4 SOPS is the reigning football champion.
“We’ll definitely have to stay dominant in flag football,” Newman said. “Last year we made it to the semi-finals and lost in the last minutes when we couldn’t score in the red zone. I think we’ll have a good showing again this year.”
Bessinger was even more confident.
“We have some good athletes in our squadron, it’s really just a matter of getting our best people to routinely show up come game time,” he said. “When our best show up, we’re always in the mix for top team, no matter the sport.”
Whichever unit wins the Cup, the prize is first choice of Fit-to-Fight times for the following calendar year. The final standings will be announced prior to the fourth quarter sports advisory council meeting which is held the second Wednesday in December.
Regardless of the final results from softball season, Bessinger believes the Cup race will go down to the wire.
“The remaining IM competitions for the year, I believe, play more into our hands. So it should be close,” he said.
For more information about the Commanders’ Cup, intramural sports or monthly fitness events, contact the fitness center at 567-6628.
UPDATE: The final regular season standings for softball were released Monday and with a third place finish, 4 SOPS has vaulted into the Commander's Cup lead with 1,260 points.
Current Commander's Cup standings:
1. 4 SOPS-1,260
2. 50 SCS-1,230
4. 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron-585
5. 3rd Space Operations Squadron-535