On the weekend of Oct. 17th, the Exit 44 Kickball league came to a close here on the Mercyhurst campus. The league was seven weeks long and brought teams of students together for weekly com-petition.
The league drew in over 200 students to participate across 15 teams throughout the seven weeks.
“The overall experience of the Exit 44 kickball was astounding,” said Kody Miles, Founder of Exit 44. “It was great to see how every-one came together for a positive, safe, and competitive environ-ment week after week.”
Miles worked alongside both the Mercyhurst Athletics depart-ment and Mercyhurst Student Government to bring the idea to life this semester.
“I had the pleasure of working side by side with Mercyhurst Ath-letics and MSG to get a unique experience with trophies, t-shirts, music, lights, field time and vi-suals on the graphics board,” said Miles.
“My favorite thing about the league was that it was the talk of the campus. I got to do something very cool and unique that gives back to the Mercyhurst commu-nity and hang out with my fellow Laker friends and meet new ones along the way,” said Miles. “Peo-ple were always looking forward to Saturday for kickball and it made me happy that people had something to look forward to and provide a sense of normalcy with the restrictions of COVID-19.”
The league consisted of five reg-ular season weeks followed by two weeks of double elimination play-off rounds.
“We had some competitive ac-tion and a lot of big plays and up-set storylines,” said Miles.
The teams Big Smoke and Bad Night 4 Bevs met in the Finals, with Big Smoke taking the title. Seth Winters was named the Fi-nals MVP following his grand slam in the closing game.
“It felt great! I’ve never really won MVP before for anything so it felt pretty special to be recog-nized as the best player during the game which was pretty cool!” said Winters. “The most exciting part I’d say would probably be hitting a grand-slam in the Final Game and also just being able to com-pete against other teams during these times of COVID and also just getting to be able to have fun with my friends!”
Organizing the event allowed Miles and other students involved to develop their leadership skills with practical experience.
“We got to have a lot of social media content and make engaging pieces from highlight videos, play-er of the week, interviews and stats and weekly recaps,” said Miles.
With the kickball season end-ing, many students have been left with the question of what the future holds for similar activities from the group.
“Since I am graduating this year, moving forward I am just trying to inspire, motivate and educate fellow Lakers who I am looking to pass the torch on down to,” said Miles. “I think it is so im-portant to use my platform and voice for good and to elevate the voices of others so I have a few people in mind who can take over for me after I am gone. There are a lot of events in the works for Exit 44 behind the scenes for athletics. In addition to athletics, we are working on hosting esports tour-naments for students to compete in.”
Students can follow Exit 44 on Instagram @exit.44 to stay up-to-date with the latest news from the cultural movement.