Sunflowers of Death, a team consisting of ACU’s very own professors, has taken men’s indoor intramural soccer by storm.
From a first impression, one can’t help but notice the gray hair, baldness in full effect and the bellies that have grown during many years of adulthood.
Dr. Ryan Jessup, assistant professor of marketing, is the leading goal scorer and captain of the team. He has led the team to great success.
“The team got its start after Dr. McCracken started the professor’s dodgeball team, at which point we noticed quite a few of us actually played soccer and figured we should start a team,” Jessup said.
With a name like Sunflowers of Death, it’s difficult to not instill fear in the opponent.
“The name of the team was the result of choosing a team color and Dr. Little’s imagination,” Jessup said.
The team color was decided upon after the professors realized they couldn’t use any colors of social clubs and a life long dream of Jessup’s, a dream that included the desire to wear an all yellow kit as a uniform.
However, the Sunflowers of Death are no laughing matter, the team reached the Men’s Indoor Soccer Championship in an undefeated feat. The team came up short of only four goals in the final.
The final really consisted of two games, as the tournament had been double elimination. Having lost the first match with the score of 8-4, the Sunflowers of Death faced their fate in the second game.
At first, the game seemed to be an all-out shootout, with the two teams exchanging goal after goal. Then, suddenly, the goals dried up for the professors, resulting in an end score of 6-3.
Tortugas F.C., the team that has been winning men’s soccer championships left and right, was the only team that was able to rain on the Sunflowers’ parade.
The success of the Sunflowers has come in many different facets, whether it be the number of players in the squad, its shear talent or its ability to get in opponent’s heads.
“The opportunity to pay all those students back for all those hours of anguish they cause us and all of our pent up rage, that has been why we’ve been successful,” Jessup said.
The Sunflowers of Death have not only been successful in indoor soccer, but outdoor soccer as well.
“I think we do well because everyone underestimates us, they see Dr. Reeves’ bald head and think ‘Oh we’ve got this!'” Jessup said.