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Mud mayhem at Oozeball

Junior+Matthew+Johnson+up+to+serve+for+his+team+at+the+29th+Oozeball+Tournament.
Junior Matthew Johnson up to serve for his team at the 29th Oozeball Tournament.

Junior Matthew Johnson up to serve for his team at the 29th Oozeball Tournament.

Jake Cannon

Jake Cannon

Junior Matthew Johnson up to serve for his team at the 29th Oozeball Tournament.

Ryann Guy, Reporter

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The University of South Alabama Southerners hosted the 29th annual Oozeball Tournament this past Saturday. Oozeball is an all-day long event of mud volleyball, friendly competition, prizes and lunch provided by Foosackly’s. This is South’s biggest and longest running event for Jaguars.

“Oozeball to me means lots of laughter, lots of sludge, and lots of amazing memories with amazing people,” junior nursing major Maria Longo said.

More than 500 students, faculty, and alumni got down and dirty as they ‘digged’ and dove in 8-18 inches of mud. It takes place next to the football fieldhouse at the volleyball courts, between The Grove and the JagTran transportation office.

“I was roped into playing last minute, but it turned out to be super rad,” freshman computer engineering and physics major Robin Shorrosh said. “It was the only thing worth waking up early on a Saturday. If you ooze, you lose!”

The event costs $15 per person and helps support the Southerner “Spotting Excellence” scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to University of South Alabama students who display excellence in and out of the classroom.  Also, all funds raised through Oozeball are matched by the Mitchell Moulton Scholarship Initiative.

“It was a ton of fun,” junior biomedical science major Cody Santora said about his first time experience as an ‘Oozeballer.’ “They keep you active even when you aren’t playing by giving away free prizes, playing games and a lot of free food.”

This USA tradition is an all around fun day for players, friends, and family. Many parents and siblings came to watch their Jaguars getting down and dirty in the mud. People of all ages rave about Oozeball whether they played, watched, or heard about it.


Sophomore business major Ben Mangrum said, “I didn’t play this year, but after seeing some of my friends play and seeing how much fun they had, I want to sign up for next year.”

The Southerners originated in 1978 and are a 20-member group of students at USA working with the National Alumni Association, President’s Office and many other University and community groups. They are a group of students who serve has the official ambassadors for the University of South Alabama. Members are chosen based on an essay, interview, academics and extracurricular achievements.

Next year, the Southerners plan to hold its 30th annual Oozeball tournament. Details on how much was raised at this years event has not yet been released.

“Playing oozeball had become a quintessential part of my experience at South Alabama,” senior english major Grace Mitchell said. “With lots of mud, friendship and terrible puns, what more could a student want?”

Sometimes, it’s not about winning or l-oozing, it’s about “mud” over matter and having a good time playing while being am-ooze-d by the other teams as they slip around trying to win their next match.

For more information on how to become involved with the Southerners, contact Ailey Shirazi at [email protected] or Dr. Nick Gossett at  [email protected]. You can also  go to www.southalabama.edu/departments/alumni/southerners.html for membership applications.

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Mud mayhem at Oozeball