By RYAN PETRAS, Staff Reporter
The University of Michigan-Dearborn lacrosse team traveled to North Carolina over spring break to open up its 2015 season.
During the long bus ride, the team had to find a way to make the time go by.
Second-year defender Andrew Popp recommended a Super Smash Bros. tournament on the Nintendo 3DS.
The first tournament had eight participants, and Popp emerged victorious.
On the way back from North Carolina, the tournament grew to 15 people. They were heated, competitive and a good source of entertainment for the team.
“It’s a pretty big part of my life,” joked Mitch Stapleton, a freshman midfielder for the Wolverines.
Popp is a big time Smash Bros. player who takes the game very seriously.
“I don’t mess around when it comes to Smash Bros,” Popp said.
Popp wasn’t happy to lose to his new rival, junior defensive midfielder Jeff Sebastian, in the championship match during the second tourney.
Entering the match, Sebastian wasn’t happy to be placed into the losers bracket in the first tourney and wanted revenge against Popp.
“I vowed to make a comeback and win the whole thing,” he said.
Sebastian downplayed the rivalry between him and Popp.
“Well since I’m champ now I don’t think much of it, but he knows he can have a rematch whenever he wants,” Sebastian said.
Stapleton took a humorous approach when asked about his quest for the crown.
“After looking over the game tape, I feel pretty good about my chances,” he said. “Mental errors are the only thing separating me from a championship at this point.”
The tourney did more than just build friendly rivalries among teammates, it strengthened the bond amongst the team.
“During the games, guys would huddle around the little screen and watch the matches,” said Popp “It was a good bonding experience.”
Sebastian agreed with Popp.
“It was a good team building exercise,” he said. “We all got to compete against each other in something other than lacrosse, which is always useful in creating a positive team atmosphere.”