When the cameras are put away and the lights in the studio go out, most broadcasting majors head home to their dorms to finish up on homework. Most students aren’t like the players of Team Meal Plan. Rookie MUTV member Chris Engel decided the club should give the intramural co-ed softball league a go this semester. Engel, a transfer student from West Virginia, recently became more involved in the club this semester. MUTV’S Station Manager Mary Raucci had played intramural co-ed softball before, so when Engel asked about starting a team she signed them up. To the new team’s surprise and slight dismay, Raucci had signed them up for the competitive league instead of the recreational league. They were in for an interesting season.
Although the max roster limit is 15 players, Meal Plan garnered so much interest from MUTV members that they have 17 players unofficially in their squad. Meal Plan immediately ran into one particular problem after Coach Engel read up on the co-ed league rules. The positions on the field need to alternate between male and female players, giving everyone an equal opportunity to field. The batting order also must follow the boy girl pattern. MUTV already has a low female to male ratio, so Team Meal Plan needed all the girls it could get. With only 5 girls on the roster, girls make up less than a 3rd of the unofficial 17-player team. While all the boys think they’re vital to the team, the girls know they’re the ones who are really needed the most. After all, rules are rules.
The origin of the team’s name is a funny story. One might glance at it and think, “maybe it’s because they all have meal plans” or “perhaps a joke about college food” but it is neither of these. Team member and MUTV Field Shoot Coordinator Ryan Schmucker produced the first episode of his short series about college students last semester. It was met with mixed reviews. The title of this series? Meal Plan. The team name was thought up by a few members as a little jab at Ryan. MUTV is all about that tough love.
At 11pm on March 20th, Meal Plan faced their first opponents: the Keystone Pounders. It was during this game that the squad realized the competitive league was a preposterous place to be. After a rough first inning, Meal Plan was already down by almost 10. Those pounders knew when to swing and Meal Plan’s starting pitcher hadn’t played since middle school. After a final score of 0 to 19, the team was feeling a little down. One of the Intramural reps said, “Don’t worry guys, some of these teams have been playing together for years”. Shortstop Ian Roth responded with, “Yeah, 80% of our team has never picked up a baseball before.”
Roth, a freshman at Millersville, had played baseball for his high school team in New Jersey. “Quality wise, our team is the same as my high school one. We sucked pretty bad. Fun wise though, this team is better. I think we have a lot of room for improvement, and it’s cool to see people out of their element on the field. What’s important is that we’re all having fun.”
Meal Plan has four more games this season up at the fields behind Pucillo. They’re apart of the Tuesday Thursday and Sunday competitive co-ed league, and if you’d like to see them play just poke your head into the MUTV office in Bassler Hall and ask when the next game is. The sign up sheet for who’s bringing the snacks is on the door.