They had to break two streaks to mount a repeat of their own, but that doesn’t make the victory any less sweet for the College of Engineering Warriors. Finally molting away what the other colleges had come to label the maroon tribe with:

“Always the streak breaker, never the peat maker.�

They can burn those labels now, to fuel their commemorative bonfire to celebrate their victory. “Mag celebrate mi mga Warriors sa among championship. Karon kay gapaningil na ang mga people og victory party,� shares Association of the College of Engineering Students (ACES) President Kesha Jeun.

With the drive to prove their detractors wrong, the Warriors went into battle and did so in dominating fashion, brandishing the proud maroon banner with every lopsided victory and nail-biting contest. What stood out the most for the tribe was their untiring support, living up to their revised slogan of being One Tribe and One Family.

Mapping the assault

Claiming victory is not an easy feat, even for back-to-back champions. Having a stake at the throne required tedious preparations and a proper execution of plans. For Assistant Sports Committee Head Vaughne Dagaraga, this meant addressing the concerns and needs of the teams through a sit-down meeting with the captains.

A common problem that was raised in the meeting was the insufficient funding for each team. Team captains wanted to request an increase in the budget so the athletes can be adequately provided for by the college. This major point of concern, however, was solved after Dagaraga and Jeun campaigned for the increase in the budget allocation for the Intramurals. “Nakakuha jud mi’g larger money kaysa sa una,� Dagaraga enthuses.

This budget allocation is distributed evenly among the teams under the College of Engineering. A budget of Php 550 is reserved for each player, which will be used mainly for the athletes’ uniforms. The Cheer Warriors squad, however, holds a larger budget compared to the other teams because of their full-body costumes and shoes. “Pero limited pud [ang budget] para fair pud sa uban athletes. Fair gyud ang hati-an samoney sa mga athletes,� emphasizes Jeun.

Although budget was no longer a problem, the teams faced another concern when provisions arrived late. There were some incidents when games were already ongoing but supplies such as water have not been provided by the Sports Committee. Faults in staff management also served to be another challenge they had to overcome.

Despite all these trials, the Tribe still led a headstrong charge by keeping a united front. Athletes didn’t face their battles alone, as Sports Committee staff and ACES officers went to the sports venues as early as 5:30 am to support their fellow Warriors. “Among plano with the council kay i-spoil gyud ang mga athletes [during] intrams week kay murag sila among breadwinner,� Jeun says.

Full scale attack

“So basically to win the overall champion, individual sports man gyud na siya ang maka-garner [ug points] because although ten points ang maximum, times how many players man gyud na siya so dako kaayo [ang] makuha,� explains Jeun.

The Warriors are known for reaping gold in individual events, especially swimming. This time, however, the Warriors not only conquered the individual sports but also ruled over the major ones, collecting at least bronzes and silvers if not gold.

“This year murag shockingly naka-sulod mig daghan sa atong mga team sports, which also helps [sic] us garner the top spot,� she adds.

Jeun explains that it has been different for the athletes because “grabe na ilang practices this year compared to last year and ang kakulba nawala.�

Another factor that propelled them to the top was that they learned not to pressure their athletes and allowed them to just enjoy the game.

New long reign

The Warriors are positive that this year’s victory is the affirmation of the College of Engineering’s supremacy.

“Starting last year kay murag reign gyud siya sa Warriors nga contest, nga ma-take gyud ang overall,� Jeun remarks.

She expresses confidence that the next ACES administration could keep up with the demands of defending the throne. She also notes that the next batch of officers has already learned so much from this year’s intrams, somehow making it easy for the college to sustain its dominion.

“I think next year kaya gyud na nila, dapat gyud na nila i-defend,� adds Jeun.

***

With the runners-up hungry to oust the leader, the Warriors will have to double their efforts in defending their throne. Challengers, optimistic enough to think of themselves as streak breakers, will try to put an end to Engineering’s supremacy, maybe even form alliances to prevent the fulfillment of a three-peat.