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Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 and Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School go head-to-head for the first time during the Preseason Jamboree at Felix Field, Aug. 27, 2014. Intramural tackle football is scheduled to be hosted every Wednesday at the same field.

Photo by Cpl. Kate Seiler

Combat Center returns to Grid Iron

3 Sep 2014 | Cpl. Kathryn Seiler

Felix Field is now a place for all Combat Center patrons to enjoy Americas favorite fall sport: football. Semper Fit has started up its intramural tackle football league after a two-year hiatus due to field construction. 

After more than two years of field construction, four teams comprised of personnel from different units competed in a preseason game Aug. 27 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, starting the base's Semper Fit intramural tackle football league.

Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, 1st Tank Battalion and Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School have all formed teams comprised of Marines, sailors, DoD contractors and family members to compete in a twelve-week season culminating at the championship at the end of the season.

Each team had a chance to play each other in a 15-minute quarter, per game. The officials and scorekeepers were volunteers from across the base. Other volunteers included some of the coaching staff.

Many patrons are excited to see intramural tackle football start up again and that it has been a long time coming, but the field was well worth the wait. Players maintained professionalism and good sportsmanship on and off the field.

“As a spectator, I paid close attention to the three other teams,” said Sgt. Martez McDuffie, a player and coach for the MWSS-374 team. “They all have things about them that they do very well.”

In between games, some players who weren’t playing on the field supported and cheered on their fellow league members, regardless of what team they were on. Others received coaching on what to fix and how to fix it.

“Now as a coach of MWSS-374, I must say that our team has a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Tony Bryant, a wide receiver on the MWSS-374 team.  “We will prepare for next week’s game and be ready for CLB-7.”

Felix Field underwent renovations in 2013 to make it more family friendly and accessible. It requires little to no maintenance and is cost effective for the Combat Center to maintain. Patrons have long awaited the return of tackle football and are now excited to get the season started.

A lot of players were excited and showed devotion.

“All teams showed up,” Bryant said. “There was a lot of passion on the field tonight and it felt good to get back at it.”

The preseason game gave all teams the opportunity to compete and measure their skills and strategies against their opponents. At the end of every game, the teams lined up and showed good sportsmanship by congratulating each other for completing their first preseason game.

“I’m proud of our team’s performance but we have to perfect some things,” said Bryant.

The intramural tackle football league is held every Wednesday night at Felix Field. The season will go for 12 weeks and attendees are welcome. To get information about times and schedules please contact Semper Fit at (760)830-6857.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms