Team Pup ’N’ Suds player also a master carpenter


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Usually, the DI intramural Athlete of the Week is a player who puts up the biggest flag-football numbers or has the meanest volleyball skills.

But the Week Seven honor went to someone who had a much more gritty job on the gridirons of the Hawkeye Recreational Fields.

Senior Joel Ryerson anchored the defensive line all year for Team Pup ’N’ Suds, which went 5-1 this season with its only loss coming in the second round of the men’s Open League playoffs. As a defensive specialist, he pressured the quarterback on every play but had only one statistical feat all year.

“A pick-six is my claim to fame,” he said. “[The opposing quarterback] threw it, and I picked it right off. I was right in his face, and I just jumped up and snagged it.”

While his flag-football numbers may not be huge, Ryerson has managed contributions on the fútbol field. As a left back, left midfielder, and captain on the Iowa soccer club, he said the “beautiful game” is his best sport by far.

He won a 4A state soccer championship his senior year at Valley High in West Des Moines.

Outside of sports, Ryerson is an accounting major in the Tippie College of Business, hoping to come back next year to earn a master’s degree.

When not studying or playing sports, though, he occupies much of his time with his two roommates and teammates, fellow seniors Brian Carlson and Andrew Moen. The three spend their days competing in various activities, such as video games or alley football outside their apartment on Gilbert Street.

Moen said things can become pretty heated.

“It’s everything we do,” he said. “Bags, beer pong, flippy cup — we’re always competitive.”

Ryerson agreed, saying the group always seems to be busy.

The group often uses the bags set that Ryerson made in his spare time. The 4-foot by 2-foot boards are “regulation,” said Ryerson, who noted that he cannot play on the smaller, mass-produced sets often seen in parking lots before the Iowa football games.

He also recently built an Adriondack-style chair.

But for Ryerson and his team, there is no sitting back when it comes to the next flag-football season. He doesn’t know what other intramural sports he wants to compete in this year, but Ryerson said Team Pup ’N’ Suds will be back. And if this season’s commitment is any indication, Ryerson will be even a bigger part of the team next year.

“When we let Joel join the team, he went out and bought two huge containers of Creatine,” said Carlson jokingly.

Ryerson said football was one of the main reasons he wants to come back for a master’s degree at the UI. He enjoys watching the Iowa football team — especially with his student discount.

“I’m a huge football fan. We go to every game,” Ryerson said. “I’m pretty excited I get to come back next year for the good schedule.”

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