Texas Soldiers Stay Fit and Have Some Fun with Gatorball

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January 1, 2024

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Soldiers with the 1st Armored Division closed out the week with a game of Gatorball at the Wilson Physical Training Field in Fort Bliss, Texas, Dec. 15, 2023. Maj. Edward Dean Alvarado, with the 24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element, explained why his unit opted for sports physical training.

“Gatorball is a mixture of ultimate football, soccer, and some cardio mixed in,” said Alvarado. “It just gives us the opportunity to one, have some great physical fitness training. I burned 600 calories on my iWatch. It’s a lot better than just doing a 3-mile run.”

Known across military formations, Gatorball is an activity used to improve cardiovascular endurance along with eye, foot, and hand coordination. The soldiers also incorporated push-up and sit-up exercises for a team after the opposing team scored. Alvarado provided details on how to play and the winning team’s strategy

“There’s two modes of scoring,” said Alvarado. “You can throw the ball into the net. That’s one point, or you can kick the ball into goal like a traditional soccer ball. That’s two points. The other team had a lot of soccer players, so that’s how they scored most of their goals.”

Staff Sgt. Marquis Hopkins and Spc. Marquis McCants, not only share the same first name but also shared the responsibilities as team captains. Alvarado described how the Gatorball teams were formed and who won the overall game.

“We just chose [Staff Sgt.] Hopkins and McCants to pick the teams, and I think they did a great job. It was a down to the wire kind of game. Unfortunately, McCants’ [team] won, and I wasn’t on his team.”

The Theater Public Affairs Support Element unit finished the game and conducted their Foundational Readiness Day activities, closing the evening with the Soldier Family Readiness Holiday Party.

 

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