COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The squeak of sneakers against waxed wood floors, the dribble of an orange basketball and the swish of brand-new blue and green uniforms moving against players’ bodies as they ran across the court filled the room.

It was the first of what Columbus Technical College (CTC) hopes will be many games. Athletes from technical college’s intramural basketball team were under the glow of the Columbus State University (CSU) Student Recreation Center gymnasium lights to face off against the school’s ROTC cadets.

“What it means is that our kids have something to do, outside of just going to school,” said Bryant Vernon, CTC’s pharmacy technology program director and, most recently, basketball coach.

Intramural sports are new to CTC this year. The addition comes after the school’s unveiling of the Thrasher, an all-new blue and green avian-like mascot who spent many months in the making ahead of a reveal in August.

Although CTC is not the first technical college to offer intramural sports programs, it is one of few. In the Technical College School System of Georgia (TCSG), which includes CTC and 21 other Georgia technical colleges, CTC is one of 13 programs to have an official mascot.

The creation of the Thrasher comes more than 60 years after CTC’s inception. Now, the mascot’s uniform matches those of sophomore Dakota Hill and freshman Ulysses Jones, some of the first players to hit the court as part of CTC’s intramural basketball team.

Vernon explained the team gives students an opportunity to get some exercise but also a sense of school pride. He said, “This gives them a little buy-in, a little school spirit.”

Intramural sports also supply an opportunity for CTC students to get involved with the community and interact with other local students.

For Vernon, the ability to connect and share some school spirit is everything.

He said, “There is so much more to offer at Columbus Tech…we’re just starting, so who knows where we’ll go.”

CTC also has an intramural flag football team, with hopes to introduce more intramural sports in the near future. Vernon said a kickball team may become CTC’s next intramural opportunity for students.