In The Locker Room with Michelle Polyak, Dylan Cohen and Maisy Byerly


Zach Harvey

Michelle Polyak (left), Dylan Cohen and Maisy Byerly

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

This week the Review sat down with intramural softball captains, senior Michelle Polyak of the Senior Shockers and juniors Dylan Cohen of the Skinflutes and Maisy Byerly of the Designated $hitters to discuss their team names, how much they value intramural softball and why more people should play.

What first drew you to intramural softball?

Michelle Polyak: I started playing my freshman year because I knew some seniors that were playing and were really enthusiastic about it, and I decided to try it out, and it was really fun. Then I made a team the next year.

Dylan Cohen: I was on an intramural basketball team that had a bunch of players that had started an intramural softball team. I joined them, and it was the perfect way to spend spring semester my freshman year.

Maisy Byerly: I also started spring semester my freshman year. The team I joined was a team of juniors, and half their team was studying abroad, so they recruited me and a couple of my friends to fill their ranks, and we’ve been addicted ever since.

Do you ever find yourself getting competitive and caught up in the heat of the game?

MB: Even in this interview. I think that the Skin Flutes have real rivalries, and then there are loving rivalries. The Skin Flutes and Designated Shitters is a real loving, intense, maternal, paternal, sisterly, brotherly, otherly rivalry.

DC: I got a text from Maisy the day of our rained-out game last Wednesday, saying, ‘Are you even prepared for this?’ I know the Skin Flutes don’t like the Raw Dogs.

MP: Definitely a lot in the games. We start to name call, but it’s all in good fun.

Have you ever played another sport?

MP: I used to play soccer, but I was never very good. I’m not particularly good at softball, either, but it’s just so fun.

DC: I played basketball, and I played baseball through middle school.

MB: I played softball and [ran] cross country in high school. I played [American Youth Soccer Organization] soccer also. I sailed a little bit.

How did you come up with your team name?

MP: I have been trying to get Senior Shockers to be a thing for the senior class for the whole year, and I just thought it was fitting. Also, the team has only seniors and higher as players.

DC: I actually don’t know the origin of Skin Flutes. I came into the role of captain of the Skin Flutes in their second iteration. I think we’re just going for a penis-themed name because we’re trying to be funny, kind of. That was definitely the theme of the captain’s meaning two years ago. There was OCOC ‘n’ Balls and other good ones.

MB: I was first on the Willy Nillies, then the team last year was OCOC ‘n’ Balls. This year we are the Designated Shitters. I thought a number of team members would like having a new name every year because there are a wealth of good names for softball teams. My favorite name to date is one this year: Anal in the Outfield. I also like Rings of Uranus. Anything with butts.

How high up your list of priorities is intramural softball?

MP: It’s number one definitely right now. Last year, I wasn’t as into it, but it’s my last month here and I want to seize the day and have fun with my friends on the softball field.

DC: Number one. It was always number one because it was the place I could guarantee my friends would be on a Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. I knew I’d be able to hang out with them every time, and that’s the key to it for me. It’s just so much fun to get that competitive with a group of friends in a non-academic setting, but still participating all together. It’s literally the best.

MB: Number one. It was number one for me when I was in the womb, and it will number one for me when I’m in the grave.

What is your favorite thing to do on the softball field?

MP: I love to cheer and also cheer while I’m playing. Every time I run after I hit a ball, I end up yelling something. It just happens.

DC: I like to freak out about really nice catches.

MB: In the last game, I liked the series of line drives and a lot of them coming off the bats of new players. I like cheering for new players.

What is your favorite position to play?

MP: Outfield is totally mine.

DC: Mine’s always been third base.

MB: I think I have to say catcher because it’s a good chance to shit on everyone.

Any last words?

MP: I want to encourage everyone to play. I think it’s a little secret that more underclassmen should know about.

DC: This year I think closer to five percent of people on campus are playing intramural softball and last year it was closer to 10 percent. When we were freshmen it was closer to 15 percent. That kind of sucks. This is definitely the most fun you’ll have at Oberlin outside of the thing you do that you’re most interested in. I hope people look at the intramural schedule and see when they need to sign up. Just shoot Betsy Bruce an email.

MB: Betsy has been open to having lone wolf teams in the past. I talked to people who had never played softball before and their best memories of Oberlin are still on the softball field. It’s an amazing thing for people who don’t even know the sport or give a rat’s ass.