McALLEN — South Texas College is home to new hardware after STC’s intramural flag football team, the King Fish, won the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Flag Football Championship on Jan. 9in Round Rock.

St. Edward’s, Southwestern, Texas and the City of Round Rock hosted the three-day tournament. The King Fish defeated Rochester Institute of Technology, Texas Southern, Trinity, Georgia Southern and Maryland to advance to the final where they beat Georgia College 28-8 to win the national championship.

“Everybody sees South Texas College as a small school — they see us as small. But it doesn’t matter how you look — big or small — we just take pride in representing South Texas and STC,” said team captain Randy Ginez, who played high school football at Weslaco East. “We can compete. It felt great to represent down South, compete at a high level and win.”

In the 2020 national championship game, Georgia College defeated STC by one point. This time around, STC’s King Fish left no doubt by defeating their familiar foe by three scores to capture the 2022 title.

“It was a salty feeling two years ago because they beat us by a point in the championship, so it felt great to come together as a team and win it,” Ginez said.

Receiver/defensive back Bobby Tovar led the King Fish with three offensive touchdowns and a pick-six. He was named Most Valuable Player of the championship game and an All-American tournament selection along with teammates Joshua Garza and quarterback Lupe Perez.

“As soon as we got a lead in the beginning, everybody just found their rhythm. I hadn’t been a part of a team like this in so long, but these guys that we strung together made a good unit,” Tovar said. “Our communication was just on another level.”

Garza, Ginez, Eric Gutierrez, Ricky Marin, Aaron Mungia, Perez, Alfonso Salinas, Joshua Santos, Tovar and JC Vargas made up the championship roster.

Tovar starred on the gridiron for Mission Veterans during his high school days from 2012-16 and played football at Monmouth College in Illinois as a freshman before a knee injury forced him to step away from the sport. Tovar said he found his love for playing football again in flag football.

“The game of flag football, it’s so fun. The atmosphere of football never goes away — it’s the same as playing when you first picked it up when you were younger,” Tovar said. “Intramurals are a good way to have fun, make some friends and new experiences throughout college.”

“This is history in the making,” STC Coordinator of Student Activities & Wellness Luis Banda said in a news release. “Although we have participated in regional tournaments and past national tournaments, this is the first time they win it. Prior to two years ago, the last time we had gone to a national tournament was in 2006. This is something major that this organization puts on, and we look forward to participating in Round Rock again next year.”

The STC’s men’s soccer club will also participate in the Texas Collegiate Soccer League during the spring 2022 semester against opponents from Trinity, Incarnate Word, UTSA, Texas and Sam Houston State beginning in February.