Phi Kappa Theta returns after year away from Tugs

By Krystal Ward

Phi Kappa Theta heads into men’s Tugs as a ninth seed this year after the team was not allowed to participate in the event last year due to an internal conflict within the fraternity.

Matt Green, Phi Kappa Theta president, has been tugging since his freshman year. As a sophomore, Green was the back rope caller, which is an assistant to the head caller. Green’s job then was to relay messages to the back of the team because of how loud Tugs can get. He is now the second rope caller.

“We’re basically the quarterback of a football team,” Green said when describing the role of a caller. “We’re the ones that are reading the other team as they are doing their moves. We can call countermoves, primary offensive moves and defensive moves. We take what the other team is trying to do and strategize against them and put it into effect for our team.”

Training starts between December and January and practices run from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Phi Kappa Theta has a “no drinking” policy for about a month prior to the tournament. The policy is only lifted for special occasions, such as sorority formals.

The team’s first rope is currently five pounds more than the average and the second rope is 10 pounds more than the average. Green said the team is going to start checking its weight daily to make sure it’s on track as the tournament nears — teams must weigh in before the tournament starts and hold a specific average weight.

“In the past we have been a first, second, third place caliber team,” Green said. “We got taken out of the tournament, didn’t get to tug last year and now we had to come back as the nine-seed, but we still tug like we’re at the second, third place level.”

Green said he’s most excited to go up against Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which beat Phi Kappa Theta in the semifinals in 2014. If they make it to the quarterfinals this year, Phi Kappa Theta will meet Sigma Alpha Epsilon again.

“They have always been a very tough competition for us, probably one of our bigger rival fraternities,” Green said. “This is a huge, hyped up match around Greek Row right now. Some even say it’s potentially the championship of the tournament happening in the quarterfinals.”