Let’s face it, sports can be difficult. Numerous NBA and NFL players have faced setbacks in their football and basketball careers, illustrating just how hard those games can be. But there is one sport immensely more difficult than either of these: house hunting.
House hunting has humble beginnings, but the process quickly escalated into being a sanctioned campus sport. Going around town finding rare, exotic two bedroom one bathroom specimens may not seem all that difficult at first, but the sport is ruthless and unforgiving.
Houses in the wild around the Augustana campus are becoming rarer, and may be going extinct as students continue to search for a place to stay.
“I don’t think I have what it takes.” said sophomore Jill Schott, a founding member of the house hunting team. “Every time I find a good one, it slips through my fingers like Paula Deen trying to hold onto a stick of melted butter. It just doesn’t work.”
Schott isn’t the only sophomore to run into trouble. In fact, sophomore Destiny Pinder-Buckley had to travel all the way to Russia to find college housing.
“Although it’s just as cold here as in Sioux Falls, the houses there just don’t compare to these ones,” Pinder-Buckley said. “But I mean, I guess the only noisy neighbors that I’ll have to worry about are the moose.”
These sophomores may be having trouble now, but they are preparing to overcome obstacles with the help of house hunting coach Corey Kopp.
Kopp said that Pinder-Buckley and Schott are shaping up to be an elite team, the likes of which has never been seen before.
“When I first saw the whippersnappers that I had to work with, I knew that I had work to do,” Kopp said. “Their Craigslist ad-checking time was well under the global average. They couldn’t see the difference between a hip roof and a dutch gable, and their negotiating tactics remind me of Genghis Khan’s victims,” said Kopp.
Kopp has been running the team through an intense training routine involving several laps around the block with binoculars, sit-ups while reading A Hunter’s Guide to the Rare Houses and Apartments of Southeastern South Dakota and learning to master the call of an angry water heater.
“Finding a house doesn’t just happen,” Kopp said. “It takes time, effort and a couple of push-ups.”
Under Kopp’s leadership, the students are hoping to get some results.
“I want to be the very best, like no one ever was,” said Elizabeth Petersen, a member of the sophomore house-hunting team. “To find them is my real test, to rent them is my cause.”
But even with training, there looks to be a long season ahead for the small house-hunting team.
Vacant apartments go fast and are never left unoccupied for too long. If the team wants to be successful, they need to be quick. If they are, they may go into the record books as the best house-hunters that Augustana has ever seen.