Lower Baker was quiet Saturday morning as the Ultimate Frisbee team spent the weekend in sunny California, showing off their skills and Logger pride to a group of very talented athletes.
“Athleticism is key in Ultimate and some of the highlights make one wonder why it is not a varsity, Olympic or professional sport, and why it doesn’t appear on Sports Center,” junior Jonas Cole said. “I don’t think it is fair to compare the athleticism of our team to that of a varsity team because athleticism varies from individual to individual, though we do have players who could succeed at the varsity level in multiple sports. In addition, I will add that we have been substantially more successful than many varsity sports on campus in the last 5 years.”
It was nothing but blue skies and sun for the Postmen this past weekend as they team travelled to La Jolla, Calif. to compete in the Presidents’ Day Classic Feb. 18 and Feb. 19. The Puget Sound Ultimate Frisbee team was the only Division III team in attendance at the event, as they played teams from University of British Columbia, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and University of Vermont, just to name a few.
Being invited to the President’s Day Classic was an honor for the team, as it was a testament to just how dedicated the team members are to their beloved sport. The team was seated 20 out of 20 teams, and finished 12th in the tournament– proof that DIII can compete with the best of them.
As a club sport, the team has limited access to campus facilities and is only able to practice twice a week for a total of six hours. However, this does not put a damper on their spirits.
“The fact that Ultimate is not a varsity sport is what many players love about the game. It is governed by what we call ‘spirit of the game,’ which requires players to know the rules and respect everyone involved,” Cole said.
The Ultimate Frisbee program is in its eighth year, and they had their most successful season in 2010 when they tied for third place at the Division III Nationals in Appleton,Wisc. Each year, the team strives to improve, and their love for the game allows them to do so.
The Ultimate Frisbee team plays throughout the year, allowing them to consistently work on their talent. However, the real season is in the spring, when the teams are split into the A team (varsity) and the B team. Although a division occurs, the team maintains their friendship and unity.
“We are a really tightly knit group that likes to have a ton of fun,” Cole said. “We spend the entire fall getting new players introduced to the game and going to two to three tournaments where the emphasis is on teaching the basics of the game, trying new things, and having fun, rather than winning.
“When the spring rolls around, we have a weekend of tryouts and split into the A team (The Postmen) and the B team (Beer Pressure, though this name changes every season). Despite the fact that we do not practice together or attend the same tournaments, the community is consistent between both teams and the bonds we form in the fall persist.
“As an upperclassmen on the A team, I make a sincere effort to make sure the B-teamers know they are still a part of the community and that they will be leading the A team in the next few years. The B team this year could be better than ever with the leadership and experience of senior Sean McSpadden and more natural talent in the freshman class than in any previous year. On the A team, our goal is to constantly improve, both as individual players and as a collective unit. This is something that we have accomplished every year since the program’s inauguration and this year should be no different,” Cole said.
The Postmen will continue their travels this semester this weekend, Feb.25 and 26 at the Stanford Open. On March 17 and 18, the team will play at the Pacific Lutheran University BBQ. And it does not end there.
“From there, we will compete at the Conference Championships [in Puyallup, WA with] all the DIII teams in WA, OR and British Columbia. Then we must make a choice between going to DIII National Championships (assuming we qualify) and going to DI Regional Championships (Burlington, Wash.) with the hopes of qualifying for DI National Championships (Boulder, Colo.),” Cole said.
We congratulate them on their successes so far and wish them luck as they return to California this weekend. We promise to keep the Puget Sound community updated as the Ultimate Frisbee teams continues their travels.
PHOTO COURTESY/JONAS COLE