Coming off a successful tournament in Orlando, the USF ultimate frisbee team is now preparing to tackle its next challenge. The South Florida Scallywags have competed as a club team at USF since the ’90s and have seen a steady growth in popularity.
“It’s been growing in numbers every year since,” team captain Dan Munsell said.
The Scallywags practice on the Fowler fields every Tuesday and Thursday evening and are now preparing for their next tournament. On Feb. 9 and 10 the Scallywags will host Janus, an ultimate frisbee tournament that features a mixture of club and college level teams here on the USF intramural fields. As the returning champions, the Scallywags look to defend their title.
“Last year we upset a team that went to regionals and we won the tournament,” Munsell said. “It took every ounce of effort our entire team had, but we all pulled together.”
This year’s Janus tournament promises to be a little different. USF expects 10-12 teams from Florida and teams from Georgia and Tennessee are listed as possibilities.
Team Manager Stewart Collins said that the team hopes another victory will cement the Scallywags’ reputation as a formidable Florida college team.
“We want to be the best college team out here,” he said.
The Scallywags did not lack determination during the 2008 Florida Warm-Up in January, as evidenced by the broken arm suffered by team veteran Stuart Richards while diving for a disk in the end zone.
“The biggest pain I felt was not being able to play for my team on Sunday,” Richards said.
Even though ultimate frisbee is a “no contact” sport, injuries are frequent. Munsell cracked his ribs from a collision last season – since no protective equipment is worn, injuries like his are common. However, this is not stopping the Scallywags’ pursuit of victory.
This year, the team has taken a larger role in playing host to the Janus tournament, which has previously been managed by club teams.
“Now that we have a solid program at USF, we’re starting to do it ourselves as students,” Munsell said.
Local businesses throughout the community are helping with the cost of the tournament. Otherwise, as a club team, the Scallywags must pay travel costs and tournament fees out of their pockets.
The team envisions future Janus tournaments that will consist solely of college-level teams. Janus has to compete with other larger tournaments being held the same weekend.
“A lot of the bigger programs will be going out of state,” Collins said.
The teams facing USF in February will have their work cut out for them.
“It’s our home turf, it’s our home tournament,” Collins said. “Win at all costs.”