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Ultimate Frisbee looks to make strong showing in postseason

 

As the discs soared through the air at the Sycamore Fields of USF, the men’s ultimate Frisbee team made its final preparations in hopes for a deep run in this year’s postseason.

USF is home to two men’s teams including their A-team, the Scalleywags, and their Developmental B-team, Scourge. Both teams compete and play their corresponding teams from other schools.

The Scalleywags were originally a recreational team, but started to gain recognition after making it to the 2007 postseason. Since then, the team has played competitively and is looking to make its second push to regionals.

“We have some young kids that are really starting to develop, which is new for us,” junior Jason Tackett said. “We’ve always had a pretty veteran team to this point, but we’ve grown together really well so far.”

In most sports, the game is ruled by a competitive nature and usually a general dislike for one’s opponent. In ultimate Frisbee, the game is just as competitive, but sportsmanship is stressed.

“The great thing about the sport is the ability to go out and leave everything on the field without sacrificing the sportsmanship of the game,” senior Mohamed Judah said.

Judah not only captains the B-team, but has also taken on the task of coaching the Alonso High School Frisbee team. He wasn’t always such a fanatic though.

“I used to be one those people that questioned this sport,” Judah said. “But after hearing about the team while at HCC I decided to try it, and now I’ve been playing for five years.”

Ultimate Frisbee may be thought of as merely aimlessly throwing discs around with no set rules or structure, as Judah may have initially thought. In actuality, the sport is regulated much like any other.

Pitting 14 competitors against one another with seven on each side, play starts much like
football with a sort of kickoff.

Once the disc is in play, the player who possesses it must keep a pivot foot on the ground — much like basketball — and is not allowed to run. The other players run their lines and make their cuts in hopes of getting open and catching a pass.

Ultimate is also seen as a non-contact sport, but fouls are often called and regulated at the collegiate level by the players.

This season, USF has notched six wins with 12 losses, but its record may not be indicative of its success.

The team is now heading into the postseason having played one of the hardest schedules in the country including a tournament that boasted 10 of the top 15 teams in the nation.

“It’s a very collective effort, we all want to succeed and we all want to win,” Judah said.

After already playing most of the teams they will face at regionals, senior and captain of the Scalleywags Jesse Goldsmith said they are taking a “more strategic approach to the tournament rather than focusing solely on conditioning.”

That means two words any athlete dreads: film and fundamentals.

“At this point we want to stay fresh,” Tackett said. “We go through some walk-throughs and drills, but try and keep it light and stay off our legs as much as we can before this weekend.”

As the lights flick on over Sycamore, the team runs last minute drills and implements their strategy before heading into the postseason.

The team plays two four-game sets this Saturday and Sunday against teams from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi in hopes of securing a spot in the
national tournament.