Ultimate Frisbee is an exciting team sport in which each team fields seven players that try to score by passing the opponent’s goal line. The disk is thrown from player to player as defenders try to intercept a pass by playing a zone or man-to-man defense.
“I had never played the game before,” said Jacob Gholson, a junior and first year ultimate player. “I had played intramurals, but I didn’t really know the strategies behind the game. Learning about the game itself and what’s behind the sport has been really interesting.”
Not only have Gholson and the other new players learned about the rules and strategies of ultimate Frisbee, but also how competitive the game can be.
It’s especially competitive for the club ultimate team here at Samford. Composed of 21 players, the club is an exciting young team that has received national attention competitively.
Earlier this year, the team ranked 25th nationally in Division III. This is the first time the team has been ranked nationally.
“We started talking to everybody saying this is awesome, we are so excited, and now we are the team to beat,” said senior and co-captain Colton Basset when asked about his reaction to finding out the team had been ranked nationally. “It switched the gears,” continued Basset, “from this is a fun team, to a team that can win.”
The team slumped by finishing fifth at a tournament hosted by UAB a few weeks after their great performance at Vanderbilt, which pushed the team into the top 25 nationally. However, that did not dissuade the players. It actually had the opposite and motivated the whole team.
“When we didn’t have the showing we wanted, I (was) really proud of our team for really working hard these past couple weeks,” explained Basset.
Freshman and first time ultimate player, Parker Freedman, also kept his composure explaining that, “as exciting as it was for us we knew, hey great milestone, but we need to keep going and pressing on.”
The determination and hard work will hopefully show as the team aims for a national tournament bid. In order to do this, they will have to beat out Georgia State at regionals on April 21 in Tallahassee, Florida.
This team is capable of making it to nationals because of the composure that stems from the leadership of the team’s captains.
“The leadership that the ultimate team’s captains show, not only in ultimate, but life in general has been outstanding for me,” said Freedman. The positive impact the captains have now on the team will help prepare the younger players to become the future leaders of the Samford ultimate team.
“As far as Samford ultimate, I want people to know we want people to come out and be a part of this team. Come watch us, we love having fans. If you have thought about trying out, guys or girls, come out and play. We love having people come out and practice,” saidBasset.
This team has a lot of potential to make it to nationals, and what’s even more exciting is that there are only five seniors and three juniors on this team.
The future is bright for this young team and they truly having a great time playing ultimate Frisbee.
Jonathan Kahalley, Sports Writer