MUNCIE, IN --- Cold Weather has not poked a hole in preparations for the Ultimate Frisbee Club team as they get ready to hit the road for several tournaments this semester.
Practicing twice a week and returning several key veterans like team captains Kelsen Bartley, Trey Koch, and Nathan Stippler, this squad is prepared to capitalize off some of the success they saw last semester.
With only a handful of losses on the record, the cardinals are hoping to perform at an even higher degree at their first tournament next month.
“Our big one we are looking at is Vanderbilt, teams from all over the country go down to Tennessee. There are over 60 teams that will attend. It is in late March, and we will play other teams like IU (Indiana University), Purdue, and Notre Dame, they will all be there. There will also be teams from the east coast and west coast,” Bartley said.
One challenge for the newest iteration of the roster is just that, the newness.
“I would say our biggest strive forward is going to be working together as a unit. We have a lot of talented people, a lot of rookies this year, and so last year was kind of showing them the game, getting the feel, getting comfortable with it and this year we really want to implement that into action and hope to try and make regionals, that's our end goal. By working together as a team, we are going to be able to reach our goal,” Stippler said.
Part of reaching that goal will require lots of focus and acclimating new members to the group’s already established chemistry and various systems of schemes and offenses.
“We have a lot of talent this year which is really exciting. It is going to be about putting people in the places they need to be and having them play at the level they should,” Koch said.
The team will play at least three tournaments this season and could add more to the schedule. With a month and a half remaining before the first competition, some of the players have had time to reflect on what this club has meant to them and why they have continued to see success both on and off the field.
“We have guys from all sorts of backgrounds, but we mesh really well together. This is the highest retention rate we have ever had on a team before, so I think that goes to the culture we have established here. It is very welcoming; it is very warm and I think it keeps guys longer than most other clubs do,” Bartley said.
The team will continue to practice indoors until warmer temperatures are sustained. For now, they are only concerned with what they can control: how they get better.
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