By Fabiola Barral
This past weekend, the Ultimate Frisbee team trekked out to the cold and windy fields of Missouri to play in their first outdoor tournament this year. The Midwest Throwdown is attended annually by Grinnell’s Frisbee teams and is generally their first tournament of the season. Teams from as far away as Atlanta’s Emory University are represented, including both Division I and Division III schools. The women’s team won three of their six games and the men’s team won three of their seven in the tournament.
Despite the losses, players remain confident that the team is set to improve throughout the season.
“Generally, the men’s team has been looking good all year. [The] class of 2014 has been playing three straight years together and got third at nationals their first year. They have so much chemistry, so we look really hot on the field,” said team member Keaton Cameron-Burr ’15.
Teammate Joey Kathan ’15 agreed, stating that the team’s losses did not represent their true potential.
“Many of our players have been abroad and have returned not having touched a Frisbee in a while,” he said. “All of our losses were to really good, nationally-ranked teams as well.”
Both Cameron-Burr and Kathan agreed that the first- and second-years played very well—far superior than expected for their classes.
The women’s Frisbee team, the Sticky Tongue Frogs, also believe that there are good things to come this season. The Sticky Tongue Frogs had 30 students join this year, 15 of whom still play.
Many of these students were inexperienced when they joined, but co-captain Carla Eckland ’13 sees this as a potential positive.
“Although this has been a challenge for us as captains, the growth of the women’s program is awesome to see and we are committed to developing the ultimate Frisbee program at Grinnell,” she said.
“We have a really large team this year, so a hard part was finding flow and connection on the field. [This] was also our first outdoor tournament, so adjusting to the weather was also a challenge,” said co-captain Hannah Bauman ’13.
The women’s team did not win any games in the fall, perhaps due to many new team members and some older players being abroad.
“Our greatest challenge this weekend was working on team trust and confidence in both the handler and cutter positions,” Eckland said. “It was our first time playing together outside as a team… we still have to focus on the basics of communication and the fundamentals of throwing and catching.”
However, with three solid wins in St. Louis, Eckland commented that the spring season is already looking up.
“Our first-years played really well and we had some spectacular plays made by them,” Bauman said.
The men’s team has similar sentiments about the upcoming season.
“We’re poised to kill it,” said Cameron-Burr.