The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Club Ultimate Frisbee Team: Bidding, Bonding, Beaching

Printed with permission of Andrew Lass

The club ultimate frisbee team at Colgate University has empowered students to find a fun, athletic community. 

The club team is open to all levels, and recruiting happens early in the Fall semester. When the weather is warm, the team practices three times a week on the fields below James B. Colgate Hall. In the winter months, they relocate to the Sanford Field House, where they practice twice a week. Practice sessions in the beginning of the fall season focus on the fundamentals of the game and reconnecting the team after a summer away. 

“I love teaching people how to play the game,” senior Scout Carruthers said. “It’s so rewarding to watch someone learn how to throw a disc.”

Carruthers started her ultimate frisbee career in middle school, playing for a mixed youth league in her hometown. 

“I continued to play for the league throughout high school, and I started my own team at my school. When I came to Colgate, I knew it would be a given that I’d join the team here,” Carruthers said.

For senior captain Kyleigh Frank, Frisbee was a team that provided the ability to play a sport while taking away the pressure that is often associated with playing sports in higher leagues.

“I used to play competitive sports in high school and loved the athletic part, but hated the pressure that came from competition,” Frank said. “In cross-country, we would sometimes end practice playing a quick game of ultimate [frisbee]. I never participated much beyond running around and hitting discs in the air, but I always remembered having a ton of fun with my friends in playful competition. When I came to college and had to decide what groups to immerse myself in, Ultimate [Frisbee] was at the top of the list.”

Frank also reflected on her four-year career and her decision to join the team.

“I can safely say it was the best decision I have ever made. I got to satisfy my desire to play a sport without the pressure and commitment of varsity teams, and I got to make some of my closest friends,” Frank said.

Like Frank, junior Hana Lowenthal also described joining the team as the best decision she has made at Colgate.

“The frisbee team is like a family,” Lowenthal said. “I have met amazing people, made some of my closest friends and always know that I have a supportive community here at Colgate. My experience has been nothing short of amazing.”

Junior captain Andrew Lass echoes this sentiment of community, not only within the Colgate club team but across the sport as a whole. 

“I’ve played in high school, abroad in Manchester, at Colgate, in pick-up tournaments in New York City and I will be playing for a club team this summer,” Lass said. “The biggest part of every team I’ve ever played on is the community itself. The sport just seems to attract a certain kind of person who is light-hearted, competitive and just wants to have a fun time and connect with the people around them.”

Lass also elaborated on how certain aspects of ultimate frisbee set it apart from other sports, and how this helps to foster a special community and friendly environment.

Because our sport is so unique and we play with no referees, players are really encouraged to get along and talk out any issues or fouls — called the ‘spirit of the game,’” Lass said. “Constant chatting with the other teams creates a really fun environment where we all compete with each other but have so many teams that we are great friends with.”

The team competes in tournaments across the Northeast. Every spring break, the group travels to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a three-day tournament.

“The men’s and women’s team share a giant house in North Myrtle Beach and get to have a ton of fun both on and off the field,” Frank said. “We just came back from this tournament a couple weeks ago, and it was an absolutely amazing experience. Not only were we able to learn frisbee, we were able to foster great relationships between both teams at Colgate as well as other colleges and universities.”

Looking back on her four-year career on the ultimate frisbee team, Frank recalled a memorable moment during a rainy day practice.

“Sometimes when it rains, we dedicate a portion of our practice to bidding or basically laying out to catch a disc that’s low to the ground or just out of reach,” Frank said. “A couple of years ago, there was a girl on the team that was very enthusiastic about throwing her body to the ground to catch a disc — so much so that at the end of one practice, she dove right into a massive puddle to catch a disc hovering over it. It was pretty hilarious, and a couple other girls followed suit shortly after. I’m sure there’s a video of it somewhere.”

With the arrival of warmer weather, the spring ultimate frisbee season is ramping up. The team traveled this past weekend to compete in Middletown, N.Y., and is gearing up for sectionals this upcoming weekend.

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