Men’s Ultimate Frisbee had a successful start to its season, with its two squads finishing in ninth and 15th place, respectively, out of 28 teams, at the Theodor Seuss Geisel Memorial Ultimate Tournament hosted by SUNY Buffalo’s team, Green Eggs and Ham, last weekend. The young squad, divided into two separate teams for the weekend, carried over 20 first-years with them. The roster now has more than 40 players in total. The tournament, the team’s first this fall, hosted 28 teams to compete on the chilly campus in upstate Youngstown, New York.
The student-coached club team drove nearly four hours and spent the weekend trying new combinations of players on the field in an attempt to achieve the best results. Senior captain Alex “Bubbles” Kapiamba led the way for the Oberlin Flying Horsecows, acting as both player and coach. The Takoma Park, MD, native serves as either the handler or cutter, changing positions as he sees fit.
“I’ve been trying to push [the team] to master the basics, but it’s been easy because the freshmen have lots of experience,” said Kapiamba. With seven players on the field at a time, the Horsecows have updated their starting lineup to include four first-year starters. Kapiamba has been impressed with the skillset of the incoming class, and believes that with the new talent, the Flying Horsecows have a real chance at success this year.
First-year Henry Weissberg, a Brooklyn native, looks forward to contributing to the team this year. He has been playing Ultimate since his freshman year in high school and is one of many in the class of 2017 that will take the field this fall.
“In practice, I feel like a lot of what we have done is stuff that I have done before, but I am still learning a lot of new things. I’m looking forward to [the season],” he said. Weissberg believes that after the other first-years with less experience catch up on the basics, the Horsecows will excel at upcoming tournaments.
Ultimate does not have a regular league because it is still considered a club sport, but the team will be competing at a number of competitive tournaments throughout the fall. According to Kapiamba, the team’s biggest rival Kapiamba said, is Kenyon College. The Horsecows will meet the Kenyon College SERF at Ohio State University on Oct. 19 during their next tournament.
“Kenyon is always our biggest game,” said Kapiamba. “We are working hard to prepare for it.”
Though Kapiamba is happy to take on the dual-role of player and coach, the team is looking to bring a separate coach in with its budget in the spring. As one of the largest club teams on campus, Ultimate receives a budget of approximately $15,000 a year. A lot of this fund is allocated toward renting vans and staying in hotel rooms during tournaments, but the team has tried to save as much as possible to afford a hired coach. This is still in the works, Kapiamba says, and the team still needs to discuss the distribution of funds.
For now, Ultimate will continue to train for upcoming events under the watch of its captains for now. The Flying Horsecows will play at halftime of the Yeomen football game on Oct. 19 to promote the squad.