In the Locker Room with Alex Kapiamba, Quinn Schiller, Ally Fulton and Rosie Black

This week the Review sat down with the captains of the Flying Horsecows and the Preying Manti, seniors Alex Kapiamba, Quinn Schiller, Rosie Black and sophomore Ally Fulton, to get the inside scoop on Ultimate Frisbee, excited first-years and trying sports meditation.

Sarah Kahl, Staff Writer

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What drew you to Ultimate at Oberlin?

Ally Fulton: I played before for four years, so it felt natural joining. The people were awesome too.

Alex Kapiamba: Literally the same thing, I wanted to continue in college, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Quinn Schiller: I did not play in high school, more just with my friends; we didn’t even know the rules. But I wanted to play for real when I got to school.

What do you expect for the Frisbee team this year?

QS: The goal is to get to Division-III nationals, which is the highest level of competition. We haven’t done it yet, but I’m hopeful for this year.

AK: We got close last year; Lehigh [University], the team that beat us, took fifth at Nationals. But this year, maybe with a coach and practice, we can get there.

QS: There are rounds of playoffs in the spring, since the fall is more to teach the kids how to play and get their fundamentals down.

Wow, you guys are good…

AK: Thanks. This year I’d like to repeat that. We have a lot of new rookies that add a whole lot to the team.

How do the first-years contribute to the team?

QS: Club sports are really awesome, and I think it attracts students that are intimidated by the demand of varsity sports. So we end up with really cool people. They join because it’s a lot of fun to play.

AK: We’re improving — that’s cool — and we’re ready to commit in a more serious way. It’s nice, and makes it a self-selecting process too.

AF: By talking to a lot of freshmen, they all love the team already. They like how we have that kind of strong bond team feel you get in sports.

Rosie Black: Personally, I love our freshmen. They’re really enthusiastic; it warms my heart and boosts my enthusiasm. I get tired out while playing, but when I see them I get so excited and feel pumped up again.

AF: One of them today was like, ‘Ally, the one thing I look forward to is Frisbee practice. I pay $60,000 a year to play Frisbee.’ I was like, ‘Good.’

QS: Well, for the boys, we’re working on changing the culture of the team. We’re aiming to be more inclusive, so people can have more fun with one another. The senior class when we were freshmen didn’t go out of their way to get to know us. The upperclassmen were cliquey, like they were … kinda jerks. For example, they would make comments [that we were] “making stupid plays out there.” So we’ve been trying to make it a nice environment.

AF: A freshman was in my room last night!

RB: We’ve always had a community, even though we didn’t meet boys until the spring break trip.

So you guys are pretty cohesive?

QS: We’ve been improving every year, and yes, we were thrown together for spring break. We slept upstairs, girls slept downstairs, but it made us a stronger team and was also super fun.

RB: I stayed with three boys freshman year…

AF: My year wasn’t like that at all…

AK: There are a lot of group hangouts, so that’s good fun.

When’s your next tournament?

QS: We play at Ohio State on the 12th. We have to be loud because the University of Akron guys are douches.

AK: Kenyon [College] is there, so we have to work hard to be prepared.

QS: And we will be.

You guys are semi self–coached; how is that?

QS: Last year it went pretty well, but it was still hard to know how we could have been.

AK: Probably, it would have helped. Our old coach was a huge asshole, but a funny guy. He cared about the team, and he was an excellent coach two years ago. He had to travel so he couldn’t coach anymore, and we went without a coach.

AF: We have more of an advisor. He comes to tournaments and lives in Cleveland, so he’s close. He’s a funny dude. If you looked at him you couldn’t tell he played Frisbee. But he brings a ton of knowledge to the team.

RB: Having a coach is really helpful because we can’t always be the person who is observing and coming up with a strategy. It’s hard to be on field and doing that, so it’s nice to have another pair of eyes.

QS: Sometimes you’re too subjective to make a good call. You’re in the game, but don’t realize you’re too tired to make a good decision.

Do you guys have any team traditions?

QS: Well, we like to sing at the end of a tournament…

AK: We have folky songs.

QS: “As I Went Down to the River to Pray,” from “Oh Brother Where Art Thou,” and “Country Roads.” They do the job.

AF: The Manti start every tournament singing the National Anthem. At the beginning of a tournament we do the beginning of the “Circle of Life.” I was the drummer last year and sat in the middle. I brought buckets and drummed, so that was cool.

RB: We also do “shoutouts” with the whole team to give everyone feedback. It’s mostly good things; it’s warm and fuzzy.

AF: We like to harmonize.

AK: We have lots of cheers.

QS: I want to try sports meditation, like chilling out and visualizing what you’re going to do before you start. Just visualizing how you want to play that day, I hear, can make a difference. Getting calm and relaxed so you’re not nervous before game day is important. I haven’t done it but it sounds cool.

Any last words?

AK: I just kinda like the Frisbee team. Just kidding, I love the Frisbee team.

RB: It’s like a family — a really, really big family.

AF: And everybody is goofy.

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