In the Locker Room with Nikhil Kalathil and Remington Schneider

This week the Review sat down with sophomore Remington Schneider and junior Nikhil Kalathil to discuss Ultimate Frisbee, strange traditions and eclectic nicknames.

Phoebe Hammer, Sports Editor

When and why did you start playing Ultimate Frisbee?

Nikhil Kalathil: I started playing Frisbee four years ago. Why? Because it seemed awesome.
Remington Schneider: My brothers and I used to play. We had a teacher in middle school that really brought Ultimate Frisbee to the Northwest in a lot of ways; she was kind of a pioneer of the sport, and she happened to teach me social studies. So she got me playing when I was in fourth grade. I played other disc sports too, like freestyle and disc golf.

What is your favorite memory of being on the team?

NK: I think if you followed us around you would see a lot of cool moments. We’re a really tight-knit group of people, and over the course of a tournament there are a lot of cool events that happen — whether that’s coming back to win a game after you’ve been down four to six points or beating someone at universe point. It’s really fun to see your team rise together.
RS: There’s not really one moment, I’d say, but more just being part of the team here is a really cool opportunity. It’s really different than anything else I do here.

How does being on this team compare to playing on a varsity team?

RS: Because you have a coach, and a system, and a strict schedule [on a varsity team] everything’s more strict and organized.
NK: I think the word “system” really sticks out to me. It’s hard to build a system with our team because we don’t have a coach, our captains change every year and we have people come in at the beginning of the year who have never played the sport before. So you’re trying to teach people [anything] from how to run to complicated tactics.
RS: There’s more accountability being on a varsity sport.
NK: I think there are some people on the Frisbee team that wish we took it a little more seriously, that there was a little more accountability. But part of playing Frisbee at Oberlin is making sure to get people committed to the sport, and coming to practices and being accountable, while also goofing around and having fun and being a little silly.

What are some of your favorite Horsecow traditions?

NK: I love our car rides.
RS: The swag wagon.
NK: We get cars or vans, and it’s up to us to get to where we’re trying to go.
RS: It’s like a “choose your own adventure.”
NK: It really is. You go on a six-hour drive with two of your closest friends, three people you don’t really know that well, and some other dude on the team. But by the time the car ride is over you all really know each other, and you’re a close-knit group of people.
RS: Substitutions are cool too.
NK: It requires three Horsecows to be present at one time. If someone tells a bad joke amongst those Horsecows, nobody laughs. There’s silence. So I would call a substitution, the other Horsecow comes over and punches the joke teller in the arm, and he has to do a jig to substitute for the lost enjoyment that was had. And it ends with a heel click.

Frisbee players have a lot of nicknames; what are yours? 

RS: I’m Simba. NK: I’ve gone by Socks, Nicky K, Bombay Thunder…

What’s the best story behind one of the Frisbee nicknames?

NK: Definitely Bubbles, whose real name is Alex Kapiamba.
RS: I didn’t actually know Bubbles’s real name for a semester.
NK: So Bubbles, his freshman year, was on stage at the hypnotist performance, and the hypnotist tells him that throughout the process every time he claps his hands, his name is going to change. So right at the end of the performance, the hypnotist goes up to him and starts clapping his hands a lot and Bubbles gets really flustered and at the end of the clapping, he pauses, and the last thing that he shouts is, “Bubbles!”
RS: I think the best story is behind McDouble. But that’s secret.

How did the Horsecows get their name?

NK: I think some dudes in the ’70s were tripping on acid and saw a flying horsecow in the sky on the way to a tournament.
RS: I can’t vouch for it. I wasn’t there.
NK: For a while the name just changed every year. I think once we were the Oberlin “Touching Gods” or something. Those were dark times.

What are you looking forward to this season? 

NK: In my experience in my past three years here, the people on this team seem really committed to self-improvement and to pushing themselves to achieve something cool this year. In the past it’s been a little bit more disorganized, it’s been a different atmosphere. There’s just a drive on the team that hasn’t existed before.
RS: Yup, a determined bunch. I’m also excited for our spring break trip to Georgia.

If you could have one superpower what would it be? 

NK: I go back and forth between being able to teleport and being able to fly. I really can’t pick between those two.
RS: I have to think about this…
NK: Remi’s already a superhero. What about fire bending? RS: Yeah, fire bending’s cool.

Final answer? 
RS: No. Final answer would be the power to clean clothes with my mind.