The Oberlin Review

In the Locker Room with Caela Brodigan and Maya Gillett

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Caela Brodigan (left) and Maya Gillett.

Caela Brodigan (left) and Maya Gillett.

Rachel Dan

Rachel Dan

Caela Brodigan (left) and Maya Gillett.

Tyler Sloan, Sports Editor

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This week, the Review sat down with the women’s Ultimate Frisbee captains, sophomores Caela Brodigan and Maya Gillett, to discuss the team’s goals this year, how the team has changed and how long they’ve been playing Frisbee.

How has the season been going so far?

Maya Gillett: Our season has been going well so far. We had one tournament a couple of weekends ago, and we split into two teams because we had so many new players. I think both of our teams did really well. I think we’re all pretty pumped to have as many first-years as we do. That was unexpected for me and definitely got me really excited.

Caela Brodigan: I think it’s been going awesome. I love our team this year. We have intense players, but we also all have a lot of fun, and I think we’re just going to keep getting better.

What are the first few weeks of the season like with tryouts and all the new first-years?

MG: The process for that is really informal, but we give ourselves about five or six weeks to observe everyone playing and how often they can come to practices. We do make it a policy to welcome anyone who wants to play, but something we’re doing a little bit different this year is setting a higher expectation for attendance and commitment.

CB: We don’t have tryouts per se. Everybody who wants to play is always welcome, and that’s something we definitely stress, but we will split into A and B teams.

As captains, what are your responsibilities and how do those that factor into practices?

MG: So far, our practices have been very responsive to the team’s progress. We didn’t plan out a whole year of practices. At the beginning of the year we decided to see how things progressed, and as people are ready for new drills and information, we’ll start working that into practice.

CB: What we normally do, and we’re getting better at this, is meet once a week and plan practice for that week. In the beginning of the year, we were meeting almost every day trying to figure out how we wanted to structure the team, what message we wanted to send and how we wanted to run practice. We needed to figure out what the format would be and what the tone would be.

What are your team goals for this season?

MG: Something that I think Caela and I have been on the same page about since we both knew we were going to be captains is that we see a ton of potential in our team, especially the potential to push ourselves and work harder. At the same time, we also know that’s something that we want to have the team decide for itself. That’s not something we would ever impose on people. Overall, something that we’re both on the same page about is how to bring intensity to the team and match that with fun.

CB: Our goals for this season really depend on what the team wants. My goal is whatever the team wants. Maybe we can go further — we definitely have the potential to be amazing. Loving the game and having fun are the most important things for us, but it’s going to be up to the team.

What are hurdles you have to face that are specific to Frisbee being a club sport?

MG: That’s a tough question. I think that one thing that’s hard is not necessarily always having consistent funding. We have a very generous budget from the Club Sports Council, but it is something that we sometimes have to fight for. We actually just went through a process of trying to get more people on our team elected to the Student Finance Committee, which went really well. It’s a challenge not always knowing where the money is coming from to pay for tournaments. Another thing is that Caela and I will end up having to front a lot of expenses over the year. That’s something that a varsity team doesn’t have to navigate.

Do you think there have been any significant changes from last year to this year’s team?

MG: I definitely agree with that. We graduated some of our more experienced players because they were all seniors last year, and this year we have a huge class of first-years, a huge sophomore class, a pretty big junior class and only two seniors, which I personally think is super exciting.

CB: I think absolutely. [Junior] Ally [Fulton] and Rosie [Black, OC ’14] were both amazing captains, let that be known, but with everything there’s going to be changes. I think this year we’re very on the same page, which will be beneficial for us. We have a younger team, and there’s a great energy and attitude. We also have a snarkier team, which I personally love. I feel like we have more of a bite and more of a fight to us, and since it’s a younger team with younger captains, we are switching things up and evolving more.

What is the most fun part of playing Frisbee at Oberlin?

MG: The part that I love the most is the community that it has given me, and that’s been true everywhere I have played Frisbee, but especially at Oberlin. It’s a really amazing group of people, and I’m really happy that I started playing here.

Did you play Frisbee in high school?

MG: This is my seventh year playing frisbee — I started playing in eighth grade.

CB: I have been playing for a long time. In third grade I went to a Frisbee camp for a week-long camp over the summer and played in the [Summer Ultimate League of Amherst], a summer ultimate league, but it was just kind of pick-up Frisbee when I was little. I started playing competitively in eighth grade and we would go to high school tournaments, and then in ninth grade we competed at the college level.

Did Frisbee influence your decision to attend Oberlin at all?

MG: No, not for me, but I knew I wanted to play.

CB: One of the major factors in choosing a school was the Frisbee team. I looked at how the team practices and what the team community was like. It wasn’t just Frisbee — there are other factors going on — but it was definitely up there.

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