Frisbee teams gear up for spring break in Georgia (Men's)

By Megan Walsh

Although frisbees can’t be seen flying around campus, they can be found in the fieldhouse, where the men’s club frisbee team has been practicing for the past month. The team, which contains a huge underclass base of 20 first-years, plays their first match in Georgia during Spring Break. With a large turnout and enthusiasm, they hope to make it to regionals this season and continue to bond as a team.

The team says that thus far practices have been going really well even though indoor training at the fieldhouse isn’t ideal. “It’s really hard to work inside because you need more space,” Eli Tinkelman ’07 said. “We’ve had 20 to 25 guys consistently attending, though, which is huge.”
“The number of people who come to practice plays a big role in how successful we are,” Charles Tompkins ’08 said. This year the team has a large number of athletic and eager first-years.
One new player in particular who shows promise is Mark Stonehill ’09. “Mark is probably the best first-year we’ve had in the last 10 years,” Captain David Hoedeman ’07 said. “He’s a great player.” The team also contains a small number of sophomores, a core group of juniors—many of whom are abroad this semester and a small squad of experienced seniors.

The team heads down to Georgia with the women’s team during Spring Break to begin their competitive season. The first day of competition includes a “hat tournament” that mixes players from every team in the tournament. “It’s really fun to play with people from all over the country. It’s a great opportunity to play with really talented players,” Hoedeman said.
After the hat tournament is completed the real competition begins. The men’s team plays four to five matches a day for three days. When the team returns to St. Paul they will compete in more matches and tournaments. A particular game that the team is looking forward to is against St. Thomas. “St. Thomas is the big rival. It’s really fun to play them, we always have great games,” Tompkins said. “In the fall, they came here and beat us so we are looking forward to the game this spring,” Tinkelman said. While beating St. Thomas is one goal for the season, the main goal is to make it to regionals. To do this the team has to finish in the top-eight at sectionals, where they will play Carleton, University of Minnesota, St. John’s and Gustavus, among other schools.
The team has many off-field priorities for the season. “We try really hard to be a team on and off the field and I think we do a really good job.” Hoedeman said. They try to create a fun environment for the first-years and ensure the team has continued success.
Part of that environment is formed most notably by Frisbee’s famous traditions, which include, cheering and nakedness. Before games, Zach Axelrod ’06 explained, each team pumps themselves up by dancing around and cheering. Afterwards the rival teams make up a cheer or skit for their opponent, often playing on their rivals’ name. “It’s a cool spirited way to end the game,” Axelrod said.
Nakedness plays a more sporadic role primarily in less serious competitions, which occasionally evolve into “naked” or “quasi-naked” games.
“In some of the lower-level games, blowouts and stuff, that kind of thing happens,” Axelrod said.

The Scots believe that the team’s atmosphere will translate to future success and the size of the squad suggests that Mac’s traditions haven’t frightened away any timid rookies to college Frisbee.
“Hopefully we will have 20 experienced, returning sophomores and be able to recruit more freshman.” Hoedeman said. The group makes it a priority to include everyone. “We’ll take anyone who wants to play,” Tinkelman said. “What’s great about the sport is you can always find someone to toss a frisbee with.”