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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Ultimate Frisbee finds Georgia a half-ripe peach

This spring break, instead of laying out and relaxing, the Grinnellephants and Sticky Tongue Frogs braved an 18-hour road trip to Georgia to participate in two tournaments, “Southerns” in Statesboro and “High Tide” in Savannah.

Grinnellephants, the Grinnell Men’s Frisbee team, encountered losses in Statesboro but hammered back for their next tournament, their main focus over break.

“Southerns is pretty competitive and we usually don’t go there,” said Adam Weil ’11.

With this in mind the Grinnellephants made their way to their second tournament, “High Tide.” After bringing home the trophy from this tournament last year, the team had high hopes for victory.

They performed well initially and were undefeated after the first two days. Upon reaching the semi-finals, however, the Grinnellephants lost 13-8. The loss was to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point team, the very team they had defeated in finals last year.

The team members seemed disappointed by this loss and felt that they could have played better.

“It was a pretty bad game for us. Up until that point we had rolled over all other teams and we weren’t ready for them mentally,” said Team Captain Aaron Swaney ’11.

Despite this disappointing loss, the team maintains high hopes for the rest of the season and predicts that with more focus they can do better in the upcoming conference tournament.

“One of the nice things about High Tide is that it’s meant to really have fun with. It’s frustrating to lose but not that important,” Swaney said.

Weil shares Swaney’s focus on looking forward and playing their best in upcoming tournaments.

“We got a little bit down because we had some rough losses at the tournaments we went to. But going forward we’re just really focusing on conference,” he said.

If the Grinnellephants win at Conference they will go on to play at Regionals. If the team goes on to win those games they will reach Division 3 Nationals.

“Our goal is definitely to make it to Nationals and do well there,” said Jon Davis ’12.

With a more rigorous physical fitness regimen in place and the development of a new and improved Frisbee governing body, the team’s prospects for victory look good.

“We’re a lot faster than we’ve ever been before, we’re able to beat teams just by being faster than them,” Davis said.

Due to a change in how teams qualify for Nationals, Weil thinks the team’s chances have improved.

“They used to have an archaic system to see who played in Nationals and they weighted more emphasis on beating teams soundly than on the quality of the teams you were playing with. We had some tough losses last year and our rankings reflected that,” Weil said. “This year it’s changed and now we can play our way into D3 Nationals.”

With many talented players and team spirits running high, Swaney has only one thing left to say. “What’s that smell?”

“It’s Grinnell,” Davis answers.

Women have Nationals potential

The Sticky Tongue Frogs, the Grinnell Women’s Frisbee team, performed commendably in both tournaments. At Statesboro they broke seed and came in 17th and at High Tide they placed 2nd.

Team Captains were happy with the overall performance at the two tournaments but still expressed confidence in the team’s ability to do better.

“[At Statesboro] We got 17th out of 40 and placed higher than we were supposed to, so we did well,” said Paige Hill ’12. “I’m happy with our performance but I think we can always do better.”

At High Tide, the Sticky Tongue Frogs played University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to reach the finals in which they eventually lost to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by just two points.

Despite this loss the team left feeling proud of their achievements, recognizing their own capabilities and bonding as a team.

“It was rough but we played really, really well. It showed us that we are a competent team and we have the capabilities to do well. It’s just a matter of making sure we stay focused,” said Mona Ghadiri ’11. “And we got a chance to bond as a larger group. I think High Tide solidified the feeling of Frisbee being a family.”

Hill believes that the individual skills of all the women on the squad increase the worth of the Sticky Tongue Frogs as a team, and their potential for success.

“I think our team has a lot more depth and I’m proud to play on a team that relies so much on everyone,” Hill said. “It’s important to do well at Conference regardless of whether or not we make it to Nationals. … Having said that, if the team plays as well as we have the potential to … go to D3 Nationals.”

Ghadiri echoes Hill’s belief that the team possesses the talent and spirit required for Nationals.

“If everyone is on their ‘A’ game we’ll make it. This team has so much heart and desire and so many talented players,” Ghadiri said. “We made it [to Nationals] last year on a technicality, this time we want to make it because we’re good for real. We just need to focus.”

That focus will be necessary for the team to do well at Conference next weekend. Players predict that conference will be very competitive because of the number of talented teams in the area. Nevertheless, hopes are high among players and the Sticky Tongue Frogs look forward to facing their competition.

“We’ve lost to St. Olaf by a final point about three times this year. We’re hoping to beat either them or Carleton’s B team,” Ghadiri said.

Despite the hard work looming ahead, players and captains are focusing their energies on playing to the best of their abilities and on the more competitive aspects of the sport this season.

“We spent most of fall training and this is really the more competitive season where you see players come into their own,” Hill said. “Team spirit’s high right now, hopefully we can make it.”

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