Everyone on Messiah’s campus knows how important athletics are to the school’s tradition of excellence. Messiah Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team is working especially hard this season to maintain our College’s tradition.
“The guys play together from August until May,” said Frisbee Coach Charlie Hoppes. “They spend weekends together and time together on campus. There’s a lot of teasing and heckling but they’re extremely hard workers. They’re extremely gritty even in the worst conditions and they finish strong.”
After losing 15 seniors this year and suffering numerous injuries at the beginning of the season, the team has had to work harder than ever to improve their team strategies and dynamics.
“Lots of guys have had to learn new roles, especially in the first tournament,” Hoppes continued. “The guys push each other to be the best they can be and they hold each other accountable. It’s a young team with some inexperience, with that comes sloppiness. Your mind can be pulled in a lot of different directions so we’re working on our mental toughness.”
“Our biggest strength is our camaraderie,” sophomore Aaron Olney said. “We’re all there for each other. If somebody does something really dumb, everybody’s there to pick him right back up.”
The game of Ultimate Frisbee is self-officiated and does not have referees to make calls on each play. Because of this, the team is expected to perform with not only a high level of intensity but a high degree of honesty and integrity as well.
“Without fair play, it can ruin the whole game,” Hoppes said. “In order for the sport to function there has to be fair play. There are disagreements all the time but there is respectful discussion. Ultimate is used to teach non-violent conflict resolution. You have to be able to talk to each other, not just as a team, but as opponents.”
The Falcons hope to continue to improve both mentally and physically as individuals and as a team as well. No athletic team is complete without the support of their fans, so be sure to cheer on the Ultimate Frisbee team throughout the rest of their 2016 season. Go Falcons!