By Nick Bravos
As a spectator, ultimate Frisbee has an electrifying effect on me, and hopefully I’m not the only one whose eyes are glued.
Two weeks ago, you probably noticed something odd about campus. Those who passed by the practice soccer field might have asked, “Why are people wearing goofy-looking jerseys, sprinting back and forth chasing a Frisbee?” Perhaps the more pertinent question is “Who would willingly do that from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon?”
The answer is simple: the MUTS, Saint Mary’s University’s ultimate Frisbee club. The MUTS hosted the First Blood Tournament Sept. 17 and 18 to kick off their fall season. Winona State University’s team, Experience, came out on top, turning in a solid 6-0 record on the tournament.
This year’s First Blood Tournament, the second annual, attracted seven teams regionally, with teams from Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota in attendance. It is the largest tournament the MUTS have brought to our home fields. The MUTS have hosted other multi-team tournaments in the past, such as HalloWinona, in which SMU and WSU pool together fields to accommodate the massive tournament of nearly 80 teams.
First Blood was a tiring weekend for the MUTS this year, to say the least, ending Saturday and Sunday with 2-2 and 1-1 records, respectively. “Concluding with a 500 record against other experienced opponents [like Saint Cloud State University, Michigan Technological University, and Wartburg College] is a great achievement,” said junior captain, Adam Billings.
There’s a common theme about SMU sports with the coming of each year, whether it’s a varsity or club sport. Pressure is put on the returners to step up and prove they can pull their weight in a newfound leadership role. That is definitely the case with the MUTS this season, especially after losing nine seniors last spring, who were part of the original 14 that founded the team.
There will always be gaps that need filling at the beginning of a season when team roles haven’t yet been established. Said Billings, “This had led to incorporating many freshmen into our main lines. It's impressive that this year's freshman have stepped up and already made an early impact on the team.”
Ever since the club’s birth in 2007, the MUTS have become more eager each year to compete in tournaments. This season, they’ll lace up for 10 tournaments, six in the fall alone, compared to last year’s seven-tournament season. The MUTS will also be scrimmaging WSU’s team every Friday.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that competition – in any sport – is the fastest way to progress in overall ability and situational know-how. And if it’s competition the MUTS want, they’re going to get just about all they can handle.