By Austin Gatecomb, Staff Writer
The UMF Ultimate Frisbee team made great improvements over the course of the year from crushing defeats in the fall semester to a winning season in the spring semester. This was done with the help of strong team leadership and strong team players.
The former Ultimate Frisbee Team President, Holden Cookson, said in a Facebook interview, “As you can imagine, 90% of our team were either freshmen or first year players, so our first semester we did not do phenomenally well,” Cookson said. “As the year progressed and we entered our second semester we found ourselves winning tournaments and committing ourselves to difficult practices late in the day.”
Some of these practices happened in the UMF Fitness and Recreation center and lasted from 9:30PM to 11:30PM with 20 to 30 players showing up to practice.
Tim Bullard, current president for the Ultimate Frisbee Team, said in a Facebook interview, “Our ending wins to losses for the spring season was 14 wins and seven losses.” This was a great improvement from the fall season, in which the team did not win a single game at tournaments. “Our team was full of freshman and players that have never played before, but everyone stepped up and made huge strides,” said Bullard. “There were definitely a few people that stood out.”
Bullard went on to specify, noting Holden Cookson as one of the exceptional players on this year’s team. “He was a good player and leader on and off the field,” said Bullard. “Even after he injured his leg he still stepped up as captain and helped lead the team during practices and tournaments.”
Bullard also noted that John McCullagh was a player that everyone looked up to. “He was definitely one of our best players and a great leader for us,” said Bullard. “Two other people that really stood out to me as well, were Luke Atchison and Ben Wade. They had come in as freshman with no experience in the game and they both quickly became great players and key assets to us.”
The Ultimate Frisbee team has approximately 40 people on their roster and continues to recruit new members. “We all just have great chemistry on and off the field,” said Bullard. Many of these players say that being on the Ultimate Frisbee Team is a great experience.
One of the players, Gunnar Heckler, said in a Facebook interview, “The Ultimate [Frisbee] Team is the best people I know, I couldn’t ask for a better family.” While everyone on the team comes from different backgrounds and is very much their own person, the team meshes together and strives to become better and better, both on the field and in their lives.