I started playing ultimate when I was 12. My dad found the sport and introduced it to my family. At the time, we lived in Arizona and I remember my brothers and I would spend hours in our backyard throwing forehands, backhands, and hammers to each other.
When I came to BYU my freshman year in 2014, my oldest brother told me that I needed to come out for the team’s practices. Rain, snow, sun, or cold, we would be out practicing, and I’m pretty sure that my roommates thought I was crazy. I had the opportunity to co-captain for the B-team that year, running drills, sometimes running practices, and constantly trying to improve myself and my teammates. During those practices, I often looked across the field to the A-team and saw some incredible players. I didn’t know if I could play on that elite level, but that was my goal after I returned from serving an LDS mission.
After returning from the New York, Utica mission, I came to BYU for the fall semester, excited to try-out for the A-team. I had the chance to play against some of the same elite players I looked up to 2 years prior. I learned a lot playing with those guys and had the chance to be a handler on the D2 line.
During a tournament in Santa Barbara, I had the chance to play on each of the 3 lines. I guess our coach, Bryce Merrill, just didn’t know where to put me. Friday night I played with the D2 line and frankly played miserably. The next morning, I was determined to show improvement from the previous night’s performance. I played significantly better and was grateful for the chance at redemption. Against one of the teams, they needed another handler to help with some zone-breaker. I guess I fit that role and had a blast running with the O-line for a few points.
We had several more tournaments, Florida, Texas, and Seattle, and I was able to start on the D1 line and was even designated to pull or initiate our defensive points. I saw some success and some failures ranging from great deep throws and lay-out D’s, to turfed throws and missed assignments.
During the summer season, I tried out for the local club team, KillJoys expecting to continue my time playing as a D-line handler. I was pretty surprised when the captains, Sam and Brad, put me on the O-line. Honestly, I played really well and enjoyed receiving the disc each time I stepped on the field. It was a welcome change.
I’m looking forward to this upcoming season on the A-team. We have a much younger team this year and I feel a little bit strange to be one of the returning members, but I’m excited for the upcoming season!