Michelle Berthiaume

Equinox Staff


For the Keene State College Ultimate Frisbee Club, it isn’t all about winning.

Sure, that’s on every club team’s agenda at the beginning of the season. But for this group of guys, there’s one thing that’s more important than winning: having fun.

“The ultimate Frisbee club is a good way to get people together. And we also love to have fun so it works out. We all hang out all the time. There are a lot of clubs here at Keene State but I think this one is definitely one of the closest,” Senior Captain Ted Nelson said.

The Ultimate Frisbee club is just like other competitive sports teams here at Keene State. There are tryouts, but the upside of being a club sport, anyone can try out and anyone can play the game.

“We have two teams, an A-team and a B-team. Our A-team fluctuates between 20 and 23 members. The B-team is a little bit less organized. They don’t have the same people showing up every week,” senior Captain Cam King said. “But there’s definitely close to 30 to 40 on the B-team that want to play Ultimate and will join us on the quad when we just go play pick up. But they aren’t necessarily down to learn the ins and outs of Frisbee at a three-hour practice multiple times a week.”

Try outs are held at the beginning of each semester. Try outs for the Ultimate Frisbee Club usually see large numbers.

“We had a lot of freshmen come in. Every year, it seems like we have a lot of freshmen come in that want to play. A lot of times it takes them a semester to get the partying out of their system and then they are looking to join clubs,” King said. “And those kids that are athletic enough that aren’t on the sports teams here, they will join us and play for our club. We have a pretty high retention rate for those that join our team.”

“In the fall, there’s a lot of new kids coming together. It takes a lot to get that chemistry at a good level. We have to spend the whole winter practicing in the gym. But when we come out of that gym for the spring season and back onto that field, we are a different team than we were before. We are always a much better team,” Nelson said.

“Spring is much more competitive and we always look to do our best during the spring season. We can compare the two seasons but the intensity level is just so different. By the spring time, we all know each other well enough. We know each other’s strong areas and we know each other’s weaknesses,” team member Nate Bearse said.

Once the team irons out all of its pre-season kinks, the tournament season begins. Usually, the team tries to attend as many tournaments as possible per season. But one of the best ways for the KSC Ultimate Frisbee Club to compete is right here on their home turf. The team will host their first tournament of the season on Oct. 29 on the athletic fields.

“We are still having a couple teams sign up. We get a lot of requests in the last week before the tournament. We have a back-up plan because a lot of times, tournaments fall through because every single college in the Northeast has a tournament each weekend of the semester, all the way up to December basically,” King said.

Home tournaments are a really great way for the Ultimate Frisbee Club to do things their way.

“It brings more fans to the game. Our friends and family come out for the home tournaments a lot more regularly. We can play our own music. We put some speakers out on the field. We just try and run the show and our show is always fun,” Nelson said. “Some tournaments are a little more serious than ours but those are the ones that we really buckle down and play our hardest. It’s much more relaxed and fun for everybody at our home tournaments.” Another plus side to hosting these tournaments is that teams pay our team just to come play on our fields.

“A lot of times in these tournaments, we charge money. So it’ll be like $150 or $200, some tournaments go as high as $300. That’s something we have to deal with when we go to other tournaments. But being a host team, we don’t need to travel, we don’t need to set up arrangements for sleeping places. And we can just basically sit back, relax, and play the game we love,” Bearse said.

Hosting these tournaments is also a great way to meet people because teams spend a lot of time together, bonding and competing with one another all weekend.

“We try to house them. We find places for them to stay because they come up here, some of them bring tents but we also have a lot of floor space, collectively. We try to house two teams at most every weekend,” Nelson said. “Other teams will go home and come back the next day for the rest of their games. Salem State is one team that has become very close with us. We have grown to really become friends with those guys. They’re always welcome here. Any team is always welcome here.”

“Other schools come see what we have to offer. They get to check out our school. We show the other teams a good time. And it’s really just all around fun. And that’s why we do this. We want to have fun and stay fit, make friends and be athletic, get dirty and just play some Frisbee,” King said.

The captains of the team agree that they joined to play Frisbee but they stay because of the connection they make with their Frisbee friends.


Michelle Berthiaume can be contacted at mberthiaume@ksc.mailcruiser.com

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