The sport of Ultimate Frisbee incorporates the endurance and perseverance of soccer with the nonstop movement and constant passing of football. It is a sport that is based on both possession and turnovers.
The self-titled “Grapes of Wrath” have been an active club on campus since 2004. They have continuously led their club to success in many tournaments within the southwestern region. Despite their club status, this squad functions and competes as though they were a team sport.
Veteran player Jacob Harris, a fifth-year senior, has been active in Men’s Ultimate since his freshman year. He credits the club with helping him build friendships with people who he shares similar interests with. Ultimately, the club helps connect individuals who share that same competitive drive and passion for the sport.
“We are a group of guys who are connected by our similar interests. Competing at such a high level helps build our friendships and chemistry,” said Harris.
The club always encourages interested students to see what Ultimate Frisbee is all about by attending their weekly practices. The members promote inclusivity within the club as well as increasing their club’s visibility and making SSU students informed about the unique sport.
As far as requirements to join the club, those are limited. The current club members share and promote a passion for the sport, the motivation to compete, and a willingness to improve their own athleticism through practice. These are things that they ask of anyone interested in joining the Grapes of Wrath.
Freshman club member Alessio Guerra joined Men’s Ultimate this semester with neither knowledge nor expectations of the sport. He credits the club with helping him become more involved and active on campus.
“Joining the ultimate team has helped me become more active in school,” said Guerra. “I was a little intimidated at first, but after going to some practices I began to feel like part of the team. The veterans are constantly giving feedback and encouraging us to do our best. I never played ultimate before coming to SSU, but staying committed and showing up to every practice, has helped incredibly in bettering my skill on the field.”
Club treasurer and long-time member, Tyler Greene was actively involved in competitive sports before attending SSU. Ultimate Frisbee offered him a sense of inclusiveness and involvement on campus.
Before becoming a part of Men’s Ultimate, Greene was interested in the Lacrosse team here on campus. He unexpectedly suffered an injury that forced him to take a break from competitive team sports. This injury was what led him to join Ultimate Frisbee.
“The Ultimate Frisbee club is all about inclusivity and giving players exposure to a sport that they don’t typically have exposure to,” Greene said. “It is important to get new players introduced and acclimated to the sport quickly. This helps the new players to be able to compete at a high level as soon as possible.”
Throughout the school year, the Men’s Ultimate club utilizes the first semester to practice and prepare for the Regionals tournament that will occur in May. The team has a Division I ranking and is in the Southwestern region.
The sport is played with constant movement and transition and is known as a non-contact sport. Last year the Grapes of Wrath placed eighth in the Northern California Sectionals after losing to Santa Clara University, one place short of competing in regionals. This year the club hopes that their practice and player consistency will lead them to regionals in the spring.
Team captain, Shane Tracy, has been a part of the club for the last two and a half years. He has high hopes for the success of the club this year. With how close the club came to regionals last semester, Tracy hopes that the consistency of their team and their motivations to succeed will lead them to victory.
“This year we’ve only lost one player from last year. We have a veteran squad and we are hoping to add more freshmen to our club. As far as our goals for this year, we are looking to make a deep run for the regionals tournament in the spring,” said Tracy.
The Grapes of Wrath will also be hosting “The Grape Escape” tournament from Nov. 2-3. There will be a total of 14 Men’s Ultimate teams as well as six Women’s Ultimate teams.
If interested in joining the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee club, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or come out to one their practices.