Since many of Sonoma State’s students are commuters, it isn’t hard to find a locally born fellow Seawolf. What is hard to find is one who is a well-rounded leader, and an athlete here on campus; not just from Rohnert Park, but from anywhere.
Junior Shane Tracy of the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, a.k.a. “Bro” knows all too well about being in a position to guide and help others. Learning from his predecessors helped him be where he is today, and helps him bring the best out of those around him.
Tracy was always an athlete growing up. He played baseball, basketball and soccer, mostly from early childhood throughout high school. When recreational play was the only option in these sports, he was turned on to Ultimate Frisbee at the right time. He was encouraged by a high school friend to join the team in the spring of his sophomore year, and fell in love with the sport while progressing to becoming a currently two-year captain.
“I learned a lot from them. How to motivate guys on and off the field, to put in extra work,” said Tracy. “It’s so challenging now just putting it all together and doing it for your team.”
Not only does he have to “put it all together” on the field for his team, he has to do so off the field as well. Tracy works closely with the Sport Club office and the CSLIS (Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, & Service) office at SSU to take care of the necessary paperwork for this team to be in existence. He needs to get everything done when it comes to travel and expenses for the team, as well as travel and arrivals of other teams on campus.
Every fall the men’s and women’s Ultimate Frisbee teams host what is called the “Grape Escape”. Visting teams, some coming from as far as Oregon and Washington, need to be properly cited, accounted for and housed. This is one of the many challenges Tracy has overcome while being a captain.
Tracy’s fellow co-captain, Mark Misener, thinks that Tracy is in a great position and does well with his skill set. Misener, unlike Tracy, is graduating this spring, and is leaving the Ultimate Frisbee team in the hands of soon-to-be senior, Shane Tracy.
“I think [Shane’s] going to do a great job,” said Misener. “He’s a great captain and will do well with the other captains next year.”
Misener has been playing Ultimate Frisbee for five years, which is two years longer than Tracy. He has all the confidence in the world that Tracy will lead this team strongly and passionately upon his departure.
Not only do Tracy’s peers speak for his successes, but his superiors do as well. Head Coach Matt Stratton, a former four-year Ultimate Frisbee player at SSU and current three-year head coach, has as much confidence in Tracy as Misener does.
“He’s a powerhouse on the field and brings a lot of positive emotions and work ethic along with him,” said Stratton. “He has the ability to takeover an entire game. He’s a motivational player. He’s someone the younger guys look up to put in extra effort for and want to play hard for.”
Last season, they competed in the Ultimate Frisbee West Regional Tournament. Their goal this year is to get back there and “make some noise,” as Tracy put it. With a strong backbone, and a core of veteran leaders, the hope and pride of representing SSU in an important tournament like this will hopefully carry this team to where they want to be.
Find Tracy, Misener and Stratton on Facebook to learn more about the Ultimate Frisbee experience and how to join the team.