Among struggling clubs, Frisbee flies

Among struggling clubs, Frisbee flies

Nathan Bottiger

UPJ Captain Ben Wojnarowski and Andrew Barchowski throw a Frisbee outside their Briar 1 lodge.

Nathan Bottiger, Sports Editor

Upon their arrival back to campus, Pitt-Johnstown’s Ultimate Frisbee team had too slim a roster and little time to recruit and train new members.

Last year the team was ranked No. 34 among Division III schools, but has since dropped from the rankings. Still, the team’s captain, Ben Wojnarowski, said he has high hopes for this season.

Wojnarowski said the roster had a lot of slots to fill and needed more women to play for their fall season, and so, instead of sulking at their headquarters in Briar, they set out on a mission to fill their roster.

Wojnarowski said they posted fliers as early as the second day of school, which paid off in the end with a 30-person roster that included two important women recruits.

In the fall season, 2 of the 7 players on the field have to be women, and the Flood only had 2 women on the roster at the beginning of the year.

Senior assistant captain Matt McDaniel said the women members who were added to the roster were crucial to the recruiting process.

“(The returning women) would not have gotten any breaks at the tournaments, and, with about eight games in an average weekend tournament, it would have been exhausting.”

Wojnarowski said the fliers were only part of   gaining the new recruits, and said that Ultimate Frisbee has boosted in popularity.

“Ask anyone, they know what Ultimate Frisbee is, and it’s becoming more popular every year.”

Once filling the roster, the training began, and Wojnarowski said he has changed the way the team practices and teaches the game.

Wojnarowski said he has been running practices slightly more legitimately this year by adding drills, scrimmaging and training new members.

Wojnarowski said it is not a hard game to learn with the exception of a few formations, and that the recruits picked up the game quickly when trained.

The team does not have any coaching staff, so it depends on the upperclassmen to answer any questions and handle teaching.

Wojnarowski said the easiest way they have found to help the new recruits understand the game is to relate it to sports that they have played like soccer, football or basketball.
Although there is not a net or hoop involved, the motions and formations of soccer and basketball can be extracted from the way Frisbee players move about the field.

The typical Frisbee field is close to the same size as a football field, but with a slightly smaller playing area and larger end zones.

Off the field, the team has set a $1,000 goal for fundraising because of allocation problems last year.

Tyler Fleck, club president, said the money goes toward tournaments in both fall and spring.

“We would like to achieve that goal so we can get to bigger and better tournaments.”

On the field, Fleck said the team is going to focus on motivating everyone toward their overall goals, which are to get ranked in Division III and compete at a high level in spring championships.

“This year, we’re stressing teamwork and unity to become better as a team and organization.”

The next step for the team is hosting their home Jymmy Jam tournament Oct. 13-14 on their own field. This tournament will also provide the team with their first glimpse of competition this year.

Wojnarowski said the tournament should be a good opportunity to gauge the new recruits’ experience from practice and how the whole team is progressing.

“It should give us a good look at how our season will play out.”

West Virginia University and Robert Morris University are to take part in the tournament.