UVA captain Tyler Conger scans the field at UPA College Nationals 2009. Photo courtesy of Ian Toner.
Every Ultimate program loses leaders. Such is the plight of college Ultimate, you have four (or five) years to be the best you can be and every year you lose the people on your team who have worked the last four (or five) years to be the best they can be.
However, a program rarely loses a leader like Robert Runner. Runner’s final year at Virginia was last season, when he lead Night Train to a Nationals berth for the first time in UVA’s history. He was last seen playing a large role in Chain Lightning’s championship run in the UPA Club Series.
“Robert was one of the most composed people I’ve ever been around,” UVA’s current captain, Tyler Conger, wrote to us in an e-mail. “That being said, when he was serious, you knew it was time to buckle down. I think everyone who played with Robert picked up on how calm he stayed in almost any situation. Also, his commitment to this team was something that I think we all try and replicate on an everyday basis.”
Delaware poses as a team after last year's UPA Colonial Sectionals tournament. Photo courtesy of Sean Keegan.
Complacency can be a dangerous emotion for any athletics team. A team, successful or unsuccessful can easily become comfortable in its role in a sport and this can lead to an underperformance at any level. Such may be the story of the 2008-2009 iteration of Delaware Sideshow.
After making consistent appearances at UPA College Nationals for the last have of the 2000s Sideshow missed out not only on Nationals but Metro East Regionals as well. The team became complacent in its place as a leader of the Colonial Section and, in two quick games, UDel was toppled and a team that expected to go to Nationals, was sent home packing.
Kanas huddles up. Photo courtesy of Kansas Ultimate.
We’ll get right down to it. The second we looked at Kansas’ score reporter page, we raised an eyebrow. The HorrorZontals are a storied Ultimate program with plenty of experience and success in the past. Needless to say, we were a little surprised to see a lot of red and very few games on the page.
We knew how our line of questioning would start off for the Kansas captains, where have you been this year?
Of all the teams that are making the trek to Easterns in Wilmington this weekend, the Cal State-Long Beach Stalkers are making one of the longest. Although sectional rivals, San Diego State, will also be in Wilmington, the Stalkers presence has to make one ask questions. When tournaments like Presidents Day, the Santa Barbara Invite and the Stanford Invite are going on a mere days travel or less from the Stalkers’ campus, why fly all the way across the country? If your school is located in Los Angeles, it certainly can’t be for the weather.
Well, turns out there’s a pretty good explanation.
Posted in Easterns 2010, previews, previews, Ultimate frisbee
Tagged cal state-long beach, easterns, marcos perez, san diego, stalkers, stanford open, streetgang, Ultimate