Frisbee Displays Talent with Inter-Squad Game
Oberlin’s Flying Horsecows have a long history of success. Twice in the 1990s the team made it past sectionals, regionals and into the national tournament to compete with the 16 best teams in the nation. This year’s team, led by captains senior Aaron Parker and sophomore Ben Mew, continues the tradition of intense play.
At the Case Western Tournament earlier this fall, the Horsecows placed fourth out of 15 teams, a result Mew called a “good start.” Of the 30 men on the roster, close to 15 are first-years, boding well for the future of Oberlin Frisbee. First-year Jamie Shorey, who calls his team “pretty awesome,” and the rest of the first-year crew had their first chance to play for a home crowd on Saturday.
At this exhibition game, the team played for a crowd of nearly 45 people. As sophomore Ben Klebanoff explained, “It was great for the team to be playing in front of a home audience.”
Though technically only an inter-squad scrimmage, the team stepped up its play, demonstrating what Parker calls the team’s “really enthusiastic attitude.” He continued to remark that the exhibition game brought together the most important elements of ultimate Frisbee: high intensity and spirit. “Frisbee is about balancing competitive desire with self-officiating,” he continued, “so you have to play hard while playing fair, and we did great job at both at the exhibition game.”
This Frisbee mentality is what attracts so many spectators to the games here at Oberlin. As senior and four-year Horsecow veteran Noah Cecil commented, “There’s a supportive community for Frisbee at Oberlin.” Though a few Horsecows might like Frisbee to become a varsity sport, most agree that club status allows, as Cecil remarked, “for a serious athletic pursuit and a building of a strong sense of community without pressure from the outside to qualify for conference championships.”
This isn’t to say that the team doesn’t work hard. The Horsecows practice often and set high goals for themselves. “We want to make it to Nationals in the spring,” asserted both Mew and Parker, referring to the Ultimate Players Association’s (UPA) yearly National Tournament. Similarly, Cecil hopes the team “will make it to and win a game at Regionals.” The UPA tournament begins with sectionals, consisting of state teams. From there, the Horsecows may advance to regionals, where they compete against teams from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Only two teams advance to the UPA National Tournament. For the next several months, the team will continue to practice in hopes of snagging a competitive spot in the tourney.