Four seasons of Ghetto Force, four seasons of Enigma, and a short Professional career. I've had my share of game winning plays, momentum swings, and spirited actions. I've also had my fair share of getting beat on universe, making embarrassing mistakes in big games, and just flat out losing my cool on the field or sideline. I have been the cause of wins, losses, triumphs and disappointments. And through all this, never once have I questioned the decision I made years ago to start playing Ultimate.
I knew I wanted to play Ultimate in college, but I never really knew how much that decision would influence who I am today. I came into the team as a wee lad, with “cross country speed”, a wild backhand, and the defensive prowess and mobility of a baby deer.
During my first ever evaluation, my captain told me that I was a bubble player (and I was…I didn’t play much at all in the Spring). But Ghetto Force was infectious, I couldn't stop. I put in extra hours in the gym, focused on my running form and strength, and improved my throws. Broken wrists, twisted ankles, nagging foot pains, countless turf burns, and a spot of Mono later, I find myself graduating. I’m still not the best I can be, but the point is that I've came a long way. So, in lieu of this, and in tribute to the one true T-Wizard and the fabled Ghetto Force bloggers of the past, I shall reflect upon some of my favorite memories in a neat and cool list (in somewhat chronological order):
Freshmen year, when I ran full speed into Sam Newell to catch a disc in KU field
Nights at 440 Kiefaber (“The Oasis”) and 240 Keifaber
Winning my first tournament with Ghetto; Boogie Nights, although I broke my wrist
“Shoot the Gap” and my first Regionals
Running a Tough Mudder with teammates- then playing in the Alumni Game the next day
Dominic almost wetting himself on the way to Glory Days
Discovering the magic of Gin with Jamie Horne
Getting fully torqued at Florida Warm-up
Being elected co-captain with Jordan my junior year
Winning the Alumni Game
Morning condition stories with Kevin Lavoy
“Deep House Party” and “Team Tim’s” with Steve Jira (among other events)
Summer house Mario Monday’s and other magic with my roommate Erik
Our dude-jam during 2014 Regionals Quarter-Finals
Dominating Edinboro with Mark and Peaches
Ghetto Farce getting obliterated by everyone at Sectionals
Winning Spikeball at Huck Finn for just being there
Placing 3rd at Sectonals- watching young guys play great all weekend
“Classic Ghetto Force” second half comebacks
Mentoring (and living with) the new captains, Jack and C
Season's Greetings, fella's
Mixing Scott and Tommy’s names up all the time
Driving through [the forsaken hell-hole of] Indiana with Jamie Horne too many times
Daytona with the boys
And so many more.
Special thanks to my old captains:
Mark Federenko: For being the most intense, most demanding, and most talented captain I’ve had the pleasure of learning under. I have learned more about Ultimate and captaincy from Mark than any other single person I know.
Phil Broderick: For over performing at every aspect of captaincy, thus making all future captains seem ineffective
And my other [elder] mentors from the team:
Jamie Horne, Steve Jira, Peg, Zach Kaylor, Alex Frasz, Adam Tardio, Butters, Patrick Kaufmann, Ross Gueltzow, Eddie Mack, Brendan Corboy and Phil Hagerty.
And to all my Ghetto Force roommates through the years:
John Bayer, Ian Cannon, Matt Welter, Steve Jira, Erik Meyers, Connor McMonagle, Jack Hanson, Conner Haenszel, Josh Maloney, and Matt Michalak
And the rest of you crazy kids.
I’ll see you all at the Alumni game.