Meet BYU’s officially unofficial ultimate Frisbee club

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Every Tuesday night at the Deseret Towers field you can find BYU’s officially unofficial ultimate Frisbee club team.

“We’re not anything bigger than the ping pong club. We just meet together and play,” said Kenji Hood, a BYU graduate from Provo and former club team captain.

The Destroying Angels, as they are known on the ultimate field, is comprised of BYU students but is unaffiliated with the school. However, they represent the Provo campus at ultimate tournaments throughout the Intermountain West.

“A lot of colleges have legit teams and there’s a new professional league out on the east coast this year,” Hood said. “We’re working for BYU to get closer to that kind of level, so that we can get recognized by the school and can use their name.”

Even though Hood has graduated, he is still part of the club, just not the college version. Former players still keep in touch with the current club and help with field strategies, tactics and extra bodies on the field.

“We have been around for at least 20 years and we think it might be older,” Hood said. “I heard that UVU’s president, Matt Holland, played on it back in the day and we have people telling us they played so many years ago.”

The athletes take the game more seriously than your average intramural team.

“A lot of the games you see at the park, we call just park ultimate. There are too many people on the field and there’s no set offense,” Hood said. “We’re not that much different though, we’re just a lot more organized.”

There are two types of players on the field: handlers and cutters. Handlers hold the disc more and manage the offense. They have specific reads and check downs just like a quarterback does in football. The cutters main responsibility is to go get the disc in the air and catch it for big gains.

Ultimate season begins in March and goes through June, but is currently over for the Destroying Angels because school is out. Seven players from each team play the game on a field that is 70 yards long and 40 yards wide with end zones that measure 25 yards. The game ends when the first team scores 13 points, or once the 90 minute time limit has been reached.

Marcus Awakuni, a math and economics major from Torrance, Calif., said the team has performed well this year.

“We went 11-2 this year. We came close to beating a really good team that will probably go to nationals this year,” he said. “We can’t go to regionals because we don’t play on Sundays, though.”

Current team captain Steven Shepherd, a nutritional science major from Boulder, Colo. thinks they’re good enough to be in the top 50 in the nation, but even though winning is fun, he plays for a different reason.

“When I first started playing there was the ‘spirit of the game,’” he said. “Essentially it’s all about sportsmanship and community, even with your opponents. It has toned down a bit since then but it is still important to the game. It’s still competitive, but people are friendlier about it.”

To find out more about competitive, but friendly, ultimate frisbee throughout the nation visit usaultimate.org, or check out the ultimate leagues in Salt Lake City or Orem.

 

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