Salt Lake Shred is Utah’s first professional ultimate frisbee team in the state since 2014, when the Salt Lake Lions went 0-14 and got dismissed from the league.
Salt Lake Shred officially joined the American Ultimate Disc League in 2022 when former BYU head coach and co-owner of the Salt Lake Shred, Bryce Merrill, took over as head coach.
Around 15 former and current BYU players now play for the Salt Lake Shred, who remain undefeated at 8-0, according to Merrill.
“My experience at BYU playing ultimate helped me lead a more disciplined routine and lifestyle. That amount of discipline helped prepare me for the professional ultimate life,” BYU head coach and Salt Lake Shred player Devon Terry said.
The lessons and environment that Merrill fostered at BYU have continued to play a role in his new position as head coach.
“On the BYU team we had the motto of competition, humility and integrity and a lot of those, even though they are the motto of the college team, not the pro team, we take a lot of those things here,” Merrill said.
The BYU ultimate frisbee team has been a top-three team in the country for a couple of years, according to Salt Lake Shred player Jacob Miller.
However, one of the hardest things that BYU ultimate frisbee players dealt with at the university was not being able to participate in the postseason due to the school’s rule of not playing on Sundays, according to Miller.
As the Salt Lake Shred develops, they hope to win the American Ultimate Disc League championship and gain national recognition for their talent, according to Miller.
“The opportunity that the Salt Lake Shred affords people like me and everyone else that plays for us is that we truly believe that the next step is we can go and compete at the highest level,” Miller said.
The level of enthusiasm for professional ultimate frisbee has increased over the last 10 years and the sport has seen an increase in participation and talent across the state, according to Merrill.
The introduction of the Salt Lake Shred in the AUDL as well as Utah Wild, the women’s team in the Western Ultimate League, has given the opportunity for young men and women to aspire to something beyond the college level, according to Terry.
As ultimate frisbee continues to expand in Utah, the foundation created at BYU and the Salt Lake Shred will impact the game at the college and professional levels, according to Miller.