Coming off of a big win last year at the Stanford Open, Western’s very own Club Ultimate Frisbee team, DIRT, is working hard to make this year even better than the last.
DIRT ended their season last year by attending the Stanford Invitational as the wild-card team, after beating out 23 teams during the Stanford Open. Although DIRT finished in 11th during the Invitational, it was a pivotal moment that got DIRT on the map, junior Reggie Eng said, a returning DIRT member.
“I don’t think there is a single team that doesn’t know about us now, and that is very exciting,” Eng said. “Getting this buzz, we want to carry that momentum from last year and get swinging again.”
With new individuals stepping up to fill the spots of Western graduates, DIRT’s senior members are looking forward to seeing what everyone has to offer.
During the training and tryout season, which runs through the winter and includes three fall games, DIRT is striving to be the best they can be.
“We like to think that we are one of the deeper teams in our region,” senior Will Coffin said. “Any seven of our guys at random are going to be better than any seven guys on another team.”
Although new members have joined, two members of DIRT who have since graduated, played pivotal roles during their time at Western.
Both Seth Kotzman and Matt Russell played hard while part of DIRT, putting in hours of extra work during the summers, leading outside of practice track workouts and bringing the knowledge and training back to share with other team members, Coffin said.
“They were the demonstration that we really needed as a team,” Coffin said. “We now have a huge junior class and it was great that those guys wanted it as much as they did, because we really thought we could have a team that could be successful.”
DIRT’s success also comes from such a strong backing from the B team, known as MUD.
“The B-team was huge. They went to one more tournament than the A team did last year,” junior Josh Kent said. “It was great to get to know more of those guys, and hopefully we will see those guys try out for A team and get there, because they have all improved.”
Aside from the encouragement from Kotzman and Russel, DIRT had the opportunity to work with a great coach in previous years. Todd Sliva was a crucial part of the success DIRT had in past years.
“Sliva got us to be competitive, getting us to really trust each other and build up the system we now work with, both on the field and off the field,” Coffin said. “Sliva was definitely the most important part of our success, I think.”
With such a large base of individuals helping to better the program, DIRT players are looking forward to where the year will take them. DIRT welcomes anyone who is interested to come out on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Robert S. Harrington Field.