In the good old days, heading to Athens, GA in the late fall meant celebrating yet another victory in the rivalry, while focusing on the prospects of a National Title. Those good old days have finally returned, to Florida Ultimate if not fully to Florida Football. Also returning is the majority of the 2014 team that re-claimed the Southeast Regional title for the 6th time in 9 seasons, sealed with a 6th Series win against Georgia in the last 8 games. No longer a team full of youth and hope, this is a team built for now, eager to once again be a player in late May in Milwaukee.
This weekend, Florida heads to Classic City Classic, its only Fall tournament, with a pre-season ranking of #10
, but much higher expectations for the Spring. 17 players return
from 2014, including 6 Offensive Starters and its two best Defensive Players.The promising recruiting class of 2012, with Bobby Ley
, Jacob Dummeldinger
, Brian Benge
and Andrew Ranon
are now seniors. James Dahl
is in his 5th and final season. While the team added valuable young talent again this fall, it is very clear that the time is now.
Florida v. Florida State University Scrimmage
October 10, 2014
Written by: Jack Skunk
We had three scrimmages on Friday night as the boys from Tallahassee travelled down to Gainesville for what was a very good warm up for both teams. We started with the B-teamers, then the rooks, with the finale being the full A-team squads slugging it out in a game that went to universe.
Before I get into it though, I’d like to give a shout out to the Gainesville Ultimate community. Virtually every aspect was present, including FUEL, lots of league people, Diesel, and former UF A and B guys. My guess is that we had between 100 and 200 people there. Maybe more.
What about Florida State? No, said Van Auken, “they’ve never been a team that we’ve been afraid of.” – Ultiworld, February 2013
While not exactly the quote delivered, it has been a rallying cry for the team from up north, and part of a rejuvenation of a deeply meaningful rivalry for both schools that has often been one-sided in Ultimate.
Let the kids play ultimate!
Gainesville has a thriving ultimate community, and one that’s been around for at least thirty years. Teams such as Fat Women, Vicious Cycle and Diva have achieved near-legendary status in ultimate communities across the country, consistently winning or finishing high in tournaments and national competitions. The men’s club team at the University of Florida won national championships 2006 and 2010 and the women’s team FUEL has advanced to the Big Show multiple times in the past decade. There’s also the perennial pick-up games hosted by the likes of the JJ Finley crew, Squirrel Park and other motley assemblies scattered throughout town. (And let’s not forget to mention that Gainesville’s adult league is growing and bursting at the seams.)
But what about Gainesville’s youth ultimate scene? Where are the high school and middle school students getting their game on?
Several teachers and coaches in area middle and high schools are playing ultimate with their students—sometimes pitting their teams against other schools’ teams—but there currently is no centralized place for Gainesville’s youth to play ultimate on a consistent basis. And though there are no rules specifically barring kids from playing in the adult league and pick-up games (and some of these kids can hang with the best of the adults!), wouldn’t it be better for all involved if our youngest players could play competitive games with their peers? To compete in structured games and tournaments like our club teams and league enjoy?