The Hot Saucers offseason is in full swing even though the second semester has yet to even begin! The workout logs are picking up, the emails are flying, and the sheer anticipation of that first game of mini when we get back is nearly killing us. We’ve got a Fall Newsletter coming your way in about a week, but in the meantime we wanted to share some recent fun that we managed to have while home on break:
Discmas is essentially frisbee’s version of Festivus, the holiday for the restofus. The team couldn’t celebrate together on campus due to that ridiculous thing that happens where we are forced against our will to spend time apart for several weeks, but the Rochestarians managed to get together and celebrate on behalf of all Hot Saucers. The night was full of classic Saucer tomfoolery, and was just enough team time to get us through the last few long days of winter break. Check out a few photo highlights from the celebration:
Hello frisbee friends!
We’ve been away from the blog for a while now, and for that we apologize. We’ve been focusing our efforts on all sorts of different team growth and initiatives, so our social media presence has been limited to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube rather than our long-form updates here. Here are a few of the highlights:
We used our new team cameras that we were able to purchase thanks to alumni support to film and analyze some of our early scrimmages:
And we’ll have a highlight video and Fall season slideshow coming your way soon!
If you’ve only got a minute, check out this quick video from the tournament:
If you’re here to stay, strap in!
In the spring of 2015, Nick Lucchesi ’16 was digging through some Hamilton archives when he found mention of an Ultimate frisbee team on The Hill as early as the 80s. With a little more investigation, he pinned down the year 1976 as the first time a group of guys got together with a Wham-O and called themselves a team. We realized that this would make this spring season technically the 40th anniversary of the program, and excitedly decided that we should at the very least make some commemorative discs or gear. Thankfully, the celebration plans did not stop there.
Throughout the fall season, Nick meticulously began compiling alumni emails by class year from the annals of the captain’s Google Drive folder. We had a pretty good record of the last five years saved up, but it took some reconnaissance through Hamilton’s official records – nobody quite knows how Nick pulled it off – to start filling in the years since 1976.
Before we even really had a plan for the alumni weekend, Nick started to reach out to those he could contact from each era with messages like this: “It is my intention to create a clear/continuous narrative of Ultimate at Hamilton. I was hoping you could share any defining moments, fond memories, traditions, stories, or anecdotes that you have or an overall take on the culture of the team and its growth during your time.” Slowly, but surely, the responses started to roll in.
We decided during the winter break that we would make our normal alumni reunion weekend, which has historically just been a single alumni vs. current players game and a party that night, into a 40th Anniversary Reunion. We didn’t know exactly what that would entail, but we figured it would just be a slightly bigger, slightly more organized version of what usually happened. We sent out an initial email to our list of alumni on January 28th as a save-the-date.
The next day, we got an email that got us really, really excited. It was from Steve Goodwin, who had somehow been missed by the sweeping net of Nick’s original search, but had heard about the reunion from a friend. Steve had been a captain from 80-82, and had stories, photos, and old gear to share. Most important, though, was that he was more than willing to rally other folks from the earliest years of the program.
It was sometime around early February when the captains sat down and looked at all the positive responses we had received. We were giddy with excitement, but then had a pretty serious “Holy shit how are we going to do this?!” moment when we realized how quickly a get-together had become a full-blown reunion. So began a whirlwind of decisions about how to feed and house the alumni, where we could find field space, what we’d do in case of a blizzard, where we’d throw a party, and how the hell we’d pay for all of this.
Meanwhile, the RSVPs, photos, and sentiments of excitement continued to roll in. Through Steve’s updates, titled “Old Guys Update” and “80s Legends Update”, we learned that we could expect around 15 alumni from the early years, including the founders of the first iteration of the women’s team, in addition to the 25 or so alumni from the 2000s.
The week leading up to the event was excruciatingly stressful as we struggled to save our plans at the 11th hour when our reserved party space inexplicably fell through (perhaps a foreshadowing for the now-infamous “fall-through” at the party) and the weather seemed to be taking a turn for the worse. Though it seems unlikely that the team would have accrued much positive Karma over the years with the school, somehow all the pieces fell into place and we found ourselves at the Pub anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first alumns on Friday night.
The first night was something special. What we planned as just a quick meet-and-greet ended up being a multi-generational story time celebrating our shared history and our friendships new and old. I, like many others, simply could not stop smiling.
Saturday began with a round-robin tournament with four inter-generational teams. The day turned from chilly to absolutely gorgeous, but I don’t think even a blizzard could have stopped our enthusiasm. The current players were thrilled to reignite some fun rivalries with the recent alumns and to watch the old-timers back at it, and many of the alumni were unapologetically falling in love with the game and the program all over again.
We paused for a catered lunch break before starting the afternoon with an alumni vs. current players scrimmage. Though everybody felt like a winner, only the current players had reason to as we rode our young legs to a narrow victory. The playing ended with an everybody-vs-everybody point that went on for quite some time before we called it a day.
We reconvened in the Annex for a fancy (by college students’ standards) catered banquet. A bunch of current players added some crowd-pleasing homemade dishes and desserts of their own before we settled down to get all sappy and sentimental. Nick got the proceedings started with a slideshow of all the photos he had collected, including group shots spanning nearly the program’s whole history. We then opened the floor to anybody who had a story to share. Person after person came up with heartwarming testaments to how the program defined their college experience and beyond. The alumni couldn’t stop thanking the current players, and the current players couldn’t stop thanking the alumni.
Eventually, we realized the only way we could really express ourselves was via dance. A party ensued and carried on deep into the night. The “reliving of the glory days” by alumni was surely as much of a treat for the entertained current players as it was for the alumns themselves. If the earlier expressions of gratitude hadn’t been enough, the love-fest that ensued as the keg was emptied was enough to bring the most stoic among us out of our shells (looking at you, Ford).
The weekend was capped off with a big brunch Sunday morning in the dining hall. Our talkative tables certainly drew some attention, as each passerby likely wondered how the frisbee team all had such cool parents. The most incredible part of the breakfast was that it just felt like we were eating with our team like usual. In two days, 40 years’s worth of frisbee players came together to celebrate how long we’ve been tossing around a piece of plastic on a small little Hill in the middle of New York. It’s still hard for me to believe.
It’s that silly little game that initially got us all together, but it is the people and the atmosphere that will always keep us coming back.
Jonah Boucher ’17