Ultimate frisbee brings home first trophy since 2018

Ultimate Frisbee Championship

Ultimate+frisbee+team+assembles+together.+

Ivy Steege

Ultimate frisbee team assembles together.

Ryan Baker, Men’s Sports Assistant Editor

SubPar is the name of UW-Whitewater’s very own ultimate frisbee program. A program that plays at a Division I level and one that has not brought home a first place trophy in four years. Well, all that changed on the weekend of Oct. 15 and 16, when they trounced their way through the Windy City tournament held in Rockford, Ill.

Not many people know how the game works, but the best way to describe ultimate frisbee is that it is a combination of football, basketball, and rugby played on a soccer sized field but with a disc. You can’t move with it and the goal is to attempt to catch the frisbee in your end zone to score a point. It’s seven on seven and games are played to 13 with anywhere from a 75 to 90 minute time cap. However, the most unique aspect of the game is that it is self-refereed.

The captains of the program are seniors Nick McNulty, Eric Koran and junior Anthony Gutowsky, in which they also take on a role of coaching as well. McNulty didn’t play in the tournament due to a leg injury, but Gutowsky and Koran helped lead the team easily through the tournament. They also received a ton of help from junior Zach Bauman and seniors Jack Sonnenberg and Luke Sutherland.

SubPar went 5-0 in pool play without letting up more than six points in any game. Taking the first seed into the Sunday games, they throttled Northern Michigan in the quarterfinal 13-4. Taking that momentum into the semifinals versus Wheaton College, based out of Illinois, in which they won that game with ease by a score of 13-6.

They were looking for some revenge this year, after falling short in the championship game just a year ago. UW-Whitewater expected some more competition from Missouri S&T in the championship game. However, SubPar played their best game of the tournament at the best time, going up 10-0 within 45 minutes, eventually taking the trophy home in a lopsided affair that ended 13-2.

 Safe to say, they got their revenge.

“To me it means a lot because I’ve been playing ultimate for ten years and this is the first tournament championship that I have ever won,” Koran said. “To the entire team, we’ve been working so hard this entire semester trying to get everyone ready to go, and it’s very rewarding for the three captains to coach a team to the caliber to win a trophy.”

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the tournament is that SubPar was able to control every game with a team that is constructed of nearly 50% rookies. A majority of them hadn’t even picked up a disc before the season began about two months ago.

“Going into this tournament, I didn’t really know what to expect. There were obviously a lot of different outcomes that could’ve happened,” Bauman said. “I was really proud of how the rookies played and everything that they did for this team. It was awesome to see them play.”

While the bulk of the season for SubPar happens in the spring, these preliminary fall tournaments are a good way to gain experience and build up chemistry for the team. It helps them figure out their identity and what will need to be worked on going forward.

“My favorite moments were seeing the rookies catching their first goals and getting their first taste of winning,” Gutowsky said. “As a captain I want to see everybody from rookies to fourth and fifth years playing really crisp ultimate, playing competitive games, having high spirits, taking things seriously, and improving together as a whole.”

The program will look to continue their success in their biggest tournament of the fall season all the way in Missouri on the weekend of Nov. 12 and 13. From there, it will be a grind throughout the winter to come out firing on all cylinders for the highly anticipated spring season.