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Ultimate team picking up steam

Jason Starr

BRECKENRIDGE – B.J. Garcia is not buying in just yet.

The numbers for her local Ultimate Frisbee club are up, but the longtime club president is keeping her optimism at cautious levels.

Garcia is part of a core of about 10 local players that has practiced and played together for more than a decade. She has organized trips for tournaments and helped put on a tournament in Summit County that raises money for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center.

But she thinks it’s time for the club’s leadership to regenerate itself.

“It’s pretty transient, and just when you think you have a good group, someone has to move,” Garcia said. “It’s to the point where we’d like to have the young kids take over. It would be nice to get some new blood. But we still need the stability of the older players.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings in Breckenridge, a group fluctuating from 10 to 25 has been out since late May practicing for the upcoming season. The veterans have been well represented, and so have some newcomers. That’s a good sign for Garcia and the club as a whole.

“We need the youngsters to step it up to generate some energy and get the younger kids to come out,” she said.

Sam Brede is one of the new ones. He played the sport in college and finally found time, after living in the county for four years, to join the local team.

“It’s hard to make the commitment,” he said. “You don’t want to come out once every two weeks. Everyone’s got two jobs; it seems like it’s hard to find the time. But I just told myself I’m gonna do it this year and I’m gonna schedule other things around it.”

For Brede, the allure of the sport is hard to deny. It’s starts with a culture of players who know each other from tournaments and are always looking to join games or local teams when they travel. The Breck club has picked up many players for short periods of time as they pass through the county. Wherever players go, it seems, there’s a group ready to accept them onto a team.

“There’s definitely and ultimate culture and society,” Brede said. “There’s people you don’t know at all except for seeing them at tournaments.”

Then there’s the game itself – a cross between football and rugby and maybe a little bit of soccer – where seven players try to pass the disc into the end zone. Players are not allowed to run with it.

And the disc itself, it can do things no ball could ever dream of. Good players make it curve around people, out of bounds and back in or float to a certain part of the field.

“You can throw it just about any way you can grip it,” Brede said. “So you can make some incredible plays. It’s just really satisfying sprinting to the end zone and some wicked throw connects with you.”

The Breckenridge club is out three times a week working on these things until dusk. They warm up with some long toss and eventually move into scrimmages. They plan to hit tournaments this year in Los Alamos, N.M., Boulder, Park City, Utah, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Fort Collins. The big one is the one they host – the Lungbuster, planned for July 20-21 in Breckenridge.

“Breck used to have an awesome coed team,” said Silverthorne player James Lee. “I’m hoping it picks back up because I’d like to play on a competitive team.”

The team is always looking for men and women to play. Call Garcia at (970) 453-2212 or (719) 836-2812 for more information.


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