The members of the Trinity Turbulence, Trinity’s very own Ultimate Frisbee team, are hoping for a smooth ride into the Division III Nationals this year. This feat requires being one of the top 16 teams in the nation, amongst a field of over 100 teams.
“In the long term we really want to make Trinity known as a perennial contender in the DIII and eventually DI college ultimate scene,” said senior captain Connor Stevenson in an email. “In the long run, I want ultimate to be mentioned when people talk about what sports we are known for, and I think that is a real possibility.”
Led by captains Stevenson and senior Brooks Lyford, the Turbulence has enough players this year to split into two different teams. Right now, teams are split evenly between talent and experience, known as an XY split. Later in the year, the teams will be broken into A and B teams, the A-team being the better team.
“At the moment we have an XY split, which helps us in player development,” said senior Josh Vanderslice. “It helps people get to know each other and it allows us to give our less experienced players more playing time without sacrificing points.”
To get to Nationals, the team must first win the Conference Tournament, which is the combined sectionals and regionals tournament for Division III. The top two or three teams then get a bid to the national tournament.
“This year, our goal is to make Nationals,” said junior Derek Tinker. “We feel like we have the talent and experience, and hopefully we can cohere enough to make the national tournament.”
The outlook appears good for the Turbulence. The team did not lose any seniors, and as a result, the seniors this year were also the leaders last year, giving the team a full year to work out any kinks. Meanwhile, a lot of the teams that defeated the Turbulence in conference last year lost many of their senior players.
“We graduated no one from last year’s squad, so we are coming back strong this year with a veteran group that continues to improve weekly,” Stevenson said. “We also have some really experienced, athletic and hard-working recruits, so we are really excited to see how this year plays out.”
Already, the A-team went 7-1 at its first tournament, defeating teams such as Sam Houston State, University of Houston and University of Texas at Arlington.
“The ultimate community is wonderful,” Tinker said. “But there’s a whole world of ultimate that a lot of people are ignorant of and don’t even know exists. Once you get into it and see how fun this sport is, it’s really a great experience overall.”
The Turbulence is still taking members, so email Csteven2@trinity.edu if you want to get involved.