For the fourth time since the ultimate Frisbee club’s team beginning in 2005, masters team Boneyard has qualified for USA Ultimate’s masters division of the national tournament in Sarasota, Fla., Oct. 28-30.
Masters teams comprise athletes ages 33 or older, and the 2010 Boneyard squad, with 28 members but only 27 traveling to the championships, features players as old as 50.
“It’s hard to get old guys too excited about anything, let alone admit we’re excited,” said captain Mark Britt. “We might have a heart attack, you know. The most you might get from us is ‘yeah, we’re amped’ or ‘definitely stoked.’”
A little more seriously though, the long-time player admitted that the excitement behind playing in a championship tournament is always something to look forward to.
“Making it to Nationals was always a thrill for me,” Britt said. “I played in the division for ten seasons before I ever ‘made it.’”
Boneyard won the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament on Oct. 2, only the second North Carolina masters team to do so. Though the team only played three games, Britt says they won each match by a significant margin.
In the championship, Boneyard faced Washington, D.C., team Chesapeaked – the team Boneyard had only just beaten in the game-to-go in 2009 and had lost to in the game-to-go in 2008. Final score in 2010: 15-7 Boneyard.
“The best ting about regionals, though, was how the entire team was up on the sideline for every point of every game, cheering on our teammates,” Britt said.
Winning masters regionals ranked high on the team’s list of goals at the beginning of the season, as did qualifying for open regionals, which they also did, though they turned down that bid.
But goals aside, Britt seemed more focused on how the team as a whole as progressed since its inception.
“Each year I think we have gotten better by continuing to attract quality players,” he said, noting that in 2010 the team added athletes from local open team Ring of Fire and several out of town players. “As the years go by, we are building a team that I hope will eventually outlast the founders of the team.”