In a somewhat drastic reworking of the North Carolina women’s club ultimate Frisbee team, the Phoenix program emerged in May as the elite team in the area.
Gathering 27 women from across the sate, Phoenix hopes to give a new face to North Carolina ultimate while still maintaining a high level of play.
“We just needed something new, an opportunity for people to really learn how to play for each other,” said co-captain and co-founder Lindsey Hack. “Not to say they can’t play for themselves, but creating the opportunity to learn how to play for someone else. We’re placing the focus on chemistry rather than on pure skill.”
A closer look at the team’s roster proves that point. About 40 percent of the athletes have never played on an elite club team before, and 50 percent of the team didn’t play in the 2009 season.
Maxing out the roster also meant that some members of Phoenix originally were labeled as purely practice players. Hack, however, says the team decided that these women deserve the right to earn playing time.
“We believe that with hard work, time and experience, they could become top players on the team,” she said. “We’re pretty excited to have a 20-person sideline. That’s enormous.”
While Phoenix naturally hopes to win North Carolina Sectionals, the Mid-Atlantic Regional and ultimately advance to nationals, Hack says the overarching goal remains to enjoy playing Frisbee.
“Our first core value is play for the love of the game,” Hack said. “We want to spread that as far and wide as possible, and we really do encourage that.”
But believe it or not, that mantra isn’t the most unique part of the team. Phoenix has committed to the creation of an elite club program, complete with B-team, Ember.
“We’re creating opportunity for women to play,” Hack said. “This isn’t just a team, it’s a program. There should be an entity making sure that every woman who wants to play Frisbee has an opportunity to do so.”
For more information
Preview of North Carolina women's club team: Sweet T
Preview of North Carolina men's club team: LOS
Preview of North Carolina men's club team: Ring of Fire
Preview of North Carolina masters club team: Boneyard
Preview of North Carolina mixed club team: Whagonweel
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