Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PlayUltimate Contributors - Joel Houmes

Name: Joel Houmes
High school team: I'm an old guy and they didn't have them back then (teams...not high schools, smart a....)
College team: Northwestern University
Current residence: Cincinnati, OH
Where you first heard of ultimate: From the youth leader at my church
Years playing game: 22....yikes. Does that make me Old School? Please don't tell me if you have my replica jersey.
Notable accomplishments while playing: Back in the day, Northwestern was a top 20 team.
why you have expertise on the region you are reporting on: I am going into my fourth season coaching in Cincinnati. One year as an assistant at Lebanon High School and three as head coach at Lakota High School. I also coach the select team that participates at Youth Club Nationals.
Any high school or college accomplishments in regards to writing/journalism: Well....my doctoral thesis is 238 pages guaranteed to put you to sleep. Who needs drugs?

While I have played for years and years and years and years, the last few years coaching have been by far the most rewarding. Now that I am in the Masters division (read old and slow and tired), it is a good way to get my competitive juices flowing. Besides, how great is it to have a group of players that have to come and play whenever I want? Bonus.

Like a lot of players, high school ultimate was a disorganized rabble for me. My friends and I rarely even played with boundaries. As you might imagine, games quickly turned into regular huck fests. I suppose those days planted the seed that would later develop into a player that considers every huck a good huck. College offered structure for my game as well as the finer points of good team offense and defense. Perhaps my greatest college accomplishment was actually getting knocked out in a game at college sectionals. You have to appreciate the little things.

Since college, most of my playing has been in summer leagues with the occasional venture into club tournaments and punctuated by the occasional odd injury (cracked an arm laying out onto a sidewalk). Now I mostly play vicariously through the players I coach.