Friday, September 22, 2006

Football & Ultimate...

Not that it is that crazy, but where I'm from the sport of Ultimate does not carry with it much respect within the actual high schools our player go to. At both Churchill and South Eugene, the few students who do know we have a team don't know anything about it or worse, they think they do and spread their lack of knowledge around as fact. (When I came on as the CHS coach in the fall of 2003, the description for Ultimate in the yearbook was, "Come watch our creative students' throw a Frisbee with amazing upside-down and under the leg catches") What?!?! So, one of the goals I have had since coming on is to generate a great respect and understanding of the sport within our school and community. This has been done through tireless communication with the school, getting our games and tournaments announced on the PA, being present at sports' meetings, creating an effective and pro-active parent team, and in general just having a positive influence within the school.

So, why do I tell you all this... Cause tonight I feel we have made a break-through. Tonight, during the annual cross-town rivalry Football game between South Eugene and Churchill HS (who are no longer in the same league but will continue to play once in the beginning of the season), the half-time show will belong to us. The South Eugene Axemen and the Churchill Lancer Ultimate teams will square off in a quick exhibition game to show the crowd what Ultimate really is. We do have to wait for the girls' dance team to do something, but we've got the field after them and hopefully we will be putting on a great show. Anyone else ever been able to swing something like this?

UPDATE (After The Game Post):
This was by far one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. We rushed the field as soon as the dance team was done. The moment the players hit the field the crowd erupted and cheered like mad for South and then not to be outdone, the CHS fans cheered for their players... South had earned the right before hand to be pulled to. We had also decided to keep the game moving fast, so no foul calls and 10-20seconds between pulls. South got the first point going up the wind and their crowd in the stands seriously made the most noise I've heard at a HS game since the finals of the Westerns game back in May...

CHS came back and scored. The wind made bidding difficult, but the crowd didn't seem to know the difference. At 1min till half-time was over the football refs walked into the field letting us know 'non-verbally' that we were done. CHS quickly got the last point making it a final score of 2-2, but the crowd loved it and cheered as the players met in the middle and slapped hands.
Afterwards it was agreed that we would try and get South over to one of our games, but that this was something we had to arrange again.

Photographs were taken, but with the lighting conditions so bad and me only with an amateur set-up, the shots aren't that great. You can see them all here:
CHS vs. SEHS Exibition Game

UPDATED (10:40pm):
This is my first attempt at getting video out in an HD format and I've still got a lot of work to do on the exporting side of things... The video is a bit grainy due to the lighting conditions as well:
HD Video (mp4 - 720p) - 8.7MB - Recommended Format
iPod Video (m4v format) - 7.2MB
AVI Video (avi format) - 20.1MB


Coach Becker said...

This gives me hope, Luke.

I get so tired and frustrated at deflecting, responding to, and sometimes rebuking the dismissive looks and derisive, misguided conceptions of our sport--especially here in the midwest, where, if such a thing were possible, ultimate is even MORE marginal than it is on the coasts.

No, I haven't swung anything remotely close to this--congratulations, hearty ones. It's all I can do to keep my AD from throwing us off the school's practice fields, really--his glances and conceptions are among the most dismissive of all. A question for you.

Is your team school-sponsored? If so, what advice might you give a fledgling coach/team (3rd year) in a quiet but quickly growing youth ultimate community (12 teams in the St. Louis HS league last year) for achieving this holiest of holies?

McCabe said...

that is awesome luke, congratulations.

the challenge then is to change the audience's view that this is something more than a halftime show but instead that it is something that these kids work their tails off for to accomplish their goals.

my dreamed way of accomplishing that - huge sideline presence by both the competing teams, and not only a few nice layouts, but at every possible juncture.

the first layout or so im sure will be regarded by the crowd with an "oh!" which will turn a few heads, then the second will garner more, and more til the fans heads are focused on the game going - where the hell can i see more of this!

at least thats how it works in my brain.

good luck and let us know how it goes!

McCabe said...

the pictures look like it was an awesome time luke. huge sidelines.

definitely very valuable experience to play in front of a crowd.


CarlP00 said...

Haha, I laughed when I saw this. I guess great minds think alike.

Hopkins just played their first of four exhibition games this week, under the stadium lights.

I'm glad someone else had the idea, it was so much fun.

There is nothing like hearing the crowd goad you on to that gratuitous lay out. I reccomend this to every team.

It wasn't too hard for me to set up, I just talked to our Athletic Director. I'll try and take some picture next week.

Carl, Hopkins Captain

julia said...

oh my god i love that clip. south rocks!

Anonymous said...

Yeah at Andover High, we've played a game vs our rivals Phillips Andover under the lights, but not during a football game where non-ultimate fans get to watch and see the sport as well. That sounds like a cool experience.