Donner Party disc team goes to nationals
This week the Donner Party has something to celebrate.
The regional Ultimate Frisbee team will be on its way to the Ultimate Players Association National tournament in Sarasota, Fla., to play as the fifth seeded team, Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.
“There is some incredible talent coming from all over the nation to play at this tournament,” said Christine Johnson, Incline Elementary physical education teacher. “But our competition is fierce this year. We have the talent and focus, fire and desire, and if all those elements come together at the right time, we have a good chance of winning nationals and going onto play in Finland at the World Championships.”
The World Championships are being held in Turku, Finland, Aug. 1-7, 2004. The Donner Party is the reigning 2002 World Champion in the Mixed Division, as they defeated the Hangtime team from Texas in the championships last year.
“We’ll see them at nationals on day three,” Johnson said.
Sixteen teams will be competing at nationals, while only four will advance to worlds.
Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact disc sport played with teams of seven players. The object of the game is to score goals in the opponent’s end zone. This is done by successfully completing passes between team members. Players cannot run with the Frisbee.
The Donner Party plays in the Mixed Division. Earlier this month, Oct. 10-12, the team won seven of eight games at the Regional Championships in Santa Cruz to qualify from the North West region to the UPA Nationals.
“We didn’t play with our usual fire on Saturday,” Johnson said. “The loss helped us find that grr.. that we needed to be successful.”
The team lost to a Bay Area team on the first day of the competition, 15-10, and came back the next day to obliterate the same team, 15-3.
While the Donner Party has been in existence since the mid-1980s, the team has only been very competitive in the last few years, Johnson said.
Headed up by competitive captain Scottie Conway, the team turned into a force to be reckoned with.
“Conway moved here from Colorado and really whipped us into shape,” Johnson said. “As a group, we just love hanging out so much. When we were at regionals, we just wanted to go to nationals so bad.”
Twenty-five area Ultimate Frisbee players will be flying to Florida next week, including 14 men and 11 women. The team plays in the mixed division. The following is a list of players that will be heading to the tournament. For the women: Katy Carman, Gina Montesano, Mry Burke, Annie Dizon, Dana Green, Christine Johnson, Hilary Sturtevant, Jen Yockey, Lilith Anderson, Jen Mader and Stephanie Turner; for the men: Johnny Brokaw, Scotty Conway, George Grass, Eric Johnson, Frankus Flores, Tim Weil, Jeff Fillinger, Jeff Marvan, Jim Frost, Timmy Peterson, Toby Johnson, Topher Manahan, Will Sutton, Jamey Eichert and John Flandrick will take to the field.
“It’s going to be tough with the heat and the humidity,” Johnson said. “But we have a lot of fans who will be going to cheer us on and all of us look forward to a great time away from the area for a week.”
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