My fourth and final Republic of Korea Ultimate season was just as amazing as the others before it (and a maybe little emotional at the end).
Spoiler alert, Hurricane took home its third title in a row thanks to a great team effort. This team was unified this season. We praised each other through the ups and supported one another over the rough patches. And, really, isn’t that what ROKU is all about? I’d say yes!
Honestly, this was probably the best season I have been a part of, in any sport. Yes, any sport. I’m putting it way up there! It wasn’t perfect, or pretty in some instances. We lost a few games, but we won a lot in extraordinary fashion. Many games had us digging deep to gut out a win. We had to come from behind or play tough defense to win close games. We had to play through injury and our girls…wow, our girls are incredible. Some weekends required them to play two or more games without any substitutes and they played tenaciously without complaint. In my experience, as an athlete in any sport, these are the toughest things to do and we did it over and over again.
The championship game wasn’t any different. We were up against a fiesty Pohang team, yet again. My team scored two early points and we thought we could run away with it, but Pohang Play hung in there and tied the game late, then went up by one. We had already played three additional tough games to get to this point and we were on the edge of collapsing. My legs were shot and my energy level was…well, let’s just say the fuel light was on. But, our team remained resilient. Players were cheering from the sideline and wIlling the players on the field to fight till the end; and, they did just that. Hurricane snuck away with the victory. I don’t even think I could cheer when my teammate caught the game winning goal. I could barely stand. I just congratulated my defender on a well fought game. Honestly, if we lost, I wouldn’t have felt any different. Well, maybe a little bummed. After all, it is nice to end a career on top!
As I said before, this was my fourth and final season of ROKU. It was a pleasure being part of the Daegu Hurricane for that entire time. I was able to learn a new sport, meet some fantastic people, and make some life-long friends in the process. I tried to give a little speech to the team that I had put together in my head on the train ride there. I wanted to thank everyone individually for there effort, sacrifice, and friendship. However, as I looked around at my teammates (most of whom I have known my entire time in Korea) I could feel the tears building. My captain gave me a hug, and I realized…I need a beer.
So, since my emotions hijacked my speech, I would like to write here what I wanted to say. Here it goes:
George and Mac, thank you for introducing me to ultimate frisbee and helping me become a better player. It has become one of my favorite sports to play, and I hope to continue playing it where ever Sam and I go. Mac, you keep teaching the game, and George…well, try to keep Mac in line. Haha!
Will, the father of the team. For being one of the oldest guys in the league, you sure put most of us younger guys to shame (athletically and socially). You are always a great guy to come to for advice and a solid beer.
Elvis, I didn’t realize you were the same age as Will, do you ever run out of energy? But, seriously Elvis, I’m always happy to see you and hear “Sexy Kyle!” when you you’re able to make it to the games.
Chris, your athleticism is tremendous. I would’ve never expected that when I first met you and telling me stories about sleeping in bushes in Japan. Haha! I love hearing your stories, man!
Amin, I’ll never forget you blow drying your hair in the motel before a night out. You looked like you were from the show Happy Days. You are a very lovable guy!
Gwena, you have one adorable smile and you are one hell of an ultimate player! I always love watching you layout for discs. I swear you have glue on the ends of your fingertips!
Kal, I feel like I have watched you grow as a person. Your willingness to push yourself has made me admire you. Keep pushing kid!
Karen, you are the cheerleader of this team. You are such an outspoken person and motivator. I still can’t believe we went to colleges right next door to each other and never met until traveling half way around the world!
Shannon, you are the girl that I imagine all Canadian women to be; kind, athletic, kind, incredibly loving, and let’s not forget kind. Your chill attitude was definitely something this team needed and keep the games fun.
Antone, your such a great guy! Keep your confidence up and never let anyone put you down! You’re talented and smart guy with many hidden talents and I learn something new from you every time we hang out.
Jeff, if I called Will the father of this team, you would have to be the uncle. Thank you for being part of this team and bringing such a positive attitude. The photos you take are amazing, and I look forward to seeing more in the future.
Hyori, you’re such positive person. Your bubbly character and captivating smile always cheers me up. I love your caring attitude. It shows with the team and with Will’s kids. That guy needs to start compensating you for babysitting duties. Haha!
Julian, you were a great addition to this team. You never seemed to be fazed by the score, winning, or losing. You just loved getting on the field to play, and that’s what this sport is all about! I enjoyed that about you and your carefree mindset.
Amy, like Julian, you were a great addition to this team. I hope you continue to play as you were noticeably a better player towards the end of the season and I don’t think too many people have that said about them.
Toby, aka Megatron, you have become an elite ultimate player! I love watching you play! You’re a great guy to be around with your all or nothing approach on the field and a very chill demeanor off of it. Ultimate needs a player like you!
Well, maybe I didn’t put that all together in my head before the finals…but, it was something like that.
If you want to watch the championship game and see pictures from this season, you can view them below. You can also learn more about ROKU by going here: http://www.rokultimate.com/.
It’s been real Hurricane!