In the squabble and excitement of alumni weekend, and as former Marist students returned to enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company on the scenic Marist green, down on the south field a very different kind of reunion was underway. With the music of the band drifting down from Tenney stadium, the Marist Ultimate Frisbee team was preparing for the first annual alumni game. Led by former captain Pat Cummings and recently graduated star player Robbie Kholer, a small team of former players stormed the field to challenge the current Marist team. Opposing them were newly elected captains, Danny Lemmen, Kevin Gaffney, a select few returning players, and a host of new freshmen prospects, licking their chops for a chance to challenge the old veterans.
Seeing the alumni was emotional on both sides. Last year Marist Ultimate had its best year ever. After four years of trying, Marist Ultimate had finally captured the elusive first place trophy from High Tide, the largest seven vs. seven tournament on the east coast. In addition to this impressive achievement, Fox Ultimate qualified at the sectional tournament to go the regional tournament. A strong finish at regionals would have given Marist Ultimate a bid to go to the division three national tournament. Unfortunately, injuries brought the Marist Ultimate roster to its knees, leaving the team with only nine functioning players. Despite a lot of heart, Marist couldn’t overcome the lack of players, and suffered enough close losses to eliminate them from National contention.
But with a new team and new captainship, the alumni were eager to get a look at the future of Fox Ultimate. Prides, reputations, and more than a little money was on the line as the sides lined up. While the teams played even at the start, finishing the first half with a score of eight to seven in favor of the alumni, eventually the youth of the freshmen began to show through, and the alumni pulled away, eventually winning fifteen to eleven.
But the game had significance beyond the score. This year marked the first year in which Fox Ultimate had produced enough alumni to field an alumni team. Coupled with the fact that this year’s freshmen class of potential recruits is by far the deepest in school history, the program is on the rise. By the end of the alumni game expectations of the current team were high, and the alumni left hopeful that the team can accomplish things that have never been done in school history, specifically, procuring a bid to nationals.