This week, we chatted with Retriever sophomore Joseph Ricks, a captain on UMBC’s ultimate frisbee team Booya.
TRW: When did you get into ultimate Frisbee and why?
JR: In high school, I played soccer and there wasn’t really a Spring sport for me. My high school AP Chemistry teacher, Mr. Keven Moldenhauer, was the coach of a professional current Ultimate team. That’s how I was introduced to the sport. Then when I came to UMBC, I saw people playing pick-up ultimate Frisbee on Erickson Field. I decided to check it out, and I fell in love with the sport. I stuck with the sport because of the camaraderie with my teammates and opponents.
TRW: What is your biggest/favorite highlight of your time playing ultimate Frisbee?
JR: Our ultimate Frisbee team, Booya, was at a tournament called High Tide, and about halfway through the game I was a part of a very intense defensive point. The opposing team’s offense was swinging the disc and I deflected it and caught a Callahan, which is when a defensive player intercepts the disk while in his opponents end-zone. It is similar to a pick-six in football. A Callahan is quite rare, and this helped push the momentum in my team’s favor.
TRW: Why would you encourage other people to play ultimate Frisbee at UMBC?
JR: I would say that the atmosphere of being around other ultimate Frisbee players is like no other. Even your opponents are your friends. Since the sport is self-officiated, the spirit of the game and its integrity are permanently kept. Ultimate is a fun, fast-paced sport, unlike any other. I would describe it as an amalgamation of football, basketball and handball. Many people think that ultimate is just throwing a Frisbee around, but it is so much more than that. I would encourage any athlete to try the sport because it is unique and so much fun to play.
TRW: Would you rather get a 4.0 GPA or have your ultimate Frisbee team go undefeated?
JR: School comes first, but several people achieve a 4.0 GPA. Only a select few get the opportunity to go undefeated and hold the collegiate national championship trophy up.
TRW: If someone wants to get into ultimate Frisbee and get good at it, what do you recommend they do?
JR: I would recommend that they work on their forehand and backhand throws, work on conditioning and watch higher level players to develop a better understanding of the game.
TRW: If you could build an Ultimate Frisbee team of any professional athletes, who would you pick?
JR: Starting Offensive Line: Alan Kolick (Pro Ultimate Player), LeBron James (Pro Basketball Player), Bo Jackson (Former Pro Baseball and Football Player), Matt Rebholz (Pro Ultimate Player), Marshall Lynch (Pro Football Player), Lionel Messi (Pro Soccer Player) and Calvin Johnson (Pro Football Player).
JR: Starting Defensive Line: Usain Bolt (Pro Track and Field), Gareth Bale (Pro Soccer Player), Ed Reed (Pro Football Player), Darrelle Revis (Pro Football Player), David Luis (Pro Soccer Player), Ray Lewis (Former Pro Football Player) and Delrico Johnson (Pro Ultimate Player).