By Lindsey Hurtt
On April 2-3, Baylor’s ultimate club Frisbee team hosted their first nationally sanctioned ultimate Frisbee tournament. Sixteen teams from Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas played on Baylor’s intramural fields. Oklahoma beat Texas A&M to win the tournament. The Baylor team made it to the third tier of competition.
Ultimate Frisbee, also known as ultimate, is a sport in which opposing teams attempt to complete a pass in the other team’s end zone. Baylor’s ultimate club team has not been around long. Wes Nemec, a Houston senior, played intramural ultimate his freshman year. At the start of his sophomore year, Nemec, along with a friend, decided to start a club ultimate team.
Unbeknownst to Nemec, two other Baylor students were attempting to start a team at the same time. “Student activities thought we were working together, but I had no idea about these other two guys,” Nemec said. The other students’ charter was approved, and Nemec was turned down.
The new ultimate team began holding practices, and Nemec went to check it out. “I was looking for an organization to join, so I decided to just go out there and see what it was like,” Nemec said.
The team of nine members went on to the 2009 USA Ultimate (USAU) year-end tournament for the college ultimate series. “We got clobbered. It was terrible,” Nemec said. The devastating loss inspired Nemec to take the team to the next level competitively. “The team had a lot of potential, and I felt like I was going to be the one to get it there,” said Nemec, who was made president his junior year. The club grew from nine to twenty-seven members, and Ben Powell ’09, one of the club founders, was made coach.
This year, the team is officially a club sport, which entitles them to university funding, but because of the standard one-year probationary period, the club will not begin receiving money until next year. Luckily, the team has had some success in fundraising. In fall 2009, they hosted their first-annual Frisbee Fest, a Frisbee tournament for Baylor students. The tournament was a success, but the work that went into it made Nemec realize his need for help. “As much as I loved being the leader of the club and the face of the team, it was too much work for one person,” he said.
So the group formed an executive board. “I think about running the club like a small business. One of the things I’ve learned is that whenever you’re starting a new company you need a support team. The executive board is the management team for our club,” said Nemec, a finance and entrepreneurship major and a financial analyst intern with the Baylor Angel Network.
Last fall, the team set their sights on hosting a USAU tournament. “You have to be known as a reputable team in order to have other teams want to come to your tournament,” Nemec said. Judging by the turnout for April’s event, Baylor’s ultimate team has made its name known.
Nemec is preparing for graduation in May. “I came here unsure of what to expect, and now, looking back, I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else. I’ve absolutely loved my time here. I don’t really want to go. The ‘real world’ isn’t going to have an ultimate Frisbee club team,” he said.
No, but Baylor has an ultimate Frisbee club team now, thanks to Nemec, who is leaving his legacy in the hands of Baylor’s next class of Frisbee players.