We're well on our way into the AUDL's 2022 season, and continuing our series of Q&As with some of our favorite players in the league. Next up: the Austin Sol's Kyle Henke. Superfans: Be sure to grab your official Austin Sol replica jerseys and more right over here.
VII: First, a bit about you. How long have you been playing ultimate? What brought you to this team?
Kyle Henke: I've been playing ultimate since 2016 — my freshman year of college. After playing with Texas Tech Tumbleweed for a semester, there was some buzz around the professional open tryouts in Texas that were happening. I was encouraged by a teammate of mine, Carson Wilder, that the tryouts were an excellent opportunity to be seen by high level players, and the feedback is very helpful for exponential improvement. I seized the opportunity, and next thing I knew I was in Dallas being introduced to Jimmy Mickle and the like. While I didn't make the Roughnecks in 2017, I did gain confidence going into the Austin Sol tryouts for whom I played the 2017-2019, and now 2022 season.
VII: What do you do when you're not playing ultimate?
KH: When I'm not playing ultimate, I'm likely doing some sort of manual labor, whether it's power washing, landscaping, or welding. I enjoy seeing instant results of my work, and most manual labor fills that desire.
VII: What do you think sets your team apart from others in the AUDL?
Different from other teams in the AUDL
, my team is in a slow transition to prioritizing local players. There's something that is slowly building in Austin between college, club, and pro that resembles a sustainable pipeline and it's very exciting to be a part of.
VII: Who are some stand-out players on your team and what makes them special?
KH: Reid Bacon stands out to me as a member of the Sol. He's very passionate and intentional about whatever role he plays, whether on or off the field. He is a reliable piece for the Austin Sol.
VII: What's your favorite team to play against and why?
I enjoy playing against, you guessed it, Dallas. There are too many players on that team that I've gotten to play with in the past — college, club, and pro — that make the games that much more competitive.
VII: How does your team prep for a game?
In preparation for a game, our team watches film, listens to music, and goofs around to keep everyone loose. As I said, we're a young team, and humor has been an easy way to calm the nerves.
VII: What are your hopes and dreams for the 2022 AUDL season?
KH: My hope for the 2022 AUDL season is to have as many perfect points as we can. For me personally, the pursuit of the perfect offense possession is the most satisfying. For the rest of the team, a perfect zone defense or converting a break opportunity is also a win if we can do it perfectly.