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A Phase of College Ultimate May Be Over, But We’re Ready to Focus on What’s Ahead

A Phase of College Ultimate May Be Over, But We’re Ready to Focus on What’s Ahead

In the four years I’ve been attending the High Tide Ultimate Tournament as a Savage employee, I’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen — but 2020 is the year I know I’ll always remember. The spread of COVID-19 ended this year’s tournament two weeks early, and most of us also recognized it could mean the end of the college season as well. For many seniors, it was a heartbreaking moment. 

There was a distinct shift at the tournament among players and staff as we all began to process what was about to happen. There was a deep feeling of mourning as news spread that not only was the tournament ending, but schools were closing their doors for the foreseeable future, effectively ending the college Ultimate season.

It’s natural for players to obsess over what didn’t happen, or what could’ve been. I know I’ve struggled with this myself. For some players, it may be the last time they see some of their seniors for a long time. For some seniors, it’s the last time they’ll be playing with some of their teammates. 

But this is what I keep thinking about, and why I’m grateful that I was at High Tide at this moment in time: Witnessing the love players have not only for each other, but also for their opponents at this event, has been life-changing. This truly is a special sport we play. From seeing teams treat a fun Spring Break tournament like it was their last Nationals run, to crying with new players on my old college team, High Tide 2020 was unforgettable. 

It’s painful to think about, but we ought to stay positive, keeping this in mind: Our family of Ultimate players may just be one of the most tight-knit sports communities in the world. I — and the rest of the Savage team — love to come to Myrtle Beach not just to interact with you all and see you play some of the wackiest “games” of ultimate possible, but to be reminded of how much we love this sport ourselves. 

Seniors, addressing you all directly for a moment, we want to offer our sympathy for the abrupt end to some of your seasons. While this is the end of one chapter, we can assure you there’s so much more in store for you. Look forward to joining new teams, new players to befriend, plays to make, and yes, more tears to be shed. 

For now, make sure you leave your teams in a better state than you joined them. Leave a lasting impression for the younger crowd, and continue to be the leaders you wanted when you started playing. While the season’s ending early can lead to questioning of what might’ve been, it’s pointless to wonder about the unknown. Try not to mourn the fact that this chapter is over. It’s better to focus on the incredible times we had, celebrate the fact that you got to experience it, and that you have so much to look forward to. 

It’s crucial during times like this that we hold our favorite people and memories close to give us comfort. We can and probably will feel sad thinking about it, but remember: This community doesn’t end with college. One of the things I love most about Ultimate is that it’s truly a year-round sport if you want it to be. With almost unlimited access to seasonal leagues, club tryouts, and even just casual pickup, Ultimate has never stopped growing — and this will not stop it. 

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay Savage. 

 

Written by Savage's Production/Order Rockstar, Nick Evans 


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Iguanas, Sloths, and Frisbee, Oh My! Recap on the 2016 Volcanic Tournament

Iguanas, Sloths, and Frisbee, Oh My! Recap on the 2016 Volcanic Tournament
Sloth
The Volcanic tournament down in Costa Rica just wrapped up its 9th year this past Memorial Day weekend and SAVAGE was lucky enough to be able to not only provide gear for the tournament, but also got to send one of our own to play in the tournament. Volcanic is a great way to not only enjoy a weekend full of good Ultimate, but also allows those from out of the country to delve into the Costa Rican culture through way of exploring some of the beautiful rainforest, tasting some of the traditional cuisine and of course by developing friendships with some amazing people.
Every year this tournament is comprised of a group of ultimate players from around the world. Each team (this year had the tournament's largest turnout with 7 teams) is made up of a mixture of half Costa Ricans and half foreigners of all skill levels and backgrounds. The first game, as in any hat tournament, is definitely the most difficult as you learn how to play with the people on your team, except now there is also the added struggle of a language barrier. Fortunately for non-Spanish speakers, most of the Costa Ricans can speak high-level English, and if not, there’s typically at least one person on your team who can get away with their Spanish speaking skills.
The first day, after everyone arrived, was spent seeing some of the country as the group was taken on In the rainforest canopy during the Ecoglide zip line toura nature walk through the rainforest. Carlos and his brother, Fico, who put on the tournament every year, were very informative, sharing all sorts of information about the different plants and wildlife that were crossed throughout the hike. After the hike, there was an optional treetop zip line tour followed by a traditional Costa Rican lunch of Casado, which is a plate of rice, beans, choice of meat, and fried plantains. That evening, the Costa Ricans joined the rest of the group for a late night pickup game before the tournament was to start the next day.

Saturday morning everyone was up bright and early to get started on pool play games. Each team played four games to 13, with only one team making through the day undefeated. The first several games had beautiful weather, albeit a bit hot and humid, but as you should expect in the rainforest, a heavy rainfall shortened the last round of games. That evening, after everyone was showered and rested, the tournament party was held in a covered outdoor area at the resort. Everyone got together to drink some of the local Imperial beer (or tequila if that was your preference), dance, play drinking games, and even do a bit of human bouldering.
It was a late night for some, but everyone (well, almost everyone) was up again the next morning to get a start on bracket play of the tournament.Hanging out at the hot springs Sunday had only two rounds of games; the first round had the top 4 teams from Saturday compete in the semi finals. The Red team, who was seeded first, won handedly in their game, while the Gold and Lime Green teams, the 2nd and 3rd seeds, battled it out in a game that went to universe. Gold came out on top to play Red in the championship game but in the end, Red ended up winning it all. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and hanging out with everyone at the Hot Springs nearby to rest sore bodies and get ready to head back to the real world.
The Volcanic experience is one to be had; anyone who has attended would highly recommend going, as there are many who go every year. It is a great chance to see a new place, take in a new culture and play ultimate with a bunch of new friends. It truly was amazing to see how all of these different teams quickly morphed into one big family as the week went by and I’m thankful that I was able to be a part of it. Until next year Costa Rica, until next year...
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