Ultimate Frisbee soaring | SteamboatToday.com

Ultimate Frisbee soaring

Club wins tournament

— When the Team of Steamboat Springs (TOSS) Ultimate Frisbee squad meets for practice tonight, its members no doubt will be celebrating.

The local team is coming off a strong performance in the Lungbuster tournament in Breckenridge –he first tournament appearance by a Steamboat Ultimate Frisbee team in 11 years.

Not only did the players have a great time, but playing in the tournament sparked their interest in attending future competitions. The 24-member coed team thinks of itself as a pickup squad, but nonetheless was excited with its two-win, five-loss performance.

The Lungbuster tournament was Saturday and Sunday and featured 25 teams with players from across the country, including Washington and Oklahoma.

The TOSS team played four games Saturday. Team captain Paul Zaleski said the opponents were of a national caliber. And he would know. The Columbus, Ohio, native played in the 2000 Co-ed National Championships in Blaine, Minn. He easily is the TOSS team’s most experienced player.

Ultimate Frisbee combines the nonstop movement of soccer and the passing of football. Seven-player teams attempt to score by catching the Frisbee in the opponent’s end zone. Once a player catches the disc, he or she cannot run with it but must pass it to a teammate. A change of possession occurs when the disc is dropped, intercepted or a player takes longer than 10 seconds to get rid of the Frisbee.

Zaleski said the Lungbuster tournament was the first tournament for the majority of the team. Despite tough competition, the less-experienced TOSS players never backed down.

“Our players got better through every game,” Zaleski said. “You could see it.”

“Everyone was just learning, so it was great,” TOSS player Caitlyn Patrick said. “By the second day, everyone was really focused.”

While the newer players developed a better feel for the game, the team’s experienced players shined, including Zaleski.

“He makes amazing plays every time he has the disc,” Patrick said about the team captain.

The experience gained by playing in the Lungbuster tournament should help TOSS as it looks ahead to future competitions. Not long ago, the team was pressed to find enough interest to play in the Lungbuster tournament. TOSS plans to attend an Aug. 12 and 13 tournament in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The team also plans to attend a tournament in Fort Collins in late October. It probably will be its last tournament of the season.

TOSS always welcomes new players of all levels. The team practices at 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Whistler fields.

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