HMF will be practicing Tuesdays and Thursdays in the fall from 9-11pm in the Harvard Stadium. No experience needed, just come with a white shirt, dark shirt, water bottle and cleats if you have them.
Yet, despite each man working to become his best, I have never witnessed such a strong understanding that the team is greater than any one individual. In the words of Coach MacKenzie, “This isn’t Star Ball. We are one unit.” Every person on the grass, whether they’re on the field or off, has a key part to play. More importantly, the men recognize how critical each role is to the success of the team. In more than one game I have heard someone say, “Thank you sidelines. I couldn’t have made it through this point without you.” To me, these moments are just as inspiring as an amazing layout D on universe point.
We now find ourselves in the week before sectionals, and the energy level is at an all-time high. Intrateam scrimmages are played with the intensity of a rivalry game. The post-huddle shouts of, “Red Line!” hang in the air and send chills down my spine. This is it. Each tournament could be our last together. The words “why not us?” whisper through our minds. Yes. Now is the time when the inevitable end could start to haunt us, so instead we will focus on our training and supporting each other. Every point of every game is 0-0.
I hope these young men recognize how amazing this time is. Not only because they have legs to run and lungs to breathe, but because they have each other. They have gone from 24 strangers to a family. No matter what happens in the post-season, I will leave thankful for the opportunity to have been able to contribute to this team. I hope they also leave grateful: appreciative of the support of friends and family, the chance to play, and the knowledge that they will walk off the field having tried their absolute hardest.
Our next tournament is this weekend in Cambridge, MA. As always, if you can’t make it in person you can follow our twitter feed @HarvardUltimate.
USAU Playoff Schedule:
April 12th-13th, Cambridge, MA
Six teams advance to Regionals
New England Regionals:
May 3rd-4th, Hanover, NH
Four teams advance to Nationals
Collegiate National Championships:
May 23rd-25th, Mason, OH
The weekend of February 8th was a weekend of firsts: Hem’s first game of Spaceteam, Tsuki’s first snapchat (sent by yours truly), Wynn and Danny’s first time playing the card game TIC, William’s first time DJing for figure skaters, Harry’s first time flying to an ultimate tournament, Harry’s first time being left behind at an ultimate tournament, and much of the team’s first time experiencing the delicious cuisine offered by Cook-Out restaurants. However, the most important first of the weekend was Red Line’s first tournament of 2014: Queen City Tune-Up in Charlotte, NC.
Red Line’s first game on Saturday was against Appalachian State. It was hard fought with many long points and ended with a hard cap for Harvard’s first victory of 12-5. The intensity level remained high as the team used the momentum to finish the day undefeated, winning against Iowa (13-5), UConn (13-4), and Ohio (13-7).
We were given a bye and allowed to sleep in on Sunday since we had secured first in our pool the day prior. Our quarter final match was against Georgetown, who had just come off a universe-point game against North Carolina State. Red Line started the day slow and went neck-and-neck with Georgetown until the score was 11-11. The team channeled newfound energy and scored the next three points for a hard cap victory of 14-11.
Next, Harvard faced off against University of Michigan’s Magnum for a chance at the finals. Michigan came out with high intensity, securing a lead against Harvard at 1-2 Magnum. However, that was their last lead of the game as the men of Red Line took the victory with a final score of 14-9. It was also during this match that the team suffered as we lost handler Matt Thiman for the rest of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, Matt’s injury does not appear to be one that will heal quickly, but we hope he will be back in time to play in our next tournament.
The championship match was supposed to begin at 2:15pm, but the competing team, University of North Carolina (UNC) Darkside, offered to give the Red Line a ten minute delay since we had just finished our second 115 minute game of the day. We gratefully accepted their offer, and at 2:25pm Darkside pulled to Harvard. The team struggled with the competition and the wind, going into the second half with a score of 8-4 Darkside. Coaches Mike and Piers helped the team refocus, and Red Line began the second half by scoring two break points against UNC. It was a hard-fought battle with Harvard winning the second half, but it was not enough to win the game. Final score was 15-12 Darkside.
The team would like to thank our fans for their support, especially the friends and family of Matt and Ty who drove out to watch several of our games. A shout out is also deserving for those who could not be there with us but were avidly tweeting support, including Amy Davis and the rest of the Davis family, Jude Nixon, Caroline and India Stubbs, Harvard’s women’s team Quasar, and many others. We would also like to thank the teams we were able to compete against this weekend for playing with exemplary Spirit of the Game. Finally, I personally want to give a shout out to whomever was tweeting for Darkside and making me laugh with Doge references.
Our next tournament is the Stanford Invite on March 1st and 2nd. We will be live-tweeting from the sidelines, so keep your eyes on @HarvardUltimate.
I don’t remember much from High School Chemistry. In fact, I remember very little, but the one thing the great Mr. Wilson taught me that stayed with me since junior year was to live by the rule of the 5 Ps: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. (He also taught me that sometimes you’re just S.O.L., but hopefully that’s not a chemistry lesson we have to put to good use this year.)
In Red Line tradition, the week before the beginning of the semester was spent living by the rule of the 5 Ps. With fresh minds and legs, the team gathered together to spend five days preparing for the upcoming challenges of the semester. The week began early Monday morning at 6:00am at Harvard Stadium, which is currently covered with a bubble. The weather outside was chilly to say the least, but the bubble provided enough warmth for ideal training weather.
Some of the mental training and team bonding activities were highlights for the week as well. On Monday, Coach Mike MacKenzie and his wife welcomed Red Line into their home. The team viewed videos of a 2013 great club ultimate match up: Johnny Bravo versus Double Wide, as well as a video so top secret we might get in trouble for even mentioning it. The team was treated to Cincinnati chili by Coach Mike and gluten-free brownies supplied by Captain Wynn Tucker’s mother, both of which were phenomenal. Thank you Mrs. Tucker for showing us gluten-free can be surprisingly delicious. Other highlights included a ping pong tournament and Class Olympics.
All events led up to Friday for the intrasquad matchup of DRed versus SHRed. Coach Mike and Assistant Coach Piers MacNaughton served as observers, and Peter Cornick provided leadership and support from the sidelines. The toss was won by DRed, represented by captains William Dean and Wynn Tucker. They opted to receive, and freshman John Stubbs caught the first point of the game. This paved the way for an impressive show-out from the freshman class, who rivaled many of the returners in point, assists, and Ds. At the end of the first half, DRed had kept the lead throughout the game for a score of 8 to 5. The players began to fatigue in the second half, and SHRed slowly worked its way back to a tied score at 12-12. In an impressive feat proving his mettle, Wynn took back the lead for DRed with a layout for a callahan. Not to be undone, SHRed quickly came back to score again. SHRed’s first lead of the game was secured with another freshman play by Jonah Hahn receiving the point. SHRed became the only team to score three points in a row during the game, scoring for a victory with a connection between returners Mark Vandenberg and Dave Reshef.
After a week of hard work, Red Line is ready for the next challenge. Our first tournament is Queen City Tune Up on February 8th and 9th in Charlotte, NC. Watch our twitter feed, @HarvardUltimate, for updates.
Red Line Team Manager
Monday Dec 2 (Quarters)
8:00- Dirty Dozen v Chips Ahoy
8:45- Burgermeister v Jeesh
9:30- Josh Fries Mem v Dees
10:15- Eugenies v Trap Squad
Semis and Finals on Wednesday
This past weekend, Red Line went 5-0 and beat Dartmouth in the finals of regionals to become New England champs and earn a spot a college nationals in Madison. For one of the best plays of the weekend, check out http://ultiworld.com/2013/05/06/ne-regionals-harvards-piers-macnaughtons-huge-callahan/