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