The Hillsdale College Ultimate Frisbee Team.

Hillsdale College now boasts a trav­eling ultimate frisbee team that has already com­peted in two tour­na­ments.

The team started as an unof­ficial club but was given official status by the Student Fed­er­ation last spring. Sophomore and pres­ident of the club Sebastian Pestritto approached the office of club ath­letics to ask for funding to become a club team. The ultimate frisbee team has now received funding from college donors and sponsors such as Checker Records in order to become a travel team. 

When Pestritto dual-enrolled at Hillsdale his senior year of high school, he began to play pick-up ultimate frisbee with other members of the campus ‘team.’ He con­tinued playing the sport in his freshman year of college and began to look for ways to make the team more orga­nized.

After making the club official and gath­ering enough names at this semester’s Source, the team began regular prac­tices on Tuesdays and Sat­urdays. After practice, the club members also play pickup games with anyone inter­ested.

Senior Henry Brink, the club’s trea­surer, said these pickup games are how the team recruited some of its members. For example, Brink told the story of how freshman Ethan Cobb, who Brink describes as “a very dependable cutter with very sticky fingers,” joined the club.

“Ethan showed up to pick up games for a few weeks and I assumed he didn’t want to play on the team because he didn’t ask,” Brink said. “Then one day I said to him, “Ethan, are you sure you don’t want to play on the team?’ And he said, ‘Actually yeah I do, I was just waiting for you to ask me.’”

For freshman Abbee Elwell, who had played ultimate frisbee com­pet­i­tively in high school, finding out there was an ultimate frisbee club was a “bonus” to coming to Hillsdale.   

“I knew I was going to make time in my study schedule to go to all the ultimate prac­tices because it’s a great form of exercise and also a great com­munity,” Elwell said.

The travel team has attended two tour­na­ments so far. Their most recent tour­nament was this past Sat­urday in Livonia, Michigan.

“A lot of the teams at the tour­nament are very expe­ri­enced teams, so a lot of times we didn’t win the games but we were right up there com­peting with them,” Pestritto said. “At this point, I’m not con­cerned with winning or losing, it’s more about the expe­rience and getting better, which I really saw.”

Pestritto added that the other team cap­tains at the tour­nament were shocked and impressed when they heard that Hillsdale’s team had only been official since August.

Elwell said she is com­mitted to playing the sport, improving the team, and making it more well-known during her time at Hillsdale.

“My goal is that by the time I graduate this team is a club sport that is known, that is rec­og­nized as a legit­imate player in tour­na­ments, and that keeps going after we graduate,” Elwell said.