[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Florida State University
Team Name: DUF (Demented Ultimate Freaks)
Captains: Nick Fletcher, Randy Barcelo, and Jordan Huston
Coaches: Peter Van De Burgt, Daniel Petronio and Paul Guyas
Year Founded: 1979
Jersey Colors: Purple and green
2010 Record: 23-18
A note about team colors: Why Purple & Green? At the time that DUF became the team name they weren’t allowed to use Garnet and Gold since as a club and they’re not an officially recognized team. So the originators decided to go with the two colors on the opposite ends of the spectrum and got purple and green.
How did you get involved with Ultimate at Florida State?
Nick Fletcher: I’ve been playing competitive Ultimate for two years now after playing pick up for three. I got involved with ultimate at Florida State my Sophomore year during an event that DUF put on called 12 days of ultimate. Engineered by our former coach Drew Graff, 12 days involved pick up every day for the first twelve days of school with a hat tournament on the middle Friday and an expo game against UCF the final Saturday. I started learning the stacks a little, and then when I saw that first game of ultimate (we got stomped 15-9 I think, maybe worse), I thought I was hooked. Two practices later when it felt a lot like soccer practice we were scrimmaging I threw a flick up the line to a fifth year senior. The disc started out as a flick, turned bladey, and might have even turned over. Our assistant captain Randy Barcelo walked up to me and told me never to throw it again, and in fact, that maybe I should go sit down. Just about broke my heart, and I told multiple people that I was done with DUF. But I couldn’t quit it. I didn’t miss a practice after that until midway through my Junior year, and this year DUF decided to make me captain. I’m so proud it almost makes me tear up.
What is Ultimate at Florida State all about?
Nick: Ultimate at Florida State is all about being with your boys and workin’ hard.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Nick: Last year we finished 26th in the nation with our big highlight being a second place at Southerns. We only lost to UCF, who we beat 4 or 5 times that season.
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell us about a memorable game.
Nick: Virginia. We’ve played them a couple times over the two years I’ve played with DUF, and they always respectfully crush. The first time I played them we were savage due to injuries and they walked all over us. When we played them at Tally Classic in 2010, we lost 7-9 in a capped game to 13. We’ve always come out very hard against them, and they always seem to calmly deal with us without being jerks. They’re a team with great spirit, which is tough when you’re always battling it out against North Carolina for Nationals.
Tell us about your coach and captains. What do they bring to your team?
Nick: Our coach Pvdb brings a lot to our team in experience with a team that went to nationals recently. He’s also got a great insight into how our players are doing, and how to use them. As a team we believed that the “old DUF” mentality was something we’d need to lose in order to make that step up to nationals, or even Sunday of Regionals, we believe that Petey does just that. Our captains this year bring incredible amounts of heart to the team. I don’t think anyone else in the world would do more to help you out on or off the field than Randy Barcelo. He’s always working his hardest at practice and in games, and has incredible intangibles. He gets our team pumped, and then gets big D’s when we need them the most. Jordan Huston is probably the hardest working most dedicated person I’ve ever met. After snapping a tendon his freshmen year and still making every practice including 5 a.m. Friday morning practices when the temperatures were below freezing, Jordan set a new standard for commitment on our team. He’s a go to guy in any tight situation on the field, and can effectively shut down anyone on defense. Not quite sure what I do, but hopefully it’s keeping up with everyone else.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Nick: This year we have a number of freshmen of the year candidates in the making. As of now our front-runners would be Chris Laroque and Morgan Stanley, as both showed up big at the ACC Championships this fall. However, we still have yet to set an A team, and anyone could make the improvements necessary to achieve that award. As far as Callahan/All Region goes, Jordan Huston would definitely be a front runner for that award, as well as Randy Barcelo (although Barcelo’s attitude in the past and fire on the field may well keep both out of reach, it’s getting better).
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Nick: Players making big throws on our team include Larz Hanselman, Ben “Cheese” Stringer, and Randy Barcelo. Receivers include Cory “LOG” Logan who will burn you in, then deep, then sky you. Elijah “Skyjah/Troll” Grady who came out of his shell last year to straight trash multiple big players at Southerns and Regionals, and is continuing his hugeness this fall. Nick “the married Nick Walker” Walker is another player new to our team this year that’s going to be doing lots of damage as a cutter. On D this year we’re lucky enough to have a pretty deep squad of players who have big D potential. Names you’ll hear after those big D’s will be Charlie “Pirate” Muniz, Ryan “Disney” McFayden, and Brandon “B-Greff” Graff. That being said, it’s still the fall, who knows what players are gonna show up in the series and dominate.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck on gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable that person is to your team?
Nick: Sam Stewart is probably the most overlooked player on our team. Often the break-side dump, he’s always there when we need him, and has a tendency to catch the layout score of the biggest two games of your season.
How does your team bring new players to ultimate up to speed?
Nick: Our program has been developing a B team over the last two years that has their own coach in Paul Guyas. They have their own jerseys, travel with a boom box, and are generally way cooler than the A team. Good coaching that emphasizes having fun while getting better really helps everyone get better and stay around for years to come.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Nick: We like the horizontal and variations of it, vertical stacks with set plays, and have fun though we’ve had a history of struggling through zones.
Has your team set any goals for this season?
Nick: Our goal this year is to make Nationals.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Nick: We’ve increased conditioning and brought in a new coach.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which are you most looking forward to?
Nick: Tally Classic, Mardis Gras, Southerns, Centex and Easterns if we can get in, and more TBD.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Nick: Captains and coaches give big speeches about the importance of the game, and then C-White comes in with some jokes to make sure we don’t get too deep into our own heads.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Nick: Randy’ll probably pick a Lil Wayne song of some sort.
Bear, ninja or cowboy?
Who’s going to win the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?
Nick: Carleton, their solid squad still led by Grant Lindsley will always be a strong force.
What really sets your team apart from any other team in your region?
Nick: DUF is a team that leads with their hearts, and is catching up with their feet. We hope to get noticed this year for vastly improved spirit and incredible skill through all adversity.