School Name: Gonzaga University
Team Name: GURU
Captains: President David Schrieber & Vice President Justin Letsinger
Year Founded: 2003
Jersey Colors: Black & Red
2010 Record: 7-12
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at Gonzaga?
David Schrieber: I played Ultimate for three years at Churchill High School, and in looking at colleges knew that Gonzaga had a team that had been established for awhile and was typically qualifying for Regionals. It was a pretty easy transition to keep playing once I got to Gonzaga.
What is Ultimate at Gonzaga all about?
David: GURU Ultimate is all about the players that make up the team. There is a lot of respect for one another, and with that comes the desire to make the team better by being competitive, athletic, and passionate about the game.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
David: Last year our team finished 7th in the WA/BC Section. Highlights of the season include beating Victoria 15-9 at Sectionals, and a comeback from being down 8-1 to beat Cal State Long Beach 11-9 at the Stanford Qualifier.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
David: The game with Victoria has been a growing rivalry over the past few years, and despite the dislike our teams have for one another, when we are playing them we play our best Ultimate, and that makes them my favorite team to play against, especially when we win. In the 15-9 Sectionals win, all of our players were fired up, making big plays, and staying consistent throughout the game, which was amazing to watch.
Tell us about your captains. What do they bring to your team?
David: We are a player-coached team, so the captains have to bring more than just on-field talent. Our defensive captain Justin Letsinger really is the soul of the team, and the younger players are heavily influenced by his love of the team and game. For me, this is my 7th year playing and I try to bring what I learned from Churchill and with GURU to the new guys to keep the program going strong.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
David: Justin Letsinger and Eric Ptolemy are both seniors, solid handlers and intense defenders, and playing alongside just the two of them I would be confident in scoring, definitely All-Region contenders for sure, although out here in Eastern Washington GURU doesn’t garner too much attention from the bigger schools.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
David: Eric Ptolemy has the best throws of anyone I have played with, which is great for me as the main receiver for the team. Again, Letsinger discovered the key to success of layouts on defense and is guaranteed to have a few each game. All three of us our seniors so there is good chemistry.
Who’s the least athletic starter on your team? What makes him so good?
David: One of our “increasingly athletic” players is Andy Brew, who recently moved from offensive to defensive handling as his athleticism has improved. He also played in high school, at Crescent Valley, and is amazingly consistent in not making stupid mistakes. His ability to break the mark is also surprisingly good.
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 he is to your team?
David: Andy Brew does this as well. He usually leaves the big time hucks to other handlers, but he will not make mistakes, gets open on the dump, and can always dump it off when he needs to.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
David: We like to be the most athletic team on the field, for offense and defense, and keep the energy high through the whole game.
Has your team set any goals for this season?
David: Qualifying for Regionals, especially after just missing out last year, is my main goal. I’d also like to see the team win a mid-season tournament, and win Sectionals.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
David: Recruiting, and bringing the new players up to speed. We have a 30-man roster, our largest ever, and the majority of the team are underclassmen.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which are you most looking forward to?
David: Sectionals, Regionals, PLU BBQ, and one long distance traveling tournament – hopefully Roll Call. I’m most excited for Roll Call in playing new teams and representing Gonzaga on the East Coast.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
David: Our “GU-who? GURU” chant is a favorite, and in keeping with the Jesuit tradition at Gonzaga our pre-game prayer is a unique aspect of our team that really focuses the players.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
David: Right now I like the song Introducing the Business by Mark Ronson, but that changes almost daily.
Who’s going to win the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?