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School Name: University of Arkansas
Team Name: Ludicrous Speed
Captains: Eric Kearney, Matt Jackson
Year Founded: 2000
Jersey Colors: Blue and White
2010 Record: 20-15
How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?
Eric Kearney: My freshman year, fellow freshman Patrick Randall asked me if I wanted to play ultimate. I told him when I had a night off work, I would go play. I had no idea it was the university team, and was fairly angry with Pat on the walk to the intramural fields, as that’s when I found out. After that first practice I bought cleats, and started taking practice days off from work. I now lead the team 2 years later.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Eric: We placed 4th in the South Regionals last year. Our highlight was the ability to play the last season with 4 of our seniors that left the team after. The talent level was incredible out of those 4 players, and nationals was on our minds, but an unfortunate game against Texas took us out of the running.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Eric: Personally, it would have to be the University of Kansas Horror-zontals. The most memorable game was at year’s Sectionals in which we went to universe point in the first game on Sunday morning. Lackluster seeding made them a lower seed than what should have been — the #1 seed (us) and #2 seed (what KU should have been) facing off in a game that showed why.
Tell us about your captains. What do they bring to your team?
Eric brings extreme motivation with an emphasis on hard defense with huge layouts and skys. Always running hard in practice, he makes the team want to compete with his drive and emulate his playing style. Matt brings insane athleticism with even bigger layouts and skys. Being ridiculously fast and even more stylish makes Matt one of the most recognizable players to ever touch an ultimate field.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Callahan – Matt Jackson. The Spring season hasn’t started yet, but with 5 starting players leaving the team last year, his burden has become significantly increased, as him and Eric are the only players on a team with more than 2 consecutive years of college experience, him having 3. His play will mean more to the team than it ever has because of such a young team.
All-Region – Once again, Matt Jackson. Read above as to why. Kyle Todd, Eric Kearney, and Pat Randall all could be contenders as their roles have increased significantly, and the team is more dependent on how they play.
Freshman of the Year – With so many great freshman, I have to nominate two. Abe Coffin is an extremely skilled ultimate player, and plays beyond his years. Completing amazing throws, making huge D’s, and his ability to run forever make him a top candidate. Joe Bell is also another freshman who can run for days, and will sky anyone on the Ultimate field. Over, and over, and over. He rules the sky, is ridiculously fast. When the disc goes up, you’ll see him.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Eric: As a thrower, its definitely the freshman Abe Coffin. His throws are sick, and you’d never expect it. As a receiver, Matt Jackson. The biggest, and highest layouts ultimate has ever seen have come from this man, and the pictures prove it. Same with his skys. On defense, Eric Kearney. He lays out with no regard for his body, and makes D’s in the air with huge skys, and constantly gets layout D’s in the end-zone when it truly matters.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck or gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable they are to your team?
Eric: Logan Miller. He’s another freshman, but his play is absolutely solid. Always cutting well, making huge plays when they matter, and being an overall surprise to the other team makes him a definite player to watch.
How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Eric: Lots of scrimmage. Chalk talk when our fields get rained out, and an open ear to any and all questions. Definitely encouraging of questions.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Eric: High flying offense with tons of speed and vertical play by our cutters, and hard man defense with insane layouts and big skys!
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Eric: To continually get better and become the best players we can be. Being such a young team we have yet to prove anything, but it looks promising, and we have the best chemistry this year than any year of this teams existence. It’s going to be an amazing season.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Eric: Practicing the same amount and the same intensity as we will during the spring season. We figure every other team isn’t going to take it easy, so neither will we.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Eric: More like which ones! With Vegas, Mardi Gras, and Centex all on the agenda before Sectionals and Regionals, it’s going to be a hell of a season.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Eric: Focus after our warm-up, and get a sweet cheer before we get on the field.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Eric: Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa. It’s basically our unofficial team song right now, and the best I can think off the top of my head.
What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Eric: The regions are ridiculously crazy now, I never figured I’d be in Colorado’s Region. Our old rivals are no longer, and they have to play such huge names like Minnesota, Carleton, and Iowa. We still have Texas though, and theirs plenty of intensity between our games.
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?