[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Marist College
Team Name: Fox Ultimate
Captains: Matt “Slip” Wilenky (#83), Pat “Cakes” Cummings (#9)
Jersey Colors: Red, White, Black
2010 Record: 25-9
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Fox Ultimate?
Slip Wilenky: The first time I ever picked up a disc was the summer before freshman year of college. After playing highly unorganized pick up games all summer I knew playing intramurals at college was something I really wanted to do. I improved rapidly and despite the fact that I still couldn’t effectively flick at the time, I was elected captain in my sophomore year. We’ve come along way since my freshman year and thanks to a lot of hard work we now have a program established that I think will be around for a long time.
Pat Cummings: I started playing Ultimate my junior year in high school. My high school had a pretty good team with kids just having fun. However, it wasn’t until college that I started taking Ultimate more seriously. Since our club team was only getting started my freshman year, it took me a couple months to make it to our first tournament. I’ve been captain since my sophomore year now and have really high hopes for Fox Ultimate this year. I think we can take this team further than its gone before.
What is the origin of you team’s name?
Slip: After becoming an official club team in the spring of ’08, we spent the entire summer trying to come up with a team name. After much disagreement but unanimous agreement (aside from the person who proposed it) that naming our team after Snarf from Thundercats would be absolutely ridiculous we settled on Fox Ultimate, because Marist’s official nickname is the Red Foxes.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Slip: In our first year as an official club team, we finished 2nd in four tournaments and won our home tournament. The highlight of the year for me was going down to Georgia for the High Tide tournament for the second time. We had an absolute blast and we got to play against soon to be Nationals team Iowa.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Slip: Since the beginning of intercollegiate ultimate play at Marist we have had a friendly rivalry with our friends across the river at SUNY-New Paltz. We have never lost to them but they are some of the most fun people we’ve met and always fun to hang out with afterward. We’ve got a surprising rivalry with Scranton after seeing them in many bracket play games these past two years. In our first tournament in September ’09, we met in the semifinals at Ramapo and came back from down 8-5 at halftime in the pouring rain to win 15-10. In October of this year at Bard, we faced them in the championship and prevailed 10-4 to win our first non-home tournament!
Tell us about your captains.
Pat: Since we are a fairly new team, we don’t really have anyone along the lines of coaches except for one or two alumni. Slip and I, with the help from one or two experienced members basically run the team and our practices.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Pat: We have a couple big players on offense. Most notably our Junior, Robbie Kohler (#47). Obviously Slip wasn’t made captain for nothing. He’s a strong cutter who can handle and still keep the deep threat alive at the same time. But more importantly our defense is run by two seniors, Matt Freed (#12) and John Yorke (#00). They shut down their receivers and Yorke’s mark is just scary.
Slip: Robbie Kohler is our primary handler but Pat is right at the top as well. They are by far the two we trust the most with the disc. Vinny Ginardi (#73) and Henry Zhang (#11) are two of our best cutters as well, Vinny is such a good under and Henry is our best deep threat and one of the only other people on the team who lays out consistently. As well, we tend to play mixed for the most part and we wouldn’t be anywhere without the help of our girls. We trust every one of them to make the right cuts, make the catch, and the get disc where it needs to be.
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?
Pat: Without a doubt, Marc Friedman (#20). As a sophomore who only first picked up a disc last year, he’s a threat on both sides of the disc. He rarely gets noticed for his skills but can make the right cuts and smart throws when he has to.
How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Slip: Pay particular attention to our thorough interview and tryout process starting at 1:30.
(Editor’s note: if you didn’t see it the first time, Marist was awarded a growth sponsorship by Five Ultimate for the above video submission. You can watch their awesome video again, and see the other winner’s videos here.)
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense? (ho, vert, split stack, etc.?)
Pat: Our offense is nothing special, but on defense we rely heavily on our man defense. We can throw a cup when necessary but nothing beats hard man on man defense.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Slip: We are really, really hoping to make a legitimate run at Regionals. Despite less than a year of experience last season, we came so close to upsetting the eventual 3rd place finishing TCNJ Revolution and lost on universe point to Ramapo. We finished the fall with an undefeated record in the three tournaments we played in so we know we have what it takes to make some noise come April.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Slip: We’ve really worked hard on getting people to come to our intramural sessions and play casually, as well as preparing the team for the spring. We will be graduating seven seniors in May and we are very concerned about replacing them, so we’ve been making sure to get people excited about playing ultimate for next year. As well, we applied for and were selected as winners in the 5 Ultimate college sponsorship contest! We are very excited for this opportunity to become a legitimate looking team with complete uniforms as well as the exposure our little program will receive in the ultimate community.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Slip: We are really hoping to get down to Georgia for High Tide again, we’ve always had a lot of fun and its becoming our premiere event of the year. Aside from that, we hope to host a tournament to get some much needed income and we really want to attend at least two USAU sanctioned college open tournaments. We really want to gain the experience those opportunities would provide and we have never been to one before.
How does your team get pumped up before a big game?
Slip: The handlers have a tradition of listening to Taylor Swift before they play but other than that everyone kind of does their own thing. For the most part, I take the lead in this department when it comes to huddles. I love to be the yeller; the one to do the pregame speech to get people amped and ready to play. The typical response to this is laughter but I still enjoy doing it.
Does your team have any traditions you would like to share?
Slip: The only tradition we have is our annual senior night during our last intramural session in May. We play a set of games and then we all gather in a circle and present the outgoing captains with discs with quotes that describe them, as well as a bottle of the classiest champagne on the market: André.
Which Ultimate player makes you weak in the knees?
Slip: Ethan Pollack of Cornell or has I have come to call him, “the beast.” We watched him play in the Metro East Regionals final last May and he jumped over everyone; one time he skyed a Pitt defender by laying out over him, the video is on youtube (Cornell season highlights part 2) check it out. I’d give anything to have his height and ups.
(Editor’s note: My favorite term for that move: to Mario as in, “He just Marioed that guy!”)
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Pat: Mine by Taylor Swift.