2011 Preview – Notre Dame

by | December 16, 2010, 12:00pm 0

[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: University of Notre Dame
Team Name:
Notre Dame
Justin Browne, Mike Della Penna
Year Founded: 1991
Jersey Colors:
Dark—camo, Light—white/navy blue plaid
Website: http://www.nd.edu/~ultimate

2010 Record
:  36 -10
Score Reporter

How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?

Mike Della Penna: I got involved with ultimate here at Notre Dame mostly because of pressure from my high school friends who play for two teams in Iowa (Grinnell and University of Iowa). We had played a bit in high school after cross country practice and had played in a summer league. The two of them (Casey Fergus and Alex Rummelhart respectively) decided to make the jump to collegiate ultimate and convinced me as well. It also helped that a girl I had a large crush on at the time decided to play for Indiana. (truth)

How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?

Mike: Our team was loaded with talent last year, but because of some untimely injuries, we didn’t come together at the right time. In fact, you could say we fell apart. When teams like Illinois and Michigan were putting the finishing touches on what they had been working on all year we were struggling to get our top seven on the line because of a variety of injuries. The highlight of the season had to be winning the Tally Classic for the second straight year! Don’t think we’re going back this year—going out on top.

Who is your favorite team to play against?

Mike: I really like playing against Illinois. They are quiet competitors and always put together a quality team when it counts the most. We’ve yet to beat them when it counts, but I’ve got a good feeling about this year.

Notre Dame: Taking Names & Cash-Money

Tell us about your captains. What do they bring to your team?

Mike: The captains this year are myself (Mike Della Penna) and Justin Browne. Justin is a senior and a handler. I am a junior and a handler as well (though I’d like to cut a bit this season). It’s weird talking about me, so I’m going to talk about Justin. Justin brings a great mind for the game and some sick throws. I’m pretty fond of my IO break, but I’d have to say Justin’s puts mine and anyone else’s for that matter to shame. Look for him to start up some strings this year with great throws.

Are there players on Notre Dame who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?

Mike: Not sure on the Freshmen of the Year. As an early estimate, I’d say no. As for the other awards, I’d like to say this year we are going to be a sort of “faceless army”. We won’t have any single person that stands out on the field, but the whole team will work together to form a whole that is much greater than the sum of the parts. We’re also not very tall this year so look for us to rely on our legs.

What player is most likely to make a huge play on D or as a thrower?

Mike: On D, it is for sure to be Adam Barsella. The guy’s only about 5’7’ but he can lay out like no other. I’ve seen him get more than a handful of layout D’s chest high. Absolutely no abandon.

As a thrower, I’d look out for sophomore Collin Mackett. The guy has improved drastically since last year and his flick puts are looking good. He’s already dropped in a couple of beauties this year.

Has your team set any goals for this season?

Mike: As always, we’re going to fight to make it to nationals. It’s going to be harder with the redrawn regions, but I’m confident that our team will step up and at least give it a good shot.

What has Notre Dame been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?

Mike: Last year’s senior class was very big, so they’ve left a lot of space to be filled. We’ve been training our new guys by throwing some more advanced things at them earlier in the semester than normally. They’ve been handling it pretty well, and I’m pretty confident in their abilities to develop into great players by the end of the year.

What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?

Mike: The thing I like to do most before a big game is a cheer we call “Pumpasaurus Rex.” It’s amazing and so much fun.

What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?

Mike: Warren G ft. Nate Dogg – Regulate

Bear, ninja or cowboy?

Mike: Ninja, no question.

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