[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Team Name: Rutgers Machine Ultimate
Captains: Geoff Irving, Frenchy Boyea, Eric Huang
Year team was founded: 1972
Jersey Colors: Black, White, Red
2010 Record: 25-9
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?
Geoff Irving: I started playing ultimate the second semester of my senior year in high school because one of my friends pointed out that I had nothing better to do. I loved it so much that I sought out the Rutgers team and signed up.
What’s the origin of the name MACHINE?
Geoff: The name “Hot Animal Machine” was adopted in 1992 after a spectator commented that the team was playing like a bunch of machines. The name was then shortened to Machine Ultimate in 1993.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Geoff: Last year we went 25-9 in the spring season, getting to the finals of Wilmington 8’s and the semifinals of Roll Call. Although we had a successful season, we came out flat when it counted, failing to advance out of our Section.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Geoff: I love playing against NYU. They are our biggest rivals. We have been alternatively ending each other’s seasons for the past couple of years. Although we are fierce rivals on the field, we are very good friends with a number of their players.
Tell us about your captains.
Geoff: Because we don’t have an A-Team Coach, our Captains are responsible to dictating the pace of practices and ingraining the work ethic of Machine Ultimate into new players. I take pride in the fact that our team and organization is entirely team run. It makes our successes sweeter. We do have a B-Team Coach who is invaluable to our program. Bill Sanborn is a 2009 Rutgers graduate who continues to commit his time to the team, helping nurture young athletes into explosive ultimate players.
Are there players on Machine who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Geoff: I don’t think we have any Callahan nominees, however, I know that we have a number of players eligible for the All-Region team and at least two freshmen that deserve the [Metro East] FOTY award.
Who are the big threats, on both sides of the disc, for Rutgers Machine?
Geoff: Captains Frenchy Boyea and Eric Huang run our offense. They are always able to put up high percentage bombs. Our biggest receivers are Seniors Bruce Reed, David Silverman and Freshman Albert Alarcon and Scott Xu. Our D Line is a faceless army. (Editor’s note: Not actually Rutgers’ D-line. In reality there are only seven of them, and they are substantially taller and more flexible.)
Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable they are to your team?
Geoff: Jon Liu, a silent stoic killer.
How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Geoff: Throw them in the mix, and help them along the way. We also have a large B Team and a great B Team coach who does a great job at getting players up to A level speed.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Geoff: I believe in training my team to be able to run a versatile portfolio of offensive systems. If an offensive system is dynamic and unpredictable, the defense will have trouble making efficient adjustments. On defense, I like to play dirty. Respectful, but dirty.
How does MACHINE prepare for the spring season?
Geoff: Conditioning, conditioning, and conditioning some more. It is imperative to build a culture of hard work and pain. We’ve also been very successful at the tournaments we’ve attended, placing second at the UOA Big East tournament and qualifying for UOA Nationals.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Geoff: We plan on attending Trouble in Vegas, Easterns, Roll Call, and High Tide. In terms of a good time, we’re far and away anticipating our return to Jekyll Island for High Tide Spring Break. However, Roll Call is a perennial favorite big tournament of mine.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Geoff: Huddle in silence and feel the potential energy of the team as a whole vibrating – waiting to be released.
Does your team have any traditions you would like to share?
Which Ultimate player makes you weak in the knees?
Geoff: J Dono.
What is the best cheer your team does?
Geoff: I like to keep it simple. Machine on three…