[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: University of Florida
Team Name: FUEL
Captains: Pav Birk, Arinn Bolin, Jackie Fane
Coach: Joseph Crinkley
Year Founded: 2001
2010 Record: 33-9
Pav Birk: FUEL is all about love. We attract girls to our team through our incredible, lasting friendships within our team and with High Level and Florida A. We are confident that our friendships will bring people to the team and keep them here. We very intensely devoted to our team and to each other, forming great team chemistry that shows on and off the field. As a club team ultimate is a fun and different sport whilst also being highly competitive.
How did FUEL do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Pav: Last year, we won FWC (Florida Winter Classic), got second place at Southerns, won Sectionals, and tied for fifth place at Regionals. The highlight of last season was winning sectionals and beating two of our biggest rivals, Emory and Georgia. They were both really intense games due to the rivalry and long points due to windy conditions. We really worked hard together to bring through those two wins. Our D-line was really big in these games displaying incredible drive to cause turns and score upwind. I think that FWC was the highlight of our season. Florida Winter Classic is a tournament that we host on our campus, and it brings in a lot of our regional competition. Winning last year gave us more motivation and drive to succeed. Every single person on the team stepped up to the plate to offer something on both defense and offense. Instead of having a team of a few players running the show, we proved that our entire team is a threat.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Pav: I look forward to playing against Emory. They have an amazing team full of many players we have to look out for, but more than being a great team, I really admire their style of play and how they conduct themselves on the field. The competitiveness of ultimate games can cause a lot of bickering on the fields, but this team has shown that they play through the fouls and physical aspect of the game and come out on top while remaining composed. One game that stands out for me is playing them at Sectionals last season. We had beaten them at FWC, but then they beat us in the finals of Southerns, so a lot was riding on the game. Again, it was a close game with everyone pulling out all the stops to win and we were able to secure the win and win sectionals overall. It was just what we needed to prepare us for finals and meant that if we saw them at Regionals (which we did), we would be up for another tough game. I have a lot of respect for their team and can’t wait until we get to see them again this season.
Pav: This year our coach is Joseph Crinkley. He was a member of the Florida A team from 2003 to 2008 that qualified for and won Nationals in 2006, made semis in 2007, and we runners-up in 2008. This is his first year as head coach for FUEL, but we were lucky enough to have him help out at certain practices last year, also. With him being around last year, he has a really good idea of what the returners are capable of and knows how we play. We are really excited about him being head coach this year and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this season.
Our captains are Arinn Bolin (4th year player), Jackie Fane (3rd year player), and Pav Birk (3rd year player). Arinn “my Bobes” Bolin has been a captain for three years and began playing for FUEL as a freshman. “My Bobes” is a huge threat as a handler on the team. She has some of the prettiest hucks I’ve seen and is a menace upwind. Playing for 4 years has made her very experienced as a handler and an amazing asset to the team. Jackie “Fane Train” Fane has been a captain the past two years and also began playing for FUEL as a freshman. Fane has an aggressiveness that shows immediately when she steps on the the field. Her scrappy play and ability to break the mark make her stand out on the team. Pav “Pavalicious” Birk is a first year captain. She has the heart and intensity that will inspire our team to fight to the top. She is the fastest person alive, making her an incredible force both on defense and offense. She regularly skies everyone.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Pav: One of the strongest forces on our team on both offense and defense is senior and fourth year player Katelyn Cobelens. She is incredibly fast and a huge asset as our main handler. She carries a huge weight on her shoulders, coming in as the only continuing handler on the offensive line. She is a threat at every angle, being able to sky girls with her vert, play an unstoppable deep-deep and gets lay out D’s like it’s her job, always willing to lay out for a grab, and has remarkable field sense. She would definitely be FUEL’s choice for Callahan on our team and would be the perfect candidate for All-region.
Pav: We work on fundamentals. Most girls that come out haven’t ever played before and so throwing is a major part of the first few days of practice. Along with that we try to implement a few simple rules of the game. During our informational meeting, we usually present our “10 steps to ultimate” slide show that gives a simplified overview of the game to get started. The key to our retention rate is remembering to not overload the new girls with too much information. We don’t want them to get overwhelmed with technical stuff, that can be learned through playing and experience. Sometimes making mistakes on the field is the best way to learn how to do things right.
What does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Pav: Score and get D’s haha. I don’t know if we necessarily have a “go-to” in terms of offense, but I do know that a lot of us on the team LOVE our zone defense. We have a tenacious, disc-hungry cup and great deep and wing communication that causes turns. We all work really well together and can’t wait until that “zone-line” can work its magic.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Pav: NATIONALS…obviously that is usually the goal of every team, but most of us on the team are coming up to our senior year and want nothing more than to take FUEL to nationals again and be the awesome team it was in 2006 and 2007. Not only that we are really working toward improving women’s ultimate and maintaining our B team. We are the first team in Florida to start a B team and we have found it to be extremely beneficial to us this year by prepping new players to learn fundamentals and then move up and become even more competitive.
Pav: So far we have been having practices 3 times a week and once we have split up the teams into FUEL (A team) and DIESEL (B team) we will start to add some track workouts and weights to increase endurance and get us into peak shape for the spring.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which are you most looking forward to?
Pav: Nothing is set in stone, but we plan on attending FWC, Presidents Day, Southerns, and the series. I think I am most excited about FWC. The Florida Winter Classic will be our debut tournament for the spring and hopefully one that will have many of our regional competitors present. Last year we won the tournament and it gave me such an overwhelming feeling of happiness that I can’t wait for it this year! We always have great teams that travel down to Gainesville to play and we hope for the same and more this year as a great way to kickoff the spring college season.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Pav: We usually have a Jam-box with a collection of pump up songs and songs that we have inside jokes about/ ones that simply just make us laugh. Sometimes, in big games, we’ll do sprints to get us warmed up, but also to get the team to re-group and get focused/amped for the game ahead. We also have our FUEL cheers that we scream at the top of our lungs before games and we also have a “tunnel of love” that we set up before games and as the starting line is called, each person runs through.
Bear, ninja or cowboy?
Pav: NINJAAAAAAA. We love playing the game ninja and they’re just badass.