School Name: Middlebury College
Team Name: Pranksters
Captains: Jake Herman, Charlie Roberts
Jersey Colors: Flair
2010 Record: 30-8
How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?
Jake: I’m Jake Herman and a pretty sick moonwalker, I bet. A friend dragged me to the first practice. I couldn’t believe how bad I was, so I kept going til I got better. I actually started liking it by the end of freshman year.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Jake: We finished 11th at nationals — breaking seeding our first trip there. The highlight of the season: never losing to Florida. In fact, in the history of Middlebury, we’ve never lost to Florida (or played them, but whatever).
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell me about a memorable game.
Charlie: Florida. We’ve never played them, so what. Who cares. We have NEVER lost to Florida. Deal?
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Jake: Thrower: Robbie Zabel — he’s extremely savvy both with the disc in his hands and not. Receiver: Jon “Waldo” Cox — extremely quick and deceptive, virtually impossible to cover. On D: Charlie Roberts — great field sense, able to generate Ds going deep, on incuts, and with poaches, can facilitate an offense after the turn.
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?
Jake: Mattias Fitzpatrick. I don’t know what he does but it’s dope. OK, fine. He plays D on their best player and never gets noticed because he never gets worked. That is LEGIT.
How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Jake: I’m not sure we do this. But if we did, it’d be tricking them into playing well. We put them into terrible, uncomfortable situations where they’re convinced that they’re playing a game (not a sport) and they deliver. It is extremely satisfying.
How does Middlebury practice during the harsh Vermont winters?
Jake: We go indoor and do Air Alert until we all get awful migraines. And then we do Air Alert.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Jake: We kiss each other’s cheeks, take some deep breaths, recite some Wordsworth.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Jake: Anything by Explosions in the Sky.