[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: United States Air Force Academy
Team Name: Air Force
Captains: Jimmy Wilder, Brent Maggard
Coaches: Dave Belsheim
Year Founded: 1980’s
Jersey Colors: Blue and White
How did you get involved with playing Ultimate for Air Force?
Ryan Lord: I started playing pickup down on the intramural fields one day and was asked if I was going to come out and play with the club team. I went to one practice and was hooked after that. Jimmy played one year at Delaware on Sideshow and loved it so came here and became the other freshman to join the team.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Ryan: Last year we had a very hard loss in Regionals to UCLA with universe point 9-8 about 15-20 minutes after hard cap. The highlight of our season was really the season in general and how well we did. Right now we are the best team Air Force has ever had.
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell me about a memorable game.
Ryan: We look forward to playing CU ever year because they are an extremely aggressive team just as we are. As we have become more competitive, we love to play against them and learn more things ever year as well as get into a very competitive and aggressive game.
Tell us about your coach/captains. What do they bring to your team?
Ryan: Our coach, Dave Belsheim, played for Air Force when he attended the academy. He went on to play for Germany’s worlds team then when he moved back to the states played for Sack Lunch and is now on Johnny Bravo. Our captain, Jimmy Wilder, played on Delaware’s A team as a freshman and has brought a lot of experience and competitive culture to the team.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Ryan: This year we have a couple players that could potentially be in the running for Callahan. One is Steve Roberts, one of the most aggressive and defensive players on the field that I have seen. The other is our captain, Jimmy Wilder, who knows the game very well and plays it very well. As far as Freshman of the Year, we have Wes Clark who has brought a lot of experience from high school. He, too, is a very aggressive player and is a great handler. Definitely in the running for Freshman of the Year.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Ryan: The most likely person to make a huge play as a thrower would be either Jimmy Wilder or Ryan Loyd for a deep huck. As a receiver, it would be Mike Jansen or Steve Roberts who are deceptively aggressive and have mad bunnies. On D, we usually rely on Steve Roberts to get up and get the disc wherever it might be in the air.
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?
Ryan: Pete Horban, a cutter/handler on the team, has ridiculous endurance and speed and if you watch him through a game he can usually stay in throughout the entire game and maintain the same speed that he started with. He really pushes himself more than most players on the team.
How does your team bring new players up to speed?
Ryan: This year we started things a bit differently. We had tryouts for new players to cut down to about 50 players total and threw the new guys straight into practice. In order for them to learn throws we had them down early or stay after practice to get the extra practice. Throughout the fall season we also split into X and Y teams to give the new guys the most experience they could get while learning the game.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Ryan: On defense and offense we stick to what works best – running hard and sticking to simple offense and defense. We found that sticking to the most simple offenses and defenses allow for each player to use the most of their athletic ability to make something happen
Has your team set any goals for this season?
Ryan: This year, our team goal is to make nationals. We only lost 3 players this year, so we are coming with a returning veteran team. We are looking at attending more competitive tournaments and getting more experience against the teams that went to nationals last year so we can get use to the competition and get ready for Sectionals/Regionals/Nationals.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Ryan: We have been attending a lot of tournaments with an X and Y team to give rooks the most experience in a tournament setting. We are attending one last tournament in the fall as an A team to see what we need to work on during winter and how we need to condition to get ready for the spring season.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Ryan: We are trying to change our schedule completely and get into more competitive tournaments this year. We are looking at Pres Day, Trouble in Vegas (if it happens), Standford Open (potentially invite), Eastern’s Qualifier (potentially Eastern’s), and Centex. We are most looking forward to Vegas if it happens because what’s there not to like about Vegas!
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Ryan: There are really only 5 words to describe how we get pumped for a big game – Huck, Bid, Pillage, and Burn
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Ryan: There are a lot of songs we are looking at already for a highlight reel, but we are looking at something that is either hard rock or rap and something that is going to pump up anyone that is watching the video.
What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Ryan: The new changes are interesting, but as a team we are looking forward to the different regions and playing teams from Texas and Oklahoma.