[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: University of Hartford
Team Name: Lighthouse
Name origin: Four years ago when we won our first game at our first tournament, we decided to celebrate with a cooler full of Powerade at a lighthouse in RI.
Captains: Dave Kucherlapati, Mike Luebeck
Year Founded: 2006
Jersey Colors: Orange and green
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at Hartford?
Adam Jay Velk: My name is Adam Jay Velk and I am El Presidente of the Hartford Lighthouse. I am from Wauconda, Illinois. I am the resident “punching bag” of our team and am currently in a serious relationship with our treasurer Caitlyn Hauswirth. I started playing competitively last year. I joined because everyone on the team seemed relatively cool, (I soon learned otherwise) and I wanted to be active to keep the Freshman 15 off. I love my Mom and Dad.
Caitlyn Hauswirth: My name is Caitlyn Hauswirth. I hail from Long Island, in NY. I had been playing pick up since sophomore year of high school, and started to play competitive after my freshman year in college. I am on the university’s varsity track team, where I compete in pole vault. I have played in Huntington Ultimate Summer League (HUSL) and in WUDi, and a few mixed club tournaments in lower New York. I am currently the treasurer for the team and help out at practice explaining things to new players. Adam and I are NOT in a relationship.
David Kucherlapati: My name is David Kucherlapati and I’m from Weston, MA. I’ve been playing pickup ultimate since 2001 and playing competitively since 2003. I’ve played for my High school team the Weston Wildcats and in the BUDA summer leagues as well as at the National Ultimate Training Camp in Amherst, MA. When I came to Hartford in 2006 I helped put together the team, and have been involved ever since. I am in my last year at Hartford, double majoring in Politics & Government and History, and I am currently the captain of Hartford Lighthouse.
Mike Luebeck: Hey! (is for horses) and Mike Luebeck (is for ladies), current co-captain of Hartford Lighthouse. I began playing ultimate during high school in Farmington, Connecticut, and continued to play at Keene State College in New Hampshire. I have played for leagues in Brattleboro, VT and Glastonbury, CT, and have played for many club teams around the New England area including K&F and Carpe Discum. I am currently studying architecture and play ultimate with the team in the little free time that I have. My beard is also pretty important to me, as it takes only a few hours to grow.
Rachel Parlock: I am a Parlock, specifically Rachel Parlock. We Parlocks (10 siblings + 2 spouses + 2 parents = 2 full teams) are born and bred Ultimate players. My family and I hail from West Virginia, mountain mama, and we do play quite a bit together. I never played competitively until college, though, and this is my third year playing at the college level, second with Lighthouse. I transferred here after freshman year at Marshall University where I played with a bunch of goofballs that went to tournaments when they felt like kicking some butt. After I saw how fun that was, I sought out the team here at uHa and the rest is history. Also, I’m la Vice Presidenta, for what it’s worth.
How did your team do last year?
Caitlyn: We played pretty well at our biggest tournament, Toilet Bowl in Bridgewater, MA. The highlight of the season was playing there. It was a lot of fun for the team, and we bonded really well here.
Luebeck: It all culminated with a bagel point!
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Dave: Conn College, they are always willing to scrimmage, have a game, or invite us to tournaments, and they are always a challenge.
Rachel: This year, CCSU Blue Barracudas! We know the entire team, and they are great! Our best ultimate buddies by far.
Caitlyn: CCSU, I like to play against people I know and am friends with, and this year we bonded with this team early in the season.
Adam: CCSU, they are a good group of people, and once my own team tried to trade me for a pack of gum to them…But CCSU would only give up half a pack of gum so the deal was off.
Luebeck: CCSU or Conn College, we scrimmage against both these teams and they are good guys and gals, and always put up a good game.
Tell us about your captains. What do they bring to the Lighthouse (besides Powerade)?
Adam: Dave brings a lot of knowledge–technical knowledge of the game. He knows where everyone should be. He’s a good “x” and “o” guy. Also, he has a terrific Just for Men beard. Mike Luebeck brings a lot of sexual appeal, and also he’s a good on field leader. He leads by example and knows how to keep things light.
Caitlyn: Luebeck gives comic relief.
Rachel: Luebeck might just be the funniest guy in Ultimate. Probably not, but maybe. I do agree with Adam, though. Dave knows his stuff and is more of the sideline coach, whereas Lueb is on the field coaching from the same perspective that we are playing. They have a great balance/chemistry.
We have 2 women on our e-board, why don’t we play mixed? or have a women’s team?
Caitlyn: At the end of last year, the only two women on the team were Rachel and myself, which is not really enough to play competitively at mixed tournaments. This year we have had 5 more girls come out for the team, 3 of which are at every single practice. I am apprehensive to start a women’s team because I can’t always be at all the practices, and I don’t want to struggle with numbers. I know that I enjoy playing and hanging out with the men on our team, and I think playing against guys, as a girl, is the fastest way to get better.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Rachel: Yes. His name is Finkle Doodle, Freshman of the Year, or Tyler Finkler, if you wanna get technical.
Dave: Yes, Tyler Finkler will be deserving of the Freshman of the Year award at the end of the spring. He came to Hartford this year after having some experience in High school. Thus far he has proven to be a very talented and promising player. He has shown consistently that he has the throws and cuts as well as the decision making of a savvy veteran despite having played less than a season in the College division. I would not be surprised in the least if he becomes a big name college or club player.
Caitlyn: Tyler Finkler and Luke Diorio are two freshman that have really brought a lot to the field. Both have played on varsity ultimate teams in high school and really do their best at practice to make themselves better and set a good example for others.
Which Lighthouser (is that the proper nomenclature?) is most likely to make a huge play?
Dave: As a thrower we have three people who are likely to make huge plays, Mike Luebeck, Tyler Finkler and Luke Diorio. All of them aren’t afraid to throw long and are able to break the mark as needed, plus Tyler and Luke have some pretty sick chemistry as handlers, and they’ve only been playing together about two months.
As a receiver, Tim Cotsalas, a freshman with very little experience playing ultimate, has picked up everything he’s been taught and has run with it. He’s shown that he’s not afraid to lay out. He runs hard and never gives up on a throw. Hes the kind of guy that will nearly get a concussion trying to score a point, and that’s really what being a receiver is all about, giving that little extra something to get the disc.
On Defense, Lucas Hope a sophomore has been a consistently good defender. He has already claimed one Callahan this year and is sure to get a few more. Lucas is perhaps the most unassuming player on our team, but he is also one of the most naturally talented defensive players on our team, not to mention that he’s always upbeat and ready to go.
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?
Rachel: Taylor “Soup” Campbell. He is everywhere he needs to be—he makes great cuts, he communicates well, and he is never in a bad place. Also, he’s a lefty like me!
Dave: Soup is a good one, also Tyler “TJ” Martin. Both Soup and TJ are new to the game but they both position themselves well and are best at doing the small things which usually go unnoticed in the grand scheme of things, like crashing the cup to reset the stall count.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Luebeck: Our goals are like…25 yards deep, 40 yards across and made of four cones.
All seriousness aside, we would like to win our next tournament, Bridgewater Toilet Bowl, and win the B-Division Bracket at High Tide in Georgia for our spring break trip.
Dave: Getting though sectionals wouldn’t hurt either.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Dave: Our only current planned tournaments are High Tide for our spring break trip, and Sectionals. We of course will pick up a few more, but we aren’t exactly sure yet. I think the entire team is really just looking forward to getting back out on the field after what is sure to be a snowy New England winter.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Caitlyn: We heckle our e-board president, Adam Velk.
Adam: True story.
Dave: When we call out the starting line up the team cheers for each person, it helps everyone get pumped up.
Does your team have any traditions you would like to share?
Rachel: Dan “Gersh” Gershun wears a green sundress to almost every game. He found it at the Turkey Bowl in Bridgeport a few years ago.
Caitlyn: Bad jokes?
Which Ultimate player makes you weak in the knees?
Dave: Colin Mahony, Jeff Gram, and Jacob Goldstein. Three players for Ironside, all are amazing!
Luebeck: Conor Morris, plays for Keene State College.
Adam: The one player that makes me weak in the knees is my fiancé, Caitlyn Hauswirth. The first time I met her was on the ultimate field last year. She skyed me 15 times that day and after the 11th time, I knew she was the one for me. I asked her to marry me at a Hometown Buffet in Rhode Island, and she said yes. She is my muse and my sweet buttercup.
Caitlyn: Literally none of that is true, besides the fact that I DID sky him, and although he asked me to marry him at the buffet, I said no.
Adam: What a kidder!
Rachel: Kidder?? I hardly know her!
Adam: Jamey Carey from Wisc-Whitewater too. He started playing this summer and he is already dominant. He is like an Ultimate
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
But seriously, there’s no way we can pick just one song.
What is the best cheer your team does?
Huck, Bid, Pillage, and Burn. Eat the Babies.
After every point, one person yells, “Whose house? Everyone else responds, “LIGHTHOUSE!”
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?
Mike and Caitlyn: Florida.
Adam: Women’s is Oregon and Open is Wisconsin-Whitewater
Dave: Hartford Lighthouse. Hey, it could happen.