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School Name: College of William and Mary
Team Name: Mother Huckers
Captains: Jamie Barr, Jessica Dupont, and Caitlin Horan
Year Founded: 1993
Jersey Colors: Green and White
2010 Record: 23-7
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at William and Mary?
Caitlin Horan: I first started playing ultimate in high school (at Woodward Academy, in College Park, GA), so playing at the college level seemed like the logical next step. I had always enjoyed ultimate, and I was particularly taken by the idea of “spirit of the game,” but my team was brand new, so we were not good. It was not until college when I really started playing and understanding the game that I really fell in love with ultimate.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Caitlin: We came in 2nd place in the Blue Ridge Women’s Sectionals, 7th place in the Atlantic Coast Women’s Regionals, and 34th overall, according to the USAU rankings (last updated June 8, 2010). The highlight of our season was winning two tournaments (JMU Hellfish Bonanaza and High Tide Session II) and coming in 7th at Regionals (the best our team has ever done).
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell us about a memorable game.
Caitlin: We enjoy playing against the University of Virginia’s Hydra. The games are always highly competitive but still spirited. Our teams have a lot of mutual respect for each other, and we generally learn a lot when we compete.
The 2008 Hellfish Bonaza championship game was definitely a memorable one. We brought around 19 players, although by the end of the finals, only 15 could still play. UVA, on the other hand, seemed to have brought an entire squadron, along with their coach. It was a cold, windy day, and but we ended up handily defeating Hydra to win the finals (and the last point was a hammer into the wind for the score!). Part of the reason that winning the championship game was so exciting for our team was that we had done poorly the previous year. Additionally, although we love playing against UVA, we usually lose to them, so it was even more exciting to win the whole tournament by defeating Hydra.
Tell me about your captains. What do they bring to your team?
Caitlin: Our team has never had coaches, so our captains are in charge of planning practice, choosing tournaments, and running the team. Our captains are the main motivators of the team, and, at least since I have been a member of the team, have always been incredibly dedicated both on and off the field. Our team is incredibly close-knit, and our captains have traditionally helped foster that sense of community and belonging. On the field, as with any sport, the captains lead by example and push the team to perform at its peak.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Caitlin: One of our captains last year, Christy Johnson, was voted onto the Second Team All Region after the 2009 season.
How does your team bring new players up to speed?
Caitlin: We begin the year with two “Throwing Clinics,” in which we teach interested people how to throw the forehand and the backhand. At practice, we begin by teaching the basics of the game, including the stack, the mark, the stall count, dumping, etc. We run drills to work on throwing, cutting, and field sense. After about a week and a half of practice, we start scrimmaging each other. Once the new players understand the fundamentals, we move on to more advanced concepts, like zone, and focus on improving the technical aspects of the game.
What does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Caitlin: On offense, our team likes to run a ho-stack, although we switch to vertical in the end zone. On defense, we either run man or zone (depending on weather conditions, mostly). Our zone consists of a mark, a three man wall, a short deep, and two wings playing deep.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Caitlin: One of our main goals this season is to develop the new players. Our current roster is nearly half new players and half returning players, so we are really focusing on teaching the game to the newbs and getting them hooked into the way of the Frisbee. For the spring, we are hoping to win Sectionals this year (the past two years we have come in second place) and place either just as well or better at Regionals.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Caitlin: Our team is currently composed of about half returning players and half new players, so much of our practice time is devoted to teaching new players the fundamentals of the game. We are also doing some light conditioning, such as doing longer runs twice a week, which will we increase in the spring. In terms actual playing, we are scheduled to attend three tournaments: Capitol Club Women’s Sectionals (September 25-26 in Catonsville, MD), Twin City Throw Down (November 6-7 in Winston-Salem, NC), and UR Monument Games 2010 (November 20-21 in Richmond, VA). We are thrilled to have so many new players, and we are really excited to have our full squad back in the spring!
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Caitlin: We will most likely attend the following tournaments: High Tide, JMU Hellfish Bonanza, Blue Ridge Women’s Sectionals, Atlantic Coast Women’s Regionals
We will also probably try to attend at least 2 other tournaments, possibly one in the VA/MD region, and one a little bit farther away in the NC/SC region.
We always look forward to High Tide, since it is an excellent opportunity for everyone to play tons of ultimate and bond with the team. We are also looking forward to the College Championship Series, which we view as the culmination of all of our hard work. Hopefully we will be able to win High Tide again and place just as well, if not better, at Sectionals and Regionals. It will also be interesting to play different teams in Regionals this year, after the redrawing of the regions.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Caitlin: Each semester/year, our team tends to listen to a few select pop songs very frequently, so these songs, along with some traditional favorites (like Eric Prydz’s “Call on Me” and Toto’s “Africa”) generally end up on a mix CD that we listen to while we warm-up. Additionally, right before each game, we do a cheer, including some ultimate favorites like “Peanut Butter” and “Reindeer,” along with our own creations.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Caitlin: Currently our team loves “Magic” by B.o.B. featuring River Phoenix. It’s just a really upbeat and happy song! On a slightly unrelated note, a lot of us are huge Harry Potter dorks (the senior class is going to the midnight premier dressed up), so anything to do with magic is good in my book.
What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Caitlin: In terms of affects on our team, the restructuring hasn’t really helped us/changed much since we are still in the same region as the Carolinas, who have, for the past 3 years at least, consistently been sending teams to Nationals.