Brian “Papi” Pierce is one of the primary offensive line cutters for Illinois. After facing some early career struggles, Pierce has made an impact on the A team from his sophomore year. #36 will be playing his heart out this year, but will be moving onto to Stanford for the rest of his Ultimate years.
How were you introduced into Ultimate?
I started playing pickup at the beginning of high school. My friend and I took it more and more seriously every year, until senior year we found out about a local high school league and joined. Also, our school had an inter-mural club that had weekly games.
What was your sports background, how did the skills you picked up there translate into ultimate?
I played volleyball in high school, and the skills I learned there that were applicable to ultimate were just general athleticism.
What has your career at Illinois been like?
I came to Illinois knowing I would play ultimate. I hit the ground running freshman year, until I broke my dominant hand at practice. I dropped off the team until second semester, where I picked it up again on the B team. My sophomore year, I was thrown into the mix on A team nearly right from the start and was one of the main Dline longs – that was difficult to adjust to so quickly. One captain that year, Walden Nelson, especially inspired me to improve and perform well. This year, I came back and captained the local club team, and have played on the Oline throughout the season. Walden has continued to be around the team as a coach, and he still inspires me to improve
What do you plan on doing with ultimate after college?
I’m going to graduate school next year at Stanford, and will continue to play ultimate for my remaining two years of eligibility. Then, I will continue to play club while I finish graduate school.