DIII Nation – Harding Apocalypse

by | January 18, 2012, 11:17am 0

Harding's Taren Goins releases one of his feared low-release flicks. Photo by Daniel Bobrowsky

Harding Apocalypse hails from Harding University, a private Christian school from Searcy, Arkansas. They made a name for themselves last year at DIII Nationals by nearly upsetting the eventual champions and tying for 7th place. I can tell you from personal experience that when Harding’s hucks are clicking, they are one of the scariest teams in DIII. Here is an interview with captain Ryan Rummage:

Did you have notable roster turnover from last year? Are you a young team or a veteran team?

Ryan Rummage: As far as our roster goes, we return everyone from last year. Since we didn’t graduate anyone, we feel like this is our time to really put together a good season, but as we all know, age doesn’t guarantee anything. We usually throw out an O-line of all Juniors and Seniors and a D line of older and younger, more youthful guys. We have the biggest team we’ve ever had (about 24 guys) so we’re trying to get as many people involved each game as possible.

Who are your up and coming players, guys on your team that are going to be making plays come the season?

Ryan: Our up and coming players would be two of our Junior cutters: Nick Doores and Tucker Bankston. Both are very fast and have great ups, along with a great ability to read the disc. Tucker tied for the lead in goals at DIII Nationals this past May. We look for both of them to make big plays for us all season. Tucker plays O-line most of the time, and Nick is probably our best defender.

Star Players, who would be your callahan nominee? Who are the big playmakers and leaders?

Ryan: If there were a DIII Callahan, our nominee would be Taren Goins. He led DIII Nationals in May with 29 assists, and he touches the disc more than anyone else. He is the only guy on our team who will play both lines throughout a game. His puts are excellent and his low release flick is oftentimes unstoppable. Two other veterans on the team who would be considered playmakers and leaders would be Tyler Samuel and Ryan Rummage. Tyler is a 5th year Senior and Ryan is a Senior. Both guys had double digit assists at Nationals and Tyler also had double digit goals. Tyler is a cutter and Ryan is a handler.

What tournaments are you planning on going to in the spring?

Ryan: This spring we plan to go to four tournaments, not including the Series:

  • T Town Throwdown (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • Big D in little d (Denton, TX)
  • Hendrix Ultimate Experience (Conway, AR)
  • Huck Finn (St. Louis, MO)

Who are the big DIII teams and players to look out for, both in your region, and in the entire division?

Captain Ryan Rummage sets a mark at DIII championships. Photo by Daniel Bobrowsky.

Ryan: Both Missouri S&T and Truman State qualified for DIII Nationals last year. I think both teams lost some veterans from last year, but we will never be able to take them lightly. If Colorado College were to go DIII they would certainly be one of the top teams, along with the two finalists from last season, Claremont and St. Johns. It’s doubtful we would play either of those teams before Nationals (assuming we can get there of course!), but they will obviously be two of the teams to beat again this season.

Is this your first time competing DIII? If so, what made you change your mind from last year? If not, how did you do last year?

Ryan: We decided to go DIII last season for the same reason that we’ve decided to go DIII this season: we cannot consistently compete with the top DI teams. I think there are many  DI schools that we can compete with, even DI teams that will finish high at Regionals. However, I don’t think we have the depth to be competitive for 4 straight games on a Saturday or Sunday at DI regionals. Also, even if we did think that we were to the point where we might finish in the top half at DI Regionals, DIII Nationals is too fun and exciting to want to pass up. Granted, we still have to qualify for it just like everyone else, but it is an awesome and exciting goal to work toward.

Are there any interesting aspects of your team you’d like to share with the Skyd readership and ultimate community in general?

Ryan: I think it is important for the nature of our team to mention that Harding is a private, Christian school. We ask each team that we play to pray with us after the game if they would like. We don’t want to offend anyone or force religion down any one’s throat, but we do want to do our best to play with a Christ-like attitude, and we consider praying with anyone from other teams to be a simple way to thank God for all that he has done for us.


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