Skyd Magazine and sponsors Discraft, the Triple Crown Tour, and Spin Ultimate, in conjunction with founder Charles Kerr, present the 2014 USA Ultimate Women’s Callahan winner, Cassie Swafford.
Cassie Swafford of Ohio State University is your 2014 Callahan winner. The Callahan award recognizes the country’s best embodiment of the ideal ultimate player – a woman who is undoubtedly skilled and a fierce competitor, but who plays with spirit and respect and who inspires others to do the same.
Swafford is a fifth-year player for Ohio State Fever who floats effortlessly around the field, switching back and forth as a cutter and a handler depending on the situation, the matchup, and the needs of her team. Her calm and poise on the field keep Fever’s offense running smooth, efficient, and confident offense.
But perhaps more impressive than her on-field play (which is among the best in the country) is her commitment and dedication to the sport which has built up Ohio State into the incredibly strong program that it is today. It was the experience of not making Nationals her freshman year but being on the doorstep that inspired her to ask her teammates and her coaches to increase their commitment to the team and the sport.
Swafford asked coach DeAnna Ball to come to more practices, to help increase the team’s outside of practice commitment, and to build the team up with the intention of making Nationals and making a statement there. In her fifth year on the team, Ohio State has even created its first B-team, demonstrating her commitment to building a lasting program at Ohio State.
So many of Swafford’s teammates point to her as the inspiration for their own rapid improvements as players. Her co-star Paige Soper was mentored by Swafford, as were entire generations of the current squad. Swafford inspired a level of dedication, community, and love for the sport in all of her teammates that they would not have reached otherwise.
In addition to leading Ohio State to Nationals for four years in a row, they have steadily improved each year. From 17th to 15th to 3rd and a berth in the finals this year, Ohio State has developed athletes into ultimate players behind Swafford’s leadership and guidance. Swafford is also a U23 Women’s World Champion with Team USA.
Congratulations to Cassie Swafford, your 2014 Callahan Award winner. She will lead Ohio State Fever in the 2014 College Championship Game at 12 PM Eastern tomorrow against Oregon. Watch live on ESPN3.
Final Callahan Voting Results:
1. Cassie Swafford (Ohio State Fever)
2. Shellie Cohen (North Carolina Pleiades)
3. Sophie Darch (Oregon Fugue)
4. Callie Mah (Western Washington Chaos)
5. Lisa Pitcaithley (California-Santa Barbara Burning Skirts)