By David Ertischek ’01
The Emerson Skunks ultimate frisbee team may have to change their name after winning the Northeast Mixed Regionals tournament.
“When we started, we stank. So we’re the Skunks,” said co-captain Kate Nelson ’20. “[The team] was started by a group of friends and they couldn’t think of a name. So they said the Skunks. It’s a cool animal and it was fitting.”
Founded in 2016, the Skunks became an officially recognized Emerson College team this fall. Being a College-sponsored team provides benefits, particularly money to enter tournaments, for travel, and more.
And on November 3, the Skunks earned the team’s greatest achievement yet in winning Division B’s Northeast College Mixed Regional Championship in Granby, Connecticut.
“It was awesome to win the tournament,” said co-captain Cameron Barth ’20.
Barth said the victory was very meaningful to all of the Skunks, and especially to Nelson and Karla Brady ’20, the team’s secretary. All three are headed to Emerson’s Los Angeles program for the spring semester.
“We have all seen the team go through so many ups and downs, and ending our run with the Skunks with a championship really validated all the hard work we had put into the program,” Barth said.
During the two-day tournament, the Skunks lost their first game to SUNY-New Paltz, but rebounded to win five games in a row, culminating in the championship against Providence College.
Nelson said the team’s success was due in part to becoming co-ed. Before this season they would enter tournament’s in either the male or female competitions. Combining their forces of 32 people led to a 20-4 season.
The range of ultimate frisbee skills and experience varies from people who played on teams in high school, or just picked up the game a few months ago, Nelson said.
As for the future of the Skunks, Nelson said she’d like to see the team get a coach. That would help the players focus on the games and less on coaching.
Barth wants the Skunks to continue to succeed on the field while providing a place for first-year students and new Emersonians to enjoy a sport that has a similar ethos of the College.
“Ultimate is a real, intense, competitive sport that requires athleticism and stamina,” said Barth. “It also has a unique ability to bring teammates together based on its inherent sportsmanship and spirit.”
Photos by Frank Merrifield courtesy of Skunks