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Photo Essay: DePaul University Men’s Ultimat...

Photo Essay: DePaul University Men’s Ultimate Frisbee

Frisbee was officially born on Jan. 23, 1957. Sixty years later, the disc-based game has evolved from simple roots on a few New England college campuses to a sport that was granted recognition by the International Olympic Committee in 2015. And this transition from niche pastime to a massively competitive sport is currently on display throughout the U.S.

The DePaul Ultimate Club in Chicago has played in college tournaments around the country since its founding in 2005. DUC’s 20-plus member team consistently recruits talented freshmen committed to morning practices, nighttime workouts and a nearly year-round practice schedule, which include frigid winter days near Lake Michigan. No one on the team is on a Frisbee scholarship, in fact, they have to pay for their DUC gear, travel and other expenses.

DUC is comprised of freshmen and upperclassmen, from an array of sports backgrounds. For some, DePaul is their first run in with Ultimate Frisbee. This encourages a lot of peer-to-peer coaching and mentorship, which helps foster DUC’s fun loving, yet hard-nosed atmosphere.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, the men of DUC arrived at one of the “captain’s apartments” at 10 AM. Some were groggy, some were lively, all were ready for a day spent playing the sport they have all come to love.

After taking the North Ave. bus, the team was thrilled to shed their cold-weather gear for a three-hour Saturday morning practice near North Avenue Beach, as they prepared for the upcoming competitive spring season.

DePaul Ultimate Club members warm up by sprinting short distances during a sunny Saturday morning practice near Lake Michigan on Jan. 21, 2017.

DePaul Ultimate Club members warm up by sprinting short distances during a sunny Saturday morning practice near Lake Michigan on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club member Jake Dremann eyes his toss during the first throwing drill of a DUC morning practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club member Jake Dremann eyes his toss during the first throwing drill of a DUC morning practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Tony Paoli, guarded by Jacob Dziubek, attempts a throw to Nitin Thomas during a drill at a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Tony Paoli, guarded by Jacob Dziubek, attempts a throw to Nitin Thomas during a drill at a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

The DePaul Ultimate Club “Ducks” huddle together during a long and intense Saturday morning practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

The DePaul Ultimate Club “Ducks” huddle together during a long and intense Saturday morning practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club coach Jake Ward provides instructions for the next team drill during a practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club coach Jake Ward provides instructions for the next team drill during a practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Josh Ludke chases Eric Swan as both players try to win the disc during a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Josh Ludke chases Eric Swan as both players try to win the disc during a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

AJ Klopfenstein, a DePaul Ultimate Club captain, waits for his mark during a drill at the team’s Saturday morning practice near Lake Michigan on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

AJ Klopfenstein, a DePaul Ultimate Club captain, waits for his mark during a drill at the team’s Saturday morning practice near Lake Michigan on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Jake Dremann catches a throw as Nick Carollo chases him down during a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Jake Dremann catches a throw as Nick Carollo chases him down during a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

One of the nearly dozen Frisbees in use during the DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

One of the nearly dozen Frisbees in use during the DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Tony Paoli throws a “pull” after his side scored during a scrimmage at a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Tony Paoli throws a “pull” after his side scored during a scrimmage at a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club coach Jake Ward encourages everyone to give it their all during a one-on-one deep toss drill on Jan. 21, 2017, because as he says, “Ultimate teams are made in the winter.” (Photo/Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club coach Jake Ward encourages everyone to give it their all during a one-on-one deep toss drill on Jan. 21, 2017, because as he says, “Ultimate teams are made in the winter.” (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Josh Ludke waits for a drill to start at the DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Josh Ludke waits for a drill to start at the DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Jake Dremann attempts to out jump Mike Prasauskas during a one-on-one drill at a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Jake Dremann attempts to out jump Mike Prasauskas during a one-on-one drill at a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club teammates celebrate after scoring a “goal” during a scrimmage at a Saturday morning practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

DePaul Ultimate Club teammates celebrate after scoring a “goal” during a scrimmage at a Saturday morning practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

Sunshine highlights a severely scuffed Frisbee and the bright green turf at the end of a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo/Ben Rains)

Sunshine highlights a severely scuffed Frisbee and the bright green turf at the end of a DePaul Ultimate Club practice on Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rains)

 

Header image: Courtesy of Ben Rains. “A few DePaul Ultimate Club teammates pass through a tunnel as they head to a Saturday morning practice near North Avenue Beach, Jan. 21, 2017.”

See more by Ben Rains at https://benjaminrains.wordpress.com/


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